The Future of Oil
Dear Saudi Arabia,
The demand for oil has grown steadily in recent years. Ignoring the 2008 Recession’s temporary dip in demand, oil producers are continually supplying production factories, houses, and transportation. However, we may see another dip in the future — the difference? It will be permanent.
Stanford lecturer Tony Seba estimates that by 2030, 90% of cars will be autonomous. Although from an engineering standpoint this seems dubious (a sentiment echoed by others such as Comma.ai’s founder George Hotz), the effects of such a hypothetical scenario are still incredible. Seba claims that at 90% vehicle autonomy, demand for oil will decrease from 8 million barrels per day to 1 million barrels per day within the vehicular transportation industry, in the US alone. This projection, if amplified across the world, has large implications.
Countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia will be majorly effected by these changes. To be fair, gas-powered cars make up only a portion of the demand for oil. Still, an entire world with all-electric cars will be a dream come true for climate change activists, solar supporters, and future generations.