Opinion: Traffic will be a thing of the past thanks to shared autonomous vehicles

Your transport of the future? A driverless Google pod car tools along a roadway at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
(AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: There is a fundamental flaw in the thinking of those who believe that people will own autonomous vehicles (AVs). (Re “Self-driving cars could force insurers to shift gears,” June 20)

Although there will be a few who choose to buy the cars, the vast majority will instead use the many ride-sharing services that will offer door-to-door service for a small fraction of the cost of owning and operating a car. The auto insurance industry will exist only to insure the few who continue to own and operate electric cars. The fleets of AVs will self-insure.

Internal combustion vehicles will gradually fade away since gas stations will close for lack of customers, making it more and more difficult to own a gas-burning car. Eventually, the only privately owned cars will be electric. They will enjoy open roads because the AVs will drive without crashing, and car-sharing will reduce the number of vehicles on the road by more than 50%.


Paul Scott, Santa Monica

The writer is a founder of the electric vehicle advocacy group Plug In America.

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