Today I read an article (after being tipped off by Santosh) about a futurist named Ray Kurzweil naming some of his predictions for the not-so-distant future. I’m not going to make any predictions, but here’s one area not covered by the article where I’d like to see major advances sooner rather than later: Transportation.
It’s obvious that we’ll make great improvements in clean energy, so I’m confident that transportation will go “green.” But something else I’d really to happen is an amazing increase in efficiency, such as the elimination of traffic jams. And mass transit isn’t always the answer. Even with gas prices where they are, I still prefer my car for most trips because it is the fastest, most convenient way to go. We need to make transportation better at all levels. Have you ever sat at a red light, and noticed that everyone else at the intersection was stopped as well? Did you feel like there were moments, if you disregarded traffic laws and safety, that you could have just gone through anyway? I do this all the time (the thinking part, not the doing!), and even though I haven’t taken math since high school, I can just feel how inefficient the current system is. The answer to the problem is simple: Humans shouldn’t drive. Computers should. Think about the amount of lives this would save with the reduction in crashes, road rage, and general stress.