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Bill Ford Jr.  (Source: idetroitonline.com)
Ford said as the population increases, auto sales will increase, but congested highways will prevent us from traveling/commuting

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) conference today, Bill Ford Jr. addressed his concern regarding future auto congestion in urban areas, which he says could eventually threaten our freedom to commute.

Bill Ford Jr. is the great-grandson of Henry Ford, who founded Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903. Before the introduction of the Ford Model T in 1908, many people did not travel more than 25 miles from home. However, having an automobile made further travels possible -- it gave them freedom.

But Bill Ford Jr. said this freedom could be at risk due to increased population, which means increased auto sales and congested highways that could one day limit the number of automobiles that can be sold or used on the roads at a given time.

"What I'm really worried about is the role of the car in the long-term," said Ford. "If we do nothing, it will limit the number of vehicles we can sell. If we can solve this problem of urban mobility, I think there's a great business opportunity for us."

According to LMC Automotive, a consulting firm in Michigan, there are currently 1.2 billion vehicles on the roads globally.

While issues like the environmental impact of vehicles have already been addressed via efforts like the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal that intends to boost fleet wide fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025, Ford is moving on to other issues that are not so close to being addressed. His issue of choice is what to do about future traffic jams once the population increases, and urges the mobile technology industry to take action in developing solutions.

Ford already has a few solutions in mind, and they're all communications-based answers. Some are currently being developed, and some are not. For instance, Ford sees cars having radar-based cruise control and blind-spot monitoring systems in five years that allow vehicles to communicate with one another. These systems are currently being developed, where vehicles can "talk" to each other, offering information like the speed of another vehicle nearby. This could potentially avoid fatal crashes. Toyota is just one automaker that discussed the introduction of smart road technology back in 2010. Others like Ford and General Motors have worked to offer better and smarter safety systems as well, but they're mostly crash-based instead of traffic congestion-based.

Ford envisions a future beyond 2025 where cars will drive themselves as close together as possible to use the maximum amount of space on a highway. Vehicles will also do the same in parking lots to make more room for others. In addition, he imagines automakers building smaller cars that can offer additional space for other drivers.

"Even if the technology is there, there's still going to have to be tremendous thought by urban planners," said Ford. "That [driving] freedom has been threatened unless we redefine what personal mobility can be in a congested urbanized world."

Source: The Detroit News



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RE: Telecommuting will solve most of the problems
By FITCamaro on 2/27/2012 5:54:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Secondly, knowing you, you don't like any taxation at all


100% false.

I have absolutely no problem paying taxes. What I don't like are taxes that are unreasonably high or designed to shape how we live by punishing us for doing certain things and rewarding us for doing others.

People I know personally often hear me arguing how eventually states will need to implement laws that will charge sales tax for online transactions. I have no problem paying sales taxes on online purchases because I know what the point of them are. Schools, roads, police, firefighters, etc. People who complain about these things being underfunded or in disrepair shouldn't complain when they don't want to pay these kinds of taxes. All I ask is that they be collected at the time of sale.


RE: Telecommuting will solve most of the problems
By Netscorer on 2/27/2012 7:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Please, spare me.
Every tax shapes how society and people operate. Some directly (alcohol, tobacco), some not (investments, property). Sometimes (in US more often then not) it's not the taxes but tax breaks (which is essentially the same thing if you come to think of it as every tax break has to be paid by some other tax). let's take mortgage deduction, for example. It directly influences peoples decision to own property vs rent. I have not heard you complaining about this break, though it penalizes folks who don't want or can't own their property as it essentially puts them at higher tax rate.
Now with your example on retail taxes, or Internet retail taxes. The decision not to tax online purchases was initially implemented with a specific agenda to drive eCommerce. It was government who decided to put moratorium on online taxes and I have not seen you demonstrating in front of White House, demanding that they collect the money you own on your Internet purchases. Now you are saying that you are OK with paying these taxes (eventually). How nice of you! So what benefits you is fine but what does not, you are up in arms, protecting your rights.
Please, spare me.


By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2012 8:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
Netscorer that was a really bad post. Lotta problems here.

quote:
Every tax shapes how society and people operate.


That's never been the purpose of taxation. EVER. Taxes shouldn't be used to shape society or punish/reward.

quote:
(which is essentially the same thing if you come to think of it as every tax break has to be paid by some other tax)


BIG TIME false statement. Completely false. Taxes don't work this way, sorry. If you get a tax break on something, someone else pays higher offsetting taxes? Since when?

quote:
I have not heard you complaining about this break


Red Herring. You haven't heard him complain about it because it's probably never come up for discussion on DT. Or are you claiming to be psychic?

quote:
The decision not to tax online purchases was initially implemented with a specific agenda to drive eCommerce.


Uhhh this is completely made up. There was never a "decision" to not tax eCommerce. There just isn't a way to enforce this tax. Called a "Use tax" and implemented by most every state for decades now.

The problem is states can't enforce taxation across State lines, but the Constitution prohibits the Government from forcing such policies on the states and individual e Retailers.

quote:
Please, spare me.


And please, spare US. From this ignorant trolling posting of yours utterly bereft of facts, logic, and common sense.


By Paj on 2/28/2012 8:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's never been the purpose of taxation. EVER. Taxes shouldn't be used to shape society or punish/reward.


Er, yes it is. It may smack against your conservative/libertarian leanings, but that's how it is.

It's a pretty basic tenet of economic theory. Governments use taxation to implement policies across the entire spectrum - health, defence, infrastructure, energy, trade.
Domestic industries are encouraged through subsidies and tariffs, which are another form of taxation.

I can understand why you hate the idea though, considering how emblematic it is of big government and reduction of personal liberty and so on. Saying it shouldn't happen is one thing - it's your opinion and your entitled to it if you want it. But saying it DOESN'T happen is something else completely - it's simply not true.


By Rott3nHIppi3 on 2/28/2012 11:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
@ Reclaimer...

I believe taxes do shape the landscape to some extent. The eastern half of PA is a good example. Lots of people live in PA and commute to NJ/NY simply to avoid the huge discrepancy in property taxes. Businesses also move their headquarters to states offering up the best tax incentives (which is why a lot of North East companies moved to NC and SC). Dell Computer and CAT are good examples (I think). But in reality, yes..... no one is stopping anyone from moving closer to their job. Hell, most people commute 80 miles one way to work EVERY DAY just so they can be 10 miles away from mom on the WEEKENDS. I blame babies! LOL! Good thing our other big business is abortions... less future commuters every day!


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