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Autonomous Car Pricing Will Turn Your Town Into A Science Experiment | Hackernoon

In a future driven by shared autonomous vehicles, transportation becomes a utility. The name of the game is efficiency — you pay for what you use, and how you use it. No car ownership, no car insurance, no maintenance, no gas, no driveways or garages… you pay for a ride from A to B, and when you get out, you’ve washed your hands of the investment.

But all those things have a cost, so it must mean someone else is coughing up the dough, right? In the case of present-day rideshare services (known as Transportation Network Companies, or TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, the fixed costs of fuel and car maintenance and driver fees are baked into your fare without calling out the fees specifically. There are base fares, booking fees, per minute and per mile rates. With the exception of Surge pricing, TNCs throttle their pricing models in a rather opaque manner.

It’s assumed you like it that way. Knowing what portion of your fare goes into the driver’s pocket or towards fuel expenses is unnecessary info, and part of the convenience with on-demand transportation is the fact that it’s some other schmuck’s job to figure all that out.
Fair enough. But imagine an entire transit grid running through on-demand, shared resources. Then imagine that the entities managing it may include federal and local governments, car makers, telco and media conglomerates, Google, Amazon, etc. A mere tweak of your fare could be covering the tax for a new bridge, or rewarding you for buying a product during the trip, or contributing to donations for the ACLU. Such are ideas we usually draft up as legislature, enforce through police, or educate the public on; you’d want to have an idea of where your money goes in those instances, correct?

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Autonomous Car Pricing Will Turn Your Town Into A Science Experiment.