Self-driving cars will not come because they finally give the chance to read while driving. This might be worth pursuing culturally, but no one will invest in it. Self-driving cars will offer new services which will make previously stationary services mobile.
The hotel industry will soon face new competition: self-driving cars that drive customers to their destination overnight, where they then arrive well-slept. Of course, this would not work with a converted mid-sized standard car, but it will work with optimized vehicles – hotel rooms on wheels that flexibly join together in convoys and separate as needed, like a night train on the road, and a private car at departure and destination.
New service providers will offer frequent drivers their own solutions, and larger companies will maintain their own fleets for field work. Nearly every leasing model in today’s company-car landscape will also join in here – even if only for one night.
Savings in overnight accommodations alone make this business area attractive. Hotel-chain operators will look into integrating these services in their stationary models and maintaining classic hotels as part of attractive combination packages.
Other services that are stationary today will follow, from therapists that work during the drive to the office to insurance agents and banks to all kinds of consulting services all the way to hair stylists and mobile restaurants: “Drive-in” and “coffee to go” will become DWYD: “Dine While You Drive.”
Outfitters may also set new standards for individualization. A car that is no longer optimized around the artificial situation of driving offers entirely different possibilities to present outfitting for “living on the road.” Just as it is natural to decorate your house seasonally and to make it more modern at certain intervals, the furnishing of tomorrow’s cars will become personalized and flexible (i.e., adaptive).
For why would the driver of the future have lower requirements for personal furnishing in his mobile living area than for his stationary living area: the classic living room? Especially, when both spaces are used for the same amount of time each day?
Self-driving cars create new business opportunities in various sectors
Mobile service providers will also transfer their need to furnish stationary shops to the mobile world. The continual renewal of interior decoration for self-driving cars is a rapidly growing field for furniture manufacturers, retailers, commercial decorators and interior designers. This is good news for many of today’s workshops and roadside assistance services who will need a new foundation for their businesses in the face of drastically reduced vehicle damages.
What counts as style and individuality here will be transferred to the expectations of the customer of tomorrow concerning the entertainment systems on board. Because the lifetime of a car model clearly exceeds the innovation cycles of consumer electronics, it is even easier to see how important the ability to redecorate or reequip vehicles without considerable costs after use.
How will self-driving cars affect personal and professional lives
Finally, self-driving cars will change our working environments. Among other things, they will offer the opportunity to begin the working day directly from the driveway. Thus the proportion of work time during waking hours will instantly sink.
As early as the late 80s, a famous German sports car company advertised its vehicles with the slogan: “You can take longer for breakfast, and you are back earlier for dinner. Can you find a better family car?” What sports cars promised back then will be delivered by self-driving cars tomorrow.
Yet even more, the networked self-driving car offers the opportunity to take on other jobs: working hourly at the customer service center of another company and taking care of open tickets or conducting telemarketing and digital office services are a few examples. Every job that can be done with a telephone, a laptop, and an internet connection can also be done in the car.
The term “job nomads” will therefore gain a new meaning. As commuting workers, they will be bookable for various services, leading to the shifting of these out of offices and literally onto the street. This separation of tasks will change the average workday on both sides, for what will be left to do at the office?
Also, one thing is true here as well: Those who take over control and can flexibly combine supply and demand will have the best chances for successful business models. To this end, the recruitment agencies of the future will divide tasks and labor into very small components and combine them as modules, offering temporary work in quarter-hourly blocks.
New opportunities for recruiters and logistics specialists, restaurants and hotels – and of course also for what we call “taxis” today: Those are the real drivers that will bring self-driving cars on our streets even in a few years’ time. Perhaps some of the cars will indeed offer a steering wheel as a nostalgic extra – even if it is just a decoration.
What role do you think self-driving cars play in achieving and maintaining work-life balance? Share your opinions in our comment section.
Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.