Volumes have been written about the possible beneficial (and negative) effects of self-driving cars and systems. But few have studied what industries will be disrupted by the transformations as self-driving devices begin to provide for our transportation needs.
The stakeholders are numerous and the effects can be devastating. Think secretaries, airline reservationists, and all the others disrupted during the emergence of the digital era. The transition to self-driving vehicles and car-sharing systems is likely to cause similar worldwide disruptions. Self-driving vehicles are penetrating a wide variety of industries - from factories to warehouses to underwater and into the skies. For the purposes of this article, the focus will be on cars, trucks and public transport.
Consider the insurance industry. If accident rates go down by 90%, as many are predicting, premiums will need to go down too because the reserves for payouts, which are built into the rates, will go down as well. Also there will likely be fewer insured drivers and car owners thereby lowering the pool of insured people.
Consider hotels and motels and their real estate values and employees - particularly those along the major highways. Why stop at a motel when you can sleep comfortably in a long-haul driverless car? This will likely effect short-haul airlines and airline employees as well.
Think about professional drivers - truckers, taxies, limos, buses, shuttles. It is expected that many will be replaced by on-demand point-to-point self-driving devices. The list goes on and on.