Menu
Robot cars will make up most of Lyft’s rides in five years

Robot cars will make up most of Lyft’s rides in five years

Private car ownership will very nearly end in major U.S. cities by 2025, says Lyft’s president

Autonomous self-driving cars are set to take off but they are less likely to be driven by private owners and will in all probability be part of networks operated by ride-hailing services, according to Lyft's view of the future of transportation.

The ride-hailing company expects that Lyft rides in the robot cars will outstrip those in cars driven by human drivers within the next five years in the U.S, according to John Zimmer, its co-founder and president.

Ride-hailing companies, car makers and tech firms are eyeing autonomous cars as the next big opportunity. Uber Technologies tested its ride-hailing autonomous cars on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recently, with a driver ready to step in during an emergency. Lyft says it is testing an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles in Phoenix and San Francisco in partnership with General Motors, which in January also invested US$500 million in Lyft.

The forecast by Zimmer may appear a trifle optimistic in some places and may not reflect the views of others in the industry. Zimmer disagrees, for example, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, who has written about a model where autonomous car owners generate income from their vehicles while at work or on vacation by renting cars through a Tesla shared fleet. Musk's model will not scale because individual car owners won't want to rent their cars to strangers, Zimmer wrote.

More and more people are coming to the conclusion every year that it is simpler and more affordable not to own a car, wrote Zimmer in a post on Medium on Sunday. “When networked autonomous vehicles come onto the scene, below the cost of car ownership, most city-dwellers will stop using a personal car altogether,” he forecast.

When that happens, a lot of parking space used by cars will be freed for wider sidewalks, parks and new housing, because the average vehicle is used only 4 percent of the time and parked for the other 96 percent. “Even if you don’t care about cars — even if you never step into a Lyft or an autonomous vehicle — these changes are going to transform your life,” Zimmer wrote in his forecast for the future of automobiles, which he described as the “The Third Transportation Revolution.”

The first two revolutions were ushered in by canals and the railroad, and the assembly line automobile, respectively, he said. Once autonomous networks provide better service at a lower cost , the country will pass a tipping point, according to Zimmer.

“And by 2025, owning a car will go the way of the DVD. Until then, over the next five to 10 years there will be both driver and driverless cars on the road, which we call a hybrid network,” he added.

Drivers may not have to worry about their jobs, even as autonomous cars improve and start driving themselves.

In the first five or more years following the introduction of autonomous vehicles, the need for human drivers will actually increase, not decrease, wrote Zimmer. “As more people trade their keys for Lyft, the overall market will grow dramatically. When autonomous cars can only solve a portion of those trips, more Lyft drivers will be needed to provide service to the growing market of former car owners,” according to Zimmer.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags automotive ITAutomotive

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2015 and 2016 inductees - Darryl Swann, Dave Rosenberg, Gary Bigwood, Keith Watson, Mike Hill and Scott Green - to the inaugural Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed how the channel can collectively work together to benefit New Zealand, the Kiwi skills shortage and the future of the industry. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Reseller News launches inaugural Hall of Fame lunch
Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Show Comments