With the recent proliferation of ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber, some drivers are deciding to forgo owning or leasing cars entirely, and instead, rely on ride sharing services for their transportation needs.
According to Reuters, in the last year, almost a quarter of Americans have sold traded in their vehicle. While most of those people either purchase or leased another car, around 9 percent of those individuals have come to rely on Lyft or Uber as their main form of transportation.
The Reuters survey was the first of its kind, so it is not possible to determine whether or not the selection of ride-sharing services over car ownership is accelerating. Nonetheless, the survey showed that “39 percent of Americans had used rides services and that 27 percent of that group did so at least several times per week.”
However, the results are concordant with a study at University of California, Berkeley. Researcher Susan Shaheen did a 2016 study of a one-way carsharing service. The study found that a small percentage of the customers sold their vehicle due to carsharing.
Emily Castor, Director of Transportation for Lyft, thinks the survey is early evidence that the world may be heading towards a society where personal car ownership is unnecessary. This may come true sooner than Castor thinks, as with the rapid advancement of autonomous vehicles, a combination of autonomous taxis and ride-sharing services could create a vastly different society transportation-wise in just a couple decades.
Indeed, a recent report from Rethinking Transportation, suggests that by 2025 autonomous vehicles will be ready for mass deployment, and trips in them could cost only a few cents due to the advancement of electric vehicle technology.
As autonomous vehicles continue to proliferate, ride-sharing services become available to more areas of the country, and public transit services become better, the future of America may be one where personal cars are a thing of the past.