Will YOU Give up Your Car by 2025?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.
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