Miles Driven on U.S. Roads Will Increase by 35% by 2050, KPMG Reports
December 15, 2015
Within about 35 years, motorists on U.S. roads will be driving about one trillion more miles than they are driving today, according to a recent report from KPMG (an international auditing corporation). In fact, while motorists will have driven about 2 trillion miles on U.S. roads by the end of 2015, by the end of 2050, researchers expect that this total will climb to 3 trillion miles.
Although this prediction alone may be astounding, it is far more significant in light of the fact that vehicle ownership in the U.S. is predicted to sharply decline over the next three to four decades due to:
- The rise of ride sharing services, like Uber and Lyft
- The fact that younger, urban-based millennials do not value vehicle ownership as much as previous generations
- The development and introduction of self-driving vehicles, which could come to market in as soon as 5 to 10 years.
Commenting on these findings, Gary Silberg, automotive leader for KPMG, has stated:
Those increases would have a profound but unknown impact on vehicle sales, car ownership models, energy demand, and infrastructure…To be quite frank, I’m not sure people understand the enormity of the change, nor are we ready for it.
A Closer Look at the Findings – and Their Potential Impacts
Interestingly, KPMG’s study found that, although miles driven will sharply increase by 2050, not all motorists will be driving more in 30 to 40 years. In fact, researchers predicted that:
- Younger and older individuals (rather than middle-age individuals) will be primarily responsible for the surge in miles driven.
- For these two demographics, the increase in miles driven will not be due to the fact that these individuals are actually behind the wheel more often. Instead, it will likely be due to the growing reliance on ride sharing services and, when available, self-driving vehicles.
And these findings will likely open up an opportunity for automakers to focus on innovative solutions for adapting to these predicted changes and potentially create a new driving experience for consumers.
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