Ride-sharing could make AVs more sustainable, but pandemic raises questions

COVID-19 puts the future of ride-sharing more in doubt than other MaaS services, but for would-be robotaxi developers, it’s an important consideration. By Xavier Boucherat

There was a time when Uber and Lyft claimed that their services were helping to reduce congestion by taking private vehicles off the road. Subsequent studies have shown that ride-hailing, and the gig economy it drives, has had the opposite effect. Both companies admitted as such in 2019 when they commissioned a study which confirmed services accounted for a significant proportion of total vehicle miles travelled (VMT) in big cities. In San Francisco, for example, Uber and Lyft account for 13.4% of VMT. On average, a third of these miles are ‘empty’, with no passenger in the vehicle as a driver searches for a fare….

Close
Close