What Dealerships Need to Know About Autonomous Vehicles

While self-driving cars may sound like something from a science fiction movie, at Bay Motor Finance we’re getting ready, and we want to help our partners prepare. As artificial intelligence permeates our lives, driverless vehicles are on the verge of becoming a reality. However, we haven’t quite reached the day and age where we can kick off our shoes, take a nap, and let our car take us wherever we need to go.

Stages of Vehicle Automation 

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has established six different levels to describe exactly how autonomous a vehicle is. They are:

  • Level 0: Operated and controlled completely by a human.
  • Level 1: Driver assisted by AI. A car with cruise control would fall into this category. 
  • Level 2: Driving with partial AI automation. In level 2, the driver’s braking, acceleration, and steering can all be assisted by AI. However, a human driver still must keep their hands on the wheel at all times. 
  • Level 3: Conditional driving automation. Technology totally takes over the driving task, and human drivers can feel somewhat free to take their eyes off the road. However, this isn’t a self-driving car, and a person still needs to be alert and ready to take over if needed. 
  • Level 4: High Automation. This type of vehicle doesn’t require any human input at all. 
  • Level 5: Full Automation. The highest level of automation. Here the vehicle is in complete control. This system allows for an automobile to be designed without a steering wheel or any pedals. This is truly a self-driving car; the only thing a human has to do is tell it where it needs to go. 

The Benefits For Dealerships

As we race closer and closer to the age of self-driving cars, dealerships stand to benefit greatly. These technological advancements will reduce and eventually remove the human element from the equation, making the roads safer for everybody. People frequently make mistakes; computers rarely do. This will ultimately minimize a dealership’s potential liability while decreasing overhead costs. Imagine not having to pay delivery fees for your inventory because it drives itself right to your lot. Better still, imagine a car capable of driving itself to a customer’s house for a “test ride.” 

Customers and Revenue

These advancements can bring a dealership new customers. A large new customer base is expected to be ride-sharing companies, as they will purchase many autonomous cars. These companies are looking forward to the day when their own customers don’t need to rely on human drivers.

Perhaps the largest benefit is revenue. This technology warrants a large sticker price, increasing a dealership’s profit margin. Additionally, customer excitement over the ability to let the car do the driving is expected to increase sales.

Get Ready

It’s estimated that by 2035, anywhere from 8% to 59% of vehicles on the road will be operated using AI. Clearly, the time to get ready has arrived. As they’re gearing up, dealerships will need to prepare and invest in the technology, infrastructure, and all training necessary.

We’re heading into a future where the road is shared by autonomous and traditional vehicles. When that time comes, Bay Motor Finance will be there to guide you through the changes it brings to your dealership.