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Reinventing the Automobile

  • Book
  • B-896
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01382-6
Published March 01, 2010 by MIT Press in United States
Reinventing the Automobile
  • English
  • 240 pages

This path breaking book provides a long overdue vision for a new automobile era. The cars we drive today follow the same underlying design principles as the Model Ts of a hundred years ago and the tail-finned sedans of fifty years ago. In the twenty-first century, cars are still made for twentieth-century purposes. They're well suited for conveying multiple passengers over long distances at high speeds, but inefficient for providing personal mobility within cities-where most of the world's people now live. William Mitchell and two industry experts re-imagine the automobile, describing vehicles of the near future that are green, smart, connected, and fun to drive. They roll out four big ideas that will make this both feasible and timely.

First, we must transform the DNA of the automobile, basing it on electric-drive and wireless communication rather than on petroleum, the internal combustion engine, and stand-alone operation. This allows vehicles to become lighter, cleaner, and "smart" enough to avoid crashes and traffic jams. Second, automobiles need to be linked by a Mobility Internet that allows them to collect and share data on traffic conditions, intelligently coordinates their movements, and keeps drivers connected to their social networks. Third, automobiles must be recharged through a convenient, cost-effective infrastructure that is integrated with smart electric grids and makes increasing use of renewable energy sources. Finally, dynamically priced markets for electricity, road space, parking space, and shared-use vehicles must be introduced to provide optimum management of urban mobility and energy systems. The fundamental reinvention of the automobile won't be easy, but it is an urgent necessity-to make urban mobility more convenient and sustainable, to make cities more livable, and to help bring the automobile industry out of crisis.

  • Chapters Include:
  • Introduction
  • The New DNA of the Automobile
  • The Mobility Internet
  • Reinventing the Automobile for Urban Use
  • Clean, Smart Energy Supply
  • Charging Infrastructure
  • Integrating Vehicles and Smart Electric Grids
  • New Mobility Markets
  • Personal Mobility in an Urbanizing World
  • Realizing the Vision