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Driverless vehicles in tourism

Driverless vehicles: the technology exists and internet companies and carmakers are already testing them everywhere on public roads. For the transport sector as a whole they promise vast cost savings as well as greater safety on the roads. Speaking at the eTravel Stage at ITB Berlin, Alex Bainbridge, pioneer and founder of the networking platform TourCMS, forecast that “as early as 2027 driverless cars will be the main choice of transport for local transit systems.“

Bainbridge is convinced that there are untold opportunities for driverless vehicles in the tourism industry. However, tour operators still regard them with great scepticism. “All they know about them is tiny Google cars and they wonder ’How am I going to organise a city tour with that?’“ The difference was mainly in numbers, Bainbridge said, and scalability was an advantage in this context. For city and sightseeing tours the reduced costs offered a chance for a personalised service rather than mass tourism. “In future, instead of providing 500 visitors with a mainstream tour one can offer 500 individual tours“, Bainbridge said.

Automating transport would benefit travellers in another way too. Routes and times in driverless vehicles could be personalised and would be easier to plan. Traffic would be easier to forecast and one could make better use of the available time between arriving and leaving a destination. People had no need to be wary of travelling. There would be no change to their adventures and activities and no such thing as an ’automated experience’. Bainbridge: “Rafting will still be rafting.“

Mirko Heinemann

Hall 6.1

 

Press contact: Alex Bainbridge

Email: alex@destinationcto.com

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