Interesting that a move to self-driving cars would be caused by insurance companies making it cheaper than manually-driven cars as opposed to some huge shift among consumers. Itt may take longer for the average person to buy the notion that it's safer to let cars drive themselves than it would for insurance companies, who are going to look at the data regarding safety with less bias.
It my work in US, Europe, other places, but self-Driven car sounds like a dream to me living in India. I am sure it is not going to work here. Numbers of cars are increasing exponentially, while roads are not getting wider in the same proportion. As the population is bound to grow, I can only imagine more congested cities, more traffic and I wonder how self-driven cars would work here. Really speaking, I don't see a need of cars getting connected to clouds yet...I am an old fashioned guy. I would rather like to think about governments regularizing the use of renewable energy for datacenters and encouraging technological breakthroughs to have power efficient datacenters.
>> It my work in US, Europe, other places, but self-Driven car sounds like a dream to me living in India
It is not for places like India and most parts of the world including U.S. There are many US roads that will not work. I know they are doing this in California area. I am not sure it has any chance in Pittsburgh with all the potholes and narrow roads
Things happen - nothing changes the behavior of man than the economics of money. If that is the norm, someone will come up with a financing model for these cars. All I am asking government to stay away with subsidies and allow market forces work.
People tend to drive less during recessions, since fewer people are working (and commuting), and most are looking for ways to save money. But Phineas Baxandall, an author of the report and senior analyst for U.S. Pirg, said the changes preceded the recent recession and appeared to be part of a structural shift that is largely rooted in changing demographics, especially the rise of so-called millennials — today's teenagers and twentysomethings. "Millennials aren't driving cars," he said.
"What most intrigues me is that rates of car ownership per household and per person started to come down two to three years before the downturn," said Michael Sivak, who studies the trend and who is a research professor at the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. "I think that means something more fundamental is going on."
Young people are taking advantage of car-sharing services so they don't face the expense and bother of car ownership.
IMO the USA has some excellent trains. It's just that the coverage is uneven. In SillyIcon Valley, it depends on where you live. If you're near light rail, it's quite easy to get around. If you're stuck in the middle of Cupertino, you'd better have good weather so you can get around by bicycle -- possibly electric -- or Segway.
A number of large SillyIcon Valley and Penninsula employers have realized that their young employees far prefer to live in San Franciso, which has excellent public transportation by USA standards. The employers provide luxury buses with WiFi to get their employees to their jobs and back.
@Betajet: I think SiliValley is typical of America in that it is spread out thanks to our car culture so no fixed set of rail or bus lines can serve a broad population. Thus we just keep driving, except for those young ones saving up for a car or poutting up with the hassle of multi-stage commutes to be green.
"Young people" do prefer living closer to where they work, and in a setting where they can walk to shops and restaurants, and they also go for tiny apartments. But wait until they decide to have kids. And then, wait until those kids decide they want to compete in sports.
If it could be believed, the trend is a good one. As long as these "young people" don't fink out when they become 20 and 30-somethings. (As they seem to do.)
I remain skeptical. There are infinitely too many young people driving obese obsenities around (read SUVs and trucks), for me to believe that they're going to do anything useful wrt their thirst for fuel. And I see traffic jams even on weekends, as young people are carted around frantically, by their obsessed parents, in trucks and SUVs, to their numerous sports venues. I'll bet when they have kids of their own, they will feel compelled to do likewise.
Yes the trend has been to move to the burbs to raise your family. But there also seems to be a current trend to move back into the city once the kids are gone. Empty nester seem to be downsizing and moving back into cities for many of the same reasons as younger people.
The move to burbs is getting reversed now...and it will quickly accelerate, downtown density will win over your backyard with 1 hour commute...just look how young people want to live in the world, many don't even have cars!
Back on the topic of server power, there is an interesting statistic in an HP webpage about its Moonshot server, that if the public cloud were a nation, it would be the world's fifth largest consumer of electricity. Cutting server power demand by 50% would free up enough power to run the UK.
When the fruit orchards were being cut down and developed for housing in the early days of Silicon Valley I believe that some local ordinances were in place that prevented buildings taller than about four stories for reasons of fire protection and earthquakes (fire department ladders could only reach up about four stories). Over time I think that parts of Silicon Valley will get redeveloped with higher density that will encourage better mass transit. I think the city of San Jose has already embraced smart growth in principle.
@Any1: Indeed in the 12+ years I have been here downtown San Jose has been redeveloped into a mixed residential, office, shopping space which is quite a pleasant place to live with several mass transit hubs.
Meanwhile Tasman Ave. is getting similar residential/commercial developments along side the many office buildings out there.
Slowly these hubs are springing up and getting connected.
@betajet, I do hear the same thing from a number of people working in the automotive industry I interviewed throughout this year.
Although it goes against my first instinct (because I do see young people driving cars everywhere, and it is not so obvious to me), I think some of the data and comments you shared is beginning to worry a lot people in the automotive industry. The demographic change appears to be real in the United States.
It's time to rethink what sort of cars are needed in the matured automotive market.
The funny thing about these predictions is that they always involve creating alarm about what "the other guy" is doing.
In the days when record were paper, no one (well, except a few head cases) kept every scrap of paper he received or wrote. These days, electronic garbage simply accumulates. People don't ever go through their files to toss out the junk.
Cisco, Google, and others, might want to consider investigating trash collection algorithms. That, plus perhaps rethinking this idea that more and more data, or more and more connected devices, are somehow examples of virtuous pursuits that must never be throttled back. Anyone who predicts that car sharing will have a big impact shouyld perhaps also wonder about purging superfluous data.
>> Anyone who predicts that car sharing will have a big impact shouyld perhaps also wonder about purging superfluous data.
Good insight. I always tell people that want 100GB of HDD in their laptops that traditionally before they get to 50GB, the laptop is dead. The whole notion that we need more space to hoard junks is mind blowing. Who really has the time to check emails he sent 10 years ago. Sure, you can be looking for an address but those do not happen always.
The most obvious reason for US peak mileage and car ownership (and gasoline consumption) is the aging of the population. People drive less, drive shorter distances, and own fewer cars as they get older, their eyesight gets poorer, their reactions slower, etc. Couples who had two cars often find they can get by with one car, even if they live in the country.
I read an article discussing this a few years ago, as a reason to explain why oil companies are not investing in new US refineries.
While older people may drive less, today younger people are driving less as well. The statistics I've read say in 1983 80% of 18 year olds had a drivers liscense, in 2010 only 61% of 18 year olds had a drivers license. Many analysts believe this is due to the economy. Fewer people can afford cars, gas, and insurance than in the past.
This would be laughable FUD if it weren't so sad. We already know that ICT (information and communications technology -- of which data centers are a subset) *SAVES* more than 5 TIMES their carbon footprint in the rest of the economy. [Smart2020 Report] We actually are better off to have more of these megadatacenters because of what it saves in the rest of the economy by making it more efficient.
In nature, its ants that constitute more biomass than Elephants. So if Data Centers are the Elephants of power consumption, the thing you really have to worry about are the ants -- cell phones. Do you realize that charging the batteries in all 6 BILLION cell phones in the world every day USES MORE ENERGY than all the millions of servers in the world?
So thanks, CISCO, for the Boogeyman of the Heat-Death of the Universe from Data Centers. Let me just tweet this link on to all my friends on my smartphone.
Hardly a non-sequitor -- the article, and more directly, CISCO, leads with the story of how data centers are using so much power. The implication being that its too much. But is it? How do we know? Shouldn't we instead put all our efforts on office buildings because they use 70% of our electricity? Or stop heating homes because they use the lion's share of a homeowner's energy budget? The whole premise that data centers use too much energy is totally without context and frankly, just transparent fear mongering to sell something.
I am just adding perspective and merely point out that many other uses, like innocuous-seeming cell phones, use more energy in the grand scheme, but no one is up in arms about them.
The real danger is that, in our lack of perspective, we clamp down on data center energy use and "throw the baby out with the bathwater" -- i.e., ignore the 5-to-1 benefit and condemn ourselves to use MORE energy in the rest of the economy, instead of judiciously use it to make the overall energy economy better. In the end, it's more a commentary on our collective lack of perspective in the age of the "sound bite."