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Report Predicts the End of Individual Car Ownership

The first report from independent think tank RethinkXL predicts that by 2031, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand, autonomous electric vehicles owned by companies providing transport as a service.
July 14, 2017, 1pm PDT | rbregoff
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Tony Seba and James Arbib introduce some of the ideas that will be required thinking as planners and engineers begin to consider the next generation of transportation technology:

A historic photo taken on Easter Sunday, 1900, shows a street filled with horse-drawn carriages. If you look very carefully, you can pick out a solitary automobile. A photo of Easter 1913 shows the same New York Fifth Avenue scene packed with cars. If you look very carefully, you can pick out a solitary horse.

That’s disruption: New technologies create a new market and transform existing industries in the blink of an eye.

We face a rapid disruption of transportation today that could end more than a century of individual ownership of the gas-powered vehicle that disrupted the horse. This disruption will reshape the urban landscape and the world’s energy economy and bring huge benefits — economically, socially and environmentally — if policy decisions are well-informed.

Seba and Arbib are writing as co-founders of RethinkX, which recently released a report that comes down on one side of an ongoing debate in the transportation planning world: will self-driving cars render car ownership by individuals obsolete?

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Published on Monday, July 10, 2017 in San Francisco Chronicle
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