The rise in interest in autonomous vehicles is just one indication that the era of high numbers of personally owned vehicles in the United States is coming to an end. A report by the Rocky Mountain Institute explores the possibility that a new mobility system will emerge in the next few years that is superior to our existing system in almost every way.
While many people might not regard the current transportation system as broken, the reality is that Americans have just gotten used to an archaic, dangerous, dirty, costly and time-consuming system. Consider these facts:
• The cumulative loss of life in auto accidents exceeds all terrorist and war casualties in our history, including 35,000 during 2016 alone.
• Personal vehicles emit more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year.
• Personal autos are the second highest expense for most U.S. families, second only to housing, yet they sit unused (parked) 96 percent of the time.