2013 April 26

The Master Resource Report  2013-04-26

The car’s future?

In this week’s Economist there is a special report on Cars. The report takes a broad look at where the automobile is today and what appears to on the horizon. But one overriding assumption is the car will continue to dominate both transportation and society in the decades ahead. Below is a video by the Economist forecasting the shift in fuel use through mid-century.

This one excerpt from the section on driverless cars sounds an awful lot like taking the bus, train or carpool to work. People who spend hours driving every day will get a chunk of their life back, to work, rest or play while they are on the road. Less congestion means less wasted fuel and fewer emissions.” Do we really need Google’s latest technology to accomplish these goals?

The critical question the report did not address is whether the car and the car based society it supports may in fact need to make even more fundamental changes in the decades ahead. After all they didn’t question whether there would soon be 1 billion automobiles on the globe. For example they closed the opening section with this paragraph.

Best of all, in emerging markets there is enough pent-up demand to keep the industry growing for many decades yet. But which makers, in which countries, will reap the benefits?