Excerpts from Lyft co-founder John Zimmer’s essay on Medium
Technology has redefined entire industries around a simple reality: you no longer need to own a product to enjoy its benefits. With Netflix and streaming services, DVD ownership became obsolete. Spotify has made it unnecessary to own CDs and MP3s. Eventually, we’ll look at owning a car in much the same way.
A full shift to “Transportation as a Service” is finally possible, because for the first time in human history, we have the tools to create a perfectly efficient transportation network. We saw this potential in 2012 when Lyft became the first company to establish peer-to-peer, on-demand ridesharing, which is now what the world knows simply as ridesharing. What began as a way to unlock unused cars, create economic opportunities and reduce the cost of transportation, has today become the way millions of Americans get around.
Ridesharing is just the first phase of the movement to end car ownership and reclaim our cities. As I mentioned before, the shift to autonomous cars will expand dramatically over the next ten years, transforming transportation into the ultimate subscription service.
This service will be more flexible than owning a car, giving you access to all the transportation you need. Don’t drive very often? Use a pay-as-you-go plan for a few cents every mile you ride. Take a road trip every weekend? Buy the unlimited mileage plan. Going out every Saturday? Get the premium package with upgraded vehicles. The point is, you won’t be stuck with one car and limited options. Through a fleet of autonomous cars, you’ll have better transportation choices than ever before with a plan that works for you.
Using the Lyft network will also save you money. Here’s why: We don’t often think about it, but owning a car and making monthly payments also means paying retail prices for every aspect of getting where you need to go — fuel, maintenance, parking, and insurance. In a future subscription model, the network will cover all of these costs across a large network of cars, passing the savings onto you. We cut the hassle and you get the one thing you really want: the true freedom to ride.
Read the full article at: medium.com
And read Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo’s recent piece in Venture Beat on Uber’s foray into the subscription economy – Uber’s $2.4 Billion Strategy: And It’s Not Self-Driving Cars