P2P sharing swells, but will drivers ever rent their cars as robotaxis?

Many drivers already rent their cars out when not in use, but personal robotaxis seem far off at this stage. By Freddie Holmes

The average private vehicle sits idle for most of its useful life. Considering the price tag of any car new or old, they are chronically underutilised assets. Peer-to-peer (P2P) car-sharing has become increasingly popular as a result. In future, some believe that autonomous driving technology will allow owners to turn private cars into part-time robotaxis.

Special report: Car-sharing

Various companies have entered the market in recent years with platforms where cars can be offered to those in need of a short-term ride. Companies such as Avail, hiyacar and Getaround are all continuing to grow. In Europe, Turo estimates that private cars sit unused for as much as 95% of the time and says its service is around 25% cheaper than a traditional car rental service. The business model is inherently asset light and on the face of it, fairly low risk for all involved. P2P platforms do not procure and maintain their own fleets for consumers to use; they simply connect existing car owners with travellers in need of a quick fix.

In effect, it has allowed members of the public to set up their own car rental companies. There are

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