In recent years, a clear shift from traditional vehicle ownership to usership has emerged. Individual vehicle ownership is still generally the preferred option, however, an increasing number of people opt for long-term vehicle rental (a form of leasing) or avoid car ownership altogether by using pay-as-you-go
schemes, for example, Zipcar or on-demand mobility services such as Uber. The trend is most visible in the younger generation using smartphone technologies and living in large cities where car sharing, carpooling and eHailing is easily available.
According to CarPlus, there was a 765% increase in car club membership acorss the UK between 2007 and 2017. Car clubs also seem to encourage the reduction of private car ownership. In 2016/17, each car club resulted in members selling or disposing of 10.5 private cars; with 26,400 of them in London alone (2017 CarPlus survey). Car club members are also two to three times more likely (depending on their membership type) to use a wide range of public transport, walk and/or cycle.
However, individual car access is still highly valued for its flexibility and convenience and car sharing needs to provide the same level of service to become the dominant mobility method (besides public transport) in the future.
Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs)
CAV technologies are fundamentally changing the driving experience and revolutionising vehicles. The overall economic benefits of CAVs to the UK are expected to be in the region of £51 billion per year by 2030, of which £16 billion accrue to adjacent industries such as telecoms, technology, digital services and freight.
CAVs are also expected to reduce congestion, contribute to cleaner mobility and increased productivity, create new jobs, reduce traffic accidents and help to solve mobility restrictions for infirmed, minors and older people. The promise of these benefits will come to fruition when the vehicles in the future will be able to perform at higher levels of autonomy.
Latest data from SMMT and JATO Dynamics shows that some 66.8% of new cars are offered with at least one self-activating safety system, either as standard or as an optional extra. Nearly 1.8 million new vehicles a year are now available with collision warning systems alone, up 20% in comparison with 2015 (Table 3). This is just one of a raft of technologies now in showrooms, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), parking assistance, adaptive cruise control and overtaking (or blind spot) sensors.