Lyft’s Crystal Ball Says Goodbye Car Ownership

Who can predict the future? Ridesharing company Lyft says it can.

Lyft looked into its crystal ball and reported that private car ownership in the U.S. will “all but end” by 2025.

John Zimmer, cofounder and president of Lyft, made that surmising announcement on Sunday (Sept. 18). He outlined how his company sees the future of transportation, specifically what it will look like just nine years from today. Zimmer said the prediction is that consumers will steer away from needing to own a car because of self-driving cars, and consumers will depend on ridesharing — namely, Lyft, which will provide human drivers.

Lyft competes with Uber, as well as taxi app Curb, Kabbee, Hailo, Flywheel, Ola, Grab and others. Think the ridesharing market is getting full? You might be right. Shuddle, a competitor focused on after-school transportation, recently shuttered its doors.

But what about the automobile as part of the “American Dream?” Zimmer said that dream is changing.

“As a country, we’ve long celebrated cars as symbols of freedom and identity,” Zimmer blogged. “But for many people  — especially millennials  —  this doesn’t ring true.” Part of that reason is that owning a car starts at about $9,000, which can be more than what the future consumer truly wants to spend.

About those self-driving cars, GM forked over half a billion dollars to Lyft in regards to the self-driving car future. And Uber has recently teamed up with Volvo to roll out options in Pittsburgh.

Zimmer is countering Tesla Founder Elon Musk’s prediction on self-driving electric cars. While Musk said individual consumers will own self-driving electric cars and lease them out to others, Zimmer argued that Lyft will be the premier company to own and operate self-driving cars.


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