With discussions going on in lots of different threads online, you can start to wonder if car sharing is going to be more popular than owning a car in the near future. Also, what would be the consequences for the parking business?
Instead of buying an expensive car when you rarely use it, sharing a car is a great and green option to get from A to B. You can just 'rent' a car by the hour, never think about gas or insurance again and choose day to day what size car you need. For instance, one of the first companies that offer these options as a membership, Zipcar, started doing so in the late 90's. As gas and car prices go up worldwide lately, sharing a car might get more and more popular over buying one.
In the end, if sharing gets more popular, combined with carpooling, wouldn't we need less parking spots? Or are we looking at more custom parking spots for these car-sharing programs?
If we look at Uber, an app designed to connect people to share rides, combined with the self-driving cars from Google (Google invested $285M in Uber in 2013), we can think of a whole different way of going somewhere with less and lesser use for parking spots.
Luckily, history already has proven that sharing or renting a car never became more popular over owning a car and apps like Uber will slowly but surely edge out taxi companies as they are today, but car ownership will most likely stay most common.
While it's impossible to foresee the future, but interesting to brainstorm over it, please feel free to comment on this article with your take on the above.