Science fiction promised us flying cars by now, but the real future of driving could be much more grounded. While it's less sexy than going airborne, the key improvement in how we get around in upcoming decades will be about making the whole process much more efficient.

The rise of Uber and other car-sharing services like Lyft has a lot of transportation wonks thinking about how technology can make driving finally make sense by filling up all the empty seats most of us drive around with in our cars much of the time.

"Recently with the social media aspect of the network companies you feel like you're not just out there on your own," says Howard Jennings from Mobility Lab in the below short documentary.

Of course, the problem is that filling those empty seats requires being able to match people who need to go from the same starting point to the same destination at roughly the same time, something that's been impossible, perhaps until now.

Stanford's Stefan Heck lays out a pretty fascinating vision of the future in which four technologies that are just now beginning to take hold in society all converge to revolutionize driving and public transportation. Imagine vehicles that are at once electric, self-driving, connected to a data network and part of a system like Uber.

"In the future those will combine, so we'll have an electric shared autonomous car... so think of it as the new mode that really fits between private car ownership and public transit."

Sorry sci-fans, the future may have a lot more robot shared taxis than flying sports cars, but it also means a lot less road rage and hours lost in traffic. Check out the full documentary below:

 

Published on: Mar 23, 2016
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