Hold on to Your V8 Sports Car, in 2030 Autonomous EVs Will Rule the Streets

It seems everyone is trying to predict when the balance of power will shift from internal combustion engined cars to the ones sucking electricity out of their battery packs.
Total Recall robotic taxi 1 photo
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Sure, there are still those who don't think it is a matter of "when," but actually of "if," yet they seem to be part of a dying breed with every day that passes. And that's because electric power and autonomous driving make so much more sense together that you basically can't have the latter without the former.

Prognostications can vary from the very optimistical (assuming you find the change is welcome) to the gloomy ones (mainly coming from the people described at the beginning of the previous paragraph). There are also reports that want to be as balanced as possible, so they give three different options: the best case scenario, worst case scenario, and the most likely scenario.

Most people seem to place the moment when electric cars will become dominant over traditionally-powered ones around the year 2040 mark. That's 23 years from now, which is plenty of time even for those who have just bought a gasoline-powered car and don't change their vehicles too often to make the switch to an EV.

A new paper from San Francisco think tank RethinkX entitled “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries" believes it will happen considerably sooner. Ten years so, to be exact.

Their report does have one flaw: it relies heavily on the presumption that fully autonomous cars will be let loose on the streets in 2020. The authors believe that this new technology will change a lot about car ownership, and it will do it blazingly quick. They use the adoption curve of Facebook as a reference and say people will gladly give up owning cars in exchange for a car sharing plan involving autonomous vehicles that's more convenient to them.

In their scenario, the impact on the economy will be great - entire industries will have to adapt at a very high pace or risk redundancy. Everything related to oil, transportation, car servicing, and insurance is facing a tough time ahead according to the authors, and the implication might even escape the economic sphere and enter the social one, with unrests being not a very unlikely possibility.

The self-driving capability of our future vehicles will undoubtedly change a lot about how some people (most people) relate to their cars, but we doubt it will be able to change human nature in just 13 years from now. We like to own things, and if we can, we will continue to do it despite having the option of a much more convenient ride sharing subscription plan.

And we like something else too: driving. Unless the authorities decide to ban it altogether on the basis that "it's not safe," humans will continue to crave for holding that steering wheel - at least that's what we here at autoevolution believe. At the same time, we're well aware we might end up holding a fake one submerged in a VR universe while our car drives itself through the real world. Racing on the Nurburgring each day on the way to work? We guess things could be worse than that.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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