Tech Can’t Fix the Problem of Cars

After decades of putting the automobile at the center of America’s transportation plans and policy, we’re now dealing with the downsides, like air pollution, traffic, road deaths, sprawl and the crowding out of alternative ways to move people and products. The solution to problems caused partly by cars may not only be using different kinds of cars, but also remaking our world to rely on them less.

I’ve been thinking about the risk and reward of faith in technology recently because of a new book by Peter Norton, an associate professor of history at the University of Virginia. Dr. Norton detailed decades of unfulfilled promises by carmakers and tech companies that some invention was just around the corner to free us from the worst aspects of our car dependency.