The sharing economy is built on three pillars: Excess resource capacity; mobile internet; and urbanism.
Congestion fees have a number of both pros and cons, and are controversial for city planners and transportation service providers. They can be effective in the goal of reducing gridlock, but they also raise the cost of travel and limit access.
Ride-hailing’s popularity has prompted some consumers to delay or avoid buying their own personal vehicle. The rapid growth in ride-sharing, along with the potential of AVs, may have a profound effect on fuel consumption.
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.