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Still Waters

Car ownership becoming a thing of the past?

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Still Waters

The car is set to undergo a massive transformation in the coming years, as automation gradually eliminates the need for drivers, and electric and hybrid vehicles occupy a growing share of the global market. But, in a future where autonomous cars arrive on demand to take you where you need to go, there seems little point in owning one.

The average car spends around 90% of its life parked. A shift away from privately owned vehicles towards a service – owned and run by public or private ventures – is a smart and efficient solution that’s going to revolutionise the way traffic flows through cities. But it could also have profound consequences for existing transport systems such as trains, metros and bus services.


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An op-ed written (not to be snide or sarcastic) by someone who doesn't live in Texas or the western states; places with poor-to-no public transportation (or sidewalks or bike lanes) and where distances from town to town can be more than 20 miles.   I can certainly see this happening in New York City or Chicago or even Washington DC (and maybe Atlanta.)  There are other large areas (LA, perhaps?) where it's going to be easier to do this than to own.  But while I do think self-driving cars will be a "thing" in the very near future, I don't think shared cars will because shared cars need planned rides.

For example, if you've got a medical emergency, you want to hop in your car with the person and go... not take a public transport or wait for some vehicle to free up to go to wherever you are (your house, at a park, at work, at the gym, etc).  And the mechanics of how it would work (and who got the car) after a packed and emotionally charged event (football game, etc) may lead to conflicts and ride-stealing.

I don't think we're there yet, frankly.

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