The world we live in today has been shaped by technology and will continue to be influenced for generations to come.
When picking out a mobile phone, the call and text functions are no longer a priority with many people wanting faster internet speeds and higher pixel cameras built into their handset. This means we are constantly connected with everything that is going in the world, at the touch of a button.
There was a time when you'd get on a bus and notice a sea of newspapers, now this has turned into people staring into their phones. This is how the world has progressed and consumers now demand to have information available to them at all times. Some buses even provide free on-board Wi-Fi to make access even easier.
Technology has been transforming pretty much every aspect of modern life. From the smartphone to smart TV to the hybrid car, there have been so many changes in recent years that it is hard to really keep up. Despite the many advances, one thing that hasn't changed during this timeframe is the problem of traffic congestion.
However, the British Parking Association (BPA) believes that with the right application, technology could provide an answer to tackling congestion on UK roads. As part of its 'Monday Musing' column on its official website, the BPA highlighted the problem that gridlocked roads and tailbacks can have on businesses.
Research by the Department for Transport (DfT) estimates that road traffic in England will grow by 43 per cent by 2040. This was based on population growth, economic growth and fuel costs, highlighting the need for more stringent methods which can alleviate congestion.
David Metz, visiting professor at University College London and former chief scientific advisor at the DfT, explains that more can be done to reduce traffic congestion through technology. Mr Metz explained that government agencies such as Highways England should use historic data to generate better predictive traffic information.
Elements such as big data could prove key in these instances. This method of collecting information can provide insights and open up opportunities for the creation of improved future road planning and the monitoring of vehicle numbers. By utilising the technology available it could help to develop solutions to tackling road congestion.
A move away from the car?
Something which the BPA hypothesised in its column was a notion that technology could actually be pushing drivers away from owning cars. It suggested that people are now spending more on gadgets for their home and having a vehicle to get from A to B is becoming less of a priority.
While having a car is functional, many consumers are seeing it as a major expense. The price of fuel, insurance, repairs and tax can continue to add up and many consider something which they just can not afford. Thanks to the availability of public transport, consumers are opting for this method rather than investing in a car.
Technology can improve congestion but if this trend continues it could also help reduce the amount of cars on the road.