Cars are like the lifeblood of our society. They help people get to and from work and contribute to efficiency and business growth. They also give us the freedom and independence that is difficult to find with other things.
It’s fair to say that cars have become an essential part of day to day life in Western civilization. If you have a family then it is almost a certainty that you will have a car of some description. But the trouble is that cars are becoming more and more expensive and less and less convenient in the big city.
Governments worry about pollution and the negative impact of cars on the environment. As a result owning a car in a city like London can prove to be an expensive lifestyle choice. There are so many extra payments to make such as congestion charges, parking permits and not to mention fines. If you’re familiar with these problems then you might be considering changing or selling you car. You might want to head to www.harratts.co.uk for a quick and easy way of selling your car. This will give you a quick injection of cash and prevent you from worrying about those pesky congestion charges.
Indeed it seems to be getting to the stage where society is taking active steps to get rid of cars as much as possible. Walking, cycling and public transport are being heavily promoted. In the meantime, the government are taking steps are to make driving less attractive. This is fine in concept. As humans, we care about our environment and the running of our cities, but we also like convenience. Who wants to walk home after a hard day at work when a car can take you right to your front door? Why would you subject yourself to the stress of the subway at rush hour when you can take your car?
These are all valid concerns. Luckily there might be a way that we can do this in the future without having to worry about all the issues linked with driving.
Motoring news has revealed that the reason for this is due to the invention of a folding car known as Hiriko. The Hiriko is designed by a company from the Basque region of Spain. It is a two-seater electric car that looks set to become the future of the automobile industry.
The small car can fold up to around two-thirds of its original size, making it much easier to park. The Hiriko is sure to revolutionise the concept of modern parking, especially in big cities. It can even fold up with the driver still inside making it quick and efficient.
Though built in Spain, the Hiriko Fold is based on a design from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They tried to come up with a way to cut down on city congestion. This car is the end product, and it not only cuts down on congestion but is also environmentally sound. The length of the car fits up to become the same size as the width of a conventional car. This enables 3 of the Hiriko cars to fit into the space used by a single conventional car.
The developing idea behind use for the Hiriko Fold is like the Barclay’s Cycle Hire scheme around the city of London. You will not own a Hiriko but instead pick one up from a hire point. You will use it for as long as you need before returning it to any number of hire points scattered around the city. The beauty of this idea is that it will free up a considerable amount of space in large urban cities and make them into a healthier place. Pollution will lessen and there will be much less traffic. This will increase efficiency and productivity and help the city economies to thrive. This is the principle idea behind the Hiriko folding car.
The cars will work in conjunction with public transport and will operate like a taxi service, but with you as the driver. You will only pay for the time or the distance you travel. In fact, Hiriko’s marketing slogan is ‘Don’t buy this car.’ They want people to pay only for the use of the car. At this stage, it is unclear whether the cars (if released worldwide) would even be available for sale or if they would be rental only.
Car sharing has become more popular in recent times in a lot of cities as it proves more efficient. As a result, it could be that the Hiriko will provide and shape the future of the car industry. Whether it can become a success will depend a lot on consumer demand for renting a car as opposed to having one. It will also depend upon whether society is ready to embrace such a large step into the future.
For now, we will have to wait and see. With a starting price of $16,000, the cars attracted a lot of interest from cities such as Berlin and San Francisco. But there have been difficulties since that time.
The cars were set for release in early 2014, but that has not materialised. In May 2013, the company responsible for the creation of the Hiriko announced difficulties. These difficulties were with the commercial development of the project. The cause was lack of financing from the Basque government. Furthermore, there's the fact that commercial development must have private funding.
It remains to be seen whether the Hiriko Fold will receive the necessary funding to develop into a commercial entity. It seems that as a society we are heading towards that kind of future. There may well come a time when cars will no longer be for sale, and we will find ourselves renting in a car share system. Whether this is something that humans as a society would embrace is something that we can only wait to find out.