The Future of Car Ownership

If you own a television, or use the internet, or subscribe to car magazines or business magazines, you may have noticed that there are a lot of articles out there about the future of car ownership, and how that is going to dramatically change.

Most people that know about these things now believe that within several decades, there are not going to be a lot of new cars sold, and most of the cars owned will be used only occasionally. The future of car ownership, that is, private ownership of a car, is going to look a lot like the current state of boat ownership – people will own cars, but they’ll be used for pleasure or recreation as opposed to everyday transportation.

The future of car ownership - Seatco offers the automotive upholstery repair in the DMV region

People will get to work through ride-sharing, or by public transportation, or by using autonomous (self-driving) vehicles, that will sort of look like cars, but will not require the driver to do anything except tell the machine where they’re going when they get in. Sort of like your own little bus. You’ll just get in, sit down, tell the vehicle where you want to go, and then, you can read the paper, send texts, drink coffee, whatever.

Of course, even the ride-sharing vehicle you get into, as well as the big public transportation bus you catch, will probably also be autonomous vehicles. You’ll have an app on your phone (or something like a phone) that will enable you to schedule pickup by one of these vehicles, and it will automatically deduct payment from a designated account to pay for same.

As you might guess, the car manufacturers are absolutely freaking out over this forecast of car ownership and transportation methods. It means a lot less cars sold, and, a lot more autonomous vehicles that will need to be sold, but regardless of how you do the numbers, overall, its a huge decrease in production volume.

Actual cars that you can drive may end up in the same category as boats, as mentioned before. Most people that have a boat don’t need a boat, they just want to have a boat. They enjoy using their boat.

Or, car ownership will be even less prevalent than that. Maybe it will be like owning a horse. It’s a luxury, not a necessity. I mean, 99% of the people that own horses don’t use them for work or practical purposes, they just like riding a horse occasionally. So, maybe it will be like that.

Owning a car will be considered either eccentric, a hobby, or a way of showing off.

On that last item, consider this: Watches were supposed to go away, since everyone has the time immediately available to them on their phone, or on a computer in front of them. But, they didn’t go away. They’re jewelry – luxury items. Some watches cost a thousand dollars, some watches cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lots of people still wear a watch, even though they don’t need a watch in order to know the present time.

Cars are expensive. Owning one in the future could be the equivalent of owning a new Rolex now.

Should be interesting, right?

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