As Younger Drivers Shirk Car Ownership, Autonomous Cars Become Appliances

Emily Porro

With a global market forecast of 44 million automated vehicles by 2030 (BCG, 2015), connected and automated driving is expected to have a huge economic impact on society, including creating new jobs, increasing road safety and lowering fatalities, increasing fuel-efficiency and lowering environmental impact, reducing traffic congestion, and more. SAP unveiled its own SEAT connected car in its stand at Mobile World Congress this week.

However, not everyone is going to want to own one of these cars, according to David Bunch, global VP, Shell Retail Marketing, and chairman of Shell Brands International, who presented during MWC’s “The Road to Connected and Autonomous Cars” session Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Unlike their Baby Boomer and Gen-X elders, millennials have less interest in owning a car at all. “The relationship with Gen-X and their vehicles means freedom, but the relationship is changing with new drivers and their vehicles. How will they see their vehicle in the world of autonomous vehicles? The car becomes an appliance,” said Bunch.

According to data presented by Mr. Bunch, fewer owners and more shared use of cars means even greater realization of the full benefits of autonomous, connected cars. For example, one autonomous car could replace 11 cars, meaning 200 million fewer vehicles on the road in a fully autonomous world. This would in turn reduce transportation costs by 75%. “The impacts on efficiency, pollution, and congestion are profound,” Bunch said.


Emily Porro

About Emily Porro

Emily Porro is a writer and blogger focusing on the people, products, services and technology driving global innovation across industries.