A significant and wide-ranging economic implication of autonomous vehicles can be seen. According to a Forbes article, autonomous vehicles will lead to a decline in private car ownership, resulting in a ripple effect on fuel prices, insurance, and even state revenue structures. A potential unemployment crisis is on the rise, causing economic instability.
The same technology can also be a gift to reduce the economic burden of traffic jams and vehicle accidents and change the way transportation is conducted.
There is a possibility of job loss in areas such as driving, parking enforcement, and traffic management. A report published by MDPI highlights how autonomous vehicles will affect economic, environmental, and social issues. The report also states that AVs will lower “last mile” costs such as home delivery and change tourism and urban form.
The key economic implications of autonomous vehicles are:
- The total global investment in autonomous vehicle technology exceeds $200 billion, and the figure is set to increase rapidly as the technology advances.
- Autonomous vehicles are always leading in urban mobility and will reach a new level significantly outweighing non-autonomous vehicles between 2040 and 2050. Self-driving vehicles will account for about 90% of all journeys in cities, with autonomous mobility services completely replacing public transport such as buses and trains.
- Autonomous vehicles enable users to use their time productively during travel, leading to saving society’s significant costs. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce economic costs by making people more productive during their travel.
- The annual costs of accidents in the US total $836 billion annually. With automated driving, accidents can be reduced by up to 90%, with a potential savings of $752 billion.
- The economic burden of traffic jams could be reduced by autonomous vehicles and vehicle accidents. It also reduced congestion by optimizing traffic flow and reducing the number of cars on the road.
- Autonomous vehicles also have the potential to cause job losses for drivers and other related industries. It could also create new jobs in a way that we have not yet thought about.
- The market producing the hardware components for autonomous cars, such as sensors, cameras, and transmitters, is estimated to be worth around $30–40 billion by the year 2030.