As Transportation Service Providers (TSPs) provide a suite of options in the form of a service contract, rather like telecommunication providers do now, there will be less and less need for individually owned cars. And it’s also the way that automated, even autonomous, vehicles are likely to be introduced: a fleet of AVs that the consumer has access to, rather than an individually assigned car. In other words, the way car-sharing works today.
How fast will that happen? How soon will the self-owned vehicle be rare or even obsolete?
How about in 10 years?
That’s what one presenter at a transportation conference last week predicted.
By 2029, self-owned vehicles may be rather like that ’57 Chevy is today – the passion of collectors and passionate individualists. Indeed, unless older cars and trucks have been upgraded with the minimum in collision-avoidance technologies, they may not be allowed on the road.
On the other hand … it takes time for new technologies to penetrate a market when the existing product does the job and hasn’t yet been amortized, rather in the way electric vehicles haven’t yet achieved much of a market share.
This is where service providers (and insurers) may make the difference. If rapidly rising liability for current vehicles more subject to collision forces people to make the switch because of insurance costs, a third-party service provider that assumes liability becomes ever more attractive.
Politicians in search of a solution for gas-tax replacement and some form of mobility pricing need to understand this switch. Once their voters no longer have a personal attachment to a singular piece of hardware, or no longer know or care how they’re being taxed for individual trips because it’s being done through their service plan (what’s the tax on a cell-phone call, for instance?), then we’re in a different world.
Maybe less than ten years from now.