Technology is Changing Modern Travel for the Better in 2016


From Parking to Driving, Technology is Changing Modern Travel for the Better in 2016
First it was about increasing horsepower. Then it was aerodynamics. Now it's all about the tech. The modern car is packed full of sensors feeding information to a computer that monitors everything from emissions to location. All of these digital enhancements have seriously improved efficiency and safety. Let's take a closer look at 3 enhancements making our commute easier.

The Auto's "Autopilot"

Lexus first put a car into production in 2007 that was capable of autonomously parking itself. Today, Tesla, Google, Ford, and even Bosch are working on the holy grail of car technology: the self-driving car. While some may categorize Tesla's autopilot feature to be equivalent to a self-driving car, I consider it only a milestone on the path to fully autonomous driving. The reason is that someone has to monitor it while in operation. While Tesla has done some amazing things with their line-up, the future belongs to cars that can get you from point A to B while you binge watch House of Cards on Netflix.

That Perfect Parking Spot

After you drive to point B, the next challenge becomes finding a place to park. The "Automated Parking System" (APS) is a solution for crowded cities that can trace its roots back to Paris, France in 1905. Today APS can be found all over the world, with fully robotic systems that eliminate pedestrian traffic in the structure by picking up cars in one place, and automatically filing them in another after the driver leaves the vehicle. The multi-deck parking garage that we know and hate today is still a mainstay in city parking, but for how long? Robotic APS locations can store cars in a smaller space, and reduce the number of accidents associated with parking. It's something I expect to see in more cities in the near future.

Finding Parking Spaces on the Web

While we wait for APS to become mainstream, we can at least battle the high-cost of parking in urban areas. The web is becoming more and more useful as a way to shop for a parking space, and some sites even let you book reservations.

Last month a friend of mine flew out to see me. He spent $15 a day to park his vehicle at San Francisco International! Being the nerd that I am, I jumped online and found cheaper parking alternatives. By reserving a spot online and then taking a free shuttle from off-site parking to the airport, he could have saved more than $100 in fees.

According to Binu Girija, Founder and CEO of, "Virtually every major metropolitan area has pockets of unused parking capacity. Informing drivers of the opportunities for free or cheaper parking just a block away can reduce congestion and create a more efficient transportation system."
From saving money to finding a safer way to park / store vehicles, the way we handle transportation in the US (and around the globe) is rapidly evolving. Soon we'll be able to hop in a car and program it to drive us where we want to go (both attention, and hands-free). We'll reserve an affordable parking spot before locking the front-door.

Our roads will be safer. We'll have more productive time. And, just maybe, gridlock during rush-hour will become a thing of the past.