Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cars as service is coming

A: It was an unreal commute this morning.
B: What happened?
A: First my ride did not show up on time.  I have been using Acme car service, but I'm not impressed.
B: Yeah, I heard Acme cars not showing up in time before.
A: It was a bad start to the whole morning.  Then it got rerouted to pick up a last minute passenger who came late to the car.
B: Oh boy...
A: Then to top it off traffic forecast was off for the second day so I had to reschedule my meeting on the last minute when I was sitting on 101 South.
B: What did I tell you.  You don't want to skimp on the car service.  Switch to CarNow, and go for Commuter Package to get the dedicated car service.  Haven't heard any trouble with their traffic forecast.  As added bonus, theirs come with free coffee service in the morning.
A: Ok.  I'll look into it.
Conversation like this is not too far fetched as I once thought a few years ago.  In fact Thilo Koslowski sees new premium cars starting 2014 will offer internet connectivity.  He also sees cars networking with each other to share information about traffic, route information and social networking.

There are other early signs that this is getting closer to reality.  Google has been piloting their driver-less technology on California freeways, and Avis has acquired ZipCar to expand its cars as service model.  Toyota and Audi are said to demo their driver-less cars on CES 2013.  Put these things together, we have all the ingredients to offer cars as service.

Imagine as you walk out the door, the first available driver-less car from the service company that you subscribe to will be pulling in to take you anywhere.  As it drives, it figures out the up-to-date traffic info by networking with other cars on the road.  It also predicts the likely traffic in the future by extrapolating earlier traffic data to see how congested the road will be.

Soon you'll be shopping for your car service based on leg room and coffee service rather than owning your manual drive car.  I cannot wait to sip my coffee and answer my emails in 65 mph.

Not sure if I want to be tied to passenger seat only on this Audi.
Hopefully there will always be manual drive option...

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