When it comes to discussions of moving people around, self-driving cars, ride-hailing services and bike-sharing companies are grabbing all the headlines. These industries and associated technologies certainly are interesting: for a long time we’ve dreamed about kicking back and letting our cars drive us to our destination and park themselves; we love our phones and the convenience of apps that bring a car to our doorstep with a few taps; and the increased global interest in bike riding, dedicated bike lanes and dockless bike sharing has gotten a lot of attention in the media. However, all this coverage is disproportionate to the percentage of riders using these services compared to those still doing things the old-fashioned way: driving themselves.
People Still Drive Their Own Car
In 2017, there were 267 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States, a number which dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, the number of people using driverless vehicles, ride-hailing services, carpooling, walking and other forms of transportation. For example, according to a UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies October 2017 report, there are 2 million users of ridehailing services, which is a meager 0.75% of the number of registered vehicles. Further, according to a 2016 report from US News and World Report, other modes of transportation to work are mere blips compared to driving yourself:
5% of workers commute in buses and trains
2.7% walk to work
0.6% ride a bike
The Problems with (Not) Parking
All these cars on the road must eventually get to their destination and park. Unless they have their own spot (e.g., driveway, paid stall, designated parking lot, etc.), drivers must use public or dedicated private parking. As any motorist in almost any metropolitan area will tell you, this is no easy task…