The driverless car revolution is coming, and Lyft’s president now predicts it will “all-but end” car ownership in cities by 2025.
“We see car ownership as a burden that is costing the average American $9,000 every year. The car has actually become more like a $9,000 ball and chain that gets dragged through our daily life,” Zimmer said in an opus on Medium that outlined his vision for an autonomous car future.
Zimmer believes that ride-hailing companies like his own and Uber are now “empowering” people to give up their cars. Already, there’s been a noted decline in the percentage of people under 45 who don’t have a licence.
“Every year, more and more people are concluding that it is simpler and more affordable to live without a car. And when networked autonomous vehicles come onto the scene, below the cost of car ownership, most city-dwellers will stop using a personal car altogether,” Zimmer said.
The key to all of this, though, is having a network of driverless cars that can adequately replace owning a car. It won’t just be enough to have autonomous cars that can only drive when there’s no rain and on streets where they can only go up to 25 m.p.h.
Lyft’s rival, Uber, is starting to run those tests already with the public in Pittsburgh. While its cars aren’t driverless yet, they’re being tested with licensed engineers in the front seat.
Zimmer, though, wants you to know that his company is still in the race.
His company paired up with General Motors last year to begin deploying a fleet of self-driving vehicles — and now Zimmer thinks they will dominate the company’s business in less than five years.
“If you live in San Francisco or Phoenix
, you may have seen these cars on the road, and within five years a fully autonomous fleet of cars will provide the majority of Lyft rides across the country,” Zimmer wrote. “Ridesharing is just the first phase of the movement to end car ownership and reclaim our cities.”
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