Self-driving cars could change repair, parking, insurance

Self-driving cars could change repair, parking, insurance

Autonomous vehicles could become widespread on U.S. roads by 2040, with early adopters commuting in them by 2025 to 2030, says a new report by McKinsey & Co. The vehiclesê broad adoption will result in major changes, not just for the auto industry, but also for other industries such as insurance and even for the urban and suburban landscape.

McKinsey estimates that 90 percent of auto accidents in the U.S. those caused by human error would be eliminated. Any accidents would instead be caused by technical problems with the car. Insurance companies would focus less on the driver risk profile and more on the carês equipment. Autonomous vehicles could prevent up to $190 billion in damages and health care costs and save thousands of lives a year.

If the forecast is accurate, dealership service departments may have to lay off technicians. Those who are left will need to be more technically trained. Body shops could see a drastic drop off in work.

In the initial phase, autonomous vehicles would be available in a pay-for-use model, likely in ride-sharing and car-sharing applications such as ZipCar and Uber. But instead of a ZipCar being available for pickup, it could come and pick up the driver.

If an autonomous vehicle can drop off any occupants and park by itself, parking spaces wonêt have to be wide enough for the carês door to open. That could free up 6.8 billion square yards now being used for parking lots in the U.S. bigger than Grand Canyon and Zion national parks combined, the report says.

Driversê time would also be freed up. The 50 minutes the average U.S. driver spends commuting could be used for reading, entertainment or napping.

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