A few weeks in the past I despatched an electronic mail to John Gibbs, host of a brand new favourite YouTube program Dr. Know-It-All, commenting on a YouTube video that he posted. He had some ideas about robo-taxis changing into the long run predominant approach for many people to get round. You’ll be able to learn my feedback within the article The Tesla Robo-Taxi Paradox.

John was type sufficient to reply to my electronic mail. Under is what he needed to say.


Nice factors right here. The primary factor I would say is that I believe most calculations (that present automotive possession prices $.71/mile) assumes you purchase a brand new automotive, moderately than used. Now i’m not saying in any respect right here that the used market will not proceed to thrive for an extended time–and in reality ICE automobiles will probably be round for a very long time by way of the used market. What I believe goes to get smashed is the brand new automotive market.

For instance I’ve these decisions:

purchase a brand new automotive and it prices me about 71 cents/mile over its lifetime (say 7 years)

“lease” robotaxis for round 25 cents/ mile for 7 years

purchase an older automotive for someplace round 30-40 cents/mile

I do not see myself shopping for a brand new automotive, given these economics, however I may actually see myself shopping for a used automotive. Maybe a beater automotive to make use of for hauling issues. Or my main work automotive that I hold a ton of junk in (so it is inconvenient to take away every day), or on and on.

There will probably be many edge circumstances, and if the price comparability is shut, I may see folks wanting to carry onto their private automobiles. What I can not see is most individuals volunteering to pay over double the price of ride-hailing to personal a automotive. Some will, after all, however most individuals will go together with the cheaper choice.

I agree that this places a complete lot of clout within the arms of only a few firms, moderately than us shoppers, and which may not be a great factor, however we shoppers do dumb issues day-after-day to save lots of a buck. 🙂

Anyway, you do have legitimate counterpoints right here. We have to set a calendar reminder to test again with one another in 5 years and see the way it’s going then!


John’s level – “What I can not see is most individuals volunteering to pay over double” – is a legitimate and fascinating notion. It’s an underlying tenet of his unique video. It’s a excellent level. One which deserves consideration.

If confronted with the choices, how many individuals will proceed to pay greater than DOUBLE the prices of buying a model new automobile (when together with insurance coverage, upkeep, and many others.) versus simply utilizing a ubiquitous driverless ride-hailing service? If John is right, and it involves move that mass numbers of individuals cease shopping for model new automobiles, then it is just a matter of time earlier than the secondary used automotive market will probably be decimated. Cheap automobiles will merely be unavailable. That might have some far-reaching implications.

I’m not so positive that will probably be such a great factor.

The difficulty is, I’m not sure if there may be or will probably be something that any of us can do about it. The perfect we will hope for is that innovation and competitors will give us decisions we will stay with. Selections that don’t urge us, nearly compel us, to surrender our rights of property. Selections that don’t enrich simply the few. Let’s not less than hope for that.

What do you assume? Will driverless ride-hailing take over many of the miles pushed? Would you continue to wish to personal a automobile even when the annual value was double that of utilizing robo-taxi providers?