Driverless vehicles: The future of car ownership is Pay-As-You-Go

Stan Boland, CEO, FiveAI

Once the preserve of science fiction, commercially available autonomous vehicles (AVs) will soon be a reality. AVs are currently being tested on UK roads by major vehicle manufacturers including Nissan, Volvo and Ford, and 2019 is being cited as a realistic year for launch in some limited geographies.

The dawn of AVs will signal a paradigm shift in how we get from A to B, says Stan Boland, CEO of FiveAI. It will change the automotive industry beyond recognition. It will disrupt the very notion of car ownership. AVs look set to totally transform mobility, perhaps in more ways than we can imagine right now.

recent survey conducted by KPMG revealed that 59% of industry bosses believe that more than half of today’s car owners today will no longer want to be in possession of a vehicle by 2025. But how is this new ownership model more efficient, and why it is financially beneficial for consumers?

Why do we need autonomous vehicles?

Urban congestion and traffic pollution are often the result of drivers that choose to travel in their own cars over public transport. The UK Department for Transport (DfT)’s report on Public Attitudes to Buses (2013) found that existing shared services simply cannot offer sufficient convenience, comfort or predictability for consumers.

AVs will enable new service configurations where consumers are delivered door-to-door, with virtually no stops in a comfortable, shared vehicle. They can use travel time to relax or do work and they won’t need to waste time looking for a parking spot. The services will be hailed using a smart phone application or could even be directly linked to consumers’ digital calendar, and they can be delivered at a cost to the consumer that is equivalent to that of a bus ride, without government subsidy.

Consumers will spend less on transportation and will recover hundreds of hours of driving time. Road traffic accidents will be reduced, as will congestion and pollution in our towns and cities. It has been projected that AVs could eliminate 90% of traffic fatalities.

What are the challenges?

So how do we get there? Every company is taking a slightly different approach to the technology and there is no agreed way of validating systems before deployment. The standards that do exist are woefully inadequate for driverless cars.

For example, the ISO 26262 standard for electronic components was developed to ensure that vehicles consistently respond to the instructions of human drivers, it was never conceived as a specification for autonomous decision making software.

UN regulations that ban a vehicle being steered automatically above 10mph also need to be dealt with. Plus a regime that demands independent third-party testing before launch is counter-cultural to the auto industry which has traditionally favoured self-certification.

Emerging computer-vision science has meant that a better-than-human perception ability is now feasible, meaning we can develop autonomous vehicles that are far less likely to drive into things than human drivers are. But this alone isn’t sufficient. For autonomous vehicles to gain public acceptance they will have to drive in a way that other (human) road users expect them to and they will have to make timely progress in busy traffic, i.e. driving assertively where necessary.

In order to do this, AVs must have the ability to anticipate what is likely to happen next in a scene. This remains an unsolved challenge, as observed by the higher than average rear-end collisions that many autonomous vehicle prototypes experience, but it is the key to widespread adoption of AVs and all the societal benefits that will bring.

‘Mobility as a Service’ is the new model

Experts predict a switch, in developed economies, to commercial transport services based on a mobility-as-a-service model, with a corresponding decline in vehicle ownership. Under mobility-as-a-service, users will instead rely on vehicles operated by service providers – imagine an Uber-like service you can summon at the touch of a button, but with no driver.

For consumers, this means lower costs compared to owning a car and ultimately more convenience. For auto makers however, the picture is somewhat more complex. Overall demand for vehicles will fall in developed economies. Operators, not consumers, will be the main purchasers and the preferred brand of the car will become less relevant.

Integration of the service into consumers’ digital lives, safety reputation, vehicle comfort, connectivity and cost of ownership will be service differentiators. In short, low-cost manufacturers like China’s SAIC and contract assemblers like Canada’s Magna could cash in if commoditised vehicles and hardware come to the fore.

In their ‘Peak Car Ownership’ report, the Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that private ownership of vehicles will peak in the US as early as 2020. Fast forward to the year 2030, and we are far more likely to be relying on a mobility-as-a-service model than the car ownership model which is prevalent today.

What remains to be seen is how the auto and transit industries will come together to find ways in which services can be safely launched, extended and ultimately adopted. Thereafter, it should be relatively easy and frictionless to expand services and promote the significant improvements to all of our lives that autonomous vehicles can deliver.

The author of this blog is Stan Boland, CEO, FiveAI

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow


Aeris to acquire IoT business from Ericsson

Posted on: December 8, 2022

Ericsson and Aeris Communications, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions based in San Jose, California, have signed an agreement for the transfer of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator and Connected Vehicle Cloud businesses.

Read more

Telenor IoT passes milestone of 20mn SIM cards

Posted on: December 8, 2022

Telenor, the global IoT provider and telecom operator, has experienced rapid growth over the last years and ranks among the top 3 IoT operators in Europe and among the top IoT operators in the world. The positive development is due to an accelerated pace of new customers combined with a successful growth of existing customers’

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more