We recently addressed car-centric orientations and designs of urban areas and the associated road safety and economic concerns. But the car as an object took a backseat in the discussions. But lest we neglect the opportunity this week, we’re dedicating a post to putting the car in our cross-hairs.
An independent study conducted by the Yarmis Group, and commissioned by car-sharing company Zipcar, was released this past February. The U.S. study reveals that the 18-34 demographic, “Millennials”, value their laptops and mobile phones more than their cars, with an overwhelming 65% preferring to sacrifice automobile ownership for either of these devices. Millennials were the only age group to express such preferences, throwing a heavy wrench into the future marketing strategies of car companies.
The study posed the question:
(1,015 adults surveyed, 18-55 years-old, including 980 licensed drivers)
In your daily routine, losing which piece of technology would have the greatest negative impact?
b. Mobile Phone
Why is it significant? What trends is this uncovering? And more important, what to do with our cars if we don’t drive them?
People living it up [creatively] without cars
Man trades car for horse: Rob Caldwell of Washington County, Pennsylvania, grew tired of paying for gasoline and, in June 2008 decided to trade his keys for reins. According to local news station WPXI, Caldwell rode his 20-year-old horse into town to, of all things, pick up a pack of cigarettes at Nick’s Gas Station. He hitched the horse to a gasoline pump and now spends his gas money on oats and hay–renewable resources! Trade your Mustang pony for a real pony!
Need a getaway car? Use a bus instead! The Dayton Daily News reports that a would-be bank robber in Ohio elected to make his getaway more environmentally sound on a Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority bus. He was spotted by police as he boarded the bus and was later tracked down and arrested.
Stop collecting cars, and build a replica of the Titanic: An Aussie billionaire car collector has decided to stop collecting automobiles and invest in building a life-size replica of the Titanic, called Titanic II. Hopefully it’s safer and greener than the last one.
Possible solutions for Millennials
TheCityFix wants to help Millennials cope with the challenges of unnecessary car ownership by suggesting solutions:
Make art: Inspiration awaits at Cadillac Ranch, near Amarillo, Texas!
For those who grew up on Bill Nye, this is all the inspiration you need to go green:
Make a bike out of it! A recently launched project by Spanish design firm Lola Madrid, called Bicycled, is taking used cars off the streets and literally turning them into new bicycles!
Eulogy for the car
There is hope for Millennials. Giving the car up would be anything but a eulogy: more lives saved and the end of the automobile religion. For more and more Millennials, the era of car ownership as an indicator of social status is gone with the wind.
What piece of technology would you rather give up?
What would you do with your car?