Self-Driving Cars and the End of Car Ownership

© Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Stephen Edelstein, The Drive

Talk of self-driving cars is unavoidable at this point, and it almost always centers on autonomous cars being used as shared vehicles. Whether it's ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, or putting your local pizza delivery person out of work by having a Ford Fusion do the job instead, it's more or less assumed that the first self-driving cars won't be owned by individuals. There's a reason for that.

Before they give up on driving, many current drivers may give up on car ownership. The cost of maintenance, fuel, and insurance, not to mention finding a place to park, can be tiresome no matter one's level of enthusiasm for driving. And for the first time ever, the average person has viable alternatives to vehicle ownership. Self-driving cars may just finish the job.

"The transition to business ownership will happen long before the transition to autonomous [driving]," Nicholas Farhi, a partner at consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants, told The Drive. It's already happening, Farhi noted, as many drivers lease their cars rather than buying them outright. Automakers are also launching subscription or car-sharing services that give consumers access to vehicles on demand. Given the choice, people will rent instead of buy, Farhi believes.

"The average car is about four percent utilized," Farhi said, meaning it sits idle the vast majority of the time. Sharing services increase utilization of vehicles, whether they're autonomous or not. This model also lets people "choose the right car for the right use case," Farhi noted. Cadillac's Book subscription service lets customers switch a CT6 for an Escalade when more space is needed. In New York City, at least, users of GM's Maven car-sharing service can choose a Chevy Cruze or a Tahoe, depending on their needs.

If these services can be operated on a large enough scale, they could be a major inducement for consumers to give up their own cars. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft can also do this, but they are most effective within city centers, where people tend to not want to drive anyway. Car-sharing and subscription services give people a way out of cities—exactly the kind of thing many urban dwellers keep cars around for exclusively.

Tesla has said it will allow individual owners to rent out future self-driving cars for a ride-hailing service, but Farhi believes that will be a "niche" business. Individual owners won't want to deal with maintaining a car that is used not only by them but numerous other people as well. Imagine if your daily driver was also a taxi.

You may say that none of this applies to you. You may say that they'll pry that steering wheel from your cold, dead hands. But if the majority of people stop buying their own cars and opt for shared vehicles instead, fleet operators will become the most consequential customers. That means automakers will start designing cars for shared rather than individual use.

Volkswagen is reportedly in talks with Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to design cars specifically for the Uber rival's services. The specs allegedly requested by Didi aren't very appealing; a low top speed and an emphasis on luggage space are said to be part of the design brief. Autonomous cars will likely settle the matter once and for all, but even before they arrive, sharing services could make the car market a lot less hospitable to driving enthusiasts.

COMMENTS





Name

Accessories,1,Auto Insurance,1,Auto Show,13,Autos,410,Autos News,5,Barn Finds,1,Buying,1,Car Shows,1,Car Tech,1,Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles,1,Chicago Auto Show,1,Classic Cars,11,Consumer Electronics Show,1,Customs & Classics,1,Detroit Auto Show,1,Driving,1,Enthusiasts,27,Frankfurt Motor Show,1,Fuel Economy,1,Gearheads,1,Geneva Motor Show,1,Hot Rod Power Tour,1,Imports,1,Just For Fun,2,Los Angeles Auto Show,1,Maintenance,1,Motorcycles,17,Motorsports,1,Muscle Cars,1,Muscle Cars & Hot Rods,1,New Bikes,1,New Car Deals,1,New York Auto Show,1,News,47,Ownership,10,Paris Motor Show,1,Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance,1,Recalls,1,Research,9,Reviews,1,SEMA Show,1,Shanghai Auto Show,1,Sports and Exotics,1,Sports Cars,1,Supercars,1,Tech,1,Tokyo Motor Show,1,Trucks,1,
ltr
item
Autos - U.S. Daily News: Self-Driving Cars and the End of Car Ownership
Self-Driving Cars and the End of Car Ownership
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QquKywW4Yqc/Wye1rRm-IpI/AAAAAAAAQbg/uBY8FOGryus9rLEVoIctNA0LsmMoDo9GQCLcBGAs/s1600/1.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QquKywW4Yqc/Wye1rRm-IpI/AAAAAAAAQbg/uBY8FOGryus9rLEVoIctNA0LsmMoDo9GQCLcBGAs/s72-c/1.jpg
Autos - U.S. Daily News
https://autos.dailynews.us.com/2018/06/self-driving-cars-and-end-of-car.html
https://autos.dailynews.us.com/
https://autos.dailynews.us.com/
https://autos.dailynews.us.com/2018/06/self-driving-cars-and-end-of-car.html
true
7329154058020919259
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy