Lyft founder expects majority of rides to be driverless in five years | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Lyft founder expects majority of rides to be driverless in five years

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The co-founder of ride share company Lyft is predicting that the majority of his company’s journeys will be provided by driverless vehicles within five years.

John Zimmer has written a paper called “The Road Ahead” where he discusses what he calls “the third transport revolution”.

He says there will be three main changes to the way we travel over the next few years.

Firstly he believes autonomous vehicle fleets will quickly become widespread and will account for the majority of Lyft rides within five years.  “Last January,” he writes, “Lyft announced a partnership with General Motors to launch an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles.  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.”

And he makes a bolder prediction for the next decade, that by 2025, private car ownership will all-but end in major U.S. cities.  “As a country, we’ve long celebrated cars as symbols of freedom and identity,” he explains.  “But for many people?—?especially millennials?—?this doesn’t ring true. 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. Owning a car means monthly car payments, searching for parking, buying fuel, and dealing with repairs.

“Ridesharing has already begun to empower many people to live without owning a car,” he says.

So, he says, that means that, “as a result, cities’ physical environment will change more than we’ve ever experienced in our lifetimes.

“So why should you care about changes in transportation?  Even if you don’t care about cars?—?even if you never step into a Lyft or an autonomous vehicle?—?these changes are going to transform your life.  Because transportation doesn’t just impact how we get from place to place.  It shapes what those places look like, and the lives of the people who live there.”

His paper finishes with the assertion that, “Using the Lyft network will also save you money.  Here’s why: We don’t often think about it, but owning a car and making monthly payments also means paying retail prices for every aspect of getting where you need to go?—?fuel, maintenance, parking, and insurance.  In a future subscription model, the network will cover all of these costs across a large network of cars, passing the savings onto you.  We cut the hassle and you get the one thing you really want: the true freedom to ride.”


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