What is the future of transportation? Film-makers David Hodge and Hi-Jin Kang Hodge have been asking everyone from Steven Chu to William Clay Ford to 80 other experts for their new full-length documentary Life on Wheels.
This is a subject dear to TreeHugger, as we regularly are looking for life after the gasoline powered car. Hodge talks to many who are doing the same, looking at the problems we have and figuring out how to fix it, like Thilo Koslowski:
Telling the story through the eyes of experts and real families and households, we paint pictures of potential futures based on new social movements and lifestyle trends, game-changing technologies, and new business models. We depict an entire industry and infrastructure on the edge of disruption; just as in the computer industry during the 80s, new technologies are coming online faster than people can figure out how to apply them. No one knows the rules yet and so people - businesses, citizens, and policymakers - are making it up as they go along. At the same time, as we track this “wild west” of mobility, we dismantle the viability and the glory myths of the current, outmoded systems, giving urgency to the transformation.
Over a million people in the world die every year and three times that many are injured or maimed. Or two people die every minute of the day in an automobile. In the US alone, 40 thousand people die every year. It’s like having a major train crash every other day.
Small particles from vehicle emissions called “Soot” cause 25,000 premature mortalities every year.
This has always been an underplayed issue, but more and more people are coming to realize its importance. It will probably lead to the end of diesel and it should be noted that electric cars make soot from tire wear too. More:
Everybody in London is breathing toxic levels of PM2.5
Just ending pollution from car exhaust could add three weeks to your life
Even in polluted cities, it is still better to bike and walk
It's time to dump diesel
The two opposing autonomous vehicle projections are that most households will retain at least one personal vehicle and that almost no-one will bother to own one because it will be so cheap and convenient to dial-a-robocab. While the on-demand scenario occurs to many thought-leaders as preferable, this is neither guaranteed to occur nor has it been determined how such fleets might be governed to achieve a high level of optimization concerning time, energy and fleet size.
This is one of the most controversial discussions around autonomous cars; In the end, I think it is more likely that cars become part of our living room than they be shared. More:
How will self-driving cars affect our cities? Two views
The car of the future will be in the living room of the house of the future
There are three revolutions in urban transportation coming down the road
Will self-driving cars change the way we live as much as the car did?
The car of the future will be part of your living room
The film-makers want this to be The Inconvenient Truth for transportation, and judging from the trailers and interviews, it might well be. The interviews are mostly in the can but they have an Indiegogo campaign going right now (with just a week left) to raise the money for editing and final finishing.
The film will be released in early 2019; I am looking forward to it, the few interviews they have put up on their site or excerpted in the trailer are great. It will have an impact.