By 2030, you could be relying on a shared fleet of self-driving electric cars to get to work in the morning; so says a recent report from research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The report envisions how urban transportation is likely to evolve in coming decades. It states that these aforementioned vehicles, which would hold anywhere between two and 20 passengers, could be cheaper and more convenient than owning your own car.
Cities that are highly developed and densely populated are most likely to adopt this kind of innovation, states the report, referencing places like London, Shanghai and Singapore. These new transportation options could impact how cities are planned, swapping parking places for passenger pick-up and drop-off zones.
The report includes two other potential scenarios for how electric cars, self-driving vehicles and ride sharing programs could affect cities in less developed corners of the planet. Cities like Delhi and Mumbai, for example, are likely to continue relying on human drivers because of the low cost of labor and lack of road investment that self-driving vehicles would require. These cities will still consider car sharing and electric vehicles in efforts to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, however.
A different scenario describes how private cars will remain the transportation method of choice for decades to come in European and North American cities with considerable urban sprawl. Vehicles in these parts of the world may very well be autonomous and electric, but they’re unlikely to be as readily shared as elsewhere.
The combined impacts of electric cars, car sharing and self-driving vehicles will completely alter urban transportation as we know it, states the report.