Autonomous Ride-Sharing Fleets Could Slash Demand For Owner-Driven Sedans

A new study suggests that the rise of autonomous ride-sharing fleets could halve the demand for owner-driven sedans in the United States by 2030.

According to consulting firm KPMG, the likes of Uber and other ride-sharing companies will initially roll out fleets of autonomous taxis in densely populated urban and suburban areas. As more companies, including Waymo and General Motors, enter the market with their own alternatives, the cost of using a self-driving taxi will drop drastically.

The result? A potential fall from the current 5.4 million sedans sold in the U.S. annually to just 2.1 million, as many individuals and families will opt out of owning a vehicle and simply hail a ride instead, CNBC reports.

If the study’s findings come to fruition, there could be just three or four carmakers building small and midsize sedans in the U.S. by 2030.

For the moment, it appears as though the SUV and crossover markets won’t be dramatically affected by the introduction of autonomous fleets.


  • ediotsavant

    BS. Everyone wants their own private space to do whatever they want. These companies will have to provide for them. That means a car for each rider.

    • UZ

      Maybe true in the US, but here in SA I would jump at the opportunity. Being a constant hijack target sure helps with the decision.

      • Bash

        I agree.

      • benT

        ….”a constant hijack target….”
        any elucidation?

        • UZ

          South Africa is known to be a car hijacking hot spot. Drive in the wrong area, and your car will be taken from you at gunpoint. If you’re lucky, you’ll get away unharmed, albeit without any money or whatever other possessions you had with you at the time.

          Having an autonomous car that won’t drive you into dangerous areas will go a long way. Not having to own that car is even better.

          • Jay

            Okay. But why would they deploy these types of cars in those countries? If they intended on making money then why put their expensive cars in harms way.

          • UZ

            Because hopefully autonomous cars won’t take the wrong turn or venture into dangerous areas…

          • Jay

            Its not that simple, if someone lives in those areas then what? Even if they didn’t go in it wouldn’t matter because the bad people have the easy ability to travel out of those areas too.

          • UZ

            It would be no different than today. No-one with a car goes into those areas. Those who live there don’t have cars as it’s too dangerous.

          • Jay

            If you think there wouldn’t be a difference then would be no advantage either…

          • UZ

            The difference is that autonomous cars don’t accidentally end up in dangerous places.

          • Jay

            That is an assumption. As I stated the bad people tend to travel.. which means they can go to any area and make it bad.

          • UZ

            Nope. They can only go where the car is programmed to take them.

          • Jay

            You misunderstood. Bad people can go to new areas making those once good areas bad. meaning the cars wont be safe where ever they are.

          • UZ

            If you live in a country like ours you’ll understand. Google Maps constantly highlight bad areas, and they do change over time. When a new area becomes bad, the car simply won’t go there. This is easier to do via software than for people to be aware of all the time. Hope that helps.

          • KareKakk

            The most interesting question now must be what SA are going to do with those dangerous areas… they are not any lesser dangerous just by cars not entering such areas.

          • Jay

            Soon the car wont be able to move from its parking spot, hope that helps.

          • UZ

            Really. That is your argument / solution? First world snobbery?

          • Jay

            It isn’t a solution because there is none. It’s merely my opinion of what could happen.

      • Six_Tymes

        nope, hes wrong, lots of people will gladly ditch owning cars. notice I didn’t say everyone. you will see a large reduction of car ownership. and so, a lot less multi car house holds.

    • Jay

      There are a lot of people that want there own and a lot of people that are willing to share but that is to a certain extent.. I think you’re mostly correct especially in the US people want their own car, house, and just about everything else.

  • Craig

    And how would THAT help the US economy?

    • Status

      How many hours are wasted sitting in traffic? Getting that dollar amount back is your answer.

      • Trackhacker

        But you will still sit in traffic…just in a back seat of some dirty car that has had thousands of others sit there >__<

        • Status

          If all the cars are autonomous, then all the cars are communicating and coordinating their actions with one another. V2V communication protocols wouldn’t allow for traffic to build up in the first place because each car is moving relative to another. Their movements mesh with the movements other autonomous cars, not like sitting and waiting for the actions of another driver like we have now.

  • BlackPegasus

    Not so sure about the autonomous aspect this research, but I do know young millennials care more about “experiences” versus personal possessions (i.e cars). That means more of their disposable income will be targeted towards vacations and other trendy activities geared towards young professionals. If the purchase of a new car isn’t seen as a necessity (because of Uber/Lyft) expect lower sales among this emerging demographic.

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