Autonomous vehicles will change mobility, ownership of cars, parking, urban planning and much more. But how does this converge with commerce? Picture the following:
E-commerce is awesome. It saves time, it makes transactions easier and allows you to purchase anytime anywhere. But, what about the shopping experience? What about instant gratification (I walk away with my new goods and don’t have to wait for the package to arrive)? These are all left behind.
Autonomous vehicle (AV) is one of the biggest revolutions of all times. The car will arrive to places by itself, take you wherever you want to go and then simply drive away and disappear. If this is the case, maybe we will not need to own a car, we will change the way we consume mobility, and instead of buying cars we will be buying services (mileage, rides) – mobility as a service (MaaS).
What we don’t necessarily realize is the cost of mobility as a service: An hour long, $50 Uber ride in the US, what’s the break down of this ride? About 20% is Uber fees (25% in other markets), about 15% is the cost of operating the vehicle and about 65% is the driver wages. Once you remove the driver from the equation, the same ride that used to cost $50 is now LESS than $10 ($7.5 cost of operating the vehicle + 20% commission = $9).
At the same price, there are two major developments that are going to happen:
- Demand can grow to be 100 times bigger – more like public transit demand (anyone said Moovit?)
- The market is now in need of an aggregator (anyone said HERE Mobility or Moovit’s MaaS platform?)
How is it going to affect commerce?
Once the operating cost of a vehicle is LESS than a store, new opportunities are at hand. Just imagine the grocery-van arrives to you whenever you want, and you get out of your door, enter the van, pick what you need, pay seamlessly (digitally) and the van continues to the next customer. Or the shoe-van? the wine-van? Or anything van?
Yes, even in the middle of the night. Yes, around the clock. No time wasting and yes, no lines… a shopping experience AND instant gratification… AND because this is much cheaper to operate – it will be cheaper for the consumer as well.
So, when is this going to happen? Not tomorrow, but sooner than we think.
E-commerce is just the beginning of changing the way we buy.