Self-driving cars, no longer part of the future, will soon be here to stay. According to Curbed, at least one rental car company plans to have driverless cars as part of their offering in the not too distant future. With the addition of robotic driven vehicles to fleets, the corporate transportation landscape will dramatically change.
Many are hailing this innovation for its safety and convenience factors. For those travelers arriving after a long haul flight, a self-driving car is a viable option. Another benefit allows for the driver to become the passenger and conduct business while on the road. The self-driving car would be a natural choice for the non-driver, a traveler unfamiliar with the area, or one that is ineligible to drive a rental vehicle.
How will self-driving vehicles impact ride sharing and black car ground transportation? Theoretically, the driverless vehicles cancel the need for driver alcohol and drug testing, training and background checks.
Eventually this technology will impact the way companies manage rental car, fleet and ground transportation policy. Insurance costs and rental car rates will be impacted. VentureBeat predicts automakers will assume much of the liability. The consensus is still out. While the number of accidents are anticipated to decline and insurance premiums decrease, the estimated downturn in the volume of insurance purchased by individual drivers could adversely impact the insurance industry. What additional liability will a corporation take on as driverless vehicles become part of their transportation program? All factors to consider.
This is a very interesting evolution in transportation to witness, as the futuristic world of George Jetson becomes a world closer to reality.