Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What Drives Us?

The govt is setting up a committee to look into applications and ideas for driverless cars.

In the committee will be experts, academics, and the LTA and A*STAR.


Those people are going to be whizzes at marketing new technology.

That said (sarcastically), what would be some of the possible uses of the Autonomous Car/ Driverless Car (AC/DC)?

The Family "Taxi" The average user could use the AC/DC to drive the kids to school (and return home empty), bring user and spouse to work, then return home (again, empty) to bring granny to her medical appointment, or her mahjong session (*whichever is applicable).  Then it picks up the kids after school, and in the evening, picks up the user and spouse again. This saves the user from being the family driver.

The Private Transport Service - Your friends are over at your place for a party and now it's time for them to go home. Except it's 2 in the morning and your home is out of the way and they are not likely to be able to flag a cab. You've had too much to drink to drive them home. But that's not even an option. You have a driverless car, so they go home in your driverless car.

Delivery Service - Bought something via internet (Ebay Singapore)? Have it delivered by personal driverless car. Or it doesn't even have to be internet shopping. KFC, McD Pizza Hut delivery could be by AC/DC.

New Taxi Service - No more grumpy, moody, sleepy (and other 7 dwarves) taxi drivers. Just door to door service. Though with the "Family Taxi" and the "Private Transport Service", will there still be a market for a dedicated taxi service?

The evolution of car ownership in Singapore.

With driverless cars, now EVERYONE can own a car. You don't even need to pass your driving test or get a drivers licence (implication for driving schools).

All you need is... MONEY.

So COE prices are going to go up up up. At least previously some people would be locked out because they can't drive. Now, that is not a constraint.

Why? Because with Uber, your driverless car will become your driverless TAXI.

Or it can be used for an Uber-Delivery Service. Now everyone can sell online (boom for Ebay.Sg; Qoo10, Rakutan, etc...), or you can rent it to Pizza Hut or FoodPanda, or your coffee shop Chicken Rice Stall. Now even hawkers can do delivery service.

So if you can afford to BUY a AC/DC, it can actually make money for you.

We will need to see how much of a market there is or will be for transport/delivery service. At some point, car ownership will become a capital investment. It will be like buying a machine for production. It can make you money, and the value of driverless cars (and COE) will rise.

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