The Race For Driverless Cars: The Winners & The Losers

The Race For Driverless Cars: The Winners & The Losers
SHARE
THIS



This article first appeared on The Conversation. And here, Michael Milford, an associate professor at the Queensland University of Technology, and  Jonathan Roberts, a professor in robotics at the Queensland University of Technology, take a look at driverless car phenomenon and what it means for Aussie motorists…

The ridesharing service Uber is pretty close to getting the go-ahead in almost all states and territories in Australia, with Victoria set to follow Queensland in introducing new legislation.

In the short term, Uber has committed to creating tens of thousands of new jobs in Australia. Many thousands of jobs have already been created and your typical Uber driver speaks positively of being empowered in a flexible working arrangement.

But we know Uber has other plans. Like almost all large car and technology corporations such as Toyota, Ford and Google, Uber is investing heavily in self-driving technology. It’s already testing its driverless technology in Pittsburgh, in the US. A rival, nuTonomy, has also started trials of driverless taxis at a Singapore business park.

With drivers contributing a large fraction of operating costs, removing them through automation has an enormous commercial motivation.

If companies solve the technological problems and successfully navigate the government policy landscape, millions of transport-related jobs worldwide are at risk, including Uber and taxi drivers, truck drivers, posties and fast food delivery drivers, just to name a few.

This is just one in a stream of events where technology is changing society. Each of these events has an immediate impact on society.

What if we step back from Uber’s short-term aim and examine who are likely to be the big winners and losers in this technological arms race for driverless cars.

Public vs Private Research

Universities are winners and losers. While the large-scale hiring of researchers from US university Carnegie Mellon to Uber became public in 2015, top researchers, especially young ones, are moving to self-driving car and artificial intelligence (AI) corporates and start-ups.

While in the past universities have performed much of the critical research leading to technological breakthroughs, this is less likely to be true in the age of self-driving cars.

Current autonomous car research is extremely resource intensive. Fleets of development vehicles must be maintained and large teams of engineers must be employed. There are also mind-blowing amounts of data to be stored and processed using massive computer resources.

Some universities have remained connected. For example, Toyota has funded research at the University of Michigan, Stanford and MIT to the tune of almost one hundred million dollars.

But many universities have lost their top talent. A brain drain itself does not have to be a long-term problem, if some of those researchers eventually come back to share their experience or establish collaborative relationships with industry.

However, the stakes are so high and commercially important that meaningful collaboration between corporations and universities is arguably getting rarer in the robotics research area.

It is also a problem if none of the most exciting researchers and teachers are left at universities to educate and inspire the next generation of robotics engineers.

The Car Culture Of The Future

If society transitions successfully to an ownerless car culture where cars are summoned upon demand, there are potential huge environmental benefits.

Properly implemented, self-driving cars will drive in a more fuel or energy efficient manner. Networked car fleets will further reduce energy consumption by reducing traffic congestion.

The biggest potential environmental win is simply from having far fewer cars in existence. It is estimated that you can meet a typical city’s current transport needs with a much smaller fleet of shared pool cars compared to the current privately owned car system.

It is not hard to conclude that if there will be far fewer cars in the future then the world may need fewer car manufacturers or that current car companies will make far fewer cars.

It is quite conceivable that a number of today’s large automotive companies will not exist a decade after self-driving fleet cars dominate the roads.

This may be one of the reasons it seems that every major car maker is racing to develop this new technology. It is simply survival of the fittest.

With fewer people needing to learn to drive, there will be less demand for driving instructors.

The trend in developed countries is that fewer young people are learning to drive. Many simply do not see the point in spending time and money learning to drive when they can simply get out their phone and call an Uber.

This trend is especially true in highly urbanised areas, where ride services are most plentiful and where the cost and hassle of owning a car is often highest.

We The Consumer

As consumers, we are likely to both win and lose. Potential monopolies are a risk; in the US this isn’t currently a problem due to fierce competition between ride sharing companies such as Uber and rival ride-share operatorLyft.

Uber is currently the dominant ride sharing option in Australia so only time will tell whether real competition will occur.

Improving the safety of car occupants and pedestrians is also a potential big win for consumers, especially if better autonomous driving systems can make a dint in the thousand-plus annual fatalities in Australia and the more than a million deaths annually worldwide. If the technology works, reducing fatalities including those caused by drink driving and fatigue, is fantastic for everyone.

Your transport experience itself may or may not improve. One of the big, less glamorous motivating factors around self-driving cars is that we spend a comparable amount of time in our cars as on the internet. The company that gets significant market share in this space may choose to monetise your driving time with ads (something you already experience in some taxis).

Consumers may be faced with the unenvious choice of paying a hefty no ads premium charge fee, or being deluged by ads that they can’t turn off or mute.

When you first get into an autonomous ride-sharing car, who do you think will be in control? Perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1990 movie Total Recall gives us a glimpse of what the future may hold (language warning).

Please login with linkedin to comment

Blackmores einsights PRIA

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore

Bereft of any Monday motivation? Let today's Women in Media profile be like low-current electric waves to the brain.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Arq Group Activates New Branding By Hulsbosch  
  • Media

Arq Group Activates New Branding By Hulsbosch  

Arq Group has launched a new identity created by award-winning agency Hulsbosch, with the business rebranding from Melbourne IT to Arq. Previously known as Melbourne IT, the company was founded in 1996 as one of Melbourne University’s commercial ventures with the sole rights to manage .au domains in the early days of the Internet. Melbourne IT […]

Adshel Unveils ANZ Takeover Via PHD
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Adshel Unveils ANZ Takeover Via PHD

ANZ, in partnership with PHD and Adshel, have taken to the streets with a total take-over of the entire Adshel Live network. For one hour, between 8am and 9am on Tuesday 19 June, ANZ is inviting commuters to download the new ANZ app by showing six different ways the app can help them manage their […]

Nine Launches Big Ideas Pop-Up Store
  • Media

Nine Launches Big Ideas Pop-Up Store

Nine has today launched a new pop-up store, The Big Ideas Store by 9Powered, which will host a series of events, workshops, research studies and guest speakers that demonstrate how Nine’s integrated business works to formulate better solutions to the challenges facing marketers. Over the next two weeks, The Big Ideas Store will highlight how […]

Gillian Armstrong: Adland’s Become “Brainwashed Into Thinking All Directors Have Beards”
  • Advertising

Gillian Armstrong: Adland’s Become “Brainwashed Into Thinking All Directors Have Beards”

Acclaimed Australian director Gillian Armstrong has launched a stinging attack on agency “boys’ club” that, she believes, continue to overlook female directors for TV campaigns. Armstrong, 67, cited stats that show half of all graduate directors leaving Aussie colleges are now female, they’re regularly cleaning-up in short film competitions, however, it’s not translating to directing work within the industry. Only about […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Carat & Initiative Share The Spoils In WA Government’s $65 Million Media Business
  • Media

Carat & Initiative Share The Spoils In WA Government’s $65 Million Media Business

IPG’s Initiative and Dentsu’s Carat have both been awarded a slice of the West Australian government’s $65 million spend. The government account is broken into two entities – campaign and non-campaign – each with its own agency roster. Carat has retained its long-standing position on the agency panel for all campaign work, which accounts for […]

A Golden Opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!
  • Marketing
  • Partner Content

A Golden Opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!

In case you missed it last week, a very lucky phone number – 1800 80 80 80 – is up for sale. And it could be yours!

Partner Content

by Customer Connect

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views
  • Technology

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views

AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced the launch of Guaranteed Views, a marketplace product that changes the way advertising is bought and sold on the open internet. Guaranteed Views enables marketers and agencies to pay only for ads that are measured as viewable and is the first programmatic product that enables 100% viewable buying at scale outside of Facebook and Google.

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%
  • Marketing

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%

• Ad spend in Australia forecast to grow by 2.8% in 2018 , with main drivers of growth in Government, Retail, Finance and Gambling sectors. • Global advertising spend to grow by 3.9%, revised up from 3.6% in January 2018. • Digital to overtake TV for the first time, to reach 38.4% of global share (TV 35.5%). In 21 out of the 59 markets tracked, digital will be the leading advertising channel in 2018. • One quarter (25.2%) of global ad spend will be delivered through mobile devices for the first time.

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria
  • Media

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria

Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines has announced the appointment of Emma Baston as client strategy director for Victoria. Baston has worked in senior digital media buying and planning roles at various agencies including UM Australia, Cummins&Partners and MindShare, with exposure across the strategy, communications and creative process. She has also worked at Facebook in a […]

Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.
  • Media

SBS Launches Diverse Communities Content Initiative

SBS has launched the Short-Form Content Initiative, a commitment to providing increased opportunities for Australian creatives from diverse communities through the commissioning and production of content for SBS On Demand. SBS has partnered with five of Australia’s screen agencies, including Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen Queensland, Screenwest and South Australian Film Corporation. The initiative aims […]

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi
  • Campaigns

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi

BIG W, the home for families, fun and entertainment, has today launched its annual toy sale campaign – Toy Mania. Running until 11 July, the campaign showcases the frenzy and hysteria that comes with the BIG W toy sale. It also highlights that buying toys can be just as fun as playing with them and […]

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’
  • Technology

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’

Datorama, a global technology company, today announced the launch of Data Canvas, a suite of new data visualisation capabilities within its Marketing Intelligence platform. Datorama Data Canvas leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in a brand new way — to help marketers create expert-designed dashboards to tell compelling, data-driven stories. Datorama’s previous AI releases have […]

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018
  • Opinion

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018

In this opinion, Fjord lead Bronwyn van der Merwe (pictured below) discusses the work to look out for at Cannes Lions 2018. I fully expect there will be some staggering examples of creative brilliance at Cannes Lions this year, and I’d recommend anyone going resists having their attention pulled by projects that are largely based on […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
We Are Social Acquires Socialize
  • Media

We Are Social Acquires Socialize

We Are Social has acquired Socialize; however, it will not be renamed We Are Socialize or even Margaret for that matter.

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ
  • Marketing

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ

International marketing services business adm Group Ltd has appointed Matt Cave as its country lead for Australia and New Zealand. Cave (pictured above) has more than 25 years of industry experience in the Asia-Pacific region, and will be instrumental in driving adm’s expansion throughout Australia and New Zealand. With 26 offices in 19 countries around […]

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”
  • Media
  • Technology

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”

Weploy began with a shared realisation between two friends that recruiting quality staff had become too complicated and it was high-time so declutter the process. Based in Melbourne, the start-up combines Tinder-style online skills-matching with Australian job market, and in doing so, rids eager employers of the strenuous – and at times incredibly uncomfortable – […]

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James
  • Marketing

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James

Nielsen has announced it has acquired Landsberry & James (L&J), a leading media analysis and software company based in Sydney, Australia. L&J designs, develops and markets software across the entire media analytics, planning, buying and post analysis process for television, digital, radio, advertising expenditure and advertising creatives. Nielsen’s investment in L&J enables an unparalleled and powerful […]

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’

Home Beautiful and Harvey Norman have partnered on a new content series which will transform a quintessential Aussie shed into a field-to-fork restaurant whilst showcasing culinary local heroes. In 2012, Martin Boetz (pictured above, right) – the chef behind the cult following of Longrain during his 13-year stint – escaped the bustle of the big smoke […]

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces
  • Media

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces

Music Feeds and Purple Sneakers have unveiled a new strategic partnership that will allow music industry and direct advertisers to extend campaign bookings across all Purple Sneakers digital platforms when booking with Music Feeds. Founded in 2005 by Martin Novosel as a club brand and events company, Purple Sneakers is a key player in the Australian […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018
  • Media
  • Technology

Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018

Headway, the leading data-driven media buying company, has teamed up with market data and insights company AppAnnie. Together, the companies have unveiled The App Marketer’s Guide to the World Cup – a whitepaper designed to help app marketers succeed. Every year, flagship sporting events are breaking the internet with increasing viewership and the 2018 FIFA World Cup […]

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All
  • Advertising
  • Media

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All

Social media giant Twitter has announced it’s making in-stream video ads available to all advertisers – including self-serve – across 12 markets, including Australia. The popular video format attaches pre-roll content in front of premium publisher videos and highlights. The 12 international markets where Twitter’s in-stream ads will be available are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, […]

Australian Alliance For Data Leadership Appoints New CEO
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Australian Alliance For Data Leadership Appoints New CEO

The Australian Alliance for Data Leadership (AADL) has announced the appointment of credentialled senior executive Stephen Porges as its new CEO. Porges currently sits on a number of company boards, has considerable public and private sector listed company management expertise, and has been instrumental in successful data-driven businesses. He also brings CEO skills gained at […]

Business , Nicola Lewis poses for a portrait in Surry Hills. Lewis is being appointed to run WPP's GroupM in Australia and New Zealand.  
Pic Jenny Evans
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Nicola Lewis

GroupM investment chief Nicola Lewis is grilled in latest Women in Media profile. It's more a gentle simmer, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine