America’s youth aren’t rushing out to get their drivers licenses as they once did, a trend that signals the auto industry’s new interest in car-sharing services and autonomous vehicles might be the right tack.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.wsj.com
Perhaps what we are seeing here is a wildcard of services like Uber and Lyft which, combined with location based smartphone technologies are making it much more convenient for young people to get around, outside of their commute, than the cost of buying, servicing and paying taxes on a depreciating asset, i.e. a private car.
If that’s the case, autonomous cars are going to be just as hard to sell as normal cars, unless those cars are also offered as part of a PAYD service. That is of course one of the business models for companies like Uber, even if it is counter to the culture they espouse.
A lot of young people I know are becoming regular Uber users. It matches the way they think, it’s convenient, its fairly transparent and apparently just as safe as driving a taxi if the recent articles and stats about sexual abuse allegations against commercial taxi drivers are true, because it appears that services like Uber are adding a lot more opportunities to rate drivers, both manually as a customer and electronically with the introduction of apps that monitor driving behavior like harsh breaking, sudden acceleration and sudden cornering.
It is great to see the car industry looking for new ways to stay viable. I think there is a long way to go and a lot more new technology to be considered, especially for urban commuters. I do suggest that wild cards may have more impact than conventional linear thinking that hasn’t changed much in the car industry over the last 100 years.