According to General Motors, electric vehicles figure big in the future of transportation, and autonomous at that!
Individual ownership of cars has proven to be very bad for the atmosphere, not to mention for the budget and, for this very reason alone, the average age of automobiles in the United States is somewhere around ten years. Modern vehicles generate fewer emissions, and electric vehicles generate zero emissions on their own, but what good does that do if you can’t afford them? Indeed, this is the very reason that developing countries are stockpiled with some of the worst-polluting vehicles in the world, prompting some, both automakers and governments, to take steps to make electric vehicles more affordable.
Electric vehicle car-sharing could actually be the future of urban and suburban transportation, and has already proven to reduce costs for members. According to zipcars, one shared car can take the place of a whopping thirty-two cars, which means that members save on refueling, insurance, and parking spaces, not to mention the headaches that come with car ownership. An electric vehicle car-sharing program results in a significant reduction in emissions, as well.
General Motors, as well as some other automakers, have been working to make electric vehicle car sharing programs one better by adding autonomous drive. General Motors’ Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 (Electric Networked Vehicle) is an autonomous drive electric vehicle, equipped with GPS, networking, cameras, LIDAR (light detection and ranging), V2V and V2P (vehicle-to-vehicle and –pedestrian) communications, and a host of other sensors. Members of the future electric vehicle car-sharing network request transportation, probably via smartphone or other connected device, and an available Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 comes to pick them up, completely autonomously. Input a destination and the EN-V 2.0 takes its passengers to their destination. Electric vehicle car-sharing spreads the costs and emissions out over perhaps hundreds of passengers, making the future of transportation more convenient, with less traffic congestion and less chest congestion!
Image © General Motors