Feb 02/21

How Autonomous Vehicle Technology Is Transforming How We Travel


When autonomous vehicle technology is brought up, we used to think something along the lines of Sci-Fi movies like Minority Report.

It seemed outlandish in 2002, but nearly 20 years later we have major automotive and technology players looking to make it a reality. Between EV, self-driving cars, and even “swarm” AI technology, it may end up being a reality before we know it.

How are we going to get there and what will it look like? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Autonomous Vehicle Technology Rush

Much like the Alaskan gold rush and the rush to acquire oil rights, the results of this rush will shape the coming decades in transportation. Though, with the Apple self-driving car, Audi self-driving car, Amazon self-driving car, and the Tesla self-driving car projects all going on there’s some confusion in the space.

There’s a misconception that whoever makes a successful autonomous vehicle first “wins” and invalidates the work of the others. These technologies are competing to establish market share, but it isn’t winner-take-all.

There are already many different engine technologies, fuel technologies, and form factors. What is important to note is that they’re all coexisting today, adhering to the same global standards for automobile safety. So, it doesn’t really matter which technology or company “wins”.

There will likely be needs for all approaches involved in autonomous vehicle technology, with their own clear standards already in place. For example, a semi-tractor trailer and a commuter vehicle are vastly different in size and function, with different technological needs.

That won’t change in the future with automated vehicle technologies.

The (Lack Of) Impact: Self Driving Vehicles

The technology is growing as fast as AI learns.

Although, right now there is a lot of apprehension in the target market as fatalities occur during testing. The AAA estimated in 2019 that only about 30% of people are comfortable with full self-driving. The reality is much more varied than that. Therefore, factors like gender, age, increasing growth in assisted driving features, and more that are impacting people’s perception of full self-driving.

Regulatory Changes

Understanding the gravity of what is coming, the US government is not waiting for the technology’s implementation to retroactively create regulation and optimize technological utilization. On December 23, 2019, the White House and DOT published their “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0.”

The major points of the roadmap involve community safety, efficient market growth, and coordinated efforts between market leaders.

Societal Influence

The influences on our society, when it’s a proven road-ready technology, are expected to be:

  • A whole new generation of motor vehicle form factor
  • Reduced crashes and fatalities
  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Faster travel times
  • Greatly reduced fuel consumption
  • Streamlined delivery and courier services
  • New designs for new and existing cities

Living in a Jetson’s-style future is exciting for many. But, the greatest impact will be on lives saved by cleaner air and fewer accidents, less time in traffic, and greater savings per capita.

The immediate influences will be undeniable. These greater, deeper, structural changes will take time and decades of work.

Are You Ready for the Self-Driving Revolution?

Whether you call it autonomous vehicle technology or self-driving, it’s no longer on the horizon. It’s less than a mile away and we can already see some details clearly.

Will you be ready? At Mayco International, we have the experience and knowledge to see the writing on the wall for the implications of this technology.

So, if you want to know more about how you can be prepared to meet the needs of your customers, let Mayco help. Get in touch with us today.