Bye Car

Well, actually, I have not owned a car for 15 years and miss having one about once a month. But here is an interesting thought about Uber the car app: “New York Times article this morning, technology columnist Farhad Manjoo suggests that Uber could one-day lead to the end of personal cars. Especially in densely populated areas served by Uber and competitors such as Lyft, relying on such on-demand, cost-competitive transport networks can be cheaper than buying, insuring, maintaining and parking a car.” yahoo

The argument is purely cost based – why have the cost of a car which you use, at most, 5% of the time? Why indeed? Walking, bikes, the bus and taxis work well for our family most of the time.

Uber is, however, a stop gap until the driverless car as a utility arrives. I’d say it will take about a decade before ubiquitous little autonomous cars will arrive at your door and drop you where you want to go. They will, of course, also pick up your groceries without you actually having to go to the store.

All of which is a function of the falling costs of computing, transactions and communications. It is also a function of a change in the way in which people define who they are. For a long time you were what you drove – now, increasingly it simply does not matter. I mean, seriously, at 100 feet can you really tell the difference between the 20k utility box and the 50k? It is not until you get up over 100k that there is any style to cars at all.

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