A Glimpse Of The Future of Transportation

Technology and transportation experts meet in San Francisco for the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress.

"Cars that automatically step on the brakes to avoid crashes, maps that update themselves so drivers can steer around roadwork, intersections that let drivers know when it's safe to make a left turn, handheld gadgets that show where traffic is clogged.

The future of transportation will be formed by a collision, as it were, between mobility and technology. This week, the people behind these innovations are gathering in San Francisco to share what they've learned and show off what they've built...About 4,000 transportation and technology experts from around the globe are attending the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress at the Moscone Center"

Full Story: Transportation and technology collide so cars won't



Assuming there's any future

Assuming there's any future in cars at all is a bit of a stretch if you ask me...

Win Win Technology

While there are sure to be negative comments stemming from the usual quarters and the usual hatred of the POV the ITS effort should be welcomed from anyone interested in good planning practices. ITS holds the prospects of fewer, smaller roads and less infrastructure while increasing capacity, efficiency and safety.

Road capacity and the suburbs

James Pugsley, AICP
I have read accounts of innovations like adaptive cruise control, and other ways to automate the control of cars. Some claim that the capacity of roads can be multiplied two- or threefold with these techniques. If this is true, consider the effect on areas that are near buildout with low density residential, with overloaded arterials and main highways. I've just described about half of urban America. The driving experience may become more mass transit-like, with cars moving at high speeds, close together, controlled by a computer. If this sounds farfetched, consider how someone in 1950 would react to a description of today's powered-up SUV world.
If traffic becomes less of a source of angst, one of the main objections to life in the suburbs has been removed. This may over time (a long time) diffuse the suburban dweller's opposition to denser development such as townhomes that one often encounters. It could also reduce the need for expensive road projects.
The success, or failure, of automated traffic control will have a lot to do with how urbanized life looks for the majority of people years from now.

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