Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in | Create Account

Automobiles in Growing Economies of the Developing World Driving Miss Daisy Digitally

06/05/2004 9:00 AM Kresge
Ralph Gakenheimer, Professor of Urban Planning; Joseph F. Coughlin, Director, MIT AgeLab; Engineering Systems Division

Description: Automobiles in Growing Economies of the Developing World about: A word of warning from inveterate traveler Ralph Gakenheimer: Never ride a bicycle around downtown Shanghai. The explosive growth of cars has resulted "in mayhem" for cyclists and pedestrians. In China, there are 1.8 bikes per family, yet municipal governments eager to encourage industrial growth repress bicycles in favor of cars. Air and noise pollution are increasing all over China, much of Asia, and India, as cities double in size every few decades, sprawl over surrounding countryside, and citizens flock to motorized transport. Gakenheimer encourages testing out "congestion pricing" taxing the use of the densest roads at the most traveled times to regulate flow and create order; bus rapid transit systems to "help keep city centers alive;" and land use planning to contain the spread of cities over agricultural lands and natural resources. --- The good news, says Joseph Coughlin, is that Americans live longer. The bad news is we will have increasing difficulty getting around in cars. This is especially unfortunate because, as Coughlin has learned at the MIT AgeLab, senior citizens link driving to emotional and mental health. "If you feel well, have disposable income and have an education, you're going to want to get out and do something," says Coughlin. Greater numbers of Americans live beyond retirement age, and most are "safe drivers" in spite of such inevitable infirmities as reduced vision, impaired hearing, decreased strength and flexibility, and attention and perception deficits. But, says Coughlin, the auto industry designs its cars primarily for young people. He believes, "If cars are designed as they are today, the number of older adults who will be dying on American highways ' will be the same as attributed to alcohol-related deaths." Instead of gadget-laden speedsters, Coughlin imagines vehicles where innovative technology supports rather than confounds the older driver.

Host(s): Alumni Association, Alumni Association

Tape #: 18775 and 18776

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated almost 3 years ago

Created
December 12, 2011 19:22
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
1814 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

Perspectives on the Unfolding Spill: Evidence of the Environmental Impacts of the Event

Perspectives on the Unfolding Spill...

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:02:00 | 5283 views

Beyond the Headlines: Making Sense of the Stem Cell Debate

Beyond the Headlines: Making Sense ...

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:48:00 | 1575 views

Challenges in Nation Building

Challenges in Nation Building

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:23:00 | 5474 views

Peace Meals

Peace Meals

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:07:00 | 5795 views

New Lessons in Cancer Research

New Lessons in Cancer Research

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:07:00 | 1919 views

Religion and the Election: What Do We Think We Know?

Religion and the Election: What Do ...

Added almost 3 years ago | 01:04:00 | 2445 views