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Pulling Out Of Car Ownership

An Uber driverless car waits in traffic during a test drive in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/AP)
An Uber driverless car waits in traffic during a test drive in San Francisco. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Is car ownership going the way of the horse and buggy? We’ll look at how ride sharing and driverless cars are turning the way we move.

One thing about Americans – they own cars, right? Well, maybe not for long. The U.S. auto industry is on high alert right now over trends that say car ownership may be headed for the scrapyard. In years to come, more and more Americans will hail a ride – a ride with a driver, or a driverless car, an autonomous vehicle – to take them where they want to go. They may own a fraction of a car, or subscribe to car time. It’s a whole new world, and it’s coming. This hour On Point: Mobility, without ownership. — Tom Ashbrook


Tim Higgins, Wall Street Journal reporter who covers technology and the auto industry. (@timkhiggins)

Michelle Krebs, Detroit-based executive analyst for Autotrader. (@MichKrebs)

Tony Seba, author of “Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030.” Co-founder of the think tank RethinkX. (@tonyseba)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: The End of Car Ownership — “Cars are going to undergo a lot of changes in the coming years. One of the biggest: You probably won’t own one. Thanks to ride sharing and the looming introduction of self-driving vehicles, the entire model of car ownership is being upended—and very soon may not look anything like it has for the past century.”

RethinkX: Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030 — “We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call ‘transport-as-a-service’ (TaaS).”

Chicago Tribune: Why aren’t millennials buying cars? They are, despite record prices — “The fate of the auto industry depends on the millennial generation. Or so it seems. The largest demographic since the baby boomers has alternatively been cited as bringing about the end of America’s love affair with the car, yet responsible for fueling record new car sales. With years of bullish car sales expected to plateau in 2017, automakers are scrambling to understand a generation that is anything but a homogeneous demographic.”

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