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tamias6

The Future of the Automobile

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I think rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Do you seriously see the automobile being phased out in 10 years? 20? Even 50? Sorry, but know matter what happens to the big 3, someone will be happy to fill the void. The infrastructure changes to rid the US of the pesky automobile (and that is the "other" 80% even want it) would be so monumental and cost so much money for a system most people don't think is broke, I think you'll be hard pressed to see the age of king auto end in your lifetime (and for the record, I'm pro mass transit (at least for cross town transit)).

Joe

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I do see a decline in autos in the future as resources become more expensive (China, India, and Brazil buying more fuels), but I don't see autos ever ceasing to exist. I think there will be a greater trend toward diversifying our transportation options rather than allowing the continuation of a dominant auto oriented society. Taxes will most likely be the killer for the auto due to the amount we pay for its upkeep. In 50-100 years, the cost of maintaining all the roads and highways in America (not including future roads/highways and inflation) will be astronomical. Mass transit, on the other hand, inherently costs less over the long haul due to the amount who use it over its lifetime. So it would seem that the more we build now in roads, the more it will cost us later in taxes. How much is the going rate now to re-pave/re-cement a mile of highway? It all comes down to a simple equation: more cars = more roads = more maintainance taxes for roads. It's an unsustainable equation.

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