Lyft’s Foxx speaks of autonomous vehicle revolution

Anthony Foxx, former DOT secretary and current chief policy officer of Lyft, spoke about the counter-trend to personally owned vehicles: Ride-share companies and autonomous vehicles (AVs).

“We’re at a turning point,” Foxx told reporters at the 2019 Washington Auto Show Media Day lunch on April 4. Technology and the demographic shift to more urban neighborhoods are outpacing current infrastructure in the U.S, he said.

Foxx laid out a series of facts that would suggest a shift to more use of ride-share vehicles, especially AVs. Personal vehicles sit idle 95 percent of the time, he said. Nearly 40,000 Americans die in auto accidents every year, with 74 percent of those attributed to human error. Moreover, he said, the time spent sitting in traffic wastes $160 billion in lost U.S. productivity every year.

Forty percent of Lyft rides are shared, and the company wants to increase that to 50 percent by 2020. Longer term, Foxx envisions a network of shared electric AVs. Widespread use of AVs is expected to result in up to 80 percent fewer accidents, and AVs will be a big part of Lyft’s future.

“The transition to AVs will not occur through individually owned cars,” he said.

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