McKinsey Study: We're Gridlocked...
Updated: Nov 10, 2019
Avg Mph in New York tumbles to 4.7
Over the last several years, traffic in large metropolitan cities has worsened significantly. Gridlocked roads and pollution come standard around the globe. As more people move to urban areas, infrastructure is having a hard time keeping up and smog is on the rise.
A recent McKinsey report shows that by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. As mass urbanization keeps overflowing cities, especially those with older infrastructure, we need well thought out solutions. Initial ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have catalyzed a new way of thinking; however, they’re exacerbating the problem by adding more cars to already dense traffic areas. The average Mph in New York is now at a meager 4.7 Mph.
In order to mitigate the rising populations in metropolitan areas we need more deliberate measures and a shift in preferences. Software, electricity, and group mobility can play a vital role by creating smart ecosystems of public/private partnerships and community-centric values that are needed to propel car sharing to the next phase.
Just recently, Waze, the community-based navigation app, has partnered with governments to augment data driven analytics in order to help solve traffic flow problems in major cities. As more vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-city data is collected, navigation systems will be better able to spread traffic flows across all available road resources. As more governments open up to this type of solution, it allows us to tap into more talent sources to help solve big problems.
In addition to software, universal electrification needs to keep pioneering a way forward in our metro cities. Currently only 0.2% of buses in public transit systems in the U.S. are electric. As electric vehicles become more democratized, we can aim to eliminate diesel fuels from public transit inventories and consumer markets. Presently, the two most used power sources are Diesel, at 50.5%, and CNG, LNG & Blends, at 22.6%. A paradigm shift to more electric vehicles for mass transit will lead to a dramatic improvement in air quality. Improvements in electrification technology will help to reduce supply-chain costs and allow for larger organizations to make significant investments in EVs.
Finally, the convergence of group mobility improvements and a shift in consumer preferences are imperative to make a true difference. Ideas are not enough. We need companies willing to make a significant investment in long-term results and paradigm shifts in transportation habits.
Gridlocked roads and polluted cities are becoming more and more normal, but there is hope. If we make the right public/private alliances, companies can inject innovation into lagging industries. It won’t be easy, but, together we can make a difference.