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Rebecca Zisser / Axios; Photo: Noah Berger / AP

The on-demand economy of ride-hailing and delivery services were initially built on the idea that drivers are looking to put their idle cars to use to make a few extra bucks. As it turns out, a growing number of these on-demand drivers want the gigs but don't own a car (or one that fits the services' requirements). To fill that void, a small cottage industry has sprung up over the past few years to make cars available for these car-less drivers.

Why it matters: The rise of these car services bring up questions about the future of car ownership. Between 2010 and 2015, car-less living began to slowly grow after decades of the opposite trend. Companies—especially automakers and car rental providers—are increasingly experimenting with car-sharing and other models. The constant need for new drivers, coupled with the car-ownership shift means that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are looking for new ways to equip their drivers with vehicles to, well, drive.

For example, Uber recently came under fire when the Wall Street Journal discovered that the company was knowingly leasing defective cars to Singapore drivers—and worse, one of them caught on fire earlier this year. Uber's risky practices like this stem from its desperate need to get drivers (who don't necessarily own cars) on the road.

The players range from independent startups, to the ride-hailing companies themselves, to car rental companies and automakers.

How these services have evolved:

What's next: Expect to see more of these services as some people decide to ditch their cars and rent one for personal and work purposes, or loan their cars out for some quick cash. And once self-driving cars hit the roads, people won't be renting cars to ferry passengers and parcels around — self-driving cars will do the job instead.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.