If the future plays out the way transportation experts predict it will, autonomous, zero-emissions vehicles will dominate the roads, and none of the passengers will own the vehicles.
That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but experts see the nation shifting toward shared, electric and autonomous vehicles nevertheless, according to a survey by the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (ITS-Davis).
Forty policymakers, researchers and representatives from government, nonprofit organizations and the technology and auto industries participated in the survey, which coincided with the launch of the institute’s new policy initiative, “3 Revolutions: Sharing, Electrification and Automation.”
According to ITS-Davis, 70 percent of the survey participants think fully autonomous vehicles will account for more than 20 percent of vehicles sold by 2040.
Nearly 90 percent of the transportation experts said they think commercially offered shared rides will make up more than 5 percent of all U.S. passenger miles by 2030, and 78 percent think commercially offered shared rides will account for more than 20 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled by 2040.
Seventy percent of the experts said that by 2050, the majority of vehicles used commercially for ride and car sharing in the nation will be zero-emissions vehicles, including battery, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell electric vehicles.
Almost all of the survey participants selected California as the state most likely to embrace all three transportation trends.
When respondents were asked to specify which companies are best-positioned to capitalize on the revolution in autonomous, shared and electric vehicles, 67 percent listed Google, 64 percent named Tesla and Uber, and 48 percent chose Lyft and General Motors.
“The results of this survey suggest that disruptive technologies are coming from both inside and outside automotive,” said Peter Kosak, executive director, urban mobility and Maven at General Motors. “In the end, partnerships – including working relationships with governments and communities – are likely essential to a rapid and successful transition.”