Autonomous Cars Will Take Care of Their Human Owners in the Future

For many their car is an object of convenience and pride – it does not only take its owner places, it is part of their lifestyle. With autonomous driving on the rise, this could come to a whole new level: Cars could now take care of their own needs and those of their owners. In our interview with Peter Fuß, Partner with a Management Consulting Firm with focus on Automotive Industry shares his thought experiment on how this could be is started.

Who will be driving autonomous vehicles? Will there still be a “driver” in the traditional sense?

The so called “end version” of an autonomous vehicle would not have a driver any longer. The machine would take over the steering and the driving. The user of such a car might provide the machine with instructions like the destination to drive to. All other functions will be handled by the machine.

What is the role of the driver in an autonomous vehicle? Does he require a driver’s license?

If the autonomous vehicle would no longer require a driver – as the machine is taking over – mobility customers / users would no longer need to have a driver´s license. This may also depend to a large extent on legal regulations and safety standards in different countries.

How will this new relationship impact the driving experience? (example, regarding personalization, lack of control, fun of driving)

There will be a different driving experience than the one people had during the last 130 years. Moving individually from A to B in the cleverest, most safe and comfortable way will be the ultimate goal for autonomous driving. This will still be very personalized and combined with a new way of fun – driving and relaxing at the same time.

How will the trend to shared mobility instead of owning a vehicle matter in the new relationship between humans and autonomous cars?

Autonomous driving combined with shared mobility would be a true game changer for future mobility. The autonomous vehicle could take the children to school in the morning and it would pick up goods from the shopping center at lunch time. In the afternoon, the handicapped grandparents could be taken to the Afternoon Tea Party. At night the car would drive itself to a repair center, where another machine would replace defect parts.

Therefore, the relationship between humans and autonomous cars would be newly defined. The car might become some sort of best buddy of humans. For 130 years, humans have taken care of their cars. With the introduction of autonomous vehicles the car, better the machine, would now start to take care of humans.

What are the main challenges in establishing autonomous vehicles – and a new relationship between humans and their cars? What barriers in society have to be overcome?

Aside from any legal and technical challenges – which are almost resolved – the true challenge would be the change of the mindset of humans. They have to rely and trust the machine, which is taken over the control of driving.

Humans are still killing other humans through car accidents on the street, but how much failure would we allow the machine –currently, it looks like there is zero tolerance.

What do you think – in what ways could cars take care of their human owners in the future?

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.