The Anti-Sprawl Smart Car

Where can I buy one?<br /> <br /> <img src="http://www.autoweek.com/weekart/2004/0726/mitfuture345.jpg" align="right" alt="GM Anti-Sprawl Concept Car"> Bill Mitchell's Smart Cities group at the MIT's Media Lab has joined forces with architect Frank Gehry and General Motors to design and build a concept car that attempts to tackle urban sprawl.<br /> <br /> The article is reported in this week's AutoWeek magazine <a href="http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=08915187">"M.I.T. lab searches for intelligent life in the fast lane"</a>

Read Time: 2 minutes

July 22, 2004, 7:38 AM PDT

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight


Where can I buy one?

GM Anti-Sprawl Concept Car Bill Mitchell's Smart Cities group at the MIT's Media Lab has joined forces with architect Frank Gehry and General Motors to design and build a concept car that attempts to tackle urban sprawl.

The article is reported in this week's AutoWeek magazine "M.I.T. lab searches for intelligent life in the fast lane".

I couldn't figure how a car could be anti-sprawl, until I read this:

"Minimizing the amount of random driving associated with activities like searching for parking means less auto pollution and fuel consumption... Parking efficiency also translates into better use of capacity and fewer parking structures to help reduce urban sprawl."

And thought about how much extra time I spend in the car being inefficient.

And this quote by Mitchell really opens up some intruguing possibilities:

"Once you get a more intelligent automobile, combined with more intelligent urban infrastructure, then you can really begin to rethink in really fundamental ways the way that a city is going to work."

Europe is already doing some of this. Last year while in Edinburgh, we used an in-dash navigation system (controlled with the radio dial, if you can imagine that) to get route information from a lovely English woman's voice: "Continue straight on at the roundabout".

The routing system was linked to the BBC's regional weather and traffic congestion broadcasts, and would fairly intelligently interrupt radio programming to present broadcasts about road conditions in the area in which I was driving.


Chris Steins

Chris Steins is Planetizen's co-Editor-in-Chief, and the founder and chief executive of Urban Insight, a leading technology consulting firm that operates Planetizen.

BART Train

Inclusive Prosperity: No Displacement Necessary

Recent analysis identifies nearly 200 U.S. neighborhoods that have achieved the highly-sought-after goal of increasing the prosperity of residents without displacing the existing community.

September 15, 2022 - Brookings

Green Healthy Community

Making Healthy Places

The editors of the book "Making Healthy Places," recently published in a second edition by Island Press, discuss the intersections of public health and planning, including key concepts such as green gentrification, health impact assessments, and AI.

September 18, 2022 - Laurie Mazur

Aerial view of homes west of downtown Chicago, Illinois

Chicago ADUs Concentrated in More Affluent Neighborhoods

An analysis of city-issued permits shows that homeowners in gentrified wards are building accessory dwelling units at much higher rates than those in less well-off communities.

September 18, 2022 - Chicago Sun-Times

Portland Transit

Promoting Diversity in Transit Leadership

Latinos in Transit works to connect and empower people of color to increase diversity in management roles at transit agencies.

September 25 - Smart Cities Dive

Screenshot of gameplay window with popup: "Error. Can't build in NIMBYville!"

A NIMBY Simulator Pokes Fun at All-Too-Real Issues

A classic game gets a sardonic update for the modern world.

September 25 - Bloomberg Culture

A rendering of a proposed development, with apartment buildings and neighborhood-serving retail.

Tempe’s Car-Free Developers Headed to Atlanta

Culdesac, developer of a massive no-parking multi-family development in Arizona, is headed to Georgia.

September 25 - Reporter Newspapers

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.