Not long ago, I was driving around Los Angeles and I noted there was more traffic than usual. I found that interesting because the price of fuel is still quite expensive and the economy hasn’t fully recovered. One thing I do remember is how bad the traffic was when the economy was doing really well and unemployment was only 4.5% during the middle of President Bush’s terms in office. The traffic was so bad in LA that every freeway was a parking lot from seven in the morning until seven o’clock at night. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we?
If the economy isn’t fully recovered, and if car sales are on a screaming tear but traffic is already a complete nightmare, then what on earth is everyone going to do when the economy does recover fully? What I’m saying to you is that our freeways out here in Los Angeles are not going to be able to handle it. However it’s not just here in Los Angeles, why not look at the traffic in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, New York, or the Washington DC area. It’s not much better in Chicago, Kansas City, or Phoenix. If the infrastructure in the US is maxed out and our highways and freeways are too busy then they need additional lanes, and we need to figure out a way to get more cars on the road in the very near future.
One way to do this might be to have the cars talk to themselves so they can travel at high rates of speed very close together without hitting each other. In other words we would change the infrastructure, and we would change the technology of the automobiles we drive, or in the case of the future of Google’s autonomous car, the cars we drive in. You see that point? If we don’t do something to fix this problem now, we will be sorry later. It won’t matter if the economy is firing on all cylinders again if everyone has a job if no one can move around. What good is having a job if you can’t get to work, or can’t get back home in a reasonable amount of time to have a decent quality of life?
A few years ago in Beijing they had sold a number of cars, but they hadn’t built enough roads. People would drive into the city, and then drive out of the city, but the traffic would be bumper-to-bumper for 100 miles. By the time people got halfway home, it would be the next day, and time to turn around and come to work. You see the problem? At one point before the Big Dig in Boston the commute time was 10 hours. At 10 hours you might as well live at work. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.