Self-Driving Cars Would Help Limo Industry

Martin Romjue
Posted on August 28, 2013

When I first heard of self-driving vehicles, my gut reaction was it would only work in a limited, geo-fenced kind of way. But if the technology can prove versatile and wide-ranging, which seems more and more likely, the potential applications are all the greater. The implications for the chauffeured transportation industry are obvious.

Fewer chauffeurs = Lower labor costs. And that means an industry plagued by frivolous chauffeur wage and gratuity lawsuits in recent years could lower its risks by getting rid of some chauffeurs. After all, if the U.S. military can pilot drones via computer, then chauffeured transportation operators can steer at least some of their vehicles remotely, so to speak, or monitor the self-driving technology.

Grocery stores, Wal-Mart and Home Depot have caught on to the general concept with self-checkout stations, but with mixed results. The answer simply may be to offer both. In the case of grocery stores in California, why pay a cashier union level wages and benefits and risk a costly strike when you can replace such high maintenance people with cheaper, faster technology that, while impersonal, is never in a bad mood?

Of course, chauffeured transportation companies of the future will still need a tier of chauffeurs for those clients who prefer the hands-on, luxury humanized service. People will always naturally seek a human touch. But look for an increasingly connected and distracted  younger tech-savvy clientele to want the most efficient way available: A safe, direct ride from home to plane, via self-driving cars and self-serve airport check-in kiosks. Now if technology could just end-run the TSA agents barking orders and eyeballing plastic toiletry bags. . .

Technology generally leads to better business productivity. For the limousine industry, a technology advance that undercuts unions, labor regulators and predatory trial attorneys all at once is what I call true social justice. — Martin Romjue, LCT editor

Related Topics: customer service, Fleet Vehicles, technology

Martin Romjue Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
An ROI (return-on-investment) on a moving vehicle is easy to understand, but difficult to keep consistent. (LCT image)
Article

A Walk Through Coach Profits

NOV. LCT: These simple return-on-investment formulas will help you truly see if your buses of all sizes are making enough money.

Onboard intelligent tracking systems can document data for a wide range of motorcoach functions, such as engine status and maintenance, vehicle and driver performance, and driver hours, all while communicating pre-set and customized alerts and notifications in real-time.
Article

Driving More Dollar$ With Data

NOV. LCT: Product review - two leading systems provide a constant stream of information that can help operators wring out efficiencies.