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••• The International Writers Magazine - 22 Years on-line - AI on the Road

Opportunities Presented by Self-Driving Cars for Digital Nomads
• Indiana Lee

Self Drive vehicle

Self-driving cars were once just a dream. But with each passing day, our world comes closer to bringing this innovation from our movie screens right onto our roads.

Major brands like Waymo, General Motors, Volvo and Volkswagen are all competing to create the first autonomous vehicle to hit the streets as an everyday mode of transportation. The question is no longer if self-driving cars will be available to consumers, but when. For digital nomads, having a vehicle that drives itself isn’t the only dream that’s turning into a reality.

As remote work becomes the new normal, carmakers are also designing vehicles with built-in WiFi, workspaces, and all the tools that digital nomads need to thrive. The possibilities are proving to be endless. With all of the tech advancements presented by self-driving cars, the ultimate remote entrepreneur vehicle (and lifestyle) is within reach.

1. Fewer Barriers to Travel

Today, a whopping 45 million Americans are considering the digital nomad lifestyle, and yet only 11% of remote workers pursue it. Blending work and travel isn’t as easy as it seems, as there are often forgotten barriers to exploring the world.

One such barrier comes in the form of disabilities. The Bureau of Transportation estimates that 24.6 million U.S. adults have travel-limiting disabilities. Plus, nearly 40% of people with disabilities won’t drive even if they have a car. Self-driving cars make it possible for people with vision impairments and limited mobility — as well as many elderly remote workers — to travel without worrying about getting behind the wheel, finding a driver, or paying for a plane ticket every time.

Lack of affordable or quality healthcare access can also ward remote workers away from living a digital nomad lifestyle and traveling by car. After all, car crashes are a major cause of injury and death in the U.S., and they create huge medical bills (even with insurance). When you’re outside of your home country, travel insurance comes at an added cost, and coverage can be sparse.

The good news is, self-driving cars eliminate human error with features like blindspot detection, autonomous emergency breaks, and more. These features could make car-based travel significantly safer, so you don’t have to worry as much about a potential crash (and its costs) while you’re working on the go.

2. Work Between Destinations

Current self-driving cars still require operators behind the wheel, but as technology gets smarter, consumers may be able to take their eyes off the road one day. This could enable digital nomads to work between destinations, instead of wasting hours on travel time.

Whether you’re working with a mobile hotspot or using WiFi that’s built into your car, you could be making cash on the go.

Autonomous vehicles allow you to invest newfound time into product development, marketing strategy, branding, and more; enabling you to build the most innovative remote company possible. Your bottom line could benefit directly from the productivity booster that is the self-driving car.

3. Optimized Workspace

As drivers spend less time behind the wheel, self-driving vehicles may become optimized workspaces for remote workers too.

Brands like Nissan and Unicat are already designing vehicles for digital nomads, equipped with formal desk space and internet. If self-driving cars adopt this concept, they can further support the digital nomad lifestyle, more than any traditional vehicle ever has. VW Electric Kombi might be first Self-Drive on the road.
VW Electric Kombi

But even before these ideal vehicles come into fruition, you can still optimize your self-driving vehicle for work. Without the need for a formal driver’s seat, you can turn your entire car into a dedicated workspace that enhances productivity.

For example, if you’re a writer, you can build an ergonomic chair and desk to replace traditional car seats. With self-driving cars, you may even be able to add decor like curtains, which would otherwise impact your safety as a driver. Complete your workspace with all the hardware you need — like a desktop computer, keyboard, and speakers — and your vehicle could be an even more optimal workspace than a coffee shop or coworking space.

4. Enhanced Customer Experiences

Making yourself easy for clients to reach and consistently performing outreach on your own are two keys to building a loyal customer base. To do either of these tasks, it’s important to stay consistently available for your clients which can be difficult as a digital nomad. You’re not only required to keep track of time zone differences, but you also need to plan out travel time religiously whenever you’re heading to your next destination, which can be stressful in itself.

Even when you maximize your availability, driving long-distance could still leave you unresponsive for hours at a time in an era when 90% of consumers want customer service responses within 10 minutes.

Self-driving cars eliminate this conundrum. When your vehicle is automated, you can feasibly provide customer service throughout the day, no matter where you are or when you’re hitting the road.

5. More Time to Experience the World

The time that you can save with autonomous vehicles doesn’t always have to be reinvested into your business. It could also allow you to have more leisure time, without having to take time off at your own expense.

Let’s say you’re traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a weekday. That’s at least a six-hour drive. Normally, that would eat away at your availability — for both work and relaxation. But with a self-driving car, you can spend those six hours working so you can finish up your workday upon arrival, and still have the rest of the day (and the weekend) to explore as much as you wish.

Experiencing the world is what being a digital nomad is all about, and self-driving cars could be the perfect asset for doing so.

Embrace Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving cars could be available to the public within the decade — perhaps even in the next five years if the technology is deemed to be safe. This new type of vehicle could be an ideal mode of transportation for digital nomads since they empower you to seamlessly combine work and travel. Having a car that drives itself could be your secret to exploring the world, all while providing stellar customer experiences and enhancing your productivity. More about when Self-Drive will be available

© Indiana Lee - April 14 2021

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