Our PR Director, Michelle Smytheman, is passionate about helping emerging professionals in the communications industry and teaches at the University of the Sunshine Coast. As part of an assessment task this year, there have been some excellent blogs written by first-year students about emerging business trends. We are proud to share their work.
By Julia Bernd, International Student UniSC / Hochschule Koblenz
Autonomous-driven cars are the talk of these days. They are futuristic, cool, and promise to make our roads safer and less congested. But what does all this mean for us? How will autonomous driving change the way we live and move around?
To begin with, self-driving cars are just what they sound like: vehicles that operate alone. They traverse the roadways and make judgements similarly to human drivers using cutting-edge sensors, cameras and software. The goal is to minimise the frequency of accidents brought on by human error while making driving safer and more effective.
But why should you care about self-driving cars? Well, for one thing, they could revolutionise the way we travel around the world. Instead of driving your car to work every day, you could sit back and relax while your car does the work. This could save you time, reduce stress, and make commuting a lot more pleasant.
Self-driving cars could also make our roads safer, at least that is what the marketing is telling us. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration human error is a factor in 93% of all car accidents. By removing the human element the number of accidents on our roads could be reduced significantly. This means fewer injuries, fewer deaths, and lower healthcare costs.
But what about the cost of buying a self-driving car? Is it gonna be expensive? Well, yes and no. At first, self-driving cars will be expensive, like the first models now. That would make the high-involvement buying process. This means, that all five stages of a purchase decision would be passed through. This could persuade potential customers to stay with the non-automated cars. But as the technology becomes more mainstream, prices are expected to come down. And when you consider the fact that self-driving cars could reduce the cost of car insurance and save you money on petrol, when their system is optimised in driving efficiency. It might be cheaper to own a self-driving car in the long run. Imagine a world where buying a self-driving car is as easy as choosing your favorite brand of cereal. With prices dropping and technology improving, it is not hard to imagine a future where owning a self-driving car is no longer a luxury, but a common. That they will be the default option for anyone looking to buy a car. So that the question of the purchase decision would be only, which model am I choosing?
Of course, there are still some concerns about self-driving cars. For example, how will they handle unexpected situations on the road? How will they interact with human drivers? How will they be regulated? These are all important questions that need to be addressed before self-driving cars become a reality. For example, if an autonomous vehicle is faced with a situation where it must choose between protecting the safety of its passengers or protecting the safety of pedestrians, what decision should it make? This raises questions about who is responsible for such decisions and what criteria should be used to make them. Marketing experts working on consumers trusting the concept of self-driving cars. Like Waymo, they introduce them as experienced or safe driving option.
Apart from the ethical questions, autonomous vehicles require a significant amount of infrastructure to operate effectively and safely. What happens if the system of a car is hacked or victim of a cyberattack? The increasing technology in new cars offers more and more attack surfaces and requires special protection. Safety would no longer be guaranteed here with serious consequences.
What effect will autonomous driving have on the labour market? Which new jobs will be created and which jobs will become obsolete? Obvious consequences of the changeover to autonomous driving would be for drivers, bus drivers and train drivers. Will autonomous driving create enough new jobs than jobs that will be eliminated? Workers fear irrelevance and being replaced by autonomy. However, innovations as exciting as autonomous driving are difficult to banish from people’s minds once the idea is there.
But one thing is for sure – self-driving cars are coming, and they are going to change the way we live and move around. So whether you are excited about the idea of a self-driving car or a little apprehensive, it is important to stay informed and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in this new field.
If you want to learn more about self-driving cars and how they work, there are plenty of resources available online. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts website is a great place to start, as is the Autonomous Vehicle Alliance. And if you are interested in the marketing side of things, check out the websites of companies like Tesla and Waymo, which are leading the way in the development of self-driving cars.
Self-driving cars are a hot topic for a reason. They promise to make our roads safer, reduce congestion, and change the way we travel. And while there are still some unanswered questions about this new technology, there is no denying that it is an exciting time to be alive. So buckle up, and get ready for the ride of your life!