Will YOU Give up Your Car by 2025?

By Ben Taylor
News entry dated 11th Jan 2017

A fascinating new survey, reported on by The Guardian, suggests that 50% of UK car owners will choose not to own their own vehicle by 2025, preferring instead to use self-driving cars and “robot taxis.” Much as this may sound like the stuff of science fiction, it’s fair to point out that these technologies already exist and are in increasing use across the world.

It’s important to note that the survey addressed 800 people in the car manufacturing industry and not a cross-section of society. Even so, their suppositions do much to paint a picture of how we can expect the motoring industry to change within the next decade.

Perhaps the biggest news is that the industry people surveyed don’t expect the traditional model of building cars and selling them through dealers to be the prime focus of car manufacturers. Instead, they visualise an increasing crossover between car manufacturers and technology companies.

Self drive car

Building cars “with technological add-ons” is the predicted main focus. Manufacturers also see a future in creating “connected cars” where the manufacturer sells supplementary services and has an ongoing relationship with the owner through a vehicle’s lifetime.

At such an early stage it’s hard to predict exactly how this will work in practice, but the way Apple’s ecosystem can become part of your life if you own an iPad and an iPhone immediately springs to mind!

Will the UK blaze a trail?

Although the UK’s not yet leading the way globally when it comes to connected or electric cars, industry players believe the country is well suited to the “robot taxis” that many believe will tempt people to give up the convenience of their own vehicle.

This is due to how our populations are distributed and the high cost of fuel in Britain. This does make more sense than somewhere like America where fuel is cheap and the distance between places can be vast.

The report places much emphasis on the “digital services” that car firms are convinced will one day be at least as important as car manufacturing itself. One possible vision for the future is that you may one day step out of your home into a self-driving vehicle made by Ford and use Apple or Google’s infrastructure to help you get to where you’re going and handle the payment. Whether this sounds exciting or terrifying will obviously depend on your personal point of view!

That said, it’s worth reemphasising that these predictions really aren’t from the pages of science fiction. The technologies already exist and are well beyond “version 1.0” in many cases. Furthermore, the success of ride sharing services and car clubs do indeed prove that many people are open to the idea of alternatives to car ownership.

Hello electric, Goodbye diesel?

As discussed in a recent article here, it seems that tough times loom for diesel drivers as the government tries to reach pollution targets. Regardless of what happens in the short term, it certainly seems that industry figures agree the end is in sight for such vehicles.

62% of survey respondents said that diesel was “losing importance,” and 90% expect electric cars to “dominate” by 2025. If you remain a skeptic about electric vehicles, it seems that the majority of the motoring industry now disagree with you.

What do think the roads will look like in 2025? Do you think you’ll still have a car of your own? Let us know in the comments.

IMAGE: Flickr, Silver Blue, cc-by-sa-2.0

Comments

7 Comments on "Will YOU Give up Your Car by 2025?"

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Antony Webster
Antony Webster
Nobody seems to have mentioned that it is the infrastructure that is needed. We see a lot about UK generating capacity being on a knife edge. Without excess electricity generation, I do not believe electric vehicles will be adopted as widely as anticipated. The charging points are few and far between in any case. As someone who has owned a plug-in hybrid, the network of charging just isn’t up to the job, other than on motorways. I have reverted to petrol, for the time being as there will no doubt now be a witch hunt against diesel cars. How will… Read more »
M O'Regan
M O'Regan
Those of us living in rural areas will still need our own vehicles. Lack of charging points and poor range will prevent uptake of electric vehicles by the majority, until these issues are addressed. I would love to own an electric vehicle, but, until they produce a 4WD pick-up, or large “Jeep” with rapid charge, 300 mile range and the same performance as conventional cars, they are no use to me. A small car is no use to me, neither is 2WD-only. I need the ability to drive on unmade roads, (usually in poor repair), adverse conditions and also carry… Read more »
Mike Beach
Mike Beach
As a retired engineer independent of the motor-industry, I agree with Chris Daniels that the timescale for “full” development is likely to be longer than some estimates, but I am more optimistic about acceptance. An evolutionary path is needed, as has occurred with communication over the last century, where the current state of the internet could not have been predicted from, say, the first amplifying device. Here, the evolutionary path will include increasing levels of “driver assistance”, trust by drivers and passengers, and acceptance of some loss of control in the same way that we currently accept when using public… Read more »
Derek Shanks
Derek Shanks

By 2025 I expect the roads to become gridlocked, the price & weight of batteries makes todays expensive electric cars unpractical, new battery technology & a huge reduction in prices is required.

Peter Butler
Peter Butler

I just wonder how self driving cars will manage in snow which needs a different driving technique when driving on roads in perfect condition

David Stokes
David Stokes

Interesting article. Paragraph 4/5 have been repeated though

Chris Daniels
Chris Daniels
Having lived through innumerable ‘that’s only the stuff of science fiction’ ideas’ becoming reality, I agree that driverless cars could become more common, but the time scale seems very short to me. Given the demographic of the survey, it sounds like the old mistake of expecting technology push to determine the market, whereas it’s always consumer demand that wins. Many of us lead lives whose complexity is only made possible by immediate access to our own vehicles. Now I’m retired I could cope with robot taxis but I couldn’t have done it when I was working and raising a family.… Read more »
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