Self Driving Cars

Self-driving cars are coming…for good reason. 
Today kicks off the SEMA trade show in Las Vegas, also known as the “car show”. One car that caught my attention is a Kia self-driving car that has rear-facing recliner style seats and a smart TV. Pretty cool!
Self-driving car…but I like to drive, right? Well, to be honest there are many times I don’t like driving, say….every time I drive to California! For anyone who hasn’t driven in Southern California recently it is a lawless, frustrating environment that reminds me of highways depicted in the movie Mad Max. Put me in a self driving car where I can watch a movie, play Xbox, or take a nap…then whaa-laa, I’m at my hotel. I’d pay for that.
Lean Six Sigma folks will recognize that (fundamentally) self-driving cars are converting a non-value adding activity into a value adding activity. A simple test to determine if something is value-added is to ask “Is the customer willing to pay for it?” If yes, it is most likely value-adding. I would pay for someone to drive me to San Diego, but I can’t afford a chauffeur driven car for the weekend.
I recognize some people love to drive and would never consider letting go of the steering wheel…my sister falls into this category. However, for commuters, vacationers, senior citizens, the sleep deprived (aka parents) and the fall down drunks of the world a self-driving car could be their savior…and ours!
There are still many issues that need to be worked out before the roads are full of self-driving cars. However, governments, tech companies and car manufacturers are working on them and the list of issues is getting shorter every day. Fingers crossed that self driving party vans get approved.
Keep on truckin.