I have long been a fan of the idea of self driving cars. I remain unwaveringly of the mindset that they will be the future of transport, and will change the paradigm of car ownership. So much possible good can come out of them. Less accidents, no worries about parking, the ability for groups of people to share a vehicle, better traffic, easier to get the kids dropped off and picked up, and even extra nap time on the way to work.
But a shower thought the other day, has made me wonder if it will ever happen. Not because the technology won’t get there, it undoubtedly will, but because of the impact on revenue. Imagine a world with self driving cars. Firstly, every private parking group, gone. Tullamarine Airport has some of the most expensive parking in the world, but with self driving cars, no more. CBD parking – no problem, your car will drop you off – almost overnight, a 2 billion dollar industry goes the way of the buggy whip. But that alone wont do it, the real kicker, in an instant, all traffic fines are done. In a self driving car, nobody ever speeds, nobody runs a stop sign or red light, nobody overstays their parking. What government is going to allow this? With well over a billion dollars in annual revenue coming in from traffic offences in Australia alone, it is hard to imagine laws allowing for self driving cars being passed in a hurry.
Maybe I am just being cynical, but while I am absolutely certain self driving cars will make life safer and better in many many ways, they wont make it in without a fight.