Roughly 27 million cars are recycled annually after being rendered undrivable. Soon, that number may increase, as self-driving cars become more commonplace.
John Zimmer, the president and co-founder of the ride request service, Lyft, said that car ownership will “all but end” in major U.S. cities within the next nine years.
The addition of self-driving cars will eliminate the company’s need for human drivers. Lyft hires drivers — just regular people — who use their own vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers who request the service.
Zimmer explains that once cars as we know them become obsolete, people will stop purchasing cars altogether and turn to ride services like Uber and Lyft when they need to travel anywhere.
Lyft partnered with General Motors at the beginning of 2016 to launch an initiative to develop self-driving vehicles, but other companies like Google and Lyft’s major competitor, Uber, are also working on self-driving technology as well.
Though Uber still relies on human drivers, as Lyft does, they have begun offering rides in self-driven cars in select cities on limited bases.
Within the next five years, self-driven vehicles will be on the road, and Zimmer says that he plans to have replaced his entire driving fleet with self-driving cars by 2025.He believes this business model will improve Lyft’s performance, as it will be easier to manage a group of self-driving cars than privately owned vehicles, as well as provide consistently clean, worry-free vehicles for transport.
Zimmer’s idea of the self-driven future is different than that of Elon Musk, owner of the auto maker, Tesla, who plans on marketing his company’s self-driven electric cars directly to individuals.