Are Self-Driving Cars Really the Future?

Are Self-Driving Cars Really the Future?

In the early 1900s, a seismic shift took place that transformed the way we move. Within a mere 13 years, 5th Avenue in New York City went from being dominated by horses to being flooded with cars. It's a testament to how quickly disruptive technologies can bring about change when they prove to be vastly superior. Today, another such revolution is looming on the horizon: self-driving cars. And contrary to common belief, the impact will not merely be limited to an absence of human drivers in the front seat. Instead, this technology is poised to disrupt our entire societal fabric.

This article is based on a YouTube video, if you want the full analysis, please make sure you check out the video below, the article continues under the video.

The Oncoming Disruption

With self-driving cars on the horizon, we stand on the cusp of a major societal shift that will impact all aspects of our lives. If you think the only change will be the absence of a human driver in the front seat, you are gravely mistaken. This technological advance will overhaul our world, potentially being one of the largest disruptions of our generation, opening a plethora of opportunities.

A Glimpse Into The Autonomous Future

We're talking about full autonomy: no driver, no steering wheel. That is when the big change happens.

This isn't a distant, unrealistic future either. It is already happening in San Francisco where multiple companies are conducting actual rides with no driver or operator – truly self-driving in the wild. Cruise, a major player in the field, has advanced far enough that they've begun charging for this service. The progress of breakthrough technologies tends to be slow initially, but once momentum is gained, advancements accelerate dramatically.

With rumors of Apple intending to produce a fully self-driving car by 2025, the future of autonomous vehicles seems to be on the fast track. History has shown us how these leaps in technology can occur faster than we expect.

The Profound Impact of Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars will transform how we live, work, and interact with our environment in several ways:

1. The End of Car Ownership
Self-driving cars will make private car ownership obsolete. We pay a high price for the convenience of owning a car. Cars are often our second-largest investment after our homes, yet we only use them about 8% of the time. Self-driving cars will offer the convenience of a private car, minus the cost and inefficiency. Once we can hail a self-driving car that arrives within minutes, the argument for car ownership weakens dramatically.

2. Significant Reduction in Transport Costs
Fully autonomous vehicles are estimated to cost about $0.20 per mile, compared to the current $0.80 per mile for driving your own car. That’s a whopping 75% reduction in costs. Consequently, owning a car won't make financial sense for most people, especially given the additional convenience of self-driving cars.

3. A New Life for City Infrastructure
In an autonomous future, cars will be continuously on the move, eliminating the need for parking spaces within cities. In the US, cities are 30% parking spots. Imagine a world where all that space is freed up for other purposes, like green spaces, pedestrian zones, or even new residential and commercial buildings.

4. Saving Lives on a Massive Scale
Self-driving cars have the potential to save over a million lives each year. Currently, 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents annually, with 94% of these accidents in the US being due to human error. Removing the human factor will reduce traffic deaths significantly.

5. Faster and More Comfortable Travel
With no human drivers to make errors, traffic flow will be more efficient, reducing congestion and commute times. Additionally, the interiors of self-driving cars can be reimagined. If no one needs to drive, why have forward-facing seats or a steering wheel? Vehicles could become moving lounges, offering comfort and amenities like entertainment systems or even workspaces.

6. Expanded Accessibility
Self-driving cars will enable better mobility for those who are unable to drive, such as the very young, elderly or people with disabilities. They'll also provide more convenient transport for children and teenagers, freeing up time for parents and caregivers.

7. Environmental Impact
Finally, autonomous vehicles can be more environmentally friendly. They're expected to be electric, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, efficient self-driving behavior will help optimize energy usage.


Like any major technological shift, self-driving cars bring a mixture of opportunities and challenges. As a society, we must balance the potential benefits with the problems that need addressing. It is clear that autonomous vehicles have the potential to revolutionize our lives as much as the internet or smartphones have. And just like these previous technological shifts, the change might happen sooner than we think. So, are self-driving cars really the future? Based on current trends and developments, the answer seems to be an emphatic yes.

While there's a road ahead full of twists and turns, the destination—a world where self-driving cars are the norm—looks promising, and the journey toward it is one that's already begun in earnest.