Self-driving cars could slash Uber, Lyft prices by 50%, says BP

Uber and Lyft are already giving cabdrivers a serious headache, but the competition could get even worse in coming years as self-driving cars start roaming the roads.

Fully autonomous cars are likely to hit the UK streets in the early 2020s and that will have a major, positive impact on ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, according to BP’s BP's chief economist Spencer Dale.

The energy expert — and former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee — explained that self-driving cars initially will be too expensive for normal people to buy and instead will be snapped up by commercial companies.

“The vast majority of these will be purchased by commercial fleets offering mobility services, so think Uber or Lyft.

The potential here, if you suddenly get an Uber or Lyft without paying for a driver, is that it leads to a significant fall in the cost.

We estimate that could reduce the cost of that type of service by around 40% or 50%,” Dale said, while speaking at the International Petroleum Week conference in London last week

“So as a result of this, what we expect to see in the 2030s is a huge surge in the amount of kilometers traveled by fully autonomous mobility-service cars he says.