Driverless Cars Set to Save World Economies Billions – World Study

Traffic accidents cost world economies billions each year, but with the development of autonomous driving technologies these costs could be reduced dramatically.

Autonomous driving technologies are revolutionising the automotive industry with their promise to improve vehicle safety and reduce traffic accidents, but what is the monetary impact of this on GDP? Experts at Global Positioning Specialists (GPS) have revealed how much GDP could be saved through driverless cars in 73 countries.

GPS combined the percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents with the total GDP of each country alongside the percentage that driverless tech could reduce traffic accidents to calculate both the total GDP lost to traffic accidents each year and the amount of GDP that driverless technology could save.

Top 20 Countries Where Driverless Tech Could Save Billions:

GDP lost to traffic accidents


The US topped the list of 73 countries, where over $340bn is lost to traffic accidents each year, the largest amount of GDP lost in the world. If all vehicles in the US were driverless, the amount of GDP lost could be substantially reduced. In particular, GDP lost to traffic accidents could be cut by over $306bn a year, making the roads considerably safer.

While the US lose the most GDP to traffic accidents, South Africa has the highest percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents in the world (7.8%), but because of a much lower GDP, South Africa ranked 13th, where driverless tech could have reduced lost GDP by over $21bn.

The UK and Australia, ranking 8th and 9th respectively, both lose over $28bn GDP to traffic accidents each year. Driverless cars could save the UK and Australia over $25bn each year.

Lucile Michaut, head of GPS comments: “This research has two facets to it, on the one hand there is the amount of money which we spend on accidents each year, which in itself is interesting. Then you realise how many of these accidents could be avoided with new driverless technology. Governments will never spend on investing in things like this unless there is concrete evidence, but here we have proved there are strong economic reasons to invest in driverless technology, as well as the obvious improvement to public safety.”

World Data:

Sources: WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2015, World DataBank Gross Domestic Product 2015, and McKinsey & Company How Autonomous Cars Could Redefine The Automotive World 2016
Global Positioning Specialists

The Consumer

A poll undertaken in Canada shows that Canadians are split with the issue of driverless vehicles.

The information that is shared by smart cars about the drivers has caught the attention of Canada’s privacy watchdog. This will increasingly be an issue going forward. Governments should start determining who owns the data as well as who can use the data and how.

A poll undertaken in Canada shows that Canadians are split with the issue of driverless vehicles. You will find here some of the statistics.


At the end of last year, a survey of UK motorists stated that 39% of them would consider using a driverless vehicle.


Dispatch is another organization with a vision of making robotic deliveries.

The future of deliveries may involve the use of drones zooming above pedestrians and traffic. Google X hopes to launch drone deliveries by 2017. The company’s “Project Wing” promises to deliver items via drones anywhere in a 5-mile radius within 5 minutes. project wing

Amazon released the latest design for its Prime Air delivery drone. A narrated video explains the

Meanwhile, Drone Delivery Canada, a Canadian delivery drone service is claiming that drone delivery services will be possible within two years. And, the Uber of drones has arrived: Future Aerial.

The future of deliveries may also involve small robot vehicles that travel on sidewalks. This is the vision of Starship Technologies, a London based startup. Starship Technologies says the 40-pound robot could make local deliveries in 30 minutes or less. The technology could be useful for neighbourhood restaurants and retailers. Because the robot is largely automated, requiring almost no human involvement, Starship Technologies thinks the costs of delivering goods will drop by an order of magnitude. The slow speed and grounded approach also removes some of the safety concerns with drone delivery.starship1

Dispatch is another organization with a vision of making robotic deliveries. Unlike Starship Technologies, Dispatch is targeting university campuses with hopes of scaling into other private locales.

Yet another company with a similar delivery robot vision is SIDEWALK. The company claims its robots can provide “instant (±15 min)” first/last-mile city delivery service of packages weighing up to 20 kg.

Trucking & Logistics

Daimler’s highly automated truck hit the public highways in Germany and other news.

Daimler’s highly automated truck hit the public highways in Germany.

A recent study undertaken by AXA UK found that there would be significant economy-wide business and consumer advantages with the advent of automated or ‘driverless’ haulage and logistics vehicles, including delivering nearly £34bn in savings to the haulage industry in the UK alone. If passed on, that would mean £150 of savings on grocery spend per household annually.

Singapore will be deploying driverless vehicles at its ports. The “Ministry of Transport will test “truck platooning” technology for moving containers between port terminals”.

Changing vehicle ownership landscape

A report released this month presents some statistics that underline the gradual shift away from car ownership

A report released this month presents some statistics that underline the gradual shift away from car ownership:

  • The share of 19-year-olds with driver’s licenses dropped from 87% in 1983 to about 75% in 2009.
  • The average distance traveled by drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 declined 23% between 2001 and 2009, from 10,300 miles per capita to 7,900 per capita.

Cathy Kargas’s view on driverless car featured on Canadian Insurance Top Broker

Speaking at the  Insurance 2024 forum in Toronto early last month, Catherine Kargas, vice-president of the market research firm Marcon, made executives think about the driverless car in ways no one has probably contemplated yet. Jeff Pearce of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine wrote an article summarizing her thinking on the subject. You can read the article “Horse-and-Buggy Thinking on Driverless Cars” on the de Canadian Insurance Top Broker Website at the following address.

Elon Musk Wants to Build an Electric Pickup Truck and Supersonic Jet

Elon Musk, ever eager to convince everyone, everywhere, that EVs are The Future, sees a day when Tesla Motors offers a pickup truck, allowing ranchers and construction workers to know the joy of electric propulsion. Oh, and he also wants to build an electric airplane capable of supersonic flight.

Musk took the stage for two interviews in New York last decembre and in typical off-the-cuff fashion, the Tesla CEO and co-founder gave his PR team heart palpitations when he confirmed that the automaker wants to make an electric pickup. It’s not an unreasonable idea, considering the Model S will underpin the Model X SUV, and that could be transformed into a truck by nixing the doors and replacing them with a bed. What’s less realistic is the airplane.

Source: DAMON LAVRINC, Wired

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