Ride-sharing companies have long touted the cost benefits of their platforms. Well, depending on the city, it can be cheaper on a weekly basis to take an UberX or UberPOOL than it is to own a personal car, according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers partner Mary Meeker’s 2018 annual internet trends report.
In four of the five largest cities in the U.S., it is indeed cheaper to rely on Uber than it is to own a car. Meeker’s analysis took into account cost of gas, car insurance, maintenance and parking.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The rise of self-driving cars is set to dramatically alter the way we move around cities in the future.
In particular, private car ownership is expected to shift toward shared mobility services, with vehicle fleet operators offering on-demand transportation. This should help to reduce traffic in urban areas and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
For these services to grow, however, accurate and computationally efficient algorithms will be needed to effectively match individuals with on-demand vehicles, in order to cope with the hundreds of thousands of trips that are routinely made within large cities.
But researchers have yet to solve the problem of how best to size and operate a fleet of vehicles, given a particular level of demand for personal mobility.
Now, in a paper published today in the journal Nature, a team of researchers coordinated by Carlo Ratti, director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, unveil a computationally efficient solution to this problem, which they dub the “minimum fleet problem.”
Driverless ride-hailing services are available for some across the United States, and consumers will see those services grow throughout this year, Lyft Chief Strategy Officer Raj Kapoor told CNBC on Wednesday.
Kapoor, whose company ranks No. 5 on CNBC’s sixth annual Disruptor 50 list, said the use of self-driving vehicles in the United States will be a “slow and gradual roll-out,” but “it has begun.”
“Today you go into Las Vegas and you can get an autonomous Lyft with a safety driver that will take you from hotel to hotel,” Kapoor said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “You will see the roll-out begin as of 2018.”
Parker said it is getting harder for elderly people — especially those with significant others who may be around the same age — to get to medical appointments or hospitals. “It’s much easier to put him in a ride-share and for [his wife] to assist him,” he said.
As the population ages and the demand for healthcare rises, the future of medical transportation is in ride-sharing services, experts say. Such arrangements will be a topic of conversation at Bisnow’s National Healthcare West event June 7 at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles. Though there is a huge demand to develop medical facilities around public transportation stops, not enough healthcare providers are doing it yet, Parker said.
And living in car-centric Los Angeles, Parker said people still prefer using cars rather than public transportation, especially for a medical appointment or a minor procedure. “There’s an Orange [bus] line here that takes people all over the Valley but we’re not seeing any medical facilities being built around that line,” he said. “We haven’t seen that kind of development.” Missed appointments cost the healthcare industry $150B each year, according to several healthcare reports. The reasons for the no-shows vary — mostly from the patient side, such as forgotten appointments due to too much time between visits, a distrust of seeing a doctor, cost and other reasons.
But one of the single biggest reasons is lack of transportation.