Your Future Car May Be a Living Room on Wheels

Your Future Car May Be a Living Room on Wheels

The star attractions of many major international auto shows are the way-out futuristic concept vehicles that stand little to no chance of going into production. These crazy high-tech cars are an invitation to imagine an alternative transportation reality in which vehicles can fly, swim, think, and move us— physically and psychically—in unpredictable ways. Read More on Content-Loop...
True Solutions for Transportation & Housing

True Solutions for Transportation & Housing

Getting Beyond the “Sustainability” Label It seems appropriate to re-examine how we can address climate change, increase affordable housing and improve transportation – and achieve these goals in the most effective way. My approach is to challenge claims such as “doing this is sustainable” or “we must do that to fight climate change” at face value. All too often these claims are used to justify political or commercial ends. It can be easy to be taken in by a well-oiled marketing machine that leverages these arguments with sophistication. It becomes necessary to dig below the superficial to understand the facts regarding car and transit emissions and recognize the realities of providing housing and mobility for those who deserve access to better opportunities. Fighting Climate Change the Cost Effective Way Fighting climate change is important, and taxes are a finite resource that we must use cost effectively to achieve this end. So we must not leap on unproven ideas, ideas that are cost ineffective. We must really question the math on how much each dollar will contribute to reducing emissions. If a strategy doesn’t pencil out with an appropriate cost/benefit ratio, we need to seek out more effective means. We must consider that new cars are mandated by Whitehouse and EPA legislation to achieve 54.5mpg by 2025 and are already making unprecedented progress towards this goal.  With less fuel burned CO2 emissions drop (CO2 emissions are near directly related to mpg).  This increased fuel efficiency means that car emissions are rapidly dropping below transit. I cover the topic of how cars achieve lower emissions than transit in the Patch article SMART Train Actually Increases Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Plan Bay...
Solutions: Google Waze and Self Driving, Chaining Cars

Solutions: Google Waze and Self Driving, Chaining Cars

Transportation planning in the Bay Area is doubling-down on investing in transit, despite massive investments since the 1980s leading to a drop in per capita ridership. Why impose inconvenient solutions when the valley is already several steps ahead? I’m often accused of being negative on any transit projects – but anyone who actually reads my articles will see that I am only negative about ineffective solutions, and I am constantly seeking out and discovering new, much more effective solutions. On Thursday I was at a technology conference in Redwood City where the future for our congested freeways became much clearer. Instead of sinking money into cost ineffective projects like the SMART train, and possibly trolleys, we need to recognize that the car has become the transportation method of choice over the last 50 years through it’s convenience. Transit simply cannot match the convenience of going door to door without changing travel modes, waiting, putting in buffer time, missing connections… However our freeways are becoming increasingly clogged. Transit advocates would have us abandon our cars, investing billions in trains and trolleys  – not recognizing that we live in the area making the most groundbreaking strides in transportation technology. Waze – Load Balancing Road Networks At the conference I attended a lady presented “Waze”. Waze is a mobile app that crowd-sources all the GPS locations of it’s users using a mobile phone app to understand the relative speeds and traffic congestion across road networks. More than that – it proactively informs Waze users when congestion strikes, suggesting alternate routes. Waze was just bought by Google for an estimated $1.3 billion. It’s being used by ABC’s local...