A new study by researchers from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) aims to determine if Uber and Lyft help reduce fossil fuel emissions.
“Some hypothesize that on-demand rides encourage people to leave their own cars at home or even get rid of them altogether,” Amanda Eaken, the NRDC’s deputy director of urban solutions in San Francisco, wrote on the organizations’ blog.
“Still, others wonder if these companies are competing with public transit, substituting for walking and biking trips, or perhaps adding more cars to the road. The truth is, no one knows the answers to these questions … yet.”
Uber recently teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to developed advanced driverless car technology.
Some experts believe that self-driving vehicles could greatly reduce fossil fuel use by lessening the time people spend driving and looking for parking.
Results from this new study are expected to be published by next fall.