Jay Beeler

This Sunday I’ll be thinking about my mother, Rieman, who was one of seven children raised at the Stouffer family farm in Smithburg, Md. Her younger siblings later gave birth to ten of my cousins and two of them, Gary and Ann, live in Southern California.

Gary likes to read my newspaper columns and recently shared some information that is eye opening about life 10-20 years from now. The source is unknown, with variations can be found on the internet. About half the items on Gary’s list involve the automobile:

  • Basic auto repair shops will disappear. Read on to know why.
  • A gas/diesel engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has only 20 parts. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are repaired only by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor.
  • Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots.
  • Your electric motor malfunction light goes on, and so you drive up to what looks like a car wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new electric motor!
  • Gas pumps will go away.
  • Street corners will have meters that dispense electricity. Companies will install electrical recharging stations; in fact, they’ve already started in the developed world.
  • Smart major auto manufacturers have already designated money to start building new plants that build only electric cars.
  • Gasoline/oil companies will go away. Drilling for oil will stop. Say goodbye to OPEC! The middle east is in trouble.
  • Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day than they use and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof?
  • A baby of today will see personal cars only in museums.
  • The first self-driving cars are already here. In the next two years, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore as you will call a car with your phone; it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.
  • You will not need to park it. You will pay only for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.
  • This will change our cities because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking lots into green parks.
  • About 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide including distracted or drunk driving. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles. With autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles. That will save more than a million lives worldwide each year.
  • Some traditional car companies will doubtless go bankrupt. They will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

Look at what Volvo is doing right now; no more internal combustion engines in their vehicles with current models using all-electric or hybrid only, with the intent of phasing out the hybrid models.

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla – and they should be. Look at all the companies offering all-electric vehicles.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the costs will become cheaper. Their auto insurance business model will disappear.


Anyone interested in buying my Kodak film, IBM Selectric typewriter or 8-track tapes?


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