Robotic carsharing services will put fleets of autonomous vehicles at our app-driven beck and call. What do these super-cheap, super-safe connected vehicle systems mean for the transportation industry?
Most cars spend most of their time parked and not being of any use to anyone, but carsharing schemes are changing that. “Street rental” services like Getaround allow car owners to rent out their vehicles via a mobile app when they’re not in use, and ridesharing services like Uber allow car owners to drive their vehicles as taxis when they might otherwise be idle. In the (possibly quite near) future, autonomous vehicle technology will merge with these consumer ridesharing services to form what’s being called “robotic” carsharing; think Uber minus the driver, responding to your in-app ride request automatically.