App-rehensive future for cars?

September 1, 2017
Lucy Walkind

How many apps do you have on your phone? How many of them are for entertainment and how many are there to make your life a bit easier, be it for online shopping or helping you get from A to B? These days we live in a world where we can turn to our smartphones to assist us in our day to day lives. Even the way that we travel has gone through significant change. Did you know that nowadays 38% of people only use their car to get from A to B, and 37% would gladly do without a car if they could. This is in part because we no longer need to rely on our cars to get to work or do our chores, especially for people living in big cities; we can depend on the apps on our smartphones to do that for us.

Take London for example; for people living in the capital it often doesn’t make sense for them to buy a car which may end up unused and parked on a drive depreciating (if you’re lucky enough to have your own drive in London that is). It can be more convenient and cost efficient to order an Uber or use a shared vehicle scheme such as BMW’s DriveNow service or a short-term rental, and pay for transportation only when they need it.

Not only are digital transportation services like Uber affecting car ownership, the rise in apps that bring products and services to our doors are also showing cracks in the cars monopoly. Apps such as Deliveroo, HungryHouse and JustEat can all bring food to us in a matter of minutes and online retailers such as Amazon allows us to shop for whatever we want from the comfort of our living room. All of these services essentially reduce the need for us to get in our cars and drive to the supermarket, restaurant or shop.

Despite owning a car, I know that I would much rather build my shopping list on my phone throughout the week, hit send when I’m ready and have it all delivered to me the next day without me even going near my car or the supermarket.

The little concierge in our pocket, that allows us to order what we want at the press of the button is driving potentially one of the most important evolutions in transport in the past hundred years. As long as we have our smartphones on us, we can pretty much get what we want when we want it and get where we need to go in minutes.

Although car ownership is not what is used to be, I believe that it still has a strong foothold with consumers. I mean, who doesn’t love being able to jump in your car and go on a road-trip, or even a country drive on a Sunday? I know I do, that’s why my little Vauxhall Corsa is staying with me… for now.


1 Comment. Leave new

Thought provoking Lucy and I’m sure your Corsa appreciates the bond you have with it. I too love nothing more than packing up my Citroen car until I can’t see out my back window, taking everything with me (except the kitchen sink), you know … prepared for every eventuality “just in case” and heading off with all my in car comforts to a new adventure. An app can’t do that for me, can it?


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