Who Will Benefit from Self-Driving Cars?
A new technological revolution is just around the corner. IoT (Internet of Things) is introducing a slew of new developments that will have disruptive impacts across the entire global economy. Self-driving cars look like the most likely to be next in line to be rolled out to the public and there are a lot of questions as to what the total impact will be.
There’s no question that driver-less cars will cut down on accidents. According to the Eno Centre for Transportation, if 90 percent of U.S. vehicles were automated, accidents would drop from 6 million per year to 1.3 million, while deaths would fall from 33,000 annually to 11,300. In the long run, these kinds of changes are good things, but the economic impact will be widespread. For example, fewer accidents means less insurance costs – a good thing for consumers, but bad for the insurance industry.
For investors, sectors that might benefit will be highly sought after. Here’s three sectors that could benefit from the new paradigm.
Unquestioningly, auto makers will reap the benefits of self-driving cars. The surge in new car sales following the technology should boost earnings for all of the major automotive companies in the U.S. However, investors should note that the quick boost could be followed up with a period of slower growth once these systems have been widely implemented.
IoT has been a huge boon for the technology sector and self-driving cars will be no different. Smart technology that will be able to interact with vehicles and vehicle features, like GPS and data gathering devices, and will likely be the first add-on’s with many other technological innovations to follow. If people are no longer responsible for taking the wheel, communications devices that enable passengers to connect with others could be the next evolution in business.
Self-driving cars and smart technology should have the added benefit of more efficient traffic patterns. Parking lots might be redesigned to cope with the automation, as well, requiring a total revamp of the current infrastructure. Not only will roads need to be redesigned, but in all likelihood, reduced, as well. That means more room for urban projects like parks and gardens. For engineering and construction companies, the benefits could last years.
One key takeaway to all changes being brought about by IoT is the increased need for security against malware and hackers. Cybersecurity is already becoming one of the fastest growing industries and self-driving cars could make it even faster. New protective measures will be needed to combat ever-changing threats creating opportunities for investors down the road.