Self-driving cars will require new business models

IF YOU WANT to buy a fully self-driving car, you may have to wait for another decade. Autonomous vehicles will initially be offered for sale not to private owners but to robotaxi-fleet operators.

First, LIDAR sensors are still so expensive that, deployed in production cars, they would cost more than the rest of the vehicle. For AVs in a robotaxi fleet, that is less of a problem, because vehicles will be operating, and thus generating revenue, throughout the day, whereas private cars are in use only about 5% of the time.

Second, getting AVs to work safely and reliably is much easier if their geographical range is limited to places that have been mapped in fine detail, such as city centres. So your first ride in an AV will be in a vehicle you hail using an app, not one you own.

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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Self-driving cars will require new business models

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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