Article > Editor’s Note

Soon, You Won't Be Allowed To Drive. And Why That's Good For Us.

By Mark Phillips

This is all very good for the aftermarket. Why? Because there are going to be many more vehicles on the road in the future. And they're all going to need repairs. It's all a matter of numbers.
Mark Phillips
In the future, people won’t be allowed to drive cars. But don’t let that scare you.

There are currently driverless vehicles that have “driven” safely for tens of thousands of miles without the aid of human intervention. At least three states have passed legislation that paves the way for driverless autos and more will do the same.

This is all very good for the aftermarket. Why? Because there are going to be many more vehicles on the road in the future. And they’re all going to need repairs. It’s all a matter of numbers.

Where are all these new vehicles coming from? Not only will people who currently own a “human”-driven vehicle buy a driverless auto, but so, too, will people who don’t currently have cars, not because they can’t afford them, but because they physically can’t drive them. Think of people who are forced to give up their keys because their eyes are failing them or they’re unable to walk. Though current rules and regulations say someone with a valid driver’s license must be in the driver’s seat to take over if there’s a problem, how long will that rule last?

I remember when cell phones could only dial phone numbers. And when there were “bag phones” and “car phones.” And I remember when I heard someone ask, “A camera on my phone? What would I use that for?” But we’ve seen how quickly that transformational technology has taken root. Now, nearly everyone has a camera on their phone. And do you remember that the first BlackBerry device that could send email was released all the way back in… 1999? When technology gets rolling, it tends to not change things in dribs and drabs. Things tend to change now. Like, right now!

At a point not that far off in the future — some say 2020 or 2025 — vehicles will drive us entirely. There’s been some talk that humans won’t be allowed to drive vehicles at that point because human reflexes can’t outmatch a computer. You can imagine a line of vehicles on the road driving a mere 12 inches apart at high speed. No human alive can react in time to avoid a collision under those circumstances.

This isn’t science fiction. This is science fact. Poo-poo it at your own peril.

Driverless autos solve a whole host of problems, traffic congestion chief among them. And can you imagine driverless hot-shot deliveries? You’re always going to know that vehicle is taking the fastest route possible.

There’s going to be more technology packed into driverless vehicles than has ever been seen in the history of the automobile. The aftermarket must be ready to repair these vehicles. We cannot afford to get left behind.

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