The future of autos: fewer humans at the wheel – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In the not-so-far-off future, teens won’t bother getting driver’s licenses, consumers will shun owning their own cars, and taxis will be replaced by “taxibots.”

That’s the world described by speakers on the first day of the Los Angeles Auto Show, which was devoted to the connected car. The two-week convention in recent years has shifted its focus away from the latest car models to the newest tech innovations transforming vehicles from the inside.

After three media and trade days, the L.A. Auto Show opens to the public Friday through Nov. 29.

Car ownership takes a back seat

Here’s a 16th-birthday present John Zimmer’s daughter won’t be getting: a car.

Lyft’s co-founder and president shared that parenting tidbit Tuesday during his keynote address.

“It’s not because I’m cheap,” Zimmer said. “It’s because she won’t want to own one. And by then she won’t need to.”

He also revealed he won’t even teach her how to drive, saying he’s so confident in the ride-sharing revolution being led by ride-hailing apps that he predicts it will end car ownership “as we know it.”

Zimmer noted that the average U.S. household uses its cars only 4% of the time and that only 20% of seats are occupied. In L.A., commuters spend more than 250 hours a year in traffic.

“Simply put, owning a car today is not enjoyable,” he said. “Roads and parking lots have paved 60% of Los Angeles, and this is the same pattern happening all over the world, where we are literally paving paradise…. Our cities don’t need to and shouldn’t be this way.”

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