Lyft President and co-founder, John Zimmer suggests that the need to own a vehicle in 2021 will be obsolete. Car notes, fuel, parking and vehicle repairs will no longer be a burden on the average citizen as the rise of autonomous vehicles sweep the nation. Right now, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Arizona are testing this option, using fully autonomous Uber and Lyft vehicles to provide transportation in conjunction with GM and Volvo. So, it's only a matter of time before transportation becomes solely autonomous. But what does this mean for both drivers and passengers?
Earlier this year, Lyft received a $500 million investment from General Motors which is working towards building an army of electric Bolt vehicles. This was only after the company was almost bought out for $6 million. But John Zimmer see's the future of his company being the vehicle to serve the nation with the power of GM.
He proposes a third revolution: the reclaiming of enhanced pedestrian zones and more parks. Lets face, Ford's car multiplying assembly line has reshaped living conditions worldwide. From the destruction of natural habitats to meet the needs of car driving citizens, we have more roads and parking lots in history. Lyft looks to fix this this problem through alleviating the need to buy vehicles. Fully equipped with a pay-as-you-go system, Lyft proposes unlimited mileage plans, premium packages and upgraded vehicles to fit your need to travel.
But ultimately, will this actually help the planet? John makes some valid points, but will we actually see more greenery and less roads? It sounds good on paper, but it's negative effects are also inevitable. New York City is currently banning driver-less cars and is fighting to keep these laws in place. But the real problem is the unavoidable transition of Uber drivers to maintenance workers in a large factory line. And although some reports claim that jobs will not be lost due to the limited capability of autonomous vehicles, anything is possible with technology.
Thus, my point is clear: relying on autonomous vehicles does not account for the complete loss of independence. The freedom to grab our keys and relocate will now be determined on the availability and accessibility of of cars. On a social level, passengers will now lose the human interactions of traditional cab and vehicle services to sitting in the seat at the control of a robot. This could save our pockets, but it might turn us into richer, less social dependent citizens if you ask me. But, I could be wrong.