What is the future of transportation? Have you ever thought about it? Even though I would prefer to always be in a truck that has a tent, like this one that I like best, I know that it would not be the most sustainable solution for big cities.
However, the streets nowadays are filled with cars that engage in traffic and going to work can mean staying in traffic for an hour on a road that could lead you there in 20 minutes if you were to walk to work. Pollution is another aspect that makes life uncomfortable on the streets and these aspects, in the future, will be reconsidered.
Electric scooters are one of the solutions that everybody sees as sustainable in the future years, mostly because they are small and eco-friendly. In this article, we are going to cover all the aspects that are important for the future of transportation and how electric scooters are making a difference when it comes to how people perceive moving through the city.
A short history of transportation
The 20th century has been a pioneer in different domains, as well as transportation. In 1900, the streets were very populated by people walking and children playing. Because special playgrounds for children weren’t yet popular, people in big cities were accustomed to leave their children playing in the streets.
Horses and omnibuses had a maximum speed of 8 miles per hour and the streets were a very peaceful place to be. In 1910 when cars became more popular in the United States, people used to think they were dangerous, especially because they could travel at a higher speed and people were not used to this kind of intense activity on the streets.
Children could easily get hurt and they could easily get killed as well. There were no regulations on how people should behave on the streets and this made drivers very uncomfortable. Car accidents were on the rise and authorities started to limit the cars’ speed to decrease the number of accidents.
After some time, motorcyclists and car owners gathered up and, together with authorities, started to advocate for rules that people had to comply with while walking on the streets and crossing the roads. They started campaigns that were meant to make the idea that cars’ place was on the streets and the walkers’ place was on the sidewalk sound normal.
The road infrastructure
It is ironic to realize that we are now facing the same problems that people used to face in 1920 when more and more people were car owners and the road infrastructure was not planned for it, so there weren’t enough parking spots, especially for people living in very high buildings.
Now, the problem is not that the authorities didn’t plan for the parking spots while planning the roads and the traffic, but the problem is that they didn’t consider the rise in the number of car owners. As big cities become more and more populated, the traffic more and more of a nightmare.
So, look outside and see how the streets are not big enough for a large number of cars, how do you think that authorities will be able to include electric scooters in this picture?
There has been a lot of debate regarding the way authorities should incorporate bicycles and scooters in a safe traffic plan. The bike trails are a good solution for bicycles and non-electric scooters but they have been built for a small number of bicycles and scooters which do not have high speed.
Electric scooters, on the other hand, can get to a speed as high as 50 miles per hour. This can give rise to another problem: should electric scooters go on the street together with the cars or should they be used on the bike paths together with bicycles and normal scooters?
How electric scooters can have an impact on traffic
If we compare electric scooters to cars when it comes to driving around on city streets, there are some advantages and disadvantages that both of them have. The way cars will evolve can improve following a more eco-friendly line. They will also become more comfortable, which will be a huge plus, especially during the winter.
Maybe in 50 years, they will all have electric engines and they will be able to reach unimaginable speeds, but that isn’t very helpful in big cities. Even though cars will be able to travel at a higher speed, the traffic would be the same because the cars and the streets have the same size.
Electric scooters, however, have a great advantage. If all of us would use scooters while going from one place to another inside the city, the space that we would take up would be considerably smaller.
The quote ‘you are not in traffic, you are traffic’ is very relevant here. The average number of seats that people occupy in a car is two. So, on average, two people traveling around by car take up more space than two people traveling around by two separate scooters.
Saving space for the important stuff
Walking on the streets of big cities now can be overwhelming. One important aspect that leads to the uncomfortable sensation that a simple walk can give us is that there is not a lot of space. The roads are full of cars, some of them running and others are just parked on the side of the road.
Using electric scooters can change all of that – first, because electric scooters don’t take up that much space on the streets, but also because they don’t take up a lot of space when they are parked, either. Parking lots would be smaller and there would be a lot of space available in which there would not be so much turmoil that makes us feel so tired.
The environmentally friendly part
First of all, the name electric scooter says it all. Well, almost all, but it is an essential part that makes the electric scooter environmentally friendly. It runs on electric energy, meaning that the level of pollution they make is significantly lower than the one that cars make. But this is the obvious part.
The less obvious part, that would have a great impact on the environment, is the space that will be gained by switching to electric scooters. With the parking spaces being smaller, there would be a lot of space where we could plant trees, a great place for vegetation to thrive and increase the oxygen levels inside big cities.
People would be healthier because they would inhale a much healthier air and the planet could benefit from it in large amounts. We could somehow reverse climate change and the damage that pollution has done to the environment so far.
How electric scooters can be improved
The only downside that electric scooters have is that they are not as comfortable as cars. That is why it is important to understand that, to compensate this minus, manufacturers have to improve some aspects of how the electric scooters work.
For example, the charge life of a battery should be improved, so that the need to charge it often would be reduced. Also, the engine power should be higher, especially for cities like San Francisco, that are not so flat and where, to get up a hill, you need a higher power.
The lighting of scooters should be considered so that they can signal a turning point. This would enhance the safety level of scooter users. The height should be adjustable so that people would be able to use it depending on their height and level of comfort.
If there were to be parking spots for electric scooters, there would be no need for them to be foldable, so the durability of the electric scooters could be increased. Of course, these parking lots should have a system to secure the scooters while they are being parked, but this is another matter that we are not going to address here.
Switching to electric scooters can be a wonderful dream especially for environmentalists. It should not be the case and it should be a wonderful dream for all of us, to have more breathable air as well more relaxing views on the streets. But it doesn’t have to remain a dream. The future could come as a surprise to every one of us.