Some people have predicted that, by 2030, 95 percent of all travel will be by shared driverless cars. The prediction is based on an estimate that the cost of using a shared car will be so much less than the cost of owning a car that hardly anyone will want to own a car.
Some environmental groups, including NRDC, ICLEI, and Transportation for America, want to make this a self-fulfilling prophecy. They have proposed that no one should be allowed to drive a private car in “dense urban areas”; instead, only vehicles in “shared fleets” should be allowed. Since it is also their joint goal to make all urban areas dense, effectively they want to ban car ownership except in rural areas.
Not surprisingly, the companies that want to operate those shared fleets, including Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar, are supporting the proposal. So far, however, no auto manufacturers have signed on; no doubt they will be happy to sell their cars to anyone who buys them. Continue reading