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Page added on June 26, 2011

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Why the world faces a massive traffic jam

Sustainability is the biggest issue facing global business in the 21st century. While breakthroughs like improved battery technology will likely provide a solution to the CO2 challenge, another issue — “Global Gridlock” — is quietly taking its place.

Global gridlock can be defined by numbers. The world’s population is growing and is becoming more affluent. There are approximately 6.8 billion people in the world today. Within our lifetime, that number will approach 9 billion. Today, there are about 800 million vehicles on the road worldwide, but by midcentury that number could grow to between 2 and 4 billion.

If we continue to follow the personal mobility model that is now in place, the world’s roads are going to become too crowded. Commutes will become longer; traffic jams will become larger and more ubiquitous. Economic opportunity will be stifled. More time and resources will be squandered while people try to get from point A to point B. This all threatens the promises of both physical and social mobility, which in turn lessens opportunities to improve the world’s standards of living.

There’s no single answer to this new threat to our mobility, and it isn’t going to be solved by one person or group. It’s going to take corporations, entrepreneurs, NGOs, universities, governments and other interested parties all working together to build a global, interconnected system of transportation and mobility solutions. Smart businesses, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will see this as a tremendous opportunity and a job creator.



4 Comments on "Why the world faces a massive traffic jam"

  1. DC on Sun, 26th Jun 2011 9:59 pm 

    I cant believe TED invited this two-faced liar. I love cars….but I love the enviroment too…

    I cant believe people applaud him and laugh at his stupid stories about his ‘love affair’ with cars. Well guess what billy, the cars dont reciprocate the feeling. All they do is take, and leak toxic pollutants and smog, even when there turned off in exchange.

    I guess this is a prime example of double-think in action? He clearly has the ability to hold two mutually contradictory thoughts in his head, and believe both equally. But thats not all, like all good doublethinkers, he wants you to hold the same contradictory set of ideas in your heads as well. What I would like is, did anyone tell him afterwards how full of shit he is? I wonder

    Interesting factoid. The Firestone company(part of the family, literally for this dude) was one of the companies involved in the Greet Street-Car Conspiracy. Of course there competitors GM ran that op, but Im sure Henry would have approvoed, if not given his tacit support.

  2. mo on Mon, 27th Jun 2011 1:09 am 

    It’s called marketing. That’s all that most ‘green’ stuff is…a pile of spin.

    @planbeconomics

  3. Harquebus on Mon, 27th Jun 2011 1:21 am 

    “It’s going to take corporations, entrepreneurs, NGOs, universities, governments and other interested parties all working together to build a global, interconnected system of transportation and mobility solutions.”

    That’s why it ain’t gonna happen.

  4. Cabra1080 on Mon, 27th Jun 2011 5:50 pm 

    There will be less (motorized) traffic in the future, not more. People will be more localized. There won’t be the fuel to sustain the increase in mobility stated in the article.

    It will take “corporations, entrepreneurs, NGOs, universities, governments and other interested parties all working together” just to keep the lights on and keep the food and water coming – it they succeed in that.

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