(ANTIMEDIA) “We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. But there is nothing magical about it. This is driven by the economics.”
The man who said those words, Tony Seba, has just co-authored a new report with another man, James Arbib. Both are technology analysts, and if the predictions in their report are proven to be accurate, a monumental shift in the way human beings travel in cities is already underway.
Seba, a Stanford instructor and co-founder of the think tank RethinkX, and Arbib, a tech investor and philanthropist, say that private vehicle ownership in the U.S. will drop 80 percent by the year 2030 and that the common way to get around town will be self-driving electric cars.
Arbib and Seba also predict that the number of vehicles on U.S. roads will go from around 247 million in 2020 to around 44 million in 2030. According to the analysts, 2020 is also the year that global oil demand will peak. They predict the demand of 100 million barrels a day in 2020 will fall to 70 million barrels a day by 2030.
The analysts also predict that as people are zooming across town in self-driving electric cars, they’ll be doing so while sitting next to strangers. This “ride-share” concept is something Uber CEO Travis Kalanick considers to be the future of city transportation.
Reporting on the two analysts’ new findings, Business Insider described what such a future might look like:
“If the majority of Americans switch to autonomous, electric ride-shares, it could greatly affect how the US cities plan their streets. The report suggests that fewer cars will drive more miles by 2030, because ride-shares may never need to park. When they would drop off passengers, they would keep going to pick up new passengers, which would open up vast tracts of land for new uses, like wider sidewalks and more housing, parks, and zones where cars are banned.”
Seba and Arbib predict that by 2021, using electric ride-shares for transportation will be four to ten times cheaper per mile than buying a new car, which could translate to saving around $5,600 a year per household. That’s the “economics” Seba is talking about.
And it is, indeed, interesting. If the two men are correct, this continuing shift in the realm of transportation will have boosted Americans’ disposable income around $1 trillion by 2030.