Deloitte Digital Age Transportation report - Feb 2013


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Deloitte Digital Age Transportation report - Feb 2013

  1. 1. Digital-AgeTransportation:The Future ofUrban Mobility
  2. 2. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban MobilityAbout the author Tiffany Dovey Fishman A manager with Deloitte Research, Deloitte Services LP, Tiffany Dovey Fishman is responsible for public sector research and thought leadership for Deloitte’s public sector industry practice. Her research focuses on how emerging issues in technology, business, and society will impact public sector organizations. She has written extensively on a wide range of public policy and management issues and her work has appeared in a number of publications, including Public CIO, Governing and EducationWeek. Tiffany can be reached by email at or twitter @tdoveyfishman.Acknowledgements A number of Deloitte colleagues generously contributed their time and insights to this report, including: William Eggers, Allen Hockenbury, Jessica Blume and Felix Martinez of Deloitte Services LP; Jim Ziglar of Deloitte Financial Services LLP; Stephen Keathley, Jim Templeton, Alene Tchourumoff, Bryan Rodda and Matthew Bulley of Deloitte Consulting LLP; and Ian Simpson of Deloitte UK. The report benefited immensely from the insights of Sean O’Sullivan of Avego, Chris Borroni- Bird of General Motors, Paul Minett of the Ridesharing Institute, Marcus Bowman of 3G Mobility, LLC, Jeffrey Chernick of RideAmigos Corp, Rob Zimmer of Battelle, Susan Grant- Muller of the Institute for Transport Studies at University of Leeds, Ryan Popple of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Kari Watkins of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Susan Shaheen of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and from the writing talents of Rob Gurwitt. In addition, thanks go to all of the innovators, policymakers, technologists, and subject matter experts at the forefront of the transformation of mobility who participated in Deloitte’s session on the future of transportation. Lastly, thanks must be extended to Troy Bishop of Deloitte Services LP for the development of the report’s layout and infographics and to Aditi Rao of Deloitte Support Services India Pvt Ltd for the copy editing of the report.
  3. 3. ContentsForeword | 2Executive summary | 3Introduction | 6Features of digital-age transportation systems | 11Three scenarios for digital-age transportation | 23Looking ahead | 35Appendix: Forum participants | 36Endnotes | 38 1
  4. 4. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban MobilityForeword C HANGE is coming to transportation, whether we’re ready for it or not. You can see it in automakers’ focus on next-generation contain if we take full advantage of the techno- logical and organizational breakthroughs that are already apparent. vehicles, in the arrival of services that help This report builds from that session. It urbanites get around without owning a car, in consists of three parts: a brief discussion of the the widening recognition that the “informa- forces and innovations that underlie the quick- tion everywhere” world will utterly disrupt the ening pace of change; the basic features of the transportation status quo. coming system that are likely to shape the ways Every feature of the automobile, from its in which we get around; and three different— drive train to its communication with the though often complementary—scenarios for world around it, is being rethought. “Smart what that system might look like. Its purpose is infrastructure” projects are becoming com- not to discern the details of the future. Instead, monplace. Sharing rides, bikes, and cars and it recognizes that the future is fast approaching other entrepreneurial business models are and that whatever it looks like, the regulatory, spreading, built on the recognition that empty tax and funding structures we rely on today car seats and idle vehicles form an immense were built for a transportation system that is “wasted asset.” The ability to gather road and being superseded. To be sure, infrastructure transit mobility data—from smartphones or itself is notoriously slow to evolve—whether it’s dedicated transceivers—and push informa- expanding in the face of congestion or adapt- tion back to users is changing everything ing to new transport capabilities—and on that from infrastructure planning to commuters’ front change is arriving more slowly. daily experience. The question of who pays But new ways of using existing infrastruc- for transportation—and how, and under what ture more efficiently are coming on the scene circumstances—has become ever more lively as with great speed. They offer the chance to the ability to track vehicles and to use elec- rethink our mobility challenges—and prepare tronic means of payment spread. for a transportation system undergirded by a With all this in mind, Deloitte convened a very different set of features from the one we session following the Transportation Research grew up with. The challenge that policymak- Board’s 2012 annual meeting in Washington ers face—and that everyone from auto manu- DC to consider the various permutations facturers to transit officials to for-profit and of what lies ahead. The session included a nonprofit entrepreneurs confront every day—is distinguished array of transportation vision- how to respond. This report is an effort to aries, thinkers and doers (see appendix for begin to lay out an answer. a full list of participants). The wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussion produced William D. Eggers intriguing points of agreement about the fea- Global Director, Public Sector Research tures and qualities that the coming transporta- Senior Advisor, GovLab tion system might contain—or, at least, might2
  5. 5. Executive summaryI NCREDIBLE innovations within the trans- portation sector are being driven by thegrowing recognition that cars, once synony- go from conception to delivery. Yet there are innovative new ways of making more efficient use of existing infrastructure already comingmous with freedom and ease of mobility, have onto the scene.become a victim of their own success. In cities With this in mind, Deloitte convened aaround the world, congestion is undermin- distinguished array of transportation visionar-ing mobility, imposing huge costs not just on ies, thinkers and doers to consider the variouscommuters or people out permutations of whatto run a simple errand lies ahead. The wide-but on society as a whole.According to the Texas The arrival of ranging and thought- provoking discussionTransportation Institute,the average American the “information produced intriguing points of agreementcommuter spent 34hours delayed in traffic in everywhere” world about the features and qualities that the coming2010, up from 14 hoursin 1982. If things don’t has opened up new transportation system might contain—or, atchange, commuters canexpect to spend more opportunities to least, might contain if we take full advantagethan 40 hours annuallysitting in traffic by 2020.1 make the existing of the technological and organizationalAll told, the annual costof congestion in America transportation breakthroughs that are already apparent.alone now exceeds$100 billion.2 network far more The arrival of the “information every- The problem thatconfronts transportation efficient and where” world has opened up new oppor-planners is that addingnew infrastructure capac- user friendly. tunities to make the existing transportationity to relieve conges- network far more effi-tion is notoriously slow cient and user friendly.and costly. Given the environmental issues Coupled with new transportation capacity, theto be explored, land to be acquired, permits changes spurred by technological change andobtained, people moved, and construction the innovations it inspires will help preserveundertaken, it can take years, if not decades, to freedom of mobility in the 21st century. 3
  6. 6. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility Services like real-time ridesharing and car access, consume, create and share information sharing, for instance, are helping urbanites get with other vehicles and surrounding infra- around without owning a car—and are mak- structure in real time—improving traffic flow ing the private vehicle a de facto extension of and safety. And dynamic pricing mechanisms the public transportation system. New apps for roads, parking spaces and shared-use assets are allowing commuters to compare the time, are helping balance supply and demand, much cost, convenience, carbon footprint and health the same way the airline and hotel industries benefits across all modes of public and private have been pricing seats and rooms for years. transport, broadening their range of choices The result of these innovations—and of the and allowing for on-the-fly decision making ecosystem of creative players that have been that takes into account real-time conditions. drawn to transportation, from information For their part, automakers are focused on technology companies to ridesharing pioneers next-generation “connected vehicles” that canFigure 1. Preparing for the future urban transport system: A roadmap for public transportation officials LEVERAGE THIRD PARTY TRAFFIC DATA and analytics for real-time traffic managementSHIFT FROM A CULTURE in which state and and incident responselocal transportation department employeesidentify as ‘builders of transportation New Jersey uses a crowdsourced traffic datainfrastructure assets’ to one in which solution that gives the state real-time visibility intoagency employees view their role traffic conditions across the state road network.more broadly as ‘managers of thetransportation network’ PUBLISH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION DATA as a GTFS feed DEVELOP MULTIMODAL TRIP PLANNERS City-Go-Round provides the public with to help citizens compare all modes of access to useful transportation apps that public and private transport OPTIMIZE THE have been developed using open Century City’s “Virtual TMO” allows PERFORMANCE OF government data. commuters to compare the time, cost, THE NETWORK convenience, carbon footprint, and health benefits of different modes of public and EXAMINE HOW EXISTING BUSINESS private transport. MODELS CAN BE RE-IMAGINED in light of digital disruption Boston’s “Street Bump” app uses smartphones to identify potholes and streets that need repaving as their owners drive over them. PUT LEGISLATION IN PLACE CHANGE THE METRICS to promote new forms of from vehicle throughput to public-private collaboration people throughput to reinforce a broader view of mobility In 2012, the U.S. Congress expanded the definition of carpool projects to include real-time ridesharing. ADOPT A NETWORKED VIEWPROMOTE NEW MULTIMODAL payment mechanisms tofacilitate easy transfers across different modes Singapore’s ez-Link card allows for secure, contactless payments for TIE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING buses, trains, and certain taxi services; drivers can use the card for to improvements in overall electronic road pricing and electronic parking system payments. transportation system performance4
  7. 7. to app makers—is that the mobility field will • Reliant on new models of private-publiclook very different going forward. It will be: collaboration, which take advantage of the • Massively networked, with ubiquitous con- increasingly diverse ecosystem of public, nectivity throughout the system private, and nonprofit entities that are working to meet the mobility challenges of • Dynamically priced, so as to balance sup- the 21st century ply and demand To take advantage of these innovations, • User centered, taking into account users’ policymakers must start laying the ground- needs, priorities, data flows, and dynamic work for a digital-age transportation system responses to conditions (see figure 1). • Integrated, so that users can move eas- ily from point A to point B, regardless of mode, service provider, or time of day REMOVE LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY BARRIERS to new mobility services California passed legislation designed to facilitate personal vehicle sharing arrangements, exempting automobile owners from insurance regulations PROTECT CITIZENS that prohibit the rental of personal vehicles by understanding the privacy to others unless the car is classified as issues related to location-based a livery vehicle. data, and developing adequate privacy safeguards with a focus on educating citizens and consumers about what data is being collected and how it’s being used The White House’s digital privacy framework and “consumer privacy bill of rights” are helping to shape the U.S. federalADDRESS THE government’s response to theCYBERSECURITY ISSUES LAY THE GROUNDWORK ongoing challenges of privacy inrelated to connected the digital age. FOR NEXT-GENERATIONvehicle technology VEHICLES AND MOBILITY SERVICES PUT IN PLACE THE REQUISITE LEGISLATIVE IMPLEMENT VARIABLE PRICING AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS pilots to balance supply of road and for the development, testing and operation parking assets with demand of next-generation driverless vehicles San Francisco’s SFpark program uses networked California, Nevada and Florida have passed parking meters to sense the occupancy of each autonomous vehicle legislation. space in real time and communicate it—not just to potential parkers, but to parking managers who can adjust prices based on demand. 5
  8. 8. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban MobilityIntroduction Y OU might begin by asking the question, “Who says that the current transportation system is being superseded by a new one?” For Yet this does not mean that the future is secure for gasoline-powered automobiles that can carry at least five people and a trunkful most people in the United States, this doesn’t of luggage but usually don’t. There are power- seem to be the case. Americans, for example, ful forces at work changing the average trip take 1.1 billion trips a day, according to the taker’s—and car buyer’s—calculus. federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics, For one thing, the world as a whole is and the vast majority of them are on roads and urbanizing: the United Nations expects that highways: 87 percent of trips are in personal 60 percent of the global population will live vehicles (cars or light trucks) unless you’re in urban areas by 2030, and residential den- just talking about commuters, in which case sity generally means reduced vehicle owner- the figure rises to 91 percent.3 There’s nothing ship. In the United States, nearly 85 percent new there. of Americans are expected to live in urban Nor does it look like the automobile is areas by 2020, with over a quarter of them going to be replaced anytime in the foresee- living in areas with more than five million able future as the “personal vehicle” of choice. people.6 Failure to create smaller, cleaner and As Chris Borroni-Bird, director of Advanced smarter vehicles for dense cities, Borroni-Bird Technology Vehicle Concepts at General observes, “may result in declining automobile Motors (GM), puts it, “No other means of ownership as cities may take further actions transportation offers the same valued combi- to promote bicycle and public transport nation of safety, comfort, convenience, utility usage and to deter usage of conventional and choice of route and schedule.”4 Americans automobiles.”7 go every which way every day, and cars help us There is a robust debate among thinkers get where we want to go when we want to go. focused on the urban future about whether the Whether because of personal choice or com- growth of central cities like Atlanta, Chicago, munity design, the vast majority of Americans and San Francisco represents a permanent consider everything else—at least for their shift away from the auto-dependent suburb daily trips—a second-best option. Between or reflects a mere subset of relatively affluent, 1990 and 2009, personal vehicle use remained college-educated elites who are separating the transportation mode of choice, accounting themselves from the middle-class majority that for 83.4 percent of trips in 2009.5 prefers the suburbs. To at least one venture6
  9. 9. capitalist betting on the future, the trends creating an increasingly serious problem forfavor density. “Transportation is becoming businesses that rely on efficient productionan increasingly wasteful and unsatisfactory and deliveries.9 The annual cost of congestionexperience,” says Ryan Popple, a partner at the now exceeds $100 billion.10 And this was allventure capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield in the midst of a recession; the problem will& Byers (KPCB). “If you look at where young only get worse once the economy is workingpeople want to live when they’re coming out of at full steam (see figure 2). Efforts to improveschool, where a lot of businesses are setting up matters by building or widening roads can takeand where real estate has maintained value, it’s years to get into the funding pipeline, mucharound more efficient lifestyles. Time is more less complete.valuable. People want to live closer to wherethey work.”8 This may be because, whether within cit- New transportation landscapeies or in the expansive suburban ring aroundthem, the United States, as well as other coun- W HAT is most striking about the mobil- ity world these days, however, is not that people are being forced to change theirtries, has shown little ability to get a handleon traffic congestion. According to the Texas behavior, but that the enticements to changeTransportation Institute, the average American are growing exponentially. New possibili-commuter spent 34 hours delayed in traffic in ties and opportunities are transforming the2010, up from 14 hours in 1982. Congestion transportation landscape (see figure 3). Theseis becoming a bigger problem outside of range from the technological (the rise of social‘rush hour,’ with about 40 percent of the delay networking and peer-to-peer networking, theoccurring in the mid-day and overnight hours, spread of smartphones, and the developmentFigure 2. The cost of congestion in the United States 41 HOURS 34 HOURS ANNUAL COST OF CONGESTION AVERAGE ANNUAL $175M COMMUTER DELAY $133M $101M 2010 2015 2020Source: 2011 Urban Mobility Report, Texas Transportation Institute 7
  10. 10. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility“ If we do nothing, the sheer number of people andcars in urban areas will mean global gridlock. Nowis the time for all of us to be looking at vehicles thesame way we look at smart phones, laptops and tablets: ”as pieces of a much bigger, richer network.—— Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company of connected vehicle technology) to the cul- vehicles’ that access, consume, and create tural (growing willingness—especially among information and share it with drivers, pas- younger Americans but by no means limited sengers, public infrastructure, and machines to them—to engage in so-called “collaborative including other cars.”11 consumption”) to the entrepreneurial (the rec- San Francisco’s SFpark program has ognition that governments alone are unable to installed sensors in the street below thousands solve mobility challenges opens huge opportu- of parking spaces and in garages, collects nities for business). the information, and makes it available to a These changes are promoting new modes Website and app allowing drivers to get real- of transport, from next-generation autono- time data about open spaces. Waze relies on mous, connected vehicles under development, its users to crowdsource road conditions and to an array of new services: renting fractions show real-time information about speed, traf- of a Zipcar’s time; using Avego to share rides fic jams, directions, and even the location of with strangers or GoLoco to share them with speed traps. friends; using peer-to-peer car sharing services The arrival of “big data” is helping traffic like RelayRides or Getaround, and new, on- control centers respond more quickly to acci- demand car services like Uber. dents and backups, while helping individual travelers navigate their moment-by-moment decisions. According to David Hornik, a Digital-age transportation general partner at venture capital firm August T HE most revolutionary changes are com- ing from the encounter of information technology (IT) with... well, you name it. Capital, “Everything is a big-data problem right now. [T]he biggest change is that every device, every vehicle, everybody is manufac- According to Thilo Koslowski, who leads the turing huge amounts of information.”12 Cities automotive practice at the Gartner Group, are beginning to use the digital exhaust gener- “Similar to the way telephones have evolved ated from these devices in powerful new ways. into smartphones, over the next 10 years Boston, for example, developed an app called automobiles will rapidly become ‘connected Street Bump that uses smartphones to identify8
  11. 11. Figure 3. Battling urban gridlockThere’s no silver bullet solution to the problem of gridlock—next generationurban transport systems will connect transportation modes, services, andtechnologies together in innovative new ways that pragmatically address aseemingly intractable problem. CAR SHARING RIDE SHARING TELECOMMUTING INCENTIVES(DISCOUNTS, TRAVEL SMART VOUCHERS, ETC.) PARKING P2P CAR RENTAL REAL-TIME TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT INTEGRATED FARE MANAGEMENT ROAD USER PERSONAL TRAVEL CHARGING ASSISTANT APPS AUTONOMOUS BIKE SHARING VEHICLES MULTI-MODAL CONNECTED TRANSPORTATION REAL-TIME TRAVELER VEHICLES SOLUTIONS INFORMATION 9
  12. 12. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility The challenge, then, is to harness the extraordinary innovation taking place to make far more efficient use of the existing transportation system. potholes and streets that need repaving as their services, bus and light rail arrival apps, parking owners drive over them. space sensors are all making getting around far There is no aspect of travel that is not being easier than ever before. transformed by IT. Route planning, finding This does not, however, mean that we’ve one’s way while in the car or on foot, collect- figured out how to use these developments ing fares or tolls, congestion and road pricing, to make travel uniformly more enjoyable traffic management, deciding among different or convenient. “Despite the proliferation of transportation options for a given trip, reduc- innovation across [the transportation sector], ing trips through telecommuting—all are holistic solutions are just not coming together evolving at dizzying speed. in a way that works for the user door to door,” Many of the innovations affecting trans- notes Susan Zielinski, managing director of the portation are geared toward giving individu- Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research als greater choice in how to get around. GM’s & Transformation (SMART) program at the prototype autonomous electric vehicle, the University of Michigan.14 EN-V, isn’t likely to become the only vehicle The challenge, then, is to harness the people own, Borroni-Bird said, but “maybe extraordinary innovation taking place to make you have a larger vehicle and then for a large far more efficient use of the existing trans- fraction of your trips—say for driving around portation system. Just what that will look like the city center—you own or share a second, is uncertain. But, it is certain to have some small vehicle.”13 Ridesharing services, mapping basic features.10
  13. 13. Features of digital-agetransportation systemsG IVEN the pace of innovation and the sheer complexity of transportation systems, itis foolish to venture hard-and-fast predictions to know when the next possible ride is com- ing along. Planners and financial officers need to know how much it costs to operate a givenabout exactly what these systems will look stretch of road or transit route at any givenlike in coming years. But several key themes time of day.are emerging—not so much predictions as In a real sense, information under-extrapolations from current developments. girds mobility. So it shouldn’t be a surprise To take advantage of emerging technolo- that the movement of networked IT intogies, broader social shifts and new business everyday objects—the so-called “Internetmodels, a reenvisioned urban transportation of Things”—creates vast possibilities forsystem is likely to have five key features (see reimagining mobility.figure 4). Networked carsMassively networked The Internet of Things is already transform- ing automobiles.15 Though automakers haveI NFORMATION is as much a part of the basic infrastructure of transportation as roadsand rails are. Travelers need to know where focused much of their attention on connecting cars to existing voice and data networks, the real payoffs will come as vehicles become capa-they are and how to get where they want to go, ble of sensing each other, and their surround-whether on foot, by bike, by car, or by transit. ings and of communicating with their drivers,Traffic managers and drivers want up-to-the each other and the infrastructure around them.minute data on accidents, weather conditions, The true value of these technologicaland traffic flows. Transit passengers want to advances lies not so much in their technology,know when the next bus or train will arrive however, as in their being networked. As Pauland how to get where they’re going once Didier, a manufacturing solutions architect atthey’re dropped at their stop. Ridesharers want Cisco, puts it, “The value of devices (and the 11
  14. 14. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban MobilityFigure 4. Key features of digital-age transportation systems MASSIVELY USER CENTERED NETWORKED A mobility paradigm Ubiquitous connectivity centered around the user’s throughout the transportation system needs, priorities, data flows between vehicles (V2V), between vehicles and dynamic responses and their surrounding infrastructure (V2I), and between transportation systems and their users INTEGRATED A well-connected system of systems that enables users to easily move from point A to point B regardless of mode, service provider, etc. RELIANT Y ICALL ON NEW DY NAM D MODELS PRICE of road, pricin g use OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE Va riable nd shared ply COLLABORATION ng a sup parki o balance Transportation needs will be met by s t d asset nd deman an increasingly diverse ecosystem of a public, private and nonprofit entities12
  15. 15. capabilities they represent) increases exponen- More advanced communication capa-tially when they can communicate with other bilities are not far off. The US Department ofdevices and systems.” Sensing an obstacle in Transportation (USDOT) has been workingthe road, he points out, does no good without for close to a decade to seed V2V technologyletting the driver know the obstacle is there or development with an eye toward improv-signaling the brakes or steering system to take ing safety—trying to define standards, workaction. Even better would be alerting other with automakers and IT firms to craft pilotcars and transportation authorities that there’s programs, and deploy enough models toa problem. “I like to think of it as on-machine, determine whether the technology works asbetween machines and machine-to-cloud (or hoped.19 In August 2012, the USDOT launcheddata center) communication,” Didier says.16 the largest road test of connected vehicle crash The benefits of linking cars’ informa- avoidance technology to date. The Nationaltion—speed, direction, sudden braking—and Highway Traffic Safety Administration will useessentially creating safer, more efficient, and the data collected from the first-of-its-kindmore orderly traffic on the road are signifi- test to assess if and when connected vehiclecant. As executive chairman of Ford Motor safety technology should be incorporated intoCompany Bill Ford describes it, “It will be the the fleet.20closest thing the industry has ever developedto autopilot.” Moreover, he argues, “such ad Benefits of a smarthoc vehicle networks could be integrated with transportation networkother transportation networks, from pedes- While automotive advances are reshapingtrian cross-walk systems to connected bicycles, the driving experience—ultimately, perhaps,making your car a single node in a giant grid turning drivers into de facto passengers—of multi-modal transit intelligence.”17 Ford is opportunities for transformation are arriv-among the automakers developing “adaptive ing on the heels of the explosion of mobilecruise control” (ACC) systems, which automat- technology and especially the rapid spread ofically keep a set distance between a car and the smartphones. In a sense, formerly clear lines—vehicle in front of it. Simulations have found between humans and machines, betweenthat certain traffic jams could be prevented ownership and nonownership, between goodsby harmonizing speeds and smoothing driver and services—blur when information gener-reactions if 20 percent of vehicles on a highway ated and used interchangeably by people andwere equipped with advanced ACC.18 machines becomes ubiquitous.In a sense, formerly clear lines—betweenhumans and machines, between ownership andnonownership, between goods and services—blurwhen information generated and used interchangeablyby people and machines becomes ubiquitous. 13
  16. 16. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility New transport models made possible by mobile phones, apps, and smart card technology, like car sharing, are taking a good that sits idle most of the time and turning it into something else. Social media, in particular, creates all sorts director Sean O’Sullivan. “All these approaches of new possibilities. Susan Grant-Muller, direc- are enabled by cheap, connected computers.” tor of research at the Institute for Transport The models enabled by a networked sys- Studies at the University of Leeds, argues that tem have great potential to deliver concrete social media turns travelers both into consum- financial benefits to society. By Deloitte’s ers of information and a particularly useful calculations, doubling the number of rideshare form of sensor. “With mobile technology,” she commuters (which would simply bring the says, “it’s possible for people to build up pro- percentage back up to 1970 levels) and shifting files of our transport behavior.”21 10 percent of lone drivers to car sharing, could New transport models made possible by take nearly 16 million lone drivers off the road mobile phones, apps, and smart card technol- and save 757 million hours annually wasted in ogy, like car sharing, are taking a good that sits congestion. Carbon dioxide emissions would idle most of the time and turning it into some- decline by roughly 2 percent in the United thing else. “You have to think of [the vehicle] States alone. If the government tried to match as a service now,” said Adam Greenfield, these savings by building new public transit, managing director of the boutique design the bill would run over $27 billion.23 firm Urbanscale. “It is not so much a product in space and time but... a proposition that is accessible by multiple people, at different rates Dynamically priced and different times. Eight, ten or twelve people can use that car.”22 T ODAY’S consumers do not bear the true costs of mobility, and the consequences of this are profound. As Cisco’s Andreas Mai and A massively networked system is already creating new ways of maximizing the potential Dirk Schlesinger observe: of existing vehicles and infrastructure. This • We consume as much as we can because we system is the linchpin of the entire “collabora- perceive [road and traffic services] as “free.” tive consumption” movement, allowing Zipcar, • Because the true cost of the inflated demand Getaround, Avego, and their counterparts is not recovered, the public service provider in other countries to operate. “It’s taking the is underfunded. weight of the $8,000 a year we all spend on our • The resulting demand/supply imbalance cars and sharing the costs among the people cripples road infrastructure and significantly actually using them,” says Avego managing inflates the societal cost of mobility.2414
  17. 17. In its final report, the National Surface fine-grained in their spatial resolution, and fre-Transportation Infrastructure Financing quent in their adjustment of prices as conges-Commission wrote, “All too often the prices tion levels fluctuate.”28paid by transportation system users aremarkedly less than the costs of providing the Parking lessonstransportation services they use (including While dynamic pricing may still be inpavement repair)—much less the total social the future when it comes to driving, it’s fastcosts (including traffic congestion and pollu- arriving for parking. Donald Shoup, an urbantion).”25 In 2006, the report noted, user fees, planning professor at University of California,including the gas tax, covered just 58 percent Los Angeles, and the author of The High Costof highway funding, while farebox revenues of Free Parking, notes that not only do parkingprovided just 35 percent of transit funding.26 space regulations waste valuable urban land, With the rise of mobile technology and the but at any given moment, an average of 30 per-Internet of Things, new dynamic pricing mech- cent of the cars in congested downtown trafficanisms that would have been inconceivable are actually just looking for a place to park.just a decade ago are now possible—enabling “Free curb parking in a congested city gives apricing based on such variables as time of day, small, temporary benefit to a few drivers whoroad congestion, speed, occupancy, and even happen to be lucky on a particular day, butfuel efficiency and carbon emissions. By pric- it imposes large social costs on everyone elseing different stretches of road or transit routes every day.”29differently—based on up-to-the-minute condi- For that reason, San Francisco is garneringtions—cities can divert drivers and passengers great attention for its SFpark program, whichto cheaper routes, as well as collect payment has installed networked meters that can sensefor what it actually costs to maintain a roadway the occupancy of each space in real time andor system. communicate it—not just to potential park- In their book Reinventing the Automobile, ers, but to parking managers who can adjustWilliam Mitchell, Chris Borroni-Bird and prices based on the overall occupancy of aLawrence Burns lay out the rationale for given block and aim to set a price that keepsdynamic pricing: “Clear, rational, responsive one or two spaces free on each block. As Shouppricing of trips provides a sound basis for both writes, “SFpark embodies two importantindividual decision making and the optimiza- ideas. The first is that you cannot set the righttion of overall system behavior for society as a price for curb parking without observing thewhole. From a driver’s perspective, it makes the occupancy.... The second is that small changestotal costs of trips accurately and clearly evi- in parking prices and location choices candent and enables well-informed choices among lead to big improvements in transportationalternative trip departure times, routes, and efficiency.”30destinations. From an urban systems perspec-tive, it enables the effective management byprice of available urban space and infrastruc- User centered Tture while providing tools for achieving social HERE’S a reason the automobile is asequity and other policy objectives.”27 popular as it is: It puts the user’s needs at The only way to do this, though, is to use the center of a trip. You don’t have to worryemerging technology. Existing systems, they about a transit agency’s schedules, whetherpoint out, adjust prices only at relatively long you’ll get a seat, whether it’s raining or whetherintervals and tend to cover only portions (in most cases) you can actually get to yourof a road network, thus displacing traffic to destination. For that comfort and convenience,untolled roads. The goal, they write, “is to most Americans are willing to put up with themake congestion pricing systems citywide, 15
  18. 18. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility The technological developments of the past couple of decades offer the prospect of a very different paradigm—mobility centered around the user. inconveniences of traffic, finding parking, and it, “We should not modify people’s behavior– the cost of gasoline. the system should be able to accommodate There’s another reason the car is so popu- the person. It needs to provide choices for the lar: It gives its user the widest-seeming set user.” Others point out that one purpose of of options within the existing transportation dynamic pricing is, in fact, to encourage users system. At the moment, transport solutions to modify their behavior: to walk or take tran- are designed, developed, and controlled by sit when streets are congested, to park farther providers and government agencies, and users away from their destination at times when the slot themselves into that system. Where roads block it’s on is heavily used, or to wait an extra go, when trains run, where metro stops are half hour before using rail transit. located, which bus routes get the most frequent Still, the overall system needs to provide service—all impose constraints on the choices choices that not only permit everything that users can make. today’s system permits, but that improve on it, whether it’s a trip to the grocery store or More choices to visit family or the daily commute. It needs The technological developments of the to meet the needs of an aging population (it’s past couple of decades offer the prospect of a hard to imagine the baby boom generation set- very different paradigm—mobility centered tling for being shut-ins or relying on the occa- around the user. According to Buzzcar and sional paratransit ride), and of the disabled, of Zipcar founder Robin Chase, “The combina- the regular commuter traveling a fixed route tion of the Internet, which holds the world’s at the same time every day, of people running knowledge; wireless, which gives us ubiquitous errands or rushing to a last-minute meeting, of and low-cost access to it; and smartphones pedestrians and bicyclists, of people who like that make our interfaces portable and cheap, is owning their own vehicles, and of people who transformational.”31 wouldn’t be caught dead owning a car. In other Some transportation experts take a dim words, it needs to answer to the world as it is. view of forcing users to adapt to the system’s Travel behavior is dynamic and multifaceted, needs, rather than the other way around. As and the provision of more choices that actually Marcus Bowman, founder of 3G Mobility puts entice people—rather than forcing them into16
  19. 19. one mode or another—ought to lead to a more Transportation data needs to be provided inbalanced, optimally used system overall. an open format, up to the minute, and readily “We must have a wide range of options in accessible to anyone who needs it.transportation,” says Chase, “because people gofrom being 0 years old to being 90; they havedifferent amounts of money, different amounts Integratedof ability to move, different amounts of inde-pendence, different amounts of income. How I F you live in an urban area, here’s where you want the system to end up: You have got a mobile device, and it knows where youyou move a 2-year-old is not how you move a28-year-old, or a 48-year-old with children. ... are because it’s location aware. So you enterTo answer transportation issues we really, truly where you want to go and it gives you all yourdo need to have a variety of possibilities.”32 options, based on what’s going on right now: it knows the best route, the existing trafficReal-time information conditions, how much parking is availableand open data close by to where you’re going, how the buses and trains are running, where the closest bike Making a dynamic, multi-modal transpor- shares, Zipcar spots, and peer-to-peer cartation system possible shares are located,requires a fundamental and when someonechange in who controlsinformation and how The goal is clear: in your ridesharing network is going toit is shared. Withoutcomprehensive infor- Transportation data be coming by. And it can tell you whatmation at their finger-tips—whether it involves needs to be provided the best option is right now: Trafficpublic or privateservices—transportation in an open format, is backed up, and there’s a breakdownusers can’t make the bestchoices for travel. So to up to the minute, and on the light rail line you would need, butunderstand their choicesand make quick deci- readily accessible to there’s a bike shar- ing station threesions, users need accessto freely shared, up-to- anyone who needs it. blocks away from you, so right nowthe-minute information. that’s your best bet On the roads, this is (see figure 6). Youprecisely what companies such as INRIX and walk over, wave your credit card or smart-TomTom aim to provide: real-time information phone over a reader, and you’re on your way.for subscribers about current traffic conditions. It’s a delightful prospect—and no longerAnd within cities, the “open data” movement is as impossible as it might have seemed fivepressing public transit agencies to make their years freely available in the widely used General One vision of how to get there has beenTransit Feed Specification (GTFS) format so developed by RideAmigos Corp, whichthat developers can build route, schedule, and has developed the virtual Century Cityother applications on top of it. Success has Transportation Management Organizationbeen mixed, as City-Go-Round, a website that (CCTMO) in Los Angeles. Its dashboardprovides access to “useful” transit apps, makes allows users to compare alternatives—transit,clear: Only 220 out of 844 transit agencies in ridesharing, bicycling, walking—for cost, time,the United States have open data, though more distance, and carbon dioxide output; tracksare being added regularly.33 The goal is clear: 17
  20. 20. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban MobilityFigure 6. Illustrative multi-modal commuter dashboard Commute Planner 2,350 MY TOTAL POINTS TRIP: DAY: CULVER CITY to DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES TIME: MY RANK #8 WEEKDAY 9:00AM POINTS NEEDED FOR NEXT AWARD 150 TRIP DASHBOARD TIME 4.1 hrs 54 mins 27 mins 29 mins 48 mins COST free free $6.85 $1.50 $1.50 2 shared rides MILES 10.2 mi 10.5 mi 11.0 mi 9.1 mi 9.5 mi available LBS CO2 0.0 lbs 0.0 lbs 9.1 lbs 2.6 lbs 5.3 lbs POINTS 50 35 0 25 20 20 DIRECTIONS MAP POINTS OF INTEREST 1. Start out going northeast on 0.44 mi Bike racks Culver Blvd. toward Lafayette Pl. Bicycle shop/repair 2. Turn right onto Venice Blvd. 2.78 mi Shower facilities 3. Keep right at the fork to 0.68 mi METRO Stops continue on Venice Blvd. Park-n-rides 4. Turn slight right onto Lomita St. 0.32 mi Zipcar 5. Turn left onto West Blvd. 0.25 mi GetThere commutes; provides options for buying transit transition from one system to the next is passes; lists bike rack locations and shower painless. According to SMART’s Zielinski, facilities; matches carpools and vanpools “Transportation is not simply one mode that within a user’s company or throughout the moves a person or a good from A to B. It is community; and provides business listings, much more interesting and useful than that. weather, traffic alerts, and so on.34 It is a system, or rather a ‘system of systems’ connecting modes, services, technologies and Connected system of systems designs according to the best option for the The world is catching up to the notion that purpose.”35 the centerpiece of a transportation network This is hardly far-fetched, given how ubiq- is the person or good that has to be moved, uitous this kind of connectivity has become not the idiosyncratic needs of the organiza- in our lives. Take banking and retail, for tion that runs a particular mode of travel. example. As former IBM chairman and CEO Making movement as easy as possible means Sam Palmisano, points out, “We take it for integrating a range of systems so that the granted that we can transfer funds and make18
  21. 21. payments among institutions. …We take it for ordinary users to travel easily, fully aware ofgranted that we can use the same payment and their options.billing systems, regardless of store, website or In other words, says Georgia Institute ofindustry. All these systems have standards and Technology assistant engineering professorinterfaces that permit information to flow.”36 Kari Watkins, who helped create the Seattle- Transportation, he argues, isn’t even close. area transit app OneBusAway as a graduateThe connections simply don’t exist among student, “You need the underlying infrastruc-vehicles and “pathways,” government agencies, ture where you’re measuring all these things;regulators, providers, and carriers, and to the you need agencies that are forward-thinkinggoods and people being moved.”37 enough to share this data; and then you need folks who are innovative enough to figure outTotal information awareness how to develop the applications that lay on Establishing a well-connected system of top of each other, so that we can get a systemsystems will take work. It means making sure where the focus really is on mobility itself andthat a number of capabilities are in place: taking care of transportation customers.”38Roadways, parking spaces, cars and tran-sit vehicles are equipped with sensors. Ride Activating network effectsshare, car share and bike share systems know requires system coordinationtheir assets’ availability. Payment systems are The development of discrete systems is onlyintegrated so that regardless of whether you’re a first step; it is their integration and spreadusing a bicycle, taking a subway, or paying that will produce real benefits. As Stephenroad tolls in three different states, you can do Ezell of the Information Technology andso electronically using just a single card or Innovation Foundation points out, “If a regiondevice. And the agencies—public or private— or state makes all its roadways intelligent withthat run the various systems make their data real-time traffic data, such efforts do little goodavailable so that others can use that data to if motorists do not have telematics in theirbuild the applications that make it possible for vehicles (or on mobile phones) to receive and act on that information.” Similarly, a collection“ Transportation is not simply one mode that moves a person or a good from A to B. It is much more interesting and useful than that. It is a system, or rather a ‘system of systems’ connecting modes, services, technologies and ” designs according to the best option for the purpose. —— Susan Zielinski, managing director, SMART, University of Michigan 19
  22. 22. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility“ We’re focused on vehicle throughput, but we haveto care about people throughput. We don’t look atthis big mobility picture and how can we get people ”around the entire community in a better way.—— Kari Watkins, assistant professor, Georgia Institute of Technology of independent electronic toll collection Interestingly, you can see the outlines of an systems is far less efficient or convenient for answer in the status quo. travelers than one that covers jurisdictions all The assumption about most roads, bridges, across the country. “Thus,” Ezell says, “many and other auto-related infrastructure in the intelligent transportation systems are subject United States, has always been that they to network effect and scale challenges, thus are a public good, and therefore should be requiring extensive system coordination.”39 funded partially by users through gasoline The problem is not just that such coordina- taxes and tolls, and partially through public tion and integration don’t yet exist but also that subsidies ultimately paid by the general tax it is unclear whether the organizations cur- base. Financing has been largely provided by rently overseeing the system of transportation the private sector in the bond markets. But in systems in the United States or other countries recent years, as the gap between available pub- know how to make it happen. “We’re focused lic funds and infrastructure needs has grown on vehicle throughput, but we have to care ever wider, another model has taken hold: about people throughput,” says Watkins. “We the public-private partnership, or PPP, which don’t look at this big mobility picture and how involves the use of private sector equity and can we get people around the entire commu- risk sharing. This has been the force behind nity in a better way.”40 the creation of high-occupancy toll lanes near Fort Lauderdale, Florida; the new management of the Indiana Toll Road (a deal in which the Reliant on new models of Cintra-Macquarie venture is paying the state public-private collaboration $3.8 billion to lease the road over 75 years); T HE hardest question when looking at the future of transportation, of course, is how change is going to be organized and paid for. and the creation of HOT lanes in the DC sub- urbs of northern Virginia. If a new transportation system is going to come into being, government will neither be20
  23. 23. able to fully fund it nor take primary responsi- expanded the definition of carpool projects inbility for it at current taxing or toll levels; it is 2012 to include real-time ridesharing.having enough trouble just keeping up with the ITNAmerica, a not-for-profit, has devel-status quo. Moreover, the sheer complexity of oped an innovative business and paymenta transportation system that works for every- model geared toward improving mobility forone—unlike the current system—argues that seniors, regardless of their income. Similarly, amany players will have to be involved. small constellation of firms—TomTom, INRIX, One way that government can prime the Garmin and others—are exploring differ-private sector’s creative pump is through chal- ent ways of guiding and informing drivers,lenges that arrive at transportation solutions whether through dedicated dashboard deviceswithout calling for heavy public spending on or smartphone apps or the new data hubsresearch and development. The USDOT has being installed in cars. Different aspects ofa handful of such challenges, though only mobility, in other words, are generating theirone—asking for innovative uses for DSRC own “ecosystems” of players.wireless technology—has really tackled a core Venture capitalist Ryan Popple and hismobility issue.41 firm, KPCB, got into transportation because they saw a similarity to a field they had beenThe new transportation ecosystem investing in—smart grids and renewable A transportation system that works for energy. “As we spent time in those sectors andeveryone must be complex and fine-grained realized how much waste was in the basic grid,at multiple levels—which means that there we found some great software and hardwareare a multitude of potential niches for private- companies that were really the IT of the grid,”sector involvement. In almost every aspect of Popple says. “The more time we spent aroundtransportation—from electrification of cars the [transportation] system we realized theand up-to-the-minute information for drivers paybacks and the return-on-investmentto ways of reducing the “wasted capacity” of around just eliminating waste were huge. Weempty seats and improving the experience of like the comparison of finding the smart-gridpublic transit passengers—new, private efforts companies of the highway and roads system.”43are pouring into the field. There is a sense of And at this particular moment, he believes, thegreat entrepreneurial possibility in addressing field is wide open—or as he puts it, “We thinkthe myriad problems created by the current tilt there are lots of ‘ands’ and fewer ‘ors’ in thetoward the single-occupancy vehicle model. market.” Take just one small slice of the emerg- Which is why there is also great oppor-ing transportation market: ridesharing. tunity for the public and private sectors to“Whatever’s going to happen, there’s a whole collaborate—for each to help the other wherebunch of players who need to work together appropriate. The US federal government,in helping these technologies be adopted through the DOT’s Research and Innovativeby the world,” says Avego managing direc- Technology Administration, has already beentor O’Sullivan. His company happens to be a significant player in promoting V2V andfocused on the daily commute. Carpooling. V2I technology, while the Federal Highwayorg, which lets drivers offer up their empty Administration has seeded everything fromseats online and passengers book them much new toll highways and rail corridors to busthe same way they would a train ticket, already rapid transit projects and ridesharing pilothas 3.6 million members.42 There are others programs around the country.that appeal specifically to students on college There are clear payoffs to cooperationcampuses, or to people looking for intercity between the public sector and a company liketransportation. For its part, the US Congress Avego, which has worked with local govern- ments and the federal government to launch 21
  24. 24. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility “ We are making the private car part ” of the public transit network. —— Sean O’Sullivan, managing director, Avego pilot ridesharing initiatives around Seattle, network. The single car becomes a public/ in northern Virginia and elsewhere. Avego microprivate partnership where the consumer benefits from the knowledge it gains at each is making their asset, empty seats, usable.”44 iteration of its rideshare efforts, as well as from Public transit agencies have for the most government’s help in building a critical mass part embraced this notion, O’Sullivan says, of drivers and passengers—a crucial element because rush hour is their most expensive time of success in ridesharing. The public sector, period—so adding commute capacity without in turn, gets a chance to explore a new way of adding buses or trains helps them keep their looking at “public” transit. costs down. The public-private partnership As Avego’s Sean O’Sullivan explains, “The can also be more explicitly visible, as in a average American commutes 17 miles from pilot project funded by the Federal Highway their home to work. If we automatically make Administration and the Virginia Department available stops along that route... it makes it of Transportation, and managed by the very convenient for people traveling along Northern Virginia Regional Commission, to the road as they normally do to just let the recruit Department of Defense personnel to computer tell them to pull over in 500 meters, use Avego’s ridesharing app in an effort to cut there’s somebody waiting for a ride. We are down congestion along Northern Virginia making the private car part of the public transit commuting corridors.22
  25. 25. Three scenarios fordigital-age transportationS O what do these five features—massively networked, dynamically priced, user Scenario 1: The Internet of carscentered, integrated, and developed by bothpublic and private players—add up to? It may I F you were plucked from 1912 and set down on a city sidewalk today, you’d know immediately what you saw driving past in thebe a fool’s game to make confident and detailed streets. The cars might not look like the Metzpredictions about the future of urban mobil- Runabouts and Brush roadsters of your day,ity, but it’s not so hard to extrapolate from but there’d be no doubt they were cars.current trends. As GM’s Chris Borroni-Bird notes, “The What follows are less alternative scenarios same DNA is in today’s autos as in the autosthan parallel ways of grouping developing of 100 years ago.” They have four wheels,trends. Indeed, the future is likely to con- an engine in front with a passenger com-tain elements of all three: widely connected partment behind, an internal combustionvehicles, or “the Internet of cars”; pricing that engine fueled by petroleum, mechanicalaligns supply with demand; and the spread of controls that rely on a driver, and drivers whosocial networking into transportation decision- are unconnected to other drivers and themaking (see figures 7-9). How these ultimately surrounding infrastructure.take shape will depend on the complicated Now, Borroni-Bird points out, all this isinterplay of a range of players—the public sec- changing. Power sources are diversifying totor, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and a host include biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen fuelof others—and how they go about resolving cells. Cars can be controlled electronicallythe issues that each “scenario” presents.Figure 7. The future of urban mobility: Scenario 1THE INTERNET OF CARS 1 4 You are connected to everything you need while you travel in a car personalized for you You call your (autonomous driving) car to pick you up 5 You are dropped off at the doorstep and the car parks itself2 You enter your destination and are dynamically routed to work based on traffic flows through the system 3 Your car travels down an automated roadway with platooned vehicles 23
  26. 26. Digital-Age Transportation: The Future of Urban Mobility and his company and others—most notably car-specific services: GM’s OnStar division Google, along with Massachusetts Institute offers “concierge” services and roadside assis- of Technology’s CityCar effort—are work- tance for drivers; the Mercedes-Benz mbrace ing on the suite of capabilities that would app allows remote doorlocking and services allow cars to drive themselves. As revolu- such as driving directions and restaurant list- tionary as all this may be, though, perhaps ings through the navigation system; Nissan’s the most game-changing possibilities lie CARWINGS allows electric-vehicle drivers to in the fact that cars are about to join the control functions remotely. information superhighway. But the possibilities inherent in vehicles “It is no longer enough to sell personal connected to each other, to the infrastruc- transportation,” write Cisco’s Andreas Mai and ture around them, and to data streams go far Dirk Schlesinger. “People want a personalized beyond entertainment, navigation, and road- driving experience that keeps them connected side assistance. Cars might automatically scan to everything that is important to them— the Web, for instance, for information about friends, information, music, maps, schedules, problems ahead or parking spaces at one’s des- and more. Connected cars could do for the tination and suggest alternative routes or even automotive industry what smartphones did for switching to a different mode of travel if traffic the phone industry.”45 is too heavy.“ You have a tweet from…your car Connected cars could do Toyota has joined forces with to allow its electric vehicles and for the automotive industry plug-in hybrids to communicate with their owners—“Hey, your battery needs recharg- what smartphones did for ing”—through Twitter and other social net- ” working tools. Car sharing, more efficient fleet the phone industry. 46 management, the capture of real-time traffic data—all are made possible by connected vehi- —— Andreas Mai and Dirk Schlesinger, Cisco cles. So, too, is what GM calls “a sophisticated, integrated, intelligent transportation system that dynamically manages large transportation The market has recognized this. According flows using the latest communications and to a recent report by Globis Consulting, computer controls.”48 “Vehicles are the last major market for con- nectivity, now that homes and businesses are Automated driving linked to the Internet.”47 Finally, of course, there is the possibility of Beyond infotainment the “automated roadway,” platooned vehicles and, when combined with advances in sensing At the moment, much of the action is hap- technology, fully autonomous driving—all of pening piecemeal, and much is focused on which, their supporters argue, will make driv- infotainment. Cell phone calls can be handled ing safer, more convenient, less wasteful, and through the audio system; some manufacturers more efficient. “It may not be obvious,” says are using embedded modules to connect cars Borroni-Bird, “but platooned vehicles might to mobile phone and data networks; others even match or exceed the passenger through- are making it possible to connect to social put of rapid transit bus systems.”49 networking sites, Internet radio, and the Web in general. Still, some firms have focused on24
  27. 27. The promise of connected vehicles: This, say Cisco’s Andreas Mai and DirkA focus on people, not cars Schlesinger, would save 25 percent of the one-time hardware and software costs, and Ubiquitous connectivity will almost cer- another 40 percent each year of operatingtainly speed the day when cars are seen as just costs.51 Moreover, they believe that a net-one piece of the larger transportation system, worked vehicle would then open the door to anot the standalone vehicle of choice they are set of capabilities that “could create an annualnow. In other words, transportation will evolve benefit pool of $1,400 for each connectedbeyond selling cars to integrating cars into a vehicle.” Such benefits might include paymentsvehicle-to-grid system. to traffic-guidance and navigation services, One example of this will be the degree to emergency services, and insurance companieswhich rideshares and peer-to-peer car shares able to charge based on miles driven and loca-become part of a “public” transport system, in tion; lower costs to service automobiles; costessence weaving what had been private space savings to users from spending less time stuckinto the transport options that are publicly in traffic and possibly lower fuel and insuranceavailable at any given moment. Moreover, costs; and lower costs to society from fewerBorroni-Bird notes that vehicle connectivity accidents and lower traffic and toll operation“facilitates communication with the public costs.52 If their calculation is right, unlockingtransport system so that drivers could be that annual benefit pool will be a key to fund-made aware of rapidly changing schedules, for ing the “Internet of cars.”example, or make seamless plans for intermo- There is no question that both the privatedal transport while traveling.”50 and public spheres are headed in that direc- All this carries with it the implication that tion. The USDOT’s Research and Innovativeas vehicles connect to the larger transportation Technology Administration (RITA) and itsecosystem, make their drivers more aware of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)alternatives, and induce industry and govern- research program have been funding researchment to think more systemically, the users of since 2004 in a range of arenas: developing sys-cars, rather than the cars themselves, will come tems that can deliver up-to-the minute weatherto be at the center of transportation think- and road condition information; collisioning. Or to use Kari Watkins’s formulation, avoidance systems; integrated safety systems;the system will be more open to focusing on and a range of connected-vehicle applica-people throughput, rather than simply vehicle tions.53 RITA’s Connected Vehicle Core Systemthroughput—on getting users from their multi- project is focusing on wireless communicationstude of points A to their profusion of points B among pretty much everything that moveswithout giving primacy to any particular mode along and beside a roadway—cars, trucks,of travel. transit, pedestrians, cyclists—linking them to each other and to the infrastructure.54How do we get there? Private sector initiatives, too, are prolif-1. Combine vehicle communications erating. Vehicle manufacturers, of course,in single platform are heavily invested both in remaking their The road to that point, however, is long. products’ basic DNA and in adding connectiv-To begin with, a car these days may be fully ity. Moreover, through the Car Connectivityconnected, but only because of a plethora Consortium (CCC), leading automotiveof devices for telematics, radio, Wi-Fi, toll companies are working closely with mobilepaying and so on. It makes far more sense communications and consumer electronicsto combine vehicles’ communications into a companies to develop global standards forsingle platform. smartphone in-car connectivity. Globis’s Barrie Kirk also expects the mobile carrier industry, 25