As our cities grow denser and become more polluted, and as demand for transportation increases (some estimates predict transportation demands will triple by 2050), businesses, governments, and municipal agencies are beginning to problem solve for the future of transportation. Here are 4 of the most exciting urban transportation trends of the future.

Electric everything

With climate scientists predicting serious fallout from the impact of greenhouse gases on our environment (much of which comes directly from the carbon emissions associated with oil production), expect to see emission-free electric vehicles (EVs) taking center stage in urban transportation plans of the future. From space-saving, foldable miniature cars and electric scooters to motorized, electric bicycle wheels and skateboards, an abundance of EV vehicles will likely make the charging station a fixture of the future.

Car sharing and transportation hubs

In municipalities that have growing populations, bad pollution, and even worse commute times, devising ways to reduce the number of vehicles clogging city streets is a major priority. Some planners imagine riders sharing bigger, clean-running electric vehicles, which can move more people in fewer cars. Other ideas include dedicated car-share carpool lanes that can be designated virtually and in real-time based on the day’s traffic. Multi-modal “transportation hubs” created along the edges of cities will help keep downtown areas vehicle-free through a modernized version of the park and ride.

Driverless cars

As autonomous cars become ubiquitous, many believe they’ll offer a slew of benefits to cities that adopt the technology. By limiting the numbers of driver-operated cars and relying instead on a fleet of computerized, autonomous, clean energy vehicles, there’s the potential to create a “collision-free” environment where cars seamlessly communicate with one another, follow the rules of the road, and synchronize their travel to improve traffic flow.

New green spaces

With many smart cities of the future relying on public transportation and car sharing, parking lots may become a superfluous symbol of bygone days. Urban designers imagine cities converting unused lots into public parks, playgrounds, affordable housing, and open spaces, with wider sidewalks and bike lanes to accommodate the increase in pedestrian and bike traffic.

Climate change, advancements in technology, and a desire to improve the quality of life in our cities will play a huge role in the future of urban transportation. Esurance also uses state-of-the-art technology and tools to help you make smarter choices when it comes to your insurance.  Get a free quote today.

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about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.