NEWCASTLE OF THE FUTURE: TRANSPORT PT.2 / by Kian West

I WAS speaking last week to some new friends at the Newcastle Business Book Club catch-up and we got onto the topic of cars and thus eventually parking in our fair city. 
It's fair to say I was bracing for the inevitable rant from someone about how terrible parking is within Newcastle CBD, but that moment never came...

Image source: http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Living/Transport/Parking

Image source: http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Living/Transport/Parking

Instead, everyone around me started to talk about solutions they had read, watched, heard about with regards to this idea. Driverless cars are going to change the way we look at the problem of storing a car because we no longer need to be responsible for parking them, the car will. Following that, will we even need to own a car or will it extend in the same way that Uber is transforming ride sharing, car sharing seems pretty obvious? What about car accidents? Well, without humans driving, will we finally see road tolls drop to acceptable levels (as in close to 0) and how do street signs and speeds change to suit this massive change? Clearly, there will be teething problems with a shift like this, but all of a sudden our car parking "crisis" in the Newcastle CBD seems like a short issue that will be inevitably resolved. 

I see some key businesses in Newcastle really helping to create this shift, it seems almost obvious that anyone that needs to travel a lot for business would jump on these options. Imagine Real Estate agents would be top contenders, their car becomes a billboard, they could host meetings on route to or from inspections, they could car share with the team and have a booking system that monitored everyones calendar and maintained a best fit scenario and notified people when they need to be in or out of the vehicle.  
Warehouses could offer self-service style options loading into a vehicle the stock and arriving at the destination for that store to unload themselves... eventually I'm imagining this would become automated completely...

back to the future