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Self-driving electric cars set to change city mobility

There’s something a bit spooky about self-driving cars, though engineers say they will be safer, and waste less fuel than our current car fleet. The uneasiness stems, perhaps, from the illusion driving gives us of being in control.

Yet what if the self-driving cars had the added advantage of a) being all electric, b) part of a car sharing pool, and c) they arrived to pick us up when and where we needed them?

It is at the intersection between car sharing, electric cars, and autonomous driving a new model for city mobility is taking shape.

© Volvo Cars

We already know that the idea of owning a car in a city is growing ever less popular. In some German cities, for example, young consumers’ desire to purchase cars has dropped by 60%.

Add to that two features in the latest generation of car sharing: the ability to pick up and drop cars off wherever you want within certain city boundaries; and new fleets of e-cars in car sharing. (Autolib is leading the way in the latter, and in the new year will bring electric car sharing to its first American city). The last important piece, the factor that what will really take car sharing to the level where everyone will want it, is when the car sharing vehicle you want can show up at your doorstop exactly when you want it to.

“I think in the future we’ll see that autonomous cars will make car sharing the predominant mode of transportation. People will no longer own their cars.” – Dr. Alexander Hars, Driverless-future.com
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