The historical model for the automobile may be changing, according to reporting in "Wheels" in the New York Times (Dec. 23) by Neal E. Boudette. The old model: you need a car to get anywhere. Today, there are alternatives, including ride-hailing services such as Uber and even self-driving cars; and public transit is experiencing a renaissance.  But for many people, you still need to get that "first mile" to the local train station or bus stop. How to get there?  For years, automakers didn't concern themselves with that part of the journey: how to get people to transit was regarded as a problem for the transit agency to solve.  But as the market changes, and many younger Americans aren't focused on owning two cars, or even one car, as a life goal. Self-driving cars may be one solution, and General Motors is ready to test a fleet of such vehicles with Uber competitor Lyft. Ford is also exploring the market. How will this affect the long-term profitability of the car makers?  They are betting that sales to fleets, such as Uber or Lyft, will offset losses in the individual-owner market. Consulting firm PwC forecasts that, by 2030, only 29% of automotive profits will come from new-car sales; 20% will come from the new "mobility services" sector, which includes ride-hailing and first mile/last mile transportation. And self-driving cars will help alleviate the endemic problem of public transit: once you've driven to the train station, where do you park your car?