Gasoline: This article teases the headline of a gasoline-less future, but the article doesn’t really deliver on the headline.
I got to thinking, though — in a self-driving world, maybe gasoline doesn’t go away, but gas stations change a lot.
Modern gas station infrastructure is predicated on people stopping at stations that are convenient relative to their pre-existing routes. But if the car can drive itself to the station and fill up (or a station attendant fills it), then the stations no longer need such prime real estate.
It might also make sense to consolidate gas stations, much the way landfills are consolidated.
And that’s to say nothing of the convenience stores at the station, which presumably the self-driving car won’t need.
Could it be the end of iconic gas station price signs?
Insurance: A Cal Poly professor offers a contrarian take on insurance in the age of self-driving cars. Patrick Lin argues that a combination of corporate risk-aversion, personal privacy, and software bugs will necessitate the continued existence of auto insurance.
I think maybe so, but the industry might also be so different as to be almost unrecognizable. At some point that must count as the end of the auto insurance industry and the beginning of the self-driving car insurance industry.
Also, reinsurers may prove more adept at servicing this market than existing auto insurers.
Car Rental: A press release highlights a panel discussion about how self-driving cars will affect the rental car industry.
It sounds like early days for them, but it’s definitely on the radar.