Autonomous vehicles use a suite of sensors, actuators and a central computer to “perceive” the environment and automate the driving process, thereby enabling the vehicles to drive themselves without human involvement. Autonomous vehicles could change not only the way we move from point A to point B, but also how we live our lives.
For investors, the rise of autonomous vehicles has the potential to impact industries as far afield as health care, insurance, internet and infrastructure. For instance, one of the key drivers of autonomous vehicle adoption is improved safety. Over 90% of all traffic accidents are caused by human error.1 With 40,000 U.S. traffic fatalities and 1.2 million globally every year,2 removing humans from the driving equation could significantly reduce accidents—potentially benefiting both vehicle-related injury and mortality while reducing health care spending and the potential revenue opportunity for property and casualty insurance.
The coming of autonomous vehicles could change our conception of personal transportation.