Driver-less cars are disrupting the automotive industry and supply chain, propelling car sharing forward as the ultimate, mainstream transportation mode. This new car sharing economy is already well in motion, and with it continuing to ramp up, ABI Research forecasts that 400 million people will rely on robotic car sharing by 2030.


“The new car sharing economy happens in three phases: street rental service, ride sharing service, and robotic service,” says Dominique Bonte, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research. “The automotive industry is in the process of merging phases one and two, with robotic service to become the ultimate form of transportation for its availability, convenience, and affordability.”

Zipcar, the world’s largest car sharing and car club service, is a prime example of street rental service. Interested users go to a pre-determined parking spot to unlock a shared car, ride it to their destination, and then return it for the next user. Uber is a primary example of the ride sharing service, through which companies hire private drivers to drive their own vehicles to transport customers. The innovative robotic service will mark the beginning of the driverless car era, in which cars can drive themselves to pick up customers.

“Car sharing is successful because the increased efficiency through higher vehicle utilization rates drives down costs, which results in more affordable transportation,” continues Bonte. “Why go through the expense of purchasing a car, and then regular insurance and maintenance fees, when we can all embrace the new car sharing economy?”

The new car sharing economy is a classic example of crowd-sourcing, and as such is driving many GenY supporters. The principal benefits extend beyond the collaboration aspect, though, and include the ability to tap into and monetize personally owned assets and real-time matching of supply and demand. While matching supply and demand was previously much harder, the new car sharing model is able to increase car capacity, when required, through dynamically optimizing pricing. For instance, Uber’s surge pricing system significantly increases rates during peak times to increase driver incentive and ultimately place more cars on the road to improve availability. Once Uber achieves its goal, it lowers the rates back down to their standard level.

In all, successive generations of car sharing will progressively impact and disrupt markets and verticals, such as private transportation, public transportation, and ultimately the entire automotive industry. “Once the new car sharing economy reaches its final frontier, robotic car services will transform the industry, resulting in decreased car ownership, blurred lines between public and private transportation, enhanced social mobility, new infotainment paradigms, and an overall consolidation of the automotive industry,” concludes Bonte.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Automotive Safety and Autonomous Driving Service ( and Smart Transportation Service (, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.