Roads and highways as we know it are changing. The Boston Consulting Group says that by 2030, shared autonomous electric vehicles could account for a quarter of all the miles driven in the United States.
Already we know that millennials love shared transportation, such as Uber and Lyft. Now we hear the combination of shared, driverless and electric would make these vehicles so cheap to use, that some people would give up having cars of their own, especially in densely populated cities.
70% of the world’s population is expected to live in densely populated urban centers by 2050. The current Dallas metro population of about 7.1 million is expected to expand to 10.9 million, a 53.5% increase over the next 25 years.
We know that in super crowded metro centers like NYC, a very small share of people own cars. That’s why, according to this article in Crains, New York City is the country’s biggest test market for ride-hail services and now a testing ground for companies making bets on a driverless future. Of course, like most technology, the first to benefit will be the rich.
Now a new app called Via, a shuttle service that relies on algorithms to pick up multiple passengers without taking them on detours or side trips, is making a million trips a month in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The service costs $5. We need to keep an eye on how technology will change our commute before we commit billions to transportation systems that will be antiquated the minute they are built.