Despite all the positive changes the automobile has wrought, there are still a few big problems. Leading the list is the rate of automotive fatalities and injuries—thousands of people die in car crashes every year. And many times that number are seriously injured. Next on my list is the millions of person-hours wasted each year by people sitting in slow traffic—needlessly long commute times. Add the carbon footprint of each car to that picture. And you can see plenty of room for improvement in the way we use machines to get around.
At a one-day event called AutoMobilityLA held at the annual Los Angeles Auto show that runs through Nov. 27. New YorkTimes reporter Tom Volek surveyed a number of digital technologies that promise to deal with all of these problems. But as with many nice ideas, the difficulty is how we’re going to get from here to there without making things worse before they get better.