Factors other than ridesharing carry more weight behind the surge in VMT. Lower pump prices, economic growth, and rising household income are underpinning increased travel.
It’s too soon to fully realize how autonomous cars will open new avenues of commerce and change consumers’ relationships with retail, but Lyft’s recent actions give a glimpse into what the future might hold.
Instead of building its own autonomous cars, Lyft is forming partnerships to help it gain an advantage in the self-driving arena.
To avoid a morass of conflicting local codes, the federal government, in conjunction with stakeholders and other organizations, should offer model regulations for autonomous vehicles, including for on-demand ride services.
Transportation services like Uber and Lyft are already reducing the number of deaths from drunk driving. Autonomous vehicles can accelerate this trend, and benefit the food and beverage industries in the process.
Uber is rumored to have purchased 100,000 autonomous vehicles from Daimler’s Mercedes Benz. While Daimler and Uber have yet to comment based on press reports, the deal would make a lot of sense for both companies, and it would be an important step for the penetration self-driving cars.
Self-driving cars have the potential to bring extraordinary benefits to consumers and society as a whole, but technology is moving faster than policymakers can keep pace with. In order for self-driving vehicles to reach their potential, there needs to be a federal regulatory environment that allows for flexibility and accelerated development.
Partnering with Lyft while launching the Bolt means that GM can now start building cars for the high utilization, passenger-centric demands of our autonomous future.
The United States is creating the technology to usher in a new era of autonomous, electric vehicles, but China could easily overtake us in capturing their advantages.
Low gasoline prices have pushed consumers towards SUVs and other large vehicles, but automakers aren't giving up on electric vehicles yet.