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Automakers Brace For An Increasingly Car-Free America

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Waiting for train, car-free

More and more Americans, and especially the younger crowd, are coming to the same conclusion: Cars aren’t all that necessary anymore.

That thought is a nightmare for automakers, but instead of covering their eyes and pretending it’s not happening, many are starting to plan for the future. Automakers are focusing more energy on the first mile/last mile challenge, an industry term for figuring out how people cover short distances, such as from home to a mass transit station, the New York Times reports.

For most carmakers, the answer involves self-driving vehicles. General Motors is partnering with Lyft to begin testing self-driving cars to shuttle people short distances around Detroit, Uber already has driverless cars on the road, and Ford hopes to churn out self-driving cars by 2021 to sell to ride-hailing services in big cities. [NYT]