Monthly Archives: December 2010

Cars are the Future

It seems cars will not go the way of the do-do bird any time soon! Until teleporting becomes feasible ala’ Star Trek we will probably depend on the car for decades to come. We just need to use the resources better.

Two years ago, the prevalent narrative around cars was that they were dead. It was unthinkable that beleaguered General Motors would re-list two years later with a heavily oversubscribed initial public offering, as it just did. At the same time, cities from Victoria to Toronto are grappling with traffic congestion. Market confidence that there will be more cars and municipal anxiety about accommodating them are two trends on a collision course, but there are good reasons to believe that new technologies will avert disaster.

One such technology is ride-sharing, invigorated by mobile phones that are online and GPS capable. It is claimed that 85 per cent of car seats are empty at any given time that a vehicle is in motion. Just as eBay now rehabilitates idle household junk, empty car seats are a reservoir of unused value now ready to be unlocked by a more efficient communication network.

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