Now that in 2021, 96% of all cars are fit­ted with GPS, we’re about to see some seri­ous changes on our roads.

highway traffic solution Pay per drive‘Pay Per Drive’ — an elec­tronic tolling sys­tem where you pay depend­ing on two mea­sures: ‘How far you drive’ and ‘what time of day’.
Basi­cally, the idea is that you will be pay­ing more to use crowded roads. This is of course aimed at encour­ag­ing peo­ple to spend less time dri­ving, or if they need to drive — dri­ving at off-peak hours.
The sys­tem has already been suc­cess­fully imple­mented in Ger­many, and the Nether­lands, and now it’s com­ing to the U.S.
The Euro­pean exam­ples have shown that dri­vers can be moti­vated to change their dri­ving behav­ior if given proper incen­tive. Inter­est­ingly, they have also shown that for peo­ple to really embrace change in behav­ior, they require instant feed­back in the car’s dig­i­tal dis­play to notify them of charges of the route options, so this is now a fea­ture of the system.
Many have called it a turn for the worse, com­plain­ing that it’s just another method of extract­ing tolls from dri­vers. A dis­mayed Edwin Jonse had this to say,
“It has got­ten to the point where after I tally up my car lease, run­ning costs, tolls and park­ing, it costs me almost as much to drive to work as I get paid for my work.
I’m basi­cally work­ing to pay for my car — which I iron­i­cally only use for work.
My options now are to work from home or catch pub­lic transport.”

I’m basi­cally work­ing to pay for my car — which I iron­i­cally only use for work.

My options now are to work from home or catch pub­lic transport.”

But oth­ers argue that is the whole point. “We need to dis­cour­age dri­vers from con­tin­u­ing their habit of dri­ving when there are other viable options” says Jim Mas­cot of the Planet Alliance. “Dri­ving has become a rou­tine habit and it’s not a neces­sity for most peo­ple these days. It’s just seen that way.”

A drop in insurance

One poten­tial upside for con­sumers is that most insur­ance com­pa­nies are switch­ing to a model where how much you pay depends on how much you drive. Insur­ance costs are going to drop dra­mat­i­cally for those who don’t use their cars much (and increase for those who do).
Like­wise most cur­rent GPS mod­els con­tain accelerom­e­ters, which are being used to mea­sure dri­ving aggres­sive­ness. Offer­ing up your car’s GPS data to the insur­ance com­pany will bring reduc­tions in insur­ance pre­mi­ums for safe, mea­sured dri­ving. Not only does this promise lower pre­mi­ums, but also safer roads, with fewer accidents.

Chang­ing gears

At the end of the day, this is only one in a num­ber of mea­sures designed to alle­vi­ate the traf­fic night­mares that we’ve seen plague the urban land­scape in recent years. There’s still a lot we can do, includ­ing work­ing remotely and work­ing dif­fer­ent shifts.
Indeed, mul­ti­ple stud­ies have shown that work­ing dif­fer­ent shifts can ben­e­fit our roads and our pro­duc­tiv­ity.  Man­ager Frank Wills says “Some of our employ­ees are early ris­ers, and are much more effec­tive if we let them work in the early hours 7–3. Other employ­ees find that they work bet­ter if they start later from 11–7. Both groups find that by work­ing these hours, their travel time is cut by almost half.”
9–5 is no longer the default.
Photo credit: teun&el