From Washington Examiner:

Uber and Lyft look to stifle innovation

Ian Adams for the R Street Institute: It’s frustrating to see a collection of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the world — including Didi Chuxing, Lyft, Ola Cabs, Uber Technologies, Via Transportation, and Zipcar — come together to support “shared mobility principles for livable cities” that would foreclose all sorts of opportunities for economic and technological progress.

Some of the 10 principles — which look to lay down literal rules of the road for autonomous vehicles and other emerging transportation technologies while upholding goals like lower emissions and greater data-sharing — are totally unobjectionable…

In particular, it’s No. 10 on the list that is especially problematic. It proposes that autonomous vehicles in urban areas “should be operated only in shared fleets.” Among the sundry benefits the principles document proposes would flow from a shared fleet model are: “Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals, and actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking, and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas.”

All of those things may prove true, and fleet ownership may be the model that makes the most economic sense for many urban consumers. But the only way to test whether any of it is true is through the free choices of consumers and manufacturers, not command-and-control centralized planning. Prescribing a one-size fits all ownership model to fit everyone’s varied lifestyles and consumer preferences is the antithesis of the American way.

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