The Last Auto Mechanic or “Within 15 years virtually all vehicular traffic will be by autonomous electric vehicles”

auto mechanic

Summary:

  • Within 15 years virtually all vehicular traffic in the US will be by autonomous electric vehicles 
  • EV’s are significantly cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars (lower repair and maintenance; lower fuel; lower new car acquisition cost (in 2022!))
  • Fewer parts means less wearing out, which means less replacing, and higher use factors. 15,000 miles costs about $1,400 using gas, but only $540 using electricity (cost will continue to decrease); In 5 years, a high performing all EV car with at least mid-level autonomy will cost less than $20,000
  • Demand for electric cars will increase, given all advanced countries will soon ban ICE cars
  • However, real reason for incumbents to be scared are autonomous cars –> when an incumbent industry is disrupted by a new product that costs less to buy, lasts much longer, and is far cheaper to operate, while the existing product is vilified as a planet killer, the result is inevitable: people will switch. Manual drive internal combustion engines will become a modern-day horse
  • After self-driving cars launch in 2021, demand for new cars will crater, and tens of millions of ICEs will be simply abandoned. This will drive the collapse of the oil industry, along with much of the car sales and maintenance industry
  • Significant workforce and social impacts driven by autonomous car adoption:
    • No more car part sales, mechanics, truck drivers, packet drivers, taxi drivers
    • Insurance companies will start charging a premium to drive on your own
    • Overall car insurance revenue will plummet
    • Drivers stopping in for gas, dinner, and a hotel room slowly dwindles
  • Downsides of job losses and entire industries are becoming redundant will be more than offset by the benefits of increased disposable income and enhanced quality of life as society sees better service at lower costs

So what:

  • It is clear that many of the predictions will become true –> it is just a matter of time. While 2021 seems aggressive for the huge adoption of automatic electric vehicles, it certainly will happen within the next 10 years
  • We will see a steeper than expected adoption curve of autonomous vehicles given the significant benefits (comparable to the adoption curve of smart phones) –> this means that first mover advantages will be significant. The first company with a fully functioning (Level 4-5) autonomous car technology will probably outsource the production to (other) OEMs or license the technology in order to fulfill demand
  • Given the huge disruptions of large workforces (e.g. taxi, truck and packet drivers; mechanics and car salesmen; Gas station and car insurance personnel) governments need to prepare measures to mitigate the impacts –> unconditional basic income could become the only feasible solution

Stories to shine:

  • “Within 15 years virtually all vehicular traffic in the US will be by autonomous electric vehicles”
  • “It’s cheaper to operate an electric vehicle per mile than a regular internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle”
  • “Manual drive internal combustion engines will become a modern day horse”
  • “The last auto mechanic has already been born”
  • “After self-driving cars launch in 2021, demand for new cars will crater, and tens of millions of ICEs will be simply abandoned. This will drive the collapse of the oil industry, along with much of the car sales and maintenance industry.”
  • “That Geico gecko is about to get run over”

Link to article: The Last Auto Mechanic

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