It’s not the first time, but maybe the most dramatic telling Bob Lutz has undertaken to dish out the future he believes in—one where the car as we know it is dead and gone.
Lutz penned the piece with Automotive News where he describes the budding self-driving car industry as the beginning of the end. Bluntly, he believes in 20 years cars will be banned from public roads and self-driving modules will pick up riders, merge onto freeways and drop riders off at their desired location. The ride is billed to a credit card, and the personal vehicle model is forgotten.
The former auto executive of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors goes on to say the dealership model will die, performance won’t be a marketable facet and private race tracks will become a destination for “elites” who want to drive their cars still. His vision effectively flips the industry upside down and pegs automakers as “handset” makers—building the core of the module for transportation companies. The transportation company, like Uber or Lyft, will describe the module it needs and automakers will bid for the contract to build it.
It’s a bold prediction, and we’re not naive enough to say things are changing rapidly, but it seems highly unlikely small town, USA, will follow directly in urban America’s footsteps.