We have argued recently, based on a previous Intelsat blog post, that satellites are, indeed, hard to kill, simply because they reach places no other access technology can cost effectively reach. But, when it comes to autonomous cars and the connections they will need to be secure and reliable, we are not sure satellites will deliver a competitive offering. The reasons stated by this blog post that make satellites a competitive option are not considering some technologies being developed for cellular networks, such as LTE Broadcast, which would allow car manufacturers to update cars’ software and offer other key information related to changes in roads, etc. The only competitive position satellites will have over terrestrial connections will be in those places where there are no terrestrial connections, in which case the autonomous vehicle will probably revert to human driving.
Satellites have been killed so many times in the past that it is a miracle they are still alive. It seemed satellites were going to have a hard time to survive in a hyper fiber-connected world. That was because perhaps no one was able to predict how air travel and ships were going to increase in volumen. Now we know that even if fiber reaches all places in land areas, the sea and the sky will still be off limits. And satellite are the only available connection. Now we have to wonder if the next big threat for satellites comes from virtual reality, which could kill air travel and cruises and then, indirectly, satellites.