A recent document signed by 15 private transportation firms states that owning a driverless car should be illegal for private individuals in big cities.
Uber, Lyft, Uber’s Chinese rival Didi, Bla Bla Car, and 11 more want regulators to grant them monopoly over the taxpayer-funded autonomous streets.
The companies’ pledge called Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities states it pretty clearly that driverless cars should be “well-regulated” and their software upgrades and maintenance should be done by “professionals”. The use of personal cars should also be reduced in large metro areas.
The Shared Mobility pledge mentions at some point “fair user fees,” which suggests that the companies’ plan is to kill competition (i.e. private individuals) and force city dwellers to rely on their services to move across cities.
Uber Could Gain Monopoly Over Driverless Technology
It is worth noting that not all companies that signed the pledge are involved in car-oriented services. LimeBike for instance is a bike-sharing service, which may mean that these smaller companies are aware that if Uber and the likes gain a monopoly, people might turn to their services for being more affordable.
The recent pledge is very similar to policies like the ones in Singapore, which prohibit specific vehicles from traveling around the city on certain days to fight congested roads. In Singapore, people who want to own a car must wait for a previous owner to sell their Certificate of Entitlement to be able to buy a car. The certificates can cost up to $30,000 per piece.
Ford is trying to fight congestion as well with a new program that enables up to six people to lease a single vehicle. But Ford does not bar individuals from owning and driving a self-driving car.
Experts underlined that the Shared mobility pledge makes no sense right now because there are no laws to back it. But it may offer a glimpse on what the autonomous transportation future may look like.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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