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The Guy From Lyft Is Coming for Your Car

Lyft cofounder John Zimmer predicts that the private automobile will be dead by 2025 (thanks to Lyft). But he’ll have his work cut out for him.
A human-driven Lyft vehicle in 2014.
A human-driven Lyft vehicle in 2014.Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Quick! Bookmark this page and set a calendar alert for January 1, 2025. Because Lyft cofounder and president John Zimmer is calling it: 2025 is when private car automobile ownership will “all but end” in major American cities.

The prospect of Automotive Judgment Day has been much discussed ever since Google proved that fully autonomous motoring was an achievable goal. Once cars don’t need drivers, it quickly follows that they won’t need owners, either. The rise of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft further primed the car-removal machine, acclimating a small-but-growing segment of the population to the idea of relying on other people’s vehicles to get around.