"In the newspapers, autonomous cars are already here, but it is going to take a long time," RAD Data Communications Ltd. CEO and co-founder Zohar Zisapel said on Tuesday. Tel Aviv-headquartered RAD designs and manufactures specialized networking equipment for the global telecom industry. "But the changes are going to be far-reaching," he added.
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Zisapel spoke at a panel on innovation held jointly by Calcalist and events firm Connecting Leaders Club at the Mondial de l'Automobile auto show in Paris. Also participating in the panel were Michael Granoff, founder and CEO of auto-focused Israeli venture capital fund Maniv Mobility, and Laurent des Places, a partner at KPMG and head of the accounting firm's France automotive unit.
The changes that will happen in the automotive industry will affect real estate, Zisapel said, as autonomous cars will greatly reduce the need for parking spaces. The insurance industry will change, as driverless cars are expected to reduce accidents by around 10 times, he explained. Media and entertainment use will change as people will have free time on their hands during drives, and even the hospitality industry will change, as people might opt to sleep in their cars instead of stopping at a hotel, Zisapel added.
Autonomous and connected cars are also going to alter how automakers collect and use data, Zisapel said, leading to a struggle over information between car manufacturers and tech companies like Alphabet and Apple, who want their own systems in vehicles and are already making strides in that direction.
Of course, the digitization of the industry and the lack of a human factor to monitor operations will increase the cybersecurity risk greatly, necessitating new solutions, Zisapel added.