Carmageddon is Coming
Angus Hervey

To a certain extent, I agree with you. Ride sharing in a city is changing the way taxi services operate. And you are quite correct in your article, albeit mentioning it on slightly, in where the use of electric vehicles will work, in “urban mobility”. The change won’t happen overnight like you foresee, but it probably will eventually happen.

However, this will not be the death knell of the internal combustion engine that so many people seem to wish for, and a point you miss. Your scenario will ONLY work in a limited urban environment. Because those autonomous vehicles will still have to share the road with gas and diesel powered vehicles driven by humans. Here are a few counterpoints for you to look into. Not that I’m being negative, I just think you need to consider them as well.

First counterpoint is, who pays for the roads? Right now gas taxes are used by most states to pay for road maintenance. Take away half the gas tax, then to maintain government services, you must then put tax upon the electric vehicle. Second counterpoint is, a little less than half the population of the US lives in urban environments. And electric vehicles doing ride share won’t work in many cities, simply due to the size of the city itself. Consider the DFW metroplex, where a 50 mile one way commute is not out of line. The rest live in suburbs, where commuting distance is a LOT further, or in rural communities. Third counterpoint is also supply and demand. If people all decide to do ride just not buy their own car, then who is going to own all of those electric vehicles that will suddenly be needed to transport them? Because now you’ve created an issue that we’re seeing happen on the east coast, when suddenly the main form of transportation (commuter rail) cannot handle the demand being put on it by supply (all those commuters) when part of the infrastructure goes down.

All in all, though, a good article, albeit still a bit more pie in the sky than reality.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Carl Abrams’s story.