Jeremy Alicandri

Self-driving cars and other auto tech advances

A Q&A with automotive strategy expert Jeremy Alicandri.

November 2, 2017

To get a sense of changes in the auto market in the coming years, Credit Union Magazine asked Jeremy Alicandri, managing director of the automotive strategy consultancy Maryann Keller & Associates LLC., to weigh-in on some hot topic technologies.

CU Mag: How fast will autonomous vehicles become mainstream?

Alicandri: When we discuss autonomous vehicles, it’s important to distinguish between driverless and self-driving vehicles. The latter, still requires a driver. It will require much more time for driverless vehicles, or vehicles without a driver, to reach Main Street USA.

There are several challenges for driverless cars to reach critical mass,  including regulatory impediments, insurance concerns, and technology limitations.

Still today, even the best technology doesn’t work in every scenario. Until regulators feel comfortable with driverless technology, and universal standards exist, driverless cars will be limited in penetration.

Thus, we will first see driverless cars roll out in select and controlled markets, like big cities, where the driving zones are regularly mapped and supported by infrastructure that provides contingency measures for vehicle safety and effectiveness.

The first roll-out of driverless cars will likely be limited to transportation fleets.

CU Mag: Some people think the next 10 years will be about using technology to augment, instead of replace, the driver.

Alicandri: At least for the next 10 years, self-driving technology that assists drivers will remain the predominant technology in vehicles.

It’s true that driverless cars will take longer to reach mainstream America. However, in certain markets, we will see driverless cars grow more quickly.

CU Mag: How are auto companies experimenting with bringing payments/digital wallets into the dashboard?

Alicandri: Amazon Alexa is a great example of payment integration already built into the dashboard. Car owners with Amazon Alexa can take advantage of the seemingly unlimited number of functions that Amazon’s service offers, including buying goods.

Other companies, like GM, are partnering with tech companies to allow drivers to pay for things like parking spots or fuel.

Tech companies, like Google and Apple, want to be a part of this mobile-payment evolution, and increasingly are trying to have a say in the in-car experience. These companies want riders to use their technology platforms for entertainment, viewing ads, and, of course, buying products.

Finally, the rider’s phone will also have a role in mobile payments, especially in vehicles like driverless taxis, which are not specific to the rider and therefore should not integrate their payment details.

For more insights from Alicandri, read the feature article on autonomous vehicles in Credit Union Magazine’s November issue.