I enjoy Chunka Mui’s work (it helps when you have spent a little time in person with an author) but I was dazzled by his Forbes piece on the broader implications of the Google autonomous car
In fact, the driverless car has broad implications for society, for the economy and for individual businesses. Just in the U.S., the car puts up for grab some $2 trillion a year in revenue and even more market cap. It creates business opportunities that dwarf Google’s current search-based business and unleashes existential challenges to market leaders across numerous industries, including car makers, auto insurers, energy companies and others that share in car-related revenue.
We are all fascinated with the Google car. But at CES this year, Toyota and others showed off their own versions. And the Toyota angle was less gee-whiz but more on next-generation car safety. At least some cities are thinking through the implications of such cars on red lights, as I blogged here.
As Chunka points out, city budget officers better be thinking about the impact on traffic fine revenues. Insurance companies on what it means to premiums. In the transition, there will opportunities for startups like The Climate Corp, founded by Google alums which uses advanced analytics to provide farmers crop insurance.
Analysis like Chunka’s may seem hyped because of the financial numbers he throws out, but a very useful reminder we get bogged down in feature/function of so many technologies and don’t think through broader, longer term implications.