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Former Tesla and BMW exec says self-driving cars will start to kill car ownership in just 5 years

Former Tesla and BMW exec says self-driving cars will start to kill car ownership in just 5 years
Issue Time:2019-06-24
Former Tesla and BMW exec says self-driving cars will start to kill car ownership in just 5 years
The idea that car ownership is bound to die is not a new one.

The theory goes that as more people move into crowded cities, fewer will see owning a car as a necessity. Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have given some traction to that idea, as millennials increasingly prefer to whip out an app when they need a ride rather that commit to the expenses associated with owning a car.

There's already evidence of that trend. For example, a University of Michigan study published in January found the percentage of young people with a driver's license to be in decline.

The adoption of autonomous tech adds another layer to the "death of car ownership" theory. A network of on-demand, self-driving cars will drive the cost of ride-hailing services even lower, meaning owning a car will become even less alluring with time.

Where the theory gets sticky is when we talk about when this will happen and to what extent.

Georg Bauer has been in the auto industry for over 30 years. He has held executive positions at Daimler, BMW, and, most recently, at Tesla. Bauer left Tesla recently to launch a new car-financing startup, Fair.

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