Transportation Cloud: The End of Car Ownership?

Car Ownership

Note: Part 2 of this 3 part blog, Dealing with Suburbia, can be read HERE.

In this third article on the transportation cloud, we’ll explore changes to car ownership and parking; commercial implications; and the job market.

Mass Transportation & Ownership

Buses and trains will still exist when the transportation cloud becomes fully active. In fact, potentially trains will be built into the cloud and serve a supplemental role to automobiles. In the future, a shared, self-driving car will bring you to the train depot rather than having to walk or park nearby.

Fewer and fewer people will own cars as the years go by, but car owners will never become completely extinct. As Planning for Reality (PFR) explains, “Cars are just too great a part of America’s 20th and now 21st century DNA.” While many younger people, technophiles, and sustainability advocates may shift completely to a network of self-driving cars, collectors, car enthusiasts, and those in the older generations are less prepared to make the transition.

On some road trips and day-to-day trips requiring conversation, we will want access to our own space. We can either get a car from the transportation cloud that is designated solely to us (the typical taxi format rather than the shared model), or keep a car in the garage for special occasions and getaways. What is sure to become less prevalent is the notion that we should all be driving ourselves every day to work.

With billions invested to market their products and supply an extraordinarily inefficient transportation model, automakers won’t like the idea of a streamlined cloud composed of resource-conserving cars. However, they will probably adapt by shifting their focus. Instead of selling cars geared toward day-to-day means such as transporting groceries and navigating through rush-hour, independently held cars of the future (those not explicitly in the cloud) will perhaps be specially designed for vacations and comfortable state-to-state travel.

You Can Have My Parking Space

Parking is getting tighter all the time in many cities, with waiting lists growing in the most popular garages of Austin, Texas. Demand for parking will lift as the transportation cloud hits full stride. Shopping centers and downtown districts will have less need for parking. Businesses and cultural events won’t have to spend as much money and time considering how to fit cars.

Malls will no longer need to have thousands of parking slots surrounding the building. “Instead,” PFR explains, “there will be drop off points as you exit your transportation cloud vehicle.”

A Separate Cloud for Delivery

Where would you put your purchases if you’re carpooling with numerous people to the store? At checkout, you will shoot your address over to a partner cloud focused on gathering and delivering products.

The system could function similarly to an express version of Amazon. If you want to make a quick repair at your house and don’t have the tool you need, it can be sent to you through one of the commercial network’s autonomous cars.

It will function in a similar manner to the all-encompassing delivery services supplied today through mobile applications.

Will I Lose My Job?

No one wants to be replaced by a robot, and as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, the concern becomes less and less paranoid. Where will jobs be lost?

  • Lyft and Uber will no longer be needed, and neither will their drivers .
  • Bus drivers will be canned as their vehicles become self-driving and people shift away from transit.
  • Automotive assembly-line personnel will be let go, as will employees at other businesses that serve the needs of car owners.

Although jobs will be lost, overwhelming momentum is pushing the transportation cloud forward. “The commercial pressures to adopt the transportation cloud will be impossible to hold back as the population recognizes how much they could save by not owning a car any longer,” says PFR, “and if anything they may gain convenience.”

Planning Adaptively

Public agencies that guide transportation around the country, such as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission of the San Francisco Bay Area, use traffic schema that were built without the transportation cloud in mind. In fact, a system of integrated self-driving cars won’t just change the way that we get to work or the store; we will even live in different locations. Agencies wanting to look 10 or 20 years in the future to intelligently and expansively define their policies should seriously consider the ramifications of this revolutionary shift in the way we get around.

As a new world dawns in which we ride with strangers to get groceries in cars with empty driver’s seats, we will have to change the entire way that we look at transportation. The demand for parking will lighten, but many people will still own cars for limited use.

Just as many people want their own car for certain situations so they can have control of what it has to offer, many cloud users gravitate toward the guarantee resources of dedicated cloud. Experience the support team that customer Jeffrey Childress calls “super-responsive” today

By Kent Roberts

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