Internet Protocol (or IP) was created during a communications test performed between Stanford and University College London in 1975. IP’s potential for speed and simplicity necessitated that no one own the internet and that no controls and routes be used to transmit it.
There are currently 75 million servers running the global internet, but there are as many as 1.2 billion cars driving global transportation. 253 million of those cars are being used in the United States alone, which constitutes the highest per capita rate of any large country. Personal vehicle ownership has been proven to be extremely inefficient, as cars tend to be parked 95 percent of the time and unused cargo capacity tends to be moved around land, sea and air.
Thus automated driving has become the solution of the future to help us manage problems that have plagued us for years. The key issue underlying the next web of transportation protocol is based loosely on the same decentralization of ownership that allowed for the internet’s creation decades prior.
According to a study conducted by McKinsey in 2015, by 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, up from about 50 percent today. Automotive analysts have even predicted that, given the continuation of our current trajectory, there may be as many as 2.4 billion cars in 2030. Traffic and population growth are going to force cities to develop more transportation infrastructure, but many jurisdictions simply don’t have the funding or space for this to be a feasible endeavor. That’s why connected and autonomous vehicle technology will likely offer the best solution. Automated vehicles can optimize roadway and resource utilization without necessitating infrastructure expansion, allowing cities and the federal government to save billions.
Autonomous cars will likely be able to route cars via the internet and reduce the overall necessity of vehicle ownership, which will in turn alter urban development patterns, limit car crashes, increase fossil fuel efficiency and save consumers both time and money.
Google is leading the charge towards auto autonomy and has recently claimed that its fleet of self driving vehicles drive a sum of 3 million simulated miles every single day. Tesla’s Autopilot service has already propelled the company past any competitors in the industry, releasing its autonomous software before anything remotely like it had even been legalized. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated that his company will be able to create self-driving cars within the next two years.
Accordingly, the combination of increased urbanization (which will cause car ownership to be drastically lowered per capita) and innovations in car sharing and autonomous driving will have a powerful impact on the way Americans look at car ownership. Cars are likely to be more seen as appliances than extensions of one’s image, which will make it a lot less admirable to own your own. Besides, being eco-friendly is the new sign of being cool and conscious, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see muscle cars still being a sign of masculinity and capability.
Households using car-sharing services are likely to reduce emissions by up to 41 percent a year, so times are definitely changing.