The driverless revolution is going to bring dramatic changes to the auto industry sooner than most people realise.
In as little as 10 years, many of the automakers that exist today will be gone, according to a report by KPMG, a consultancy firm based in New York.
“As a result of this changing competitive landscape, we fully believe that in 10 years, many of the major automakers will no longer be around, at least not as independent companies,” KPMG says in the report.
The gist of the report is that as autonomous mobility services become available, people that have traditionally been immobile — like the young and the elderly — will be able to travel, dramatically increasing the total amount of personal miles driven.
KPMG estimates that because of a growing population and an increased demand for autonomous mobility services, like a self-driving Uber car, people will travel an additional 1 trillion miles by 2050. To put that in perspective, vehicle miles travelled in the US in 2015 is around 3 trillion.
“The increase in personal miles travelled may seem startling, but think of it this way: 10 years ago, how many of us would have predicted that most 10-year-olds would be walking around with smartphones? We grossly underestimated that trend,” KPMG says in the report. “If we don’t watch out, we’ll grossly underestimate the power of these changes in consumer behaviour around mobility options.”
But it’s not all bad news.
The driverless age will also bring a huge opportunity for automakers if they are quick to innovate and meet the mobility demands of a tech-savvy population, according to KPMG.
While car ownership may decline as a result of driverless taxis, the time people are spending in cars will dramatically increase. And that presents a new opportunity for automakers to make money by offering “premium experiences” inside the car while people are driving around.
According to the report, a “premium experience” could mean a lot of things, including a rolling office, a moving entertainment center, or a lounge to catch up on some sleep.
Basically, riding in the driverless cars of the future is going to be a lot different than riding around in your typical passenger taxi today.
Automakers are already thinking about this and some have even started revealing what their enhanced driverless experiences will be like.
On Wednesday, Volvo introduced its vision of the driverless experience with its Concept 26 design, which allows the driver to seamlessly switch between a manual driving mode, to a fully autonomous mode that allows the driver to recline and take a nap. And earlier this year, Mercedes showed off its driverless concept of a car that morphs into a travelling lounge.
Read more about how carmakers are working to create new experiences for the driverless revolution here.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.