An independent think-tank called ‘Rethink X’ has recently released a report citing the end of the consumer automotive by 2030. According to studies -- however hyperbolic they may be-- conducted by them, they say that the paradigm shift will see consumer vehicles on their way out while ushering in an era of TaaS (‘transport as a service”).
The report goes on further to say that commutes may no longer be chargeable but will offer as a value add-on to other consumer products to drive sales. This could mean that you get a month’s worth of free rides to work with your newest pair of jeans.
Further claims that Autonomous Electric Vehicles will be the future of the automotive spectrum, and will be safer than their human-controlled counterparts are part of the report.
We feel that this might be bit overstated considering the conundrum needed to be overcome, where an autonomous car is placed in a situation where it must choose between the occupants of a car and civilians on a sidewalk. Given no alternative, either result is equally grim and cannot possibly be taken without a human operator. QED there can be no predetermined outcome for this situation, although there must. Therein lies the juxtapose. Given the rapidity at which technology is evolving, we believe the paradox may be overcome sooner than we expect. All the same, it is important for one to consider the limitations as well.
This paradigm shift -- should it occur --- will result in the end of multi-trillion dollar lobby that currently hosts fossil fuel interests. ‘Rethink X’ further postulates that this change will happen despite government interests and not despite it.
Rethink X have categorised Uber, Ola and Lyft as pre-TaaS companies, that will open the gateway further for these services. Thereby slamming the door on the consumer vehicle and fossil fuel lobbies.
In concurrence with the Rethink X, another study of India’s automotive market show that fewer millennials are in fact buying cars, and less likely to own them than any previous generations. Whether this is a herald of things to come is not clear, or whether this is reflective of an economic slump is not easily determined. As is with most studies, only time will tell.