Should you give up your privacy and personal vehicle to better society? In terms of transportation, the Helsinki government in Finland thinks so. In a push for reducing the carbon footprint, congestion, traffic accidents, and poor air quality, the government seeks to rid the need for individually-owned vehicles by 2025.
Traffic engineer Sonja Heikkilä came up with the transport network idea after working on her master’s thesis. Her overview of the ideal plan describes combining public and private transport providers while allowing accessibility to those providers from mobile devices.
By punching in a destination on a mobile app, individuals would choose from a range of real-time travel such as shared vehicles and bikes; buses; trains; ferries; and taxis, all available immediately. These on-demand travel options would eradicate the need for personal transportation or prearranged carpools.
Some of the options would include rideshare, on-demand bus, driverless car, public transit, or children-specific transportation. Individuals could invest in mobility packages, or something similar, from private transportation authorities that would have various choices specific to the day’s needs.
Government-operated transportation lines would be useful in that it could completely encompass transportation options. Public-private partnerships could even be an option.
While it seems farfetched, technology is becoming increasingly incorporated into transportation, not to mention everyday life. As we speak, automakers are working on producing connected, autonomous vehicles designed to improve the flow of traffic and safety.
Some of the technological advances in use include social transport apps such as ridesharing and carsharing. These apps are particularly helpful in urban areas. Google holds pilot and testing programs on driverless cars in preparation for possible use. Current testing is held in Mountain View, CA, in addition to Austin, TX.
When it comes to future transportation, perhaps we’ll be able to say: there’s an app for that.