Often forgotten in the argument about cars vs public transport (and walking/cycling) is that many people are prepared to be quite multi-modal. Many people who use PT also own a car (or at least have access to one) and will use what is what is the most rational and convenient mode of transport for them for their specific trips. Personally if I’m travelling I will catch a train, drive or walk depending on where it is that I’m going and I’m grateful to be able to have that choice.
However the world we see from car commercials is almost always showing off open road driving where there isn’t another car on the road. While cars are definitely useful in that situation it’s not the type of thing most people in cities would experience every day on their commute to or from work. So I was interested to read this press release from INRIX - who deal with transport data – about their partnership with BMW.
Las Vegas – 2014 International CES®– January 6, 2014 – INRIX is partnering with BMW to help reshape personal mobility worldwide with the introduction of the industry’s first in-car intermodal navigation system.
Debuting in BMW ConnectedDrive systems in the new i3 and i8 electric vehicles, INRIX Intermodal Navigation is the first in-car service to integrate local public transport connections into journey planning.
The service monitors real-time traffic conditions alerting drivers to faster alternative modes of transportation when major delays occur along local routes. Upon selecting an alternative mode, the system provides turn-by-turn navigation to the nearest public transport station in time for the next departure.
“In an increasingly urban, time-compressed and socially-conscious marketplace, the future of the automobile depends on our ability to market mobility as much as it depends on horsepower, styling, or fuel economy,” said Rafay Khan, Senior Vice President of Sales and Product, INRIX.
“It’s our shared goal with customers like BMW to meet drivers’ demands for greater mobility and sustainability in the connected car.”
Now if this is as it sounds then it’s a great move by BMW and hopefully many more car companies will consider doing it. I particularly agree with the comment that the market is changing and overall urban mobility is becoming a key concern. It will certainly be interesting to watch how (or if) that feature is advertised to the public and it will be also fascinating to see if peoples habits change if after getting in the car it starts telling them that PT is a faster option.