Cars will go the way of DVDs in a decade and more predictions for the future of transport according to Lyft founder John Zimmer

Lynsey Barber
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Lyft wants to make transport a subscription service (Source: Getty)

A transport revolution is coming thanks to technology - that's according to the founder of ride sharing startup Lyft, a rival to Uber, John Zimmer.

In an ambitious manifesto, the entrepreneur has predicted the third transport revolution will arrive with the development of driverless cars, one of the hottest, most talked about and potentially disruptive developments in tech in a generation.

No wonder car manufacturers are worried.

First we had rail, then we had mass produced cars (thanks Ford), but now the driverless car will bring huge disruption again. Here's what Zimmer predicts.

1. Driverless cars will be here within five years

After a partnership with General Motors was formed last year, Lyft expects the majority of its fleet to be autonomous very soon. It's already testing them out in San Francisco and Phoenix and will no doubt be hoping to compete with Uber, which has its first fully autonomous vehicle on the roads in Pittsburgh.

2. Cars will go the way of DVDs

While many city folk might be more adept at living without a car thanks to public transport provisions, Zimmer believes they will soon find it so much cheaper and simpler to not own a car than to own one... thanks to its fleet of self-driving vehicles, of course.

Within a decade "owning a car will go the way of the DVD", Zimmer predicts.

3. Cities will be transformed

As Zimmer notes along with researchers before him, the urban environment is almost entirely tailored to cars.

"It becomes obvious, we’ve built our communities entirely around cars. And for the most part, we’ve built them for cars that aren’t even moving," he said. "How much space parked cars take up lining both sides of the street, and how much of our cities go unused covered by parking lots?"

More than 6,000 square miles of the US are taken up by parking space, he points out.

Of course, take away these cars and replace them with a network of autonomous vehicles and you no longer need parking, leaving cities free to build more important things such as homes or parks.

4. We will subscribe to transport

Technology is creating more transport networks and eventually, that means that we'll subscribe to it in the same we do music via Spotify, Zimmer believes.

"This service will be more flexible than owning a car, giving you access to all the transportation you need. Don’t drive very often? Use a pay-as-you-go plan for a few cents every mile you ride. Take a road trip every weekend? Buy the unlimited mileage plan. Going out every Saturday? Get the premium package with upgraded vehicles," he said.

"The point is, you won’t be stuck with one car and limited options. Through a fleet of autonomous cars, you’ll have better transportation choices than ever before with a plan that works for you."