Letting go of the wheel…

Just sit back and relax whilst you are chauffeured on your smooth and effortless journey to your humble abode from another gruelling day at the office. Forgo the daily battle of chaotic peak hour traffic, as your driverless car will be your eyes and ears piloting your journey home safely and efficiently.

Feeling inferior? Unwanted and no longer needed? Perhaps redundant? Accepting the reality that you are no longer rendered capable of being in control of another vehicle again?

But alas there are positives to this enigmatic technology that is ever looming – no more speeding fines, less trips to the fuel station, no accidents accompanied by lower insurance premiums, and of course – spending that precious commuting time attending to the finer things in life.

Welcome to the evolving segment of the Driverless Car Market, where there are many key players vying for the ability to dominate this segment including: Google, Ford, Toyota, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen.

Segment – who actually wants to relinquish control and join the robots?

The autonomous driver segment is aimed at consumers pertaining the psychological traits of being tech savvy and early adopters – those who embrace artificial intelligence, thrive on neural networks and get excited about robotics and drone technology.

Geography does plays a role in this segment, targeting urban and suburban areas, to improve congestion, improve road safety and decrease demand for city car parking.

When it comes to demographics, a survey conducted by Pew Research Centre in the US discovered there was no real generational differences for the 50% of respondents that answered yes to wanting to ride in a driverless car. However the findings confirmed consumers are more likely to be tertiary educated.

Is the segment profitable?

The Driverless Car market is forecasted as the next big trend with the Transport Minister for South Australia predicting the growth of the driverless car segment in Australia of $90 billion in 15 years.

Currently driverless cars are not available for sale, and are restricted for experimental use only. However, this hasn’t deterred the segment leader Google from heavily investing and producing 100 prototypes that have been US tested as they campaign for the approval of their self-driving cars on public roads.

Market favourite Tesla have also dipped their toes into this lucrative pool, with the introduction of semi-autonomous features on their trendy Model S with the inclusion of autopilot functionality known as Level-3 autonomous driving technology, however the model it is still regulated to hands-on-the wheel.

As Australia continues to traditionally lag behind most other countries in technology, we have started taking baby steps to catch up to our big sister North America who is leading the revolution of driverless cars, with South Australia successfully passing legislation for driverless vehicles, enabling the testing of driverless vehicles by manufacturers on the states roads.

What about target and positioning?

This driverless car segment has multiple targeting opportunities with the most lucrative target to be the transportation market – Uber, taxis, trucking and logistics.  IHS Automotive estimates there are a staggering 6.2 billion people worldwide that do not have a licence, which is 85% of the world’s population as a potential target market. The possibilities are limitless and could extend from the transportation of elderly patients to the daily school drop-offs.

Initial market positioning will be aimed at high price, high quality, and exclusive availability due to the infancy of the technology, with the price eventually decreasing with the evolution of the technology.

So will you surrender and join the rise of the robotic car?

Blog by Annika Bate, WordPress Username: annikampk732, Student ID: 214448725. Email: annikab@deakin.edu.au

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s