Saaarthi Posted on June 24th, 2016 at 16:47 PM
Driver less car, private driver, chauffeur, personal car driver, mumbai, technology, driver on hire, driver in mumbai
The new found rage in technology circles is the development of a driver-less car which runs similar to an Auto-pilot of a plane. So will a driverless car be a boon or a bane for society as we know it? Will it help the traffic woes that most of our cities face? Will it be able to reduce the traffic accidents that we see daily? How safe will we be with these cars on the road? What will happen to the number of jobs created due to that ride hailing apps? Will the on contract car driver lose his job? Will we even require chauffeurs?
Such are a question that most people are asking already, while tech platforms that provide taxi hailing services could actually make a killing if this comes to pass as they could virtually eliminate the human element involved in their whole process.
Let’s look at the two potential scenarios that may arise out of it
Scenario 1: Taxi Hailing Apps, Ride sharing apps create an asset base of self-drive car on their own account. The Private car driver that was earlier driver the car for these services will be out of Job. The severity can be assessed by the fact that in Mumbai alone there are more than 4 lakh private driver who drive taxis, autos and tourist vehicles, approximately 1 lakh driver a taxi car or a radio taxi or drive using these ride hailing apps. Thus directly 4 lakh households could be affected by the advent of these self-drive cars, greater Mumbai currently has approximately 75 lakh household. Thus approximately 2 % of households could be affected. This is just taking into consideration Mumbai what if we take the whole of India?? The number of households affected might be in crore's. Is the economy ready to handle such a situation?
The taxi hailing app based services are developing a habit for users probably considering driverless cars as a big game changer for them, they may be burning cash now but once they get a driverless car imagine the killing they could make, all revenue would then come directly to the company and the company would have no need to share the revenue with partners. No need to burn cash to retain customers, no need to provide incentive to car owners and drivers to remain on the platform.
The benefits that this could provide is that it would be able to potentially be able to eliminate the demand supply gap that is currently prevalent with the shortage of potential drivers on their platforms so it will be a win for the consumer.
But what of the lakhs of taxi and car driver that could potentially loose their jobs? There may be no answer for it as of yet but when the time comes probably the human race will tide over it.
Scenario 2: The taxi hailing apps partner with their current partners to deploy the driverless car with the partners investing and benefitting from the new technology , but this still leaves around 2.7 lakh driver who have not partnered with platform losing out. The money that is currently getting distributed then lands in the hand of a few which will only increase the economic divide that already exists in the society. The benefits remain almost the same for the user but the price drop might not be as great as it would be if the cars are acquired by the cab hailing companies.
What would happen to the private car driver or personal chauffeur?
With driverless technology people who are having a private driver currently may decide to buy a driverless car as there prime motive of not having to drive the car around gets solved although the ultra-rich may still decide to keep their personal chauffeur. The number of personal car driver in Mumbai alone is approximately 100,000 out of which probably 20 % are probably serving the ultra-rich. The potential job loss would be around 80,000 or 80,000 homes would probably lose a source of income. But slowly with time they may also become a job of the past.
What would happen to potential traffic accidents?
Most traffic accidents are caused due to human error by eliminating or minimizing the human element in the driving of a car. The number of car accidents caused due to human error is an astounding 90 percent. So just as the stats say with the removal of Human error the number of road accidents for cars would drop significantly.
Thus looking it from a neutral point of view driver less cars will be a boon for some namely the consumers who are using ride hailing apps, People who are using personal driver. Also the people who are commuting to work by road as the reduced road accidents would also reduce the number of traffic clog points. But would surely be a bane for those who are the service providers namely the personal driver, the Taxi driver the Auto Walla, the tourist vehicle operators.
Thus what would happen once self-driving cars become a reality only time will tell we can only speculate what might happen in the mean while.
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