Since the 1930s, vehicles that are driverless or that have mechanical autopilots were already being conceptualized. One century later, partially or fully autonomous vehicles are finally expected to arrive. Depending on how legislation and consumers respond to this new technology, it could take just 10 years or less before driverless or self-driving cars are seen coasting every road or street in the country.
|Image source: washington.edu|
The entry and commercialization of these autonomous vehicles have various implications on retailers, such as the following:
Shift in customer segmentation
The market segment that would probably adopt the autonomous technology the quickest is the business segment because families are less inclined to purchase an autonomous car for they would most likely be concerned about control and their safety, especially the children’s.
Businesses, particularly logistics companies, would not have the same concern. Driverless freights or cars can even bring additional advantages, such as lower costs, additional resources that can be spent on interacting with customers, and reduced risk to human life.
|Image source: gizmodo.co.uk|
Autonomous vehicles would obviously cost much more than regular cars. There is then the possibility that that new-car sales could be reduced, which could make car sharing or fractional ownership more attractive to private buyers.