Uber, Lyft would gain urban power under new, self-driving plan

Uber, Lyft would gain urban power under new,
 self-driving plan

Companies like Uber and Lyft could stand to dominate the market Thursday.
Companies like Uber and Lyft could stand to dominate the market Thursday.
Photo: Uber, TNS

Uber, Lyft would gain urban car power under new, self-driving plan

Transportation and tech companies would get a much bigger piece of mobility principles “signed Thursday by 15 firms.

Uber, Lyft and LimeBike are among the companies that agree to the 10-part “Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities,” which aims to “prioritize people over vehicles, lower emissions, promote equity and encourage data sharing, among other goals.”

But the 10th and final item on the document, in conjunction with the rest of the principles, would set up a scenario in which these companies could operate.

“We bear in mind that these vehicles should be operated only in shared fleets,” the principle reads.

Shared fleets would benefit the public with more affordable access and would “maximize public safety,” among other things, the document goes on.

It would also be useful if they were not able to run their cars, but they would also be more likely to drive them. Adding autonomous features.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Robin Chase, a co-founder of Zipcar, has been working with a group of city and transportation organizations in the United States. Sharon Feigon, the center’s executive director.

“In our view, shared mobility is public transit at heart and we value that over the single-occupancy vehicle,” Feigon said. “These principles are about what we are talking about.

Among the center’s backers, only Zipcar is also a signatory to the newly announced principles.

Feigon did not see the principle of the subject. Instead, they would like to look forward to doing business in the future.

Uber did not just respond to the question of how would it be that Uber would play out. Instead, spokesman Nathan Hambley cited published research.

“Research by the (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) shows that 97 per cent of the population is mobile,” Hambley said by email. “We think new technology is a huge part of making reality.”

As for the possible benefits for Uber, Hambley said cities would be more likely to have such a scenario, and “that’s a vision we are excited to help build.”

Lyft did not respond to a request for comment.

The principles for cities with transit in mind and people at the center. Single-occupancy vehicles and large tracts of parking would be limited, while combinations of public transit, bicycle and pedestrian, and shared options, would be dominated the transportation landscape.

Principles that focus on fairness and equity, meaning that they could access all the transit options, make up shares of the document, record on sharing information).

“Our goal is to align cities, the private sector and civil society around a shared vision to ensure we harness the good and avoid the bad of new business models and technologies,” Chase said in a news release about the principles.

The bad could be much worse than many people might anticipate, according to Feigon.

Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has called for more than one person on the road.

In an interview at TED last year, Musk said that it would be easier to make traffic jams.

Feigon echoed that feeling.

“There’s another scenario, kind of the doomsday scenario, where they’re single-occupying or not even that, and they’re sort of circling around waiting for their owners,” she said. “And you’re driving congestion and even harming land use.”

Daniel DeMay covers Seattle culture, city hall, and transportation for seattlepi.com. He can be reached at 206-448-8362 gold danieldemay@seattlepi.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Daniel_DeMay.

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