A new dawn
There’s article in last week’s Economist titled ‘Seeing the back of the car’. It seems that car use has had its heyday and in the developed world, we’re driving less. Academics are beginning to talk about ‘peak car’, the notion that car ownership and vehicle-kilometres driven have plateaued or are even decreasing (in rich countries).
The article highlights possible reasons for this, including higher fuel prices and the fact that more purchases than ever are made online (rather than shoppers driving to the shop). But there are other more intriguing reasons, in particular that “young people increasingly see cars as appliances not aspirations and say that social media give them the access to their world that would one have been associated with cars”. The common thread in the last two points is the internet. The rise of digital technology is eating away at the need to drive.
There is a vibe that owning a car is, frankly, a bit of a bind, that it feels like ‘being tied down – like a marriage’. This weight of commitment is echoed by a study published on Friday on the Yahoo Finance website: What cars really cost you. The figure is, wait for it… £158,835 over (the average) 42 years. That is a lot of money but transport will always cost something. What is really interesting is the feeling that underlies this study. As a society, we are beginning to rethink our relationship with car.
Buxi offers travellers a new option: convenient, comfortable, reliable transport, from close to home to work. They are free to use their travel time as they wish, accessing messages on their phone, reading a book, chatting to colleagues, or just staring out of the window. When they arrive, they get off and walk away, no parking hassle. Their conscience is greener, knowing that shared transport reduces the environmental damage of their journey. And, there’s the little issue of money. Travelling by buxi is cheaper than running a car. It’s not free, of course, but it’s much less.
Technology is changing our aspirations but also transport possibilities (buxi is possible because of GPS capabilities and wi-fi hotspots). We are witnessing the beginning of the end of the age of the car. At Esoterix, think the age of buxi is dawning.