Kate McKinnon of SNL parodies an auto industry lobbyist, Veronica Moss in this hilarious video. You may not recognize her (with dark hair) as she talks about her “land boat” (her Hummer), and murmurs sweet phrases to her Lincoln Navigator. She uses lines from car commercials as she strokes and kisses her SUV steering wheel…”there aren’t enough roads”!
For those of you new to Kate McKinnon has been in 3 of their films!
More exciting news in tech
This article pairs with the previous article about Ford helping cities “take back the streets”: http://apcompletestreets.org/fords-mobility-service-platform-will-help-cities-take-back-their-streets
Trek Bicycles and Tome Software working with Ford to alert drivers when cyclists are nearby
“We hear a lot about “vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V) communication and “vehicle-to-everything” (V2X) communication. Cars with the right software can use cellular technology or a high-speed, low-latency medium called dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) to communicate with each other. This effort to connect our cars to each other and the world around them is part of a broader initiative to pave the way for the mass deployment of autonomous vehicles. But what about vulnerable groups like pedestrians and bicyclists?
WHAT ABOUT VULNERABLE GROUPS LIKE PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS?
Tome has partnered with Trek Bicycle to create an AI-based bicycle-to-vehicle (B2V) communication system to help drivers get alerts to bicycles ahead in dangerous areas of the road. Unlike existing cycling products, they focus on giving driver alerts, which is sure to appeal to the cycling community.”
From New Jersey Bike&Walk Coalition:
The article makes the case for providing seniors motorized transportation, and doesn’t address the need for better infrastructure for elderly pedestrians. Many cities like Asbury Park have Complete Streets policies which list specific improvements to city streets to make streets safer and transportation accessible to those without cars. Streets that are safe for the most vulnerable; from age 8 to 88.
“More than anything else, self-driving cars could revolutionize seniors’ transportation options. Widespread self-driving technology is still years away, but Google has programmed cars that can safely navigate a heavily mapped area in Northern California.”
“Some experts are skeptical that they’ll ever be functional in real-world driving conditions across the country. But if they do, they could provide an easy means of getting around for people who can no longer drive — allowing millions of seniors to remain in their homes without becoming isolated.”
Many cities in the US, just like Asbury Park struggle with the question of “whose job is the snow?” Homeowners are responsible for clearing sidewalks, but the opening from sidewalk to street may be routinely plowed in and snow piled up during the course of a storm and afterward, making it almost impossible for anyone to get cross the street without hiking boots and crampons, let alone a wheelchair.
“Without clear, accessible streets, people with restricted mobility often face a tough choice in winter: struggle to cross icy sidewalks and snowbanks, or stay indoors. But it’s very possible for cities to better design their winter strategies for people of all abilities.”
““What bad weather does is exacerbate the mobility problems that people experience in a city under normal conditions,” says Brent Toderian, founder of Toderian UrbanWorks, a Vancouver-based urban design consultancy, and former planning director in both Vancouver and the very snowy city of Calgary. “If you’ve designed a city badly–for instance, by prioritizing cars instead of people–it’s going to be hard for people to get around, and bad weather makes things worse.”
The article focuses on Vision Zero and traffic safety globally but we can apply the same science on the local level in Asbury Park.
“As “Vision Zero” becomes a household term in the U.S. — and the policymakers implementing it start to see results — traffic fatalities remain the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. The vast majority of those deaths (a whopping 90 percent) occur in low- and middle-income countries, and because many of those countries are just now beginning to ramp up their transportation infrastructure, the problem, if unaddressed, will only get worse.”
“Overall, the research does a good job of calling out the global problem and identifying one or two promising examples. But obviously, the challenges facing the countries with the highest rates of pedestrian deaths often involve poverty and political instability — and those are challenges that need to be addressed before the Swiss cheese theory will do any good.”
Car manufacturers are getting smart, focusing beyond the industry of building cars, and it’s great news! Ford is acknowledging that there’s a demand for infrastructure for various modes of transportation, and that they need to communicate and work together.
From Marcy Klevorn, Ford Executive Vice President and President, Mobility:
Optimizing at this system level requires the components in the transporttion ecosystem be able to communicate — to speak the same language. That’s where technology like cellular vehicle-to-everything can play an important role. C-V2X capability, which we’re working to validate with our partners at Qualcomm, enables various technologies and applications in a city — vehicles, stoplights, signs, cyclists and pedestrian devices — to speak to to each other and share information.
- During a keynote speech at CES this week, Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced the automaker will work with Silicon Valley-based Autonomic to develop an open, cloud-based mobility service platform dubbed the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.”
- The main objective of the cloud is to enable “transportation modes” in cities — including personal vehicles, ride-share services, bike-sharing networks, delivery services, buses and trains — to share information and streamline services more efficiently. The key to this information sharing will be cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology, which will allow “vehicles, stoplights, signs, cyclists and pedestrian devices” to communicate quickly and securely.
About 50% of our trips are ≤ three miles. Why aren’t more short trips made by foot or bike? One piece of the puzzle is that travel distance along high-stress routes feels longer than it actually is.
Active aging. Aging in place. As the Boomer generation is aging, these are desirable characteristics of a well-designed city. It has infrastructure in place so that elderly don’t have to drive to shop, to church, recreational activities, or dining. A walkable and bike-able city is a safe city, and Asbury Park Complete Streets advocates for streets that are safe for an 8-year-old or an 88-year-old. Asbury Park is perfectly positioned with streets being paved and sewers being repaired to put in place new and better infrastructure and transportation options for everyone.
As the aging population expands, some cities are implementing strategic plans to ensure the needs of the elderly are met — especially in terms of mobility and housing.
“Comprehensive plans really are the opportunity for a community to come together and connect all the dots that comprise a healthy, livable place,” said Danielle Arigoni, director of livable communities for AARP. Leaders can “stitch together the connections that exist between housing and how people get around, between infrastructure investments and … whether or not there’s pedestrian infrastructure in place,” she said.