Most mornings as I ignore my car navigation directions and go to work the fast way, I drive past the same yachts in a marina, which are mostly all there in the middle of summer and on the weekends too and I think about the waste.
They say that most cars are used 3% of the time, which is the argument for fewer cars and a better transport model. That model is fundamentally about MaaS. An example is being able to go to your computing device, probably your mobile, setting in your destination (it already knows where you are) and being given a range of options which might be a combination of personal modes of transport through to public transport, rideshare, walking, cycling.
The app would let you book and pay for the service that best meets your needs, for example you might need to drop the kids of at school on the way, or you may not be feeling sociable, or perhaps you’re on a tight budget. The app is ‘intelligent’ and knows about traffic conditions and can give you a variety of options to choose from. It’s intelligent and learns your patterns and knows where you live and work and places you frequent. You make your selection and are on your way.
Your car is one of your most expensive assets and depreciates in value the minute you have paid for it (or signed up to a finance plan which is even worse, paying interest on an asset that is losing value before you have even used it).
I use the analogy of the yacht because it is not dissimilar. We built and owned a family yacht. That’s her on the left. My parents ended up living on her which made it good value for a time, but in the end when they moved on-shore it was idle and none of us had the time or money to maintain her and consequently she depreciated about 80%. They say a boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into and whilst she was awesome, so are the new yachts that you can rent or timeshare at your local Marina.
For less than our annual insurance bill when she was new, you can go and rent the very latest 45 foot yacht (she was 54 feet) and hop on board an almost new craft in mint condition. Go out and sail for a couple of weeks anywhere in the world, jump off at the end and go enjoy the stories and photos. No cleaning, worn sails, engine maintenance, hull cleaning, painting, marina or mooring fees.
So why wouldn’t you do the same with your car? If you want to go on a driving holiday, rent the latest and greatest with a little of the cash you saved from not owning one. Use public transport, rideshare or whatever is appropriate.
The main reason is that the systems aren’t here yet, but one way or another they are coming. There are a lot of hurdles to jump but there are disruptive businesses on the way and existing enterprises are re-thinking how they can profit from the bow wave instead of being drowned because they can’t compete.