Traffic is on the rise in all developing countries. More emissions, more congestion and more frustration. So, what is the long-term outlook for the world and traffic?
Let’s narrow it down and ask the question: what is the long-term outlook for our local communities and residential traffic? While the local advertising agency may be getting the big bucks to promote car sales, who is regulating the use of urban and neighborhood road development? Who is keeping up with road repair and general infrastructure to keep our highways and localities safe and road worthy? Continue reading
Only a couple of decades ago electric cars were thought of as a futuristic idea rather than an imminent reality. Popular thinking was that only the wealthy would own an electric vehicle, but they would be out of reach for the average car owner.
Fast forward to 2016 and as of September, of this past year, more than 1.5 million electric (including hybrid) cars travel our roadways worldwide. They are becoming the norm.
Our local plumbers in Dayton Ohio drive a fleet of electrically charged vehicles. When asked about their long-term investment, the owner said it was already paying off. His annual fuel bill has practically disappeared, but the costs of his charging stations – of which he has two, are keeping his overhead high. He anticipates a break-even point within the first 6 years of doing business. With an average lifespan of 20 years per truck, they consider that a good pay off.
Driverless cars have been banned in San Francisco, California. One of 9 US States which has allowed the technology to hit the roadways at all, has withdrawn its enthusiasm. The City by the Bay wants to be assured that the technology is more developed.
Apparently, Uber, who has its headquarters in San Francisco, is at the heart of the dispute. Special permits must be issued that assures the safety of passengers in a car that doesn’t have a human behind the wheel. Uber doesn’t want to pay the additional cost of permitting or the additional $5 million in insurance and therefore the two local giants can’t seem to agree.
A robotic, autonomous car is essentially a vehicle that is self-driving. Despite California’s position at this time, it’s not an unlikely scenario that someday soon your local airport shuttle service will be completely operated by driverless vehicles. Taxi’s, busses, delivery trucks, long haul loads are all candidates for the robotic vehicles.
We were sitting in the back of an old Volkswagen Bug that had only three seats, dodging and weaving through traffic in the area around Chapultepec Park in Mexico City. My heart was in my throat and my left hand was in a death grip on my boyfriend’s right thigh.
He seemed calm and accepting of our hair-raising adventure – but he had lived in the city for over a decade and knew the traffic scene well. Meanwhile my continuous rounds of gasping in gulps of car exhaust, was making me lightheaded.
If you travel, there is no escaping the diversity of the traffic cultures of the world. Each of the major metropolitan areas I’ve visited seemed to have a different set of road rules from the last. Wishing at times I could employ a travelling crane service to lift me out of the vehicular chaos and confusion, at least I had the good sense – most of the time, not to be the one behind the wheel.