Unsettled Impacts of Integrating Automated Electric Vehicles into a Mobility-as-a-Service Ecosystem and Effects on Traditional Transportation and Ownership
The current business model of the automotive industry is based on individual car ownership, yet new ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are well capitalized to invest in large, commercially operated, on-demand mobility service vehicle fleets. Car manufacturers like Tesla want to incorporate personal car owners into part-time fleet operation by utilizing the company’s fleet service. These robotaxi fleets can be operated profitably when the technology works in a reliable manner and regulators allow driverless operation. Although Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) models of private and commercial vehicle fleets can complement public transportation models, they may contribute to lower public transportation ridership and thus higher subsidies per ride. This can lead to inefficiencies in the utilization of existing public transportation infrastructure.