Time is a precious and nonrenewable resource. Lose it or save it, and you can’t trade it in for something else. But time can be traded off, depending on how you value it. And when it comes to the time we spend traveling, that value is in flux. For example, it seems that more transit riders in major U.S. cities are making a clear choice with their time and money, as mounting evidence indicates that Uber, Lyft, and other transportation network companies (TNCs) are drawing them off buses and trains and into their backseats. Riders are choosing to shell out more for a speedier TNC journey where they can enjoy not having to drive.
While Americans are growing more familiar with sharing economy services, the intention to use these services is declining in favor of more traditional services. According to the fourth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Sharing Economy Index released by Allianz Global Assistance, 53 percent of Americans declared they are either “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to use sharing economy services during their 2018 summer travels.
Driverless vehicles could eliminate millions of jobs in the future, from cabbies to truckers to food delivery workers. But the companies that are hoping to hasten the adoption of this disruptive technology don’t want to seem callous to this brewing labor crisis, so they are joining forces to study the “human impact” of robot cars. The Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) is a newly formed group comprised of most of the major companies that are building and testing on self-driving cars. This includes legacy automakers like Ford, Toyota, and Daimler; tech giants like Waymo (née Google), Uber, and Lyft; and logistics providers like FedEx and the American Trucking Association.
Good things come to those who wait for their Uber. The option to wait longer in exchange for a cheaper ride is being tested among all Uber employees in San Francisco and Los Angeles, a company spokeswoman told Quartz in an email. “Affordability is a top reason riders choose shared rides, and we’re internally experimenting with a way to save money in exchange for a later pickup,” she said.
Much has been made about how autonomous vehicles will impact parking. To allow for alternative uses once autonomous vehicles become more pervasive, new commercial parking facilities are now frequently being designed and constructed with flexibility in mind. Developers are even going so far as to explore ways to repurpose existing parking garages. Far less has been made about how autonomous vehicles could change residential real estate, rendering the two-car garage obsolete and increasing livable square footage and home values.
The “gig economy,” RIP. Well, maybe. As you’ll recall, the gig economy refers to a radical transformation of the nature of work and U.S. labor markets. Digital platforms better match workers with jobs (a.k.a. gigs). Uber was, and is, the prototype of this upheaval. Its existence seemed confirmed. One survey by well-regarded labor economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger of Princeton estimated that the share of U.S. workers in various “alternative work arrangements” rose from 10.7 percent of total employment in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2015. That’s a big deal.
Even for those who love driving, owning a car can be a pain. Gas, maintenance, and insurance costs can add up quickly and, if you live in a crowded city, finding a parking space can be difficult. These annoyances have created a profitable niche for car-sharing services, which give customers access to cars only when they need them. Seeing an opportunity, General Motors launched its Maven “personal mobility” brand in 2016 to offer car sharing in multiple North American cities. But is it really better to rent a car from GM than to just buy one?
The proliferation of new modes of transportation — from e-scooters to Ubers — has presented city planners with a lot of new questions and not many answers. But a new initiative announced last week by San Francisco-based transportation analytics company Streetlight Data could soon lend a precise view of how these new technologies are changing communities.
Car sharing marketplace Turo has had a busy 2018. In May, The Drive broke news of its introduction of the Deluxe and Super Deluxe classes allowing customers to get behind the wheel of high-class exotic cars. April, brought the option of renting a hot tub boats. May, gave way to the Extras feature allowing customers to add add-ons to any rental. And now, the company offers a new feature to potentially supplement all of the cars available for rent through its service: Turo Go. Turo Go is a feature which will allow customers to book and unlock cars instantly via Turo’s mobile application.
Uber really has changed the transportation world as we know it. Since its formation in 2009, it has launched many different programs that have made an impact on our daily lives. The first is its taxi service. While many people may think that paying for an Uber every day is more expensive than owning a car, that actually isn’t always the case.