Could You Be Driving Your Last Car?
Bob Lutz has worked for automotive giants like Ford, GM, Chrysler and BMW, so his credentials far exceed those of the average car enthusiast. The "semi-retired" Lutz is currently working with Henrik Fisker at VLF Automotive on the development of America's next upper-end supercar that will compete in the quarter million dollar and up price range. As one of the industry's legendary executives, his comments in a recent Business Insider article created quite a buzz.
Most car geeks were surprised when a person who spent his lifetime at the top of the automotive industry suggested that the end of the automobile could arrive in 20 years. As a straight talking car guy, Lutz compared the acceleration toward change to that experienced in the early 1900s when travel rapidly transition from the "horse and buggy" days to dirt roads crowded with Model T cars. So, what's does Lutz vision the traditional automobile to be replaced by? Well, podmobile fleets of autonomous vehicles that humans will never be allowed to drive.
Lutz feels the driving force behind such change may be mandated and implemented in the name of safety. After all, small efficient vehicles owned by gigantic podmobile fleets like Uber, Lyft, FedEX, UPS or the U.S. Postal Service would take deadly human drivers out of the picture. So, unless you are wealthy and can rent track time at a private raceway, Lutz feels your chances of being behind the wheel a real motorcar may be slim to none. Also fueling the "Autonomous Revolution" to happen so quickly is the millennial's preference of having someone else drive.
When the automotive industry began, very few carriage makers made a successful transition to manufacturing automobiles. However, many of the carriage part manufacturers did. So, you have to ask yourself, will you be riding to work in an E3 Spark Pod in 2037. Who knows?