On the car of the future
The cost of owning and operating a car today is about 18% of the average American's income about $8,500 a year. That doesn't include what we are going to see over the next five years, which is increased fossil-fuel prices, increased congestion taxes, increased parking costs in cities. So the car of the future will be a shared car that's fully used, because I won't be paying for the parking space and I will be driving it very little.
On homemade cars
If you think of it, it probably costs $100 million to get a new car on the road, and maybe each car company is doing one or two a year. So that means, in the entire planet, where we have 1 billion cars, they're experimenting with 30 different cars, period. I've been talking to so many mechanical engineers and cool guys fiddling in their shops, and all those solar-powered competitions. If instead we could put those cars on the street I could make 10 in my garage. I could sell 20 to my friends, and we could experiment and iterate and get more ideas. We would be changing how we think about transportation if you could have tens of thousands of experiments going on every day instead of 50.
On smart cars
One idea I have is to create an open device for cars onto which you can put applications. If you think of what Zipcar was, it was regular cars that we put a black box into, and that changed the way people behaved when using their cars. That same black box could be a platform for any number of different ways to think about using cars how they interact with the environment.
On excess capacity
Another idea is that in the future, we are going to have less. I think we have this incredible amount of excess capacity and abundance that we are using poorly. If we just used the part that we actually used and left the rest for someone else, then we would all have this much greater standard of living and use many fewer resources to get it.
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