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Director's View

With only 3 months left to the end of the year, we decided to dedicate our last edition of our eZine to creative disruption. Here at First Technology we are big fans of technology and the unfair advantage that it provides businesses.

Unless you have been living underneath a rock, you would have noticed that we are currently experiencing the greatest disruption in car transportation, since the invention of the horseless carriage a.k.a, the motor vehicle.

It is really three different paradigm shifts that are coming together in a perfect storm of sorts. On the one hand we have Elon Musk singlehandedly changing the future of internal combustion by pushing the envelope on electric vehicles with Tesla and ever extending the range of his lithium ion battery technology.

On the other hand, we have Google (and Apple) perfecting the artificial intelligence and self-awareness required for truly autonomous car technology to be operated safely.

Now throw into the mix the global success of Uber and other disruptive ride sharing companies and we have the ingredients for a total shift in motor vehicle ownership, driving and transportation going forward.

So how big a deal is this driverless car future really, you may ask?  Well you could compare it to the advent of the microchip, television, satellites and the internet. Fortune magazine calls it the most disruptive technology of our children's time.

Expanding our thinking forward, a huge number of things will change as these driverless cars hit the road. Here’s a brief summary how our lives will change in the not too distant future.

There will be fewer accidents and deaths on our roads seeing that human error will be removed from the equation. Cars will communicate with each other and constantly warn other vehicles of their location, intentions, and even cargo.

Cars and pets will wear radio frequency tags in order to alert vehicles of their proximity.

Traffic will be less congested, as cars that communicate with each other can stack and pack more densely in the same amount of road safely.

Car ownership will be a thing of the past. Why would you want to pay 100%  of the cost of an asset when you only use it 5% of the day?  Fractional ownership or a pay-as-you-use model will be the order of the day.

We will depend on fossil fuels less, as electric vehicles get used more and more. The planet and ozone layer will thank us later.

Home values will fluctuate owing to the fact that longer commutes with a self-driving vehicle will be less of an issue. Location, location, location will be less relevant in determining the price of houses in a given suburb.

With self-driving cars becoming the norm, longer commutes would be less of a deal-breaker, and that will affect home prices.

A huge loss of privacy for all of us. Self-driving vehicles will be constantly monitored and your travel habits logged if not recorded visually. This means law enforcement agencies and even parties in civil law suits could have access to this data.

No more Uber jobs! Well that is pretty obvious. Together with the end of the taxi industry!

Fewer petrol stations and vehicle repair shops. Autonomous vehicles will schedule their own maintenance and refuelling stops.

Vehicle financing and short term insurance companies will take a huge knock. With car ownership gone and with self-driving vehicles making far less accidents these companies have a business model headache coming their way.

Parking will be less of a problem going forward. After all, if a driverless car is simply dropping you at the destination before moving on to its next customer, why park at all?

Time spent in traffic will also be much more predictable as all of the vehicles on a particular grid will be communicating with each other constantly in real time.

The end of new and used car dealerships.  With car ownership gone, why would you need to ever meet with a car salesman again?

No more getting lost as autonomous vehicles will take care of their own navigation. Rather watch a movie in the meantime!

Rental car companies will be out of business.  Summoning vehicles on demand will be the order of the day.

Cities will become less noisy as electric vehicles become more prevalent.

Everything will be delivered to your home or business and therefore shopping centres will have to up their game to improve the overall shopper experience or lose out.

So with all of that in mind, hold on for the ride of our lives, no pun intended!

Until next time, thank you for your continued support of First Technology.

Warm Regards

Johan de Villiers Managing Director

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