Get Ready for the World of Driverless, Electric, Shared Cars – Slate Magazine

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2016

But different kinds of cars will have very different impacts on the technology mix of the future. Take the first disruptor: new mobility. Companies like Uber are already blowing up assumptions about how cars are utilized. Traditionally, cars sold in America sit parked more than 95 percent of the time. (Think about that—what other major capital investment sits idle 20 times more than it’s used? Commercial aircraft, for example, have much higher utilization—nearly 50 percent.) But companies like Uber and Lyft (or Bla Bla Car in France, or Kakao Taxi in Korea) have been able to leverage these massive, underutilized capital investments (privately owned cars) through smart logistics, good phones, apps, and ubiquitous connectivity. Interestingly, putting underutilized cars to work wasn’t Uber’s original plan, but the logic behind it is so compelling that both Uber and Lyft, which started off in very different places, co-evolved to embrace essentially the same business model—together with other new mobility companies around the world.

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