Articles, Level 5 Autonomous Driving, Smart Mobility

Pay Increase through Autonomous Driving?

A US study predicts a bright future for households if autonomous driving will be established.

So far most studies on autonomous driving have been dealing with technical feasibility and implementation issues. But in the recent past more and more studies on the social impact of autonomous driving emerged. An example is the RethinkX study “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030” which outlines the technology’s impact on society. According to the study autonomous driving will be established by 2030 with 95% of the society using autonomous and electrical vehicles.

Like a Pay Increase

If fully automated driving is practicable the number of private vehicles will decrease strongly. Robot taxis will carry people to their destinations. The concept of “being driven” already used by Uber and Lyft is less expensive for the consumer than owning a private car. The study stated that one person can save about 5,600 USD on average per year by shifting his or her mobility style. This would mean an annual salary increase of 10% if you call in the average American salary expectations.

So why own a car?

In total all private households could save about 1 billion USD until 2030. The report calls it the “largest infusion of consumer spending in history”. The researchers expect most consumers to sell their cars as they wouldn’t have any use for them. Additional costs through insurance, fuel or repairs would cease. Robot car services will supposedly be paid per ride or on subscription basis which is estimated to be ten times cheaper than owning a private car. As many car manufacturers are entering the mobility service market the prices for robot taxis are calculated rather low.

Conventional Car Rejections

The study authors also estimate that around 100 million „traditional“ vehicles will be taken out of service as they wouldn’t be economically viable anymore. Apart from the RethinkX piece there are also studies that do not agree with the upcoming downfall of the private vehicle. The future will show us if such a scenario may become reality.

About the author:

David Fluhr is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: