Our transportation industry is changing. With the emergence of technologies such as Uber, autonomous vehicles, and even car sharing, we’re in an exciting time that’s full of possibilities. Car sharing in particular has the potential to transform our transportation industry – but will we see carshare businesses grow?
Benefits of Car Sharing It’s no surprise that sharing a car with others has proven popular with drivers. It offers many benefits, including:
- Cost savings over the investment of buying, maintaining, and insuring a car.
- Fewer cars on the road, which helps to reduce traffic and air pollution.
- Convenience, since car sharers can choose from a variety of vehicle sizes depending on their needs on a particular day.
- Increased accessibility to cars, since people who can’t traditionally afford one can afford a car share situation.
A Changing Industry It’s hard to deny the fact that our transportation industry will likely continue to incorporate more vehicle sharing in the future. Thilo Koslowski, vice president of the research firm Gartner, Inc., told The Los Angeles Times that he believes that approximately 20% of the vehicles in urban areas will be shared-use vehicles by 2025. That’s a huge shift in the makeup of our transportation industry. While it’s uncertain just what effect the move into shared vehicles will have on the automotive industry, Koslowski points out that the automotive industry will need to rethink its marketing strategy to keep up with the changing priorities of consumers.
So just what might we see vehicle sharing become in the future?
Millennial-Driven The transition into a focus on vehicle sharing will likely be millennial-driven. A study by the Penn Schoen Berland research firm revealed that over 50% of millennials are open to sharing rides. While 32% of all consumers still prefer owning a vehicle to sharing a vehicle with others, this has the potential to change, especially as car sharing technologies and businesses advance and become more appealing.
In fact, millennials are redefining the ways that we both live and get around. They’re sharing houses via Airbnb and share apartments with WeLive. Thanks to businesses like WeWork and RISE, millennials are sharing workspaces. And when it comes to transportation, millennials aren’t just sharing cars – they’re also sharing bikes thanks to apps like Mobike and bike sharing programs like Citi Bike. This population is very much transforming and expanding our options in how we live, work, and get around.
Automotive Manufacturer Involvement Rather than get left behind on the vehicle sharing movement, automotive manufacturers would be wise to embrace it – and some already have. German carmaker Daimler partnered with Uber in early 2017 to supply Uber with autonomous vehicles. General Motors created its own car sharing services called Maven. Even Tesla is in on the movement and plans to develop an app to help car owners rent their vehicles out to others, bringing in some extra income.
Looking to the Future In summary, carsharing appears to be a growing trend, and we’re sure to see emerging technology as vehicle sharing becomes more popular. However, car sharing won’t be the only transportation option – not by a long shot. Carpooling and public transportation will likely always have a role in mobility, and it’s unlikely that we’ll see traditional cars disappear anytime soon. Still, vehicle sharing could alter our transportation industry. It will be interesting to see what the next decade brings in terms of vehicle, technology, and business advancements.