December 15, 2016

A city transformed by cars. Credit: Haraldrr / Flickr Creative Commons

Our cities are built for cars. Ever since the transition from the horse and carriage to Ford’s Model T, cities have gradually become less about pedestrians and mass transit, and and more about making it easier to get somewhere in a car. And there are a lot of problems with that: traffic, pollution, safety... and even more traffic. But, according to Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar and author of Peers, Inc., we’re at a turning point. With the rise of self-drive cars, cities have the chance to redesign themselves. Here’s how - and why - that might happen.

Three Takeaways:

  • Owning a car in a city is not fun. “In cities today, the average speed traveled is 8 miles an hour,” Chase says. Plus, average Americans spend almost two of their eight hours at work paying off the car that they need to get to their job.
  • Chase thinks it’s important to not just replace cars with self-driving vehicles, but to simultaneously rethink how we own and use cars. If more people used cars communally, both people and cities would spend far less on transportation.
  • With the combination of self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing, we won’t need nearly as many cars. “If we shared trips and shared cars, we would only need 10 percent of the cars on the road today,” Chase says.

More Reading:

cities, transportation, cars, innovation hub, Business, City, Robin Chase

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