Autonomous ride hailing | Unpublished
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Paul Renaud's picture
Lanark Highlands, Ontario
About the author

Paul is a local high-tech executive, field naturalist, and is well-known as an environmental spokesperson. He is also an active supporter of indigenous rights and respect for traditional aboriginal values which includes everyone's responsibility for stewardship over our environment. 

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Autonomous ride hailing

July 12, 2022

I routinely blog about the disruption caused by sustainable transition.

Autonomous ride hailing of a driverless EV-taxi (aka robo-taxi) has the potential to cause significant disruption to the automotive manufacturing, parts, service, and transportation industries.

Industry analysts forecast that the cost of autonomous ride hail will be on par with current commuter rail & bus (with far greater convenience) and 1/3 the cost of operating your own car (all-in cost per mile driven).



This cost-savings means that most urban two-car families will need only a single-car, causing $4 Trillion shrinkage in traditional auto manufacturer enterprise value. Given that the single remaining car owned by families will increasingly be an EV, any slow transitioning automotive makers (e.g. Ford, Toyota, GM, ...) will be badly whipsawed.



Considering that Tesla is already almost as profitable as Toyota, this will in turn force consolidation among traditional car manufacturers as well as in their supply chains as they struggle to maintain economies of scale.



It is also foreseeable that there will be reduced demand for commuter rail & bus in major cities, accelerating EV & autonomous conversion of those fleets so that they can pass on cost-savings to commuters (putting even more pressure on reducing personal car ownership).



The only question is when? As several new entrants are already in field trials with autonomous robo-taxis (Waymo, Tesla, ...), and EVs already offer sufficient range to function at low cost for that purpose, the rate of adoption by folks who realize that autonomous driving is already safer than human-driving (based on accidents per mile driven) will be the driving factor (pun intended).