Are personal cars part of future smart cities ?

The future is in motion. Whether we like it or not, there has been a shift in people’s preferences. Country side villages and individual houses look less appealing to the new generation. Is it because work takes place in cities ? Or is it because, by definition, downtown is a focal point of everything, from food to events ? The answer lies in-between. The need is there and with need comes the solution.

Image result for downtown

The need is to move as quickly as possible  from point A to point B. From home to workplace. From shopping centers to stadiums. From one city to another. The faster, the better, because in today’s connected life, just thinking of having to wait 10 seconds for that web page to load is unthinkable.  Yes, ten seconds. Related image

What about traffic lights ? The average wait time is 30 seconds and time is passing so slow. But wait? Why do we have traffic lights ? When did they appear ? Do we really need them ? Many questions for which one must go back a century. Traffic lights appeared in the first quarter of  the 20-th century and solved the problem of congestion. Solved ? Well, partially.

Here we are, at the dawn of the 21-st century. The number of cars in the typical city almost equals the one of its inhabitants. And most of the time, the car sleeps in the parking lot or worse, on the street. From a technical point of view, a car that is not in use is like a big stone dumped on one side of a street.  With an average not-in-use time of 20 hours per day during weekdays,

Image result for parkingthe personal car is neither mobile, nor smart and possibly occupies what might be used as a lane.

Don’t misunderstand me. Cars are necessary. Sometimes they are vital. But most of the time they are just a big chunk of metal. With an average  speed than barely bests the fastest walking people, personal cars are more about self-esteem than about doing something really useful.

With the advent of car as a service, one can drive a car like a bicycle: rent it, use it, leave it. No longer the 30 minutes one needs to find a parking place during rush hours. Add to that the typical  square meters/vehicle/person and we get something like 6 sq. meters / person. For a city, this is a lot.Image result for bus capacity

Comparing the car with a bus that can transport 20-40 people and occupies a ground area of 2×10 (20 sq. meters) , it is clear that pubic transportation has a lot to say in the future. Transport on a need by basis is no longer a necessity, but a fact.

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