It’s possible that few people will own their own cars by 2030. This might seem far-fetched, especially since this is only a 10-year time frame for such a radical change to occur, but some analysts see this as likely to happen.
The minds behind this theory are Tony Seba of Stanford and James Arbib, a tech businessman. These prominent industry leaders point to a transportation system that will evolve into a network of community-shared vehicles and electric self-driving cars that are all owned by ride-share companies. This radical future outlook would have a huge impact on the transportation system of the United States.
According to the research study conducted by these two experts, they have made some startling predictions. They believe that car ownership could fall by 80% by the year 2030, and there will only be 44 million passenger vehicles in that year compared to 247 million today. The cost of taking ride-share vehicles will drop dramatically and become far cheaper than owning your own car.
As a result of this reduction in the need for passenger car ownership, the global demand for oil will drop by about 30 percent. The savings to the average American family will result in a net $1 trillion in extra disposable income that will supercharge economic growth.
A rapid shift to ride-share transportation will mean that cities will need to change their plans for street grid layouts. Ride-share cars will rarely need to park, which means a great deal of parking areas will be repurposed for other uses. The network of sidewalks and bicycle trails will increase to allow more walking and recreational traffic. There will also be more room in cities available for parks, housing, and no-parking zones.
Today, cars are moving only 5% of the time and are parked for the rest of the time. Without the need for parking, cities would have a great deal of space at their disposal. Cities are already making plans to use these spaces in the future. Pittsburgh has planned to halt expansion of street lanes because of the growth of driverless vehicles that will not be parking.
Automakers are eager to transform the world into a driverless future with Tesla at the forefront of innovation in this area. Tesla is also working on launching a ride-hailing service for autonomous cars. The latest models of Tesla Motors are already being outfitted with driverless capability. Uber has also released a fleet of driverless cars in Pittsburgh. Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, has stated that he believes this is the future of his company, and he predicts that the rest of the transportation industry is going to follow the trend.
Ford and General Motors are also developing self-driving ride-share technologies. Seba stated to the media that the world is on the verge of the fastest and most transformative change in the history of transportation. He explained that the rapid changes are solely due to the changes in consumer demands and behavior and not because of the machinations of visionary tech CEOs such as Elon Musk.