Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Glenn asks: If you don’t own the vehicle, you do not maintain the vehicle. What will be the impact on the after market economy – i.e., AutoZone, tire retailers, muffler shops, car dealerships? Will they stop putting garages in new homes? Will people run out and buy motorcycles? One positive note may be that senior citizens (those that no longer are able to drive) will get some freedom.
My reply: Individual owner service (DIY oil changes and so on) will indeed wane in an world of automated cars. And as DIY service wanes, so also many of the stores and services that cater to the individual car owner/DIY mechanic. Some will survive – just as there are still a few bricks and mortar bookstores in existence.
But not many.
Automated cars would be serviced much in the same manner as rental cars are now – either by outside contractors or by the fleet owners, who would buy the necessary parts from wholesalers rather than retailers.
The maintenance costs – which will be higher, inevitably, because automated/ride-sharing vehicles would be in use almost continuously – will necessarily be folded into the costs of the ride-sharing, along with insurance costs. The idea that ride-sharing will reduce the cost of getting around is as dishonest as the assertion that the TSA makes travel “safer.”
Yes, I expect there will be fewer garages. Because there will be fewer single family homes. The general diminishment in affluence (a measure of which is both car and single family home ownership) is part and parcel of The Agenda. Which is to proletarianize the population.
Motorcycles will be part of the mopping-up operation. They exist only by custom and precedent but a time will come when they are characterized as unsaaaaaaaaaafe and outlawed. Probably not directly, but by regulatory strangulation.
Exactly as is happening today to cars.
. . .
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