Now there’s an interesting mix of realistic assessments and (still a lot of) wishful thinking. As far as the last category concerned:
- Driverless, as THE solution to get rid of all sorts of driver-related issues (employee status) and to make ride-hailing profitable, is still a long way from realizing 99–100% flawlessly.
- Flying taxis/aerial vehicles, with interesting enough range, are still a long way from large-scale deployment too. Major obstacles? Battery tech, noise levels, all sorts of permit-related issues, safety (perception).
- Cars will remain objects of private ownership, TLC and recreational use for a very-very long time.
I concur with Rob Coneybeer’s assessment of small vehicles as potentially important transport modes. They are way more energy- and space efficient per passenger than having to operate buses and trams all the time (regardless of how many people are on-board), and can provide door-to-door services, 24/7. The thing is that small vehicles can also replace the SUVs and MPVs that Waymo and Uber are using to ride-hail customers. Two pictures illustrate what I am getting . And small (sleek rather) vehicles can be made to run autonomously a lot easier than those big SUVs and MPVs — see 3rd picture. The quest is for the ‘proper format’, which has always been the issue with new products and services. A vehicle can be a wanna-have and be utilitarian too.