Autonomous vehicles ultimately could fix traffic congestion in cities. But what if they could fix actual cities while they’re at it?
John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft, joined “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on Monday to talk about the flaws in the designs of our cities, and how ride-sharing services and autonomous vehicles could change the ways we work, travel and interact. Although Zimmer, like many experts, suggests the world is at least a few years away from seeing fully autonomous vehicles populating the streets, he said Lyft is looking further down the road.
“Why are we doing this? The big reason why, is that it’s a shame that our cities are designed around cars,” Zimmer told Noah. “We started thinking: ‘How could we design our cities around people instead of cars?’ And you start down a path of making transportation more and more affordable for someone, instead of owning a car. Autonomous vehicles are one of the ways we can get there.”
Ride-sharing services create lots of jobs, but the prospect of self-driving vehicles would seem to threaten those jobs. While autonomous vehicles are an important part of Lyft’s long-term plan, Zimmer said the company is thinking about ways to utilize them without eliminating jobs.
“There’s a possibility that you could create a service that creates more jobs,” Zimmer said. “They may not be driving vehicles 10, 20 years from now, but I don’t think the car is going to look like a car anymore, I think it’s going to be like a room on wheels — and then you might have services in those rooms.”
If one of those services is a McDonald’s, you can count us in.
Thumbnail photo via Flickr/JD Lasica