CHANGING HOW TOMORROW’S TRANSPORT IS FUELED COULD HELP THE WORLD HIT THAT GOAL. EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES, IN 3-D AND AUGMENTED REALITY.
Getting a new TV delivered to your doorstep can seem like magic. With a few taps on your smartphone, a global delivery process is set into motion: Trucks, trains, jets and even ships all have a role in whisking your order from factory to warehouse to your front door — and in making and moving raw materials and parts to be assembled in the first place. Yet this impressive feat comes with a catch: Currently, the vast majority of vehicles involved run on fossil fuel, releasing CO2 and other gases that feed climate change.
SEE A 3-D VIEW OF WHAT SOME OF TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGIES COULD LOOK LIKE BELOW
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By Steven Rattner
Mr. Rattner was counselor to the Treasury secretary and head of the White House Auto Task Force in the Obama administration.
Nov. 28, 2018, 149
The empty parking lot at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, during what used to be the second shift. G.M. announced Monday that it would completely shut down the factory, which produces the Chevy Cruze sedan, in March.
Credit Allison Farrand for The New York Times
In 2016, as he crisscrossed the country for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised repeatedly that he would make American factories great again. “My plan includes a pledge to restore manufacturing in the United States,” he told a cheering crowd in the nation’s automobile capital, Detroit.
In truth, Mr. Trump’s promise was false hope, a cynical campaign pledge divorced from economic reality. That was illustrated vividly this week when General Motors announced that it would cut about 14,000 jobs.
Mr. Trump promptly attacked the company, but he is tilting at the wrong windmill: Rather than some arbitrary downsizing, the company’s decision was a rational response to many worrisome factors.
Its sales have begun to soften. Consumers have shown little interest in small cars, and G.M. lacks a strong line of crossover vehicles. Like many of its competitors, the company continues to increase production at less costly Mexican plants. Moves toward electric vehicles, in particular, will vastly change the types of factories and workers that G.M. needs. What’s more, the whole industry faces disruption by the sudden rise of ride-sharing apps and other innovations that will discourage vehicle sales.
By AC Shilton
June 18, 2018
Let’s set one thing straight right now: It’s a myth that you need a lot of gear for cycling.
I blame this fallacy on the M.A.M.I.L.s (that’s middle-aged men in Lycra), and their endless obsession with carbon-fiber whirligigs and aerodynamic thingamabobs.
You don’t need any of that stuff. Really. (Especially the Lycra.) And thanks to bike-share programs, in many cities you don’t even need to own a bike. But having your own bike is a lot of fun, and it allows you to dial everything in exactly how you like it. (My favorite is the apartment-friendly Brompton, which folds up in 30 seconds but rides as well as any other bike on the market.)
What you do need though, are wet wipes. Smelling like a swamp cabbage in a 9 a.m. meeting isn’t a power play (ask me how I know). Personally, I keep a pack of Combat Wipes in my pack. I like that they’re biodegradable, and they have just enough scent to mask any ripeness brewing in my armpits.
In collaboration with Wirecutter, a New York Times company that reviews and recommends products, here are five cheap(ish) things to make your ride more comfortable and enjoyable.
SAN FRANCISCO — We might be living through a new age of miracles. Last month, Los Angeles decided against adding lanes to a freeway, an unexpected move in a city that has mistakenly thought for years that more lanes mean fewer traffic jams.
Shortly before that, Germany’s highest court ruled that diesel cars could be banned from city centers to clean up the air. Mind you, Germany is the land where diesel technology was invented — and Volkswagen, the world’s largest automobile maker, invested heavily in pushing the cars before it was caught lying about their emissions. After the court ruling, Volkswagen sputtered that it was “unable to comprehend” the decision.
These events occurred nearly 6,000 miles apart, in different political contexts, but they are connected. Both the public and a few of our bolder political leaders are waking up to the reality that we simply cannot keep jamming more cars into our cities.
A century of experience has taught us the folly of it. Three pathologies emerge. First, every car becomes the enemy of every other. The car you hate most is the one that’s right in front of you not moving. As cars pile in, journey times and pollution rise.