I spend a lot of time facilitating groups that envision the future at their retreats. Every time I do this, I’m inspired about the infinite amount of possibilities that await us. During my bicycle rides around town, I often envision what a more sustainable Los Angeles would look like. One thing I continue to give thought to is the future of cars.
I’m excited about the numerous ways in which the nature of cars would change for the better if they just drove themselves (which is something Google is working on, among others). Our streets would be safe and inviting for bicycling, walking and public life. Instead of driving, people could spend their time doing what I see drivers doing all the time: texting! Most exciting, we could have a 21’st century public-private transportation system that would be flexible, fast and convenient. I’m happy hear to hear State Senator Alex Padilla recently introduced legislation to begin developing guidelines for driverless cars in the state of California.
Using the concept of Mind mapping, I generated ideas for how driverless cars could lead to healthier, more sustainable streets (using a free program I downloaded called Freemind). What I like about the Mindmapping concept is that it’s a more visual way to link ideas together rather than the traditional listing format that brainstorms take. I encourage groups to try this out at future meetings to imagine the future, among other things. I took some of these ideas an included them in a proposal for facilitating the transition to driverless cars that I submitted to LA2B, an engaging planning process designed to solicit ideas on the future of transportation in Los Angeles. I welcome any comments you have on the concept of driverless cars.