Electric, self-driving, shared vehicles the way of the future
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Conventional cars will die out by 2030 as electric self-driving car shares take over our roads, according to a new report.
In the US, 95 per cent of kilometres travelled will happen in autonomous vehicles owned by fleets rather than individuals in just over a decade, found researchers at RethinkX, an independent research group based in California.
This technology will be up to 10 times cheaper than buying a new car and will bring an end to more than 100 years of individual vehicle ownership.
"We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history," says Tony Seba, report co-author.
The report found autonomous electric vehicles will be owned by companies providing transport as a service by 2030, making up 60 per cent of vehicles on US roads.
As fewer cars travel more kilometres, the number of passenger vehicles on American roads will drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030, the report said, as it won't make financial sense to have a personal car. And electric vehicles will be between two to four times cheaper than operating existing vehicles by 2021, with a lifetime of more than 800,000km and far lower maintenance, energy, finance and insurance costs.
As demand for new vehicles plummets, 70 per cent fewer passenger cars and trucks will be manufactured each year. This could result in disruption of the car value chain -- including car dealers, maintenance and insurance companies -- and the oil industry.
Individual ownership of gas-powered vehicles will enter a cycle of increasing costs, and diminishing quality of service and convenience, say the researchers.
Major automakers and technology firms have been stepping up efforts on autonomous driving, contending these systems will eliminate the vast majority of road accidents.
German luxury car maker Daimler and parts supplier Bosch announced plans this month to work together to create driverless cars in the next few years.
Apple and Tesla are investing in R&D, as are Chinese technology firms and the major US, Asian and European manufacturers.