Automotive technology has made amazing strides over the last decade. Features including facial recognition security systems, rain reflection cancellation, and quicker electric charging capabilities are just a few developments that enhance our ride experience . However, the biggest advancement with the largest implications are with autonomous vehicles. Companies such as Ford, GM, Tesla, Uber, and Google are investing heavily in autonomous vehicle technology in order to be the first to market . There are levels of automation that a car can contain. The levels range from no automation to partial or conditional to full automation, see Figure 1 . On the road right now, we have lower levels of automation (i.e. self-parking cars, Tesla’s autopilot feature, etc.), but the companies listed prior plan to have fully autonomous vehicles on the market for commercial use in the next five years .
Figure 1 
While the implications on safety and convenience are wonderful, what will the availability of autonomous vehicles do to the companies and agencies dependent on the adverse effects of human error while driving? Once self-driving cars hit the road, there will be fewer accidents. Studies show that accidents could be reduced by about 90% when autonomous vehicles are the primary mode of transportation . This is great news! Fewer accidents mean fewer injuries, fewer deaths, and savings to the economy. This is great news, however, for everyone except for the auto repair shop owner to relies on accidents for 31% of their business (the next largest segment is paint repairs at 21%) and is a $22.4 billion industry in the United States . The nature of these repair shops will need to change and adapt if they want to survive. In the future, cars will be able to take themselves into the shop in order to receive the maintenance they require and which humans are typically too busy or lazy to administer. The shops will also become more of a computer maintenance and repair shop focused on autonomous vehicles. The repair shops that are slow or begrudged to adapt to the new technology will quickly run out of customers to service .
In addition to the auto repair industry, local governments will receive less revenue due to autonomous cars becoming a norm. Approximately 41 billion people receive speeding tickets alone in the United States every year, paying out more than $6.2 billion annually . Add parking tickets, towing revenues, and other violations to the mix and there would be a significant gap in funding. There are a few options that local governments could implement to try and reallocate where their funds are coming from. First, they could change their tax policy from an asset-driven revenue system to a utilization-driven system. For example, instead of having registration fees for vehicles, they could tax on the number of miles driven during a certain period of time . They could also designate a “fast lane” with a fee for those people in a hurry to arrive at their destination. There are a number of options that local governments could implement in order to regain the funds lost by the adoption of autonomous vehicles. It will be important that governments have these changes ready for when the new technology is adopted. There will inevitably be at time where there is a mix of human driven and self-driving cars on the road, so governments will need to find a way to capture the most value from each type of driver throughout the adoption cycle.
Autonomous vehicles will be a major advancement in technology and inevitably make being on the road significantly more safe, convenient, and productive. However, there are several complementary industries to the automobile industry that will suffer as a result. In order to remain afloat, these industries will need to adapt and change with the adoption of self-driving cars.
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