Self-Driving Vehicles Ensure A Chauffeured Future

Posted on June 9, 2015 by - Also by this author

The Wall Street Journal this week published an insightful commentary on what driverless vehicles will mean for the auto insurance industry. At a time when limousine operators are struggling with higher insurance rates and finding qualified chauffeurs, the prospect of self-driving vehicles could resolve a "two-fer" of an operational challenge.

The glistening nugget for the industry in this commentary, however, were these two sentences: "Fewer people will buy cars, as ordering a vehicle from an unmanned car service will be cheap and convenient. In some ways, this will bring the luxury of a chauffeur to middle-class families and convert drive time into bonus time."

That points to a future role for chauffeured transportation companies, which could operate in many ways similar to a app-based, computer software, GPS-driven transportation service. It reminds me of how the U.S. Air Force deploys sophisticated drones via computer and satellite from half a world away.

Consumer-passengers will either need to buy into driverless vehicle networks, i.e. chauffeurless, with varying levels of service and vehicle-cabin types or they will need to hire companies that manage and maintain driverless vehicles they own. That was the gist of a presentation from futurist and e-commerce entrepreneur Zack Kanter on May 19 during the LCT Leadership Summit in Miami Beach, Fla. I'll have more details in my Editor's Edge column, coming up in the July issue, but for now I'd like to broach the idea of what future "chauffeurs" will be like. Chauffeured network companies could offer these levels of service:

1) A customized, automated Siri-style voice interactive service;
2) A live “voice only” concierge connected to driverless cabins via speaker phone; or
3) An onboard chauffeur-concierge to handle luggage, answer questions, or serve as a guide.

Under this scenario, it is unlikely the chauffeur will be eliminated. Very likely, the chauffeured companies that survive will the ones that leverage technology, apps, autonomous vehicle trends, and connections to coachbuilders who design cutting-edge luxury cabins.

And think how a wealthier, healthier aspirational middle class will want to spend money on such modes of luxury transportation, all to buy that invaluable quality time.

FYI: LCT Magazine and its companion fleet publications owned by Bobit Business Media have formed a website dedicated to all driverless/self-driving technology and business content. The URL is

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

August 16, 2017

Don’t Let Poor Grammar, Spelling, And Punctuation Ruin Your Image

You are what you write. Make sure you leave a good business impression, especially on social media.

August 8, 2017

Behind The Screens: Why Face Time Matters

Computers and smartphones have conditioned us to text and email our way through life. Here’s how Millennials and managers can work together to break the habit.

July 31, 2017

Let's Not Make AI The New Y2K Scare

Machines will not take away all of our jobs any more than the Y2K scare ushered in Armageddon.

July 25, 2017

"Does No Smoking Mean Weed Too?"

What's the response to that question now that more states are legalizing recreational use of marijuana?

July 18, 2017

Getting It Wrong On Uber’s Return To Austin

See Exhibit A on the misleading spin the limousine industry faces when exposing the unfairness of TNCs.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - August 2017 $12.95 MILLENNIALS/FAST 40 ISSUE COVER STORY: * How to Score & Keep The Best Young Talent * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close