How might we travel in the future?


Over the past couple of months I’ve been reading Yuval Noah Harari’s books Sapiens and Homo Deus. It’s been a fascinating deep-dive into our past, present & future.

One of the things it’s made me question is how we use transport – in particular the car. Joanna & I are no different to many families today in that we have two cars. We live in Inchture, work in Dundee, and in my case I do quite a bit of driving to and from meetings. But is owning two cars really necessary? Let’s think about it.

Our two cars spend about 90% of their lives sitting unused. Overnight they sit in our drive. Then we use them to drive to work the next morning – usually a commute of between 15-25 minutes, depending on the traffic. Whilst we’re at work all day they sit idle, before making the journey back home at the end of the day.

A couple of evenings a week we’ll have stuff on; stuff that requires us to travel back in to Dundee or sometimes to Perth. And of course we use them a bit more on the weekend.

But most of the time they sit there unused. Then there’s the cost! The cost of ownership, of fuel, insurance and servicing. It adds up.

If these were business assets, as an accountant I’d be seriously questioning their worth. Yet because we own them personally, and it’s kind of what humans do, then we don’t have that conversation.

We should though, shouldn’t we? Are there different ways we could travel to work? How might we re-design our working days so that only one car is needed? Or none? How will car ownership work in the future?

If you live in a bigger city, then you can already make use of services such as Zipcar where you hire instead of own the car. Not only does it cost a lot less, but it’s also much better for the environment.

How many cars sit idle for 90% of the time? I’d guess around 90%. That can’t be sensible in anyone’s book.

It’s time to reinvent the way we travel. So how might we do that?

5 thoughts on “How might we travel in the future?

  1. My wife an I down traded from two to one car about two years ago for the same reason. The cost of car ownership is too high when they sit around at either home or work. The amount of times we have both needed the car at the same time over the last two years I could count on one hand.

  2. I wish we didn’t need our cars so much. We had one car in 2005-2006. Going back to one car is something to aim for. Great read! (This has me wondering what else we could do without.).

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