“The great jam” is the title of a lecture by Bill Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford and CEO of the American giant Ford Motor co. in 2011. Given the pace of the industry, it could be considered a priori an already outdated message after four years, but the truth is that remains a brilliant and visionary synthesis of the future of the automobile and transport , or at least desirable future. #huyedeltrafico Part of our initiative.
The problem of the collapse
Four billion clean cars are still four billion cars
Bill Ford’s approach is simple: the problem of traffic jams is proportional to the number and size of large cities and the growth of world fleet
Predictions of growth of world population and its geographic distribution point to a high percentage of people living in large cities (now already more than half of the world population) and for 2050 it is estimated that the global fleet amount to between two and four billion cars worldwide (at this time we approach the billion).
On one hand, there is a environmental problem derived from the emissions of these vehicles and their increasing concentration in large cities, with more and more pollution. That problem can be managed or resolved with more and cleaner cars is technologically feasible and think even in a fleet of zero emissions. But there is another threat.
The volume of cars that will be managed in the coming decades, maintaining the current model of mobility collapse inevitably roads . The cities will become a big traffic jam if we do nothing about it, and that presents us with a monumental waste of time for everyone, in addition to blocking our real mobility. Even if cars are clean, we would By confronting the problem of collapse.
The possible solution
75% of the world population will live in cities by 2050. We need a technological solution, not more of the same.
The answer to the problem of mobility can not be done more and more roads and highways, but a model change . The answer must be technological.
The approach of Bill Ford, each day more feasible thanks to technological advances, passes through communication and management of real-time data . The transport model has to evolve to a stage where we can provide communication to all elements involved, creating smart roads, smart cars, smart car parks and so long, they can communicate and optimize time and resources.
The approach seems simple, and it is a central idea of so-called smart-cities, but implementation involves a huge challenge.
The concept goes through each car to communicate with everyone else and with the road , the parking spaces and public transport. With that ability to communicate in real time be possible to manage a personal agenda with a simple mobile phone so we go telling us the exact time when we have to leave it a point to get to the next time we book a car no one else could use in our destiny.
If we eliminate thus peak hours, with a large central brain that manages the movement of all individuals, and all traffic is simply looking for a place to park through intelligent parking with automatic seat reservation, we would be becoming fluid traffic collapsed in the cities .
If a traffic jam caused by an accident or otherwise produced in a given time, all cars that go to the trouble spot would be diverted from their route in real time via alternative routes, which would in turn instantly reorganized to accommodate the expected traffic flow again. Everyone could jam ahead, so Jam not occur .
Combine all this with public transport system perfectly synchronized where the times were very accurate, and in which a single ticket circular changing vehicle was not a problem, a large part traffic could be diverted to subways, buses, trams, boats … depending on our destiny and possibilities within our reach. All this would lead to traffic congestion.
If the ultimate goal of the industry is selling more and more cars, we will be doomed to the loss of our mobility to hit gridlock, but if your goal (as advocated by Bill Ford) is to preserve and improve the mobility of people, the way forward will be full communication between network and vehicles to probably sell some cars less in exchange for increasing mobility opportunities for all.
Four years later, this conference retains full force and more relevant than ever visionary message. Let it be Bill Ford himself to tell us his vision.
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