Media in Europe has recently been discussing the future of the automobile, with car makers reportedly concerned about the impact that increasingly dense urban cities will have on demand for cars.
According to Fairfax Media, population experts estimate that by 2050 more than 60 per cent of the developed world will live in high-density areas – with much less space to park cars near their apartments.
Speaking at a conference about future mobility in Munich recently, an urban planning expert for German car maker Audi said the company could one day sell electric bicycles or two-wheel scooters as the automobile gets squeezed out, and has already begun testing samples of such technology.
Tokyo is usually quoted as an example of a city where the vast proportion of under-25s who could have a driving license don’t, as all parking spaces are gone and the city mandates that having a parking space is a pre-requisite to be able to own a car.
One potential solution flagged by car makers is the driverless car, which can communicate with other cars and traffic signals, allowing customers to drop off in one location and pick up from another. Such a system could greatly increase the usage of single vehicles as well.
Manufacturers are no doubt hoping that the car remains as a premium or luxury item, whilst investing in a range of other technologies and innovations in transport.