"Will you take our cars!?"
You can scream in disbelief reading the title of this article. And yet, within twenty to thirty years, people will voluntarily give their cars to a radically different transport model: mobility as a service.
Recently, several key technologies have emerged that, according to industry analysts, change the way vehicles think and use.
However, to understand the future, let's summarize the mathematics of the current system.
The most popular car in the USA is the Honda Civic, whose purchase costs about USD 20,000. The average person uses a car for 62 percent of the trip, traveling an average of 7 900 miles per year. At an average speed of 25 miles per hour during the entire journey, the total driving time is 316 hours per year.
In other words, the Americans pay for a tool that drives $ 20,000, but only use it at 3.6 per cent a year. For the rest, 96.4 percent of the year, it remains inactive. This is not a very effective contract.
What is the alternative?
Although there are many alternatives to property ownership, let's focus on one – on a rented drive. Or by taxi.
Taxis allow someone to maximize the use of the vehicle. Instead of a vehicle on the road only 3.6 percent of the time, it can be operational up to 60 percent of the time. This is a 17-fold increase in effective use.
Related: Street fight: Uber Drivers vs. NYC Taxi Drivers
The Future: Electric Taxi Robots
Of course, the structure of spending is different. Because taxis require someone to pay wages and asset profits, taxis can not compete with a mile-per-mile property. Even inexpensive taxi services cost more than USD 2 per mile.
Enter technology. New innovations will ultimately lower the price to such an extent that taxis will be much cheaper than simply owning a car.
First of all, the technology without drivers will eventually get rid of the expensive human driver. It rejects more than half of the cost. Waymo announced in October that by the end of 2020 he will start a mass pilot program without a driver.
Secondly, newer vehicles are built for electric power – making them much less expensive than a traditional internal combustion engine. An electric car costs only 3 cents per mile to drive, compared to 16 cents per mile in a gas-powered car. That's 80 percent of fuel costs savings.
Currently, electric cars, such as Tesla, are more expensive than those with internal combustion, which affects fuel economy. Technology and the adjustment curve will cause costs to drop over the next five to ten years when mass adoption begins.
In addition, electric motors work much longer than alternators for diesel or gas engines. While the gas engine will withstand about 200,000 miles, the electric motor should travel for at least 500,000 miles.
Put it all together, and electric vehicles are cheaper to use, longer and should be cheaper to buy in the future. Another piece of driving costs.
Combining all these savings, a fully electric fleet of autonomous cars will provide a journey for less than 10 percent of what costs today. This is more than 17 times higher efficiency, which comes from intangible property.
Related: Will cars without a driver make us better people?
Mobility as a service follows the package
At this price, it is difficult to resist what is called mobility as a service (MaaS). In other words, transport on demand moves to the subscription model. Do you want to go to the pub? Log in with a request for a ride. Within a few minutes your transport will take you to your destination and go to your next job.
Mobility as a service is fast, efficient and, most importantly, radically cheaper than simply owning a car. In addition to dollars and cents, there are many reasons to switch from property to subscription.
- The possibility of productive use of travel time
- "Driving" back safely from the pub
- Simpler, streamlined car payments
The list is long.
The change will not be similar to the way we moved to the monthly subscriptions of other items that we bought or owned. Many of us invested in large collections of CDs and recordings. Today, on-demand music applications allow us to listen to any song at any time. We used to have or even rent movies – but Netflix and a few other services now allow us to upload videos from one of our devices.
There are also other examples. Husqvarna, a 329-year-old tool manufacturer, offers a monthly subscription to its tools. Customers return them after the project is finished. The StitchFix model replaces shopping trips with a monthly garment update, in which clothes are chosen by personal stylists.
The digital economy has trained us to want a result – not ownership. And finally, we just want to drive – not a car.
But maybe you do? If you have read this article and still do not see the appeal, tell me why in the comments.
Article published on 11/05/2019
Tom Butcher is an independent writer who recently escaped from the world of printed journalism. It covers a wide range of topics, including business, automotive and digital technologies. He is currently working with LeaseFetcher to tell the world about car leasing.