Scooters Invade San Fran, Amazing New Concept Keys and Will Uber & Lyft Make Car Ownership a Thing of the Past?

Future of Mobility News

Autonomous Fleets Will Make Uber and Lyft Cheaper Than Owning a Car by 2027 (The Next Web)

Owning a car will be more expensive than relying exclusively on ride-share apps for transportation by 2027. At least, according to a study released earlier this month.

The study, conducted by Quote Wizards, focused on Seattle and Denver, two cities which already embrace ride-sharing. It also assumes that driverless car technology will quickly mature and become status quo.

It might be hard to wrap your head around it, but the math adds up. Based on current trends, Quote Wizards predicts that the cost of operating a sedan in 2027 will be $7,598 versus $8,469 last year. But, the study claims the cost of using a ride-share app exclusively for transportation will drop from nearly $14,000 a year now to less than 7K in Seattle and under 6K in Denver.

With autonomous fleets becoming as quick to respond, some say there will be no attraction to paying to maintain a car and pay off its loan. Others claim the idea of car ownership is simply too ingrained into the American way of life. It may come down to a question of money over nostalgia.

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Silicon Valley’s Scooter Scourge is Coming to an End (Engadget)

San Francisco is a city where companies frequently like to try out new ideas. Uber had its start here many years ago, as did success stories like Twitter and Airbnb. So it’s no surprise that San Francisco happens to be one of many cities experiencing a new form of transportation: sharable electric scooters. They appeared in downtown SF seemingly out of nowhere, taking over sidewalks and pedestrian paths. But what was marketed as a low-cost, eco-friendly way to get around town soon became a public nuisance.

It all started in late March when three companies — Bird, Spin and LimeBike — unveiled their scooter-sharing solutions in San Francisco. All three work the same way: You unlock the scooter with an app, pay a nominal amount — $1 to unlock and 15 cents a minute thereafter. When you’re done, simply lock it with the app and it’ll be ready for the next person to hop on.

Unlike docked bicycles, like the Ford GoBikes in San Francisco or New York City’s Citi Bikes, you don’t have to park them in designated spaces; they can be left anywhere. These scooters are then rounded up and collected every night for any necessary repairs or charging and then redistributed the next day.

In the meantime, though, they’re often strewn aside carelessly, blocking the public right-of-way, thus making it especially difficult for wheelchairs and those with disabilities to move past them. Further, scooter riders are using them on the sidewalk, which is not only illegal but dangerous.

[…] So San Francisco is cracking down. Not only is the city working on legislating the scooters, but on April 16th, the city attorney sent cease-and-desist letters to all three companies to end operations until regulations are in place. The city also passed a law, demanding that all scooters have permits. Scooters found without permits will be subject to impoundment. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) hopes to open up the permitting process starting May 1st.

Those in favor of scooters are pushing to revamp the program instead of scrapping it, but detractors claim the problems the scooters pose simply out weigh any environmental or financial benefit.

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The Coolest Concept Cars Need the Coolest Concept Keys (Drive Tribe)

We’ve seen many different car keys coming with new models. From Tesla’s Model X, where the car can be put into it’s ‘party mode’, to the BMW 7 series, which moves the car forwards out of a parking space for the driver. Iskander Utebayev, (@bat.not.bad on Instagram) has showed some videos of new concept keys on some hypercars.

Check out the pictures for a handful of models over at Drive Tribe.

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About the Author

Stacey Jo
Stacey is our reporter on the beat always on the lookout for breakthrough ideas, inventions, and stories about how humankind is advancing its mobility.