Why should folks plonk down $20,000 for a hunk of metal that for most of its life just sits there? Good question. But we do this in huge numbers. One reason is status. Owning a car has been a status symbol for a long, long time. But let’s remove that from the equation. What else is there?
The answer, of course, is convenience. Owning a car is worth it if it offers convenience. But will people find even more convenient ways of moving themselves around? What if you could get all or most of the benefits of owning a car without the bother of having to take care of it?
Welcome to the future of car sharing. A pod of 50 people might be able to get all of the above with around 25 driverless cars with a minimum of sharing. Is this the future? No doubt it will be attempted.
And that worries Elon Musk who wants to sell a lot more cars. My bet is that such a big change will phase in gradually — if at all. but I will be keeping an eye out for technologies that make it possible.