Question of the Day: How much cheaper are autonomous robo-taxis to operate compared to private cars (in dollars saved annually)?
Cost for private car today = $1.20 per mile
Cost for future robo-taxi = $0.70 per mile
Typical family drives 10,000 miles X $0.50/mile cost savings = $5,000
- What are the costs you/your family incurs to own a car today? Be sure to create as complete a list as possible.
- What are the factors that lead to such a large cost savings using a robo-taxi (in future) instead of owning your own private car?
- What are the costs that disappear or are greatly reduced if there is a shift to a robo-taxi?
- Do you think your generation will choose not to buy cars given this trend toward ride-hailing and robo-taxis? Explain.
- List careers that you think could be impacted by autonomous vehicles.
Behind the numbers (from Economist):
The combination of autonomy and ride-hailing, together with a switch to electric vehicles, seems likely to undermine the logic of car ownership for many people. Ride-hailing services in the rich world currently cost around $2.50 per mile, compared with about $1.20 per mile to own and operate a private car (see chart). But the driver accounts for about 60% of the cost of ride-hailing. UBS, an investment bank, reckons that automation, competition and electrification (which makes cars more expensive to buy but much cheaper to run) will cut the cost of ride-hailing by 70%, to about $0.70 per mile. So a typical Western household driving 10,000 miles a year could ditch its car, use robotaxis and save $5,000 a year.
How does it feel to drive for Uber? Try this simulation and find out (spoiler alert: it's hard work!)