The Future of Driving
By EV World
"How long can we sustain our present mode of driving," asked U.C. Berkeley professor Pravin Varaiya as he began his talk at the 2007 Meeting of the Minds conference. [See links below to other MoM 2007 presentations].
From Beijing to Baltimore, it is obvious that our current system of moving people and goods isn't working. The economic costs alone of traffic congestion, not to mention its environmental and health impacts, are staggering and getting worse with each passing year.
Instead of building costly new roads and freeways, groups like those Varaiya is working with, including CalTrans, are investigating ways to incorporate computer and telecommunications technology into both vehicles and road infrastructure. He focuses on the following three avenues of investigation:
- Intelligent Roads (substituting "intelligence for concrete")
- Smart Vehicles that can communicate with Intelligent Roads
- Vehicle Automation (Robotic Drivers)
In his presentation is discusses in more detail the various options available to both traffic planners and someday to automakers, who will have to collaborate more as we move further into the 21st century.
You can listen to his talk using either of the two MP3 players above or by downloading the file to your computer for playback on your favorite MP3 device.