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課程來源:TED
     

 

Bill Ford 談沒有交通阻塞的未來

Bill Ford: A future beyond traffic gridlock

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Bill Ford

2011年3月演講,2011年6月在TED2011上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

Bill Ford是汽車之子-他的曾祖父是Henry Ford,他隨著龐大的福特汽車公司一起成長。因此,當他擔憂關於汽車對環境的影響,以及不斷增加的全球交通阻塞問題時,確實值得傾聽。他對未來行動自由的遠見,包括「智慧公路」,更聰明的公共運輸系統以及前所未有的環保概念。

 

關於Bill Ford

身為福特汽車公司執行董事長,Bill Ford領導這家移動全世界的公司。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

William Clay Ford Jr.(即Bill Ford)是福特汽車公司執行董事長,這間公司由他曾祖父亨利福特於底特律創立。這間規模龐大的公司成功地將汽車銷售到世界各地。現在,福特汽車展望的不僅是一個銷售更多汽車的未來。福特汽車展望的未來是,更環保、更潔淨、行動效率更高的汽車,在更好、更智慧的道路系統上奔馳-有時則以公共交通及其他移動形式代替。

 

Ford於1979年加入福特汽車公司,職務為產品規劃分析師。他陸續擔任過製造、銷售、行銷、產品開發和財務等各種職務。1982年,在福特與美國汽車工人聯合會突破性的勞資談判期間,他任職於公司的全國談判團隊,談判結果使得員工一同參與公司事務,並為汽車行業帶來革命性變革。

 

Ford先生於1988年加入董事會,自1999年1月起擔任董事長。他兼任公司的財務委員會主席,並為永續發展委員會成員。他於2001年10月至2006年9月被任命為執行董事長,同時擔任公司的執行總裁。

 

身為執行總裁,Ford先生提高了汽車品質、降低成本並提供令人振奮的新產品。在擔任執行總裁期間,他使公司從2001年的虧損55億美元,變成連續三年獲得盈餘。這些年來,他一直以不變的遠見帶領公司前進。

 

他說:「讓福特汽車公司持續成功是我一生的事業。希望在下一個100年,我們能比第一個100年帶來更大的影響。」

 

Bill Ford的英語網上資料

Home: Ford Motor Company

Interesting: "Bill Ford Looks Ahead"

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Bill Ford 談沒有交通阻塞的未來

因為我的出身和選擇,我一生都投身於汽車產業。過去30年我服務於福特汽車公司,這些年裡大部份時間,我總是擔心要如何才能售出更多汽車和卡車?但今天我擔心卻是,如果我們只是拼命銷售更多汽車和卡車呢?當街道上的車輛數目變成兩倍、三倍、甚至四倍時,會發生什麼事?

 

我的生活由兩大熱情所引領,第一個是汽車,可說福特汽車公司伴隨著我長大。當我父親將最新的福特或林肯車開回家,停在車道上時,年幼的我認為這實在是太酷了。大約在那個時候,我決定,那時我大概是10歲,如果我能成為一位試車員,一定酷斃了。因此,當我父母準備吃晚餐,坐好之後,我會偷偷溜出家門,我會跳進駕駛座,開著這輛新款車,繞著車道駕駛,這讓人振奮不已。這種情形持續了兩年左右,直到-我想大約是我12歲時,我爸爸開了一輛林肯Mark III回家,那天下著雪,他跟媽媽去吃晚餐,我悄悄溜出家門,想著在雪地裡開車畫個甜甜圈,或甚至幾個8字型,一定酷斃了。那天晚上,我爸爸提早結束晚餐,他正走進前廳,並打算走出前門,幾乎在同一時刻,我開著車撞起一些冰,在前門與他相遇,然後幾乎就在前廳前停了下來。因此,這多少讓我的試車熱情冷卻了一會兒,但之後我真正開始愛上了汽車。我的第一輛車是一台1975年的綠色電動野馬車,即使它的顏色相當嚇人,我還是真心喜愛這輛車,它確實凝聚了我與汽車的親密情感,直到今天。

 

但汽車不只是我的熱情所在,可以說它們跟我血脈相連。我的曾祖父是亨利福特,我的外曾祖父是Harvey Firestone(美國輪胎大王),所以,當我出生時,我想,可以說大家多少對我有很高的期望。但我曾祖父亨利福特確實認為,福特汽車公司的使命是為了使人們生活更美好,並讓汽車成為每個人都負擔的起,且能擁有的東西。因為他認為機動性可以帶來自由和進步,這是我也同意的信念。

 

另一個讓我滿懷熱情的是環境。當我還是個年輕男孩時,曾北上到北密西根,在海明威垂釣並描寫過的那條河中釣魚。隨著歲月的流逝,這些景像越變越糟,讓我震驚不已。當我前往一些我喜愛的河流,以及我習慣徜徉其中、滿是螢火蟲的田野時,它們已全都變成了零售商場或公寓。因此,即使在那麼輕的年紀,我都對環境變化有所共鳴,整個環境保護的概念以一種基本理念的形式滲入我心中。

 

我中學時開始閱讀梭羅、李奧波(生態保育之父)及Edward Abbey(美國自然主義作家)的著作,於是我真正開始發展對自然世界更深層的欣賞,但我從未真正想過,我對汽車和卡車的愛,有朝一日會與大自然發生衝突,直到我上大學時,這成了事實。當我上大學時,你可以想像我的驚訝,當我去上課時,有幾位教授會說,福特汽車公司和我的家人是我們國家的罪魁禍首,他們認為,身為一個企業我們,更感興趣的是利潤而不是進步,我們讓天空充滿煙霧。坦白說,我們是環境的敵人。

 

大學畢業後,經過一番內在的深層思考,我加入了福特公司,我思考這是否真的是正確的做法。但我決定,我想加入公司,看看是否能發揮影響力,而讓它有所改變。當我回首30年前,在當時那個年齡,想著我能做到這件事,是有一點天真,但我想這麼做。而我確實發現,教授們所說的並不完全錯誤,事實上,當我回到底特律時,我傾向環保的想法並不完全被我自己公司的人們接受,當然也不被這個產業的人們接受。你們可以想像,我歷經了一些非常有意思的談話。有些福特公司的人認為,所有這些生態保育言論都是無稽之談,提都不該提,我必須停止跟這些「環保瘋子」混在一起。我被認為太激進了,我永遠不會忘記那天,我被其中一位高層管理人員找去,要我停止與任何已知或可疑的環保分子連絡。(笑聲)當然,我無意這麼做,我不停提出關於環境的議題,主題在於我們今天所說的永續性。過了一段時間後,我的觀點從備受爭議,轉為如今或多或少成為共識。我是指,我想這個產業中大多數人都明白,我們必須在這方面有所進展。

 

好消息是,今天我們解決了汽車與環境之間的大問題,不僅是在福特,而是在這整個產業。我們使燃油效率達到新的高峰,隨著新科技發展,我們正在減少-我相信有一天將可消除二氧化碳排放量。我們開始銷售電動車,這很棒,我們正在開發替代動力車款,這將使汽車變得更實惠,不論從何種意義上來說-經濟、社會和環境。事實上,雖然我們還有很長的路要走,很多工作要做,我可以看到有朝一日,我的兩大熱情-汽車與環境,確實能和平共處。

 

但不幸的是,我們正著手解決一個可怕的問題,正如我所說,我們還沒到達終點,我們還有很多工作得做。但我可以看到,我們將-即使我們正在進行這個過程,另一個大問題正若隱若現,而人們尚未注意到,那就是行動的自由。我曾祖父帶給人們的東西現在正受到威脅,正如環境一樣,這個問題是,以最簡單的術語來說,這是數學的一種。今天,世界上大約有68億人,在我們有生之年,這個數字會持續增加到大約90億。以這個人口水平來說,我們地球將要面對的是人口增長所造成的極限,這樣的人口增長帶來一些嚴重的現實問題,其中之一是,我們的交通系統根本無法應付。

 

當我們觀察汽車數量的增長時,情況變得更加明顯。今天,全球大約有8億輛汽車在道路上奔馳,但隨著全球人口增多和日益繁榮,到了世紀中,這個數字會持續增加到二十至四十億輛汽車,這將會創造出一種前所未見的全球性交通阻塞。現在想想這對我們日常生活將會造成的影響。今天,美國人平均一年花在塞車上的時間大約是一個星期,這對時間和資源來說都是一個巨大的浪費,但這還無法跟成長最快速的國家中所發生的情況相比。今天,在北京的駕駛人平均每天通勤五個小時,而去年夏天-你們當中可能有很多人看過這則新聞,在中國發生一百英里的交通堵塞,花了11天才紓解。未來幾十年,世界上有75%的人口將生活在城市,這些城市當中,有50個城市人口將超過一千萬人。

 

所以,你可以看到我們所面對的問題之規模。當因素在於人口增長時,很顯然,我們今天擁有的行動模式到未來就行不通了。坦白說,就算在路上奔馳的是40億輛潔淨能源車,依然是40億輛車;而沒有二氧化碳排放的塞車依然是塞車。因此,如果我們不在今天做改變,未來會是什麼情形?嗯,我想你們可能已看過像這樣的圖片,交通堵塞只是這個挑戰的其中一種症狀,這真的非常、非常不方便,但事實就是如此。但更大的問題是,全球交通阻塞將會扼殺經濟成長,以及我們運輸食物和提供醫療的能力,特別是對於生活在城市中心的人。我們的生活品質將會嚴重受損,那麼,我們該如何解決這個問題?

 

這個答案將不會是相同的。我曾祖父在發明T型車前曾說過,「如果我問人們想要什麼,他們會回答,我們想要更快的馬。」因此,解決更多汽車的辦法,不僅是建造更多的道路。當美國開始西進時,我們並沒有增加更多的馬車隊,而是建造鐵路,在第二次世界大戰後,為了連接全國交通,我們沒有建立更多的雙線道公路,而是建了州際高速公路系統。今天,為了創造一個可行的未來,我們需要同樣飛躍的思維。我們要建造智慧汽車,但我們還需要建造智慧道路、智慧停車場、智慧公共交通系統等等。我們不想將我們的時間浪費在交通阻塞或在收費亭乾等,或尋找停車位,我們需要一個整合的系統,使用即時資訊,大規模優化個人的移動力,不需讓旅客陷入交通困境或與其妥協。坦白說,那是一種將使未來個人行動力永續發展的系統。

 

好消息是,這方面的工作,有些已開始在全球不同的地方進行。阿布達比的Masdar市使用可彼此通訊的無人駕駛電動車,在城市街道的下方行駛,上方則是一系列的人行道。在紐約市第34街,交通阻塞將很快被車輛專用通道的連接系統所取代。這些將要建造的步行區和專用車道,都將使在交通尖峰時穿過整個紐約市的平均通勤時間,從目前大約一個小時減少到約20分鐘。如果看看香港,他們有一個非常有趣的系統,稱為八達通,這是一個將所有運輸資產真正聯繫在一起的單一付費系統,因此,停車場、公共汽車、火車全都在同一系統內運作。現在,汽車共享服務也如雨後春筍般出現在世界各地。我想,這些努力是很偉大的,它們能紓解交通阻塞,坦白說,它們正開始省下一些燃料。

 

這些都是能推動我們前進的了不起想法,但真正令我鼓舞的是,我們的車可以開始互相溝通,這個想法即將成為可能。很快的,我們今天使用於將音樂、娛樂和GPS訊息帶入車中的同樣系統,將用於建造智慧車輛網路。每天早上我開車約30英里,從Ann Arbor的家,前往在密西根Dearborn的辦公室。每天晚上我回家時,通勤過程可說完全是在碰運氣。我經常得離開高速公路,尋找不同的路徑,試著順利返家。但很快我們將看到,車輛基本上可以互相溝通那天到來。因此,如果我前方的車輛在I-94公路遇上塞車,它會立即提醒我的車,要我的車自行重新定向,使我能以最佳可能路線返家。這些系統目前正在測試階段,坦白說,它們很快將準備好在通勤高峰啟用。

 

但汽車的網路連結潛力幾乎是無限的,試想一下:有那麼一天,很快的,你將能規劃一條前往市中心的路線,你的車將與智慧停車系統連結,所以當你坐進車中,當你坐進車中時,你的車將在你抵達之前為你保留停車位,不需再開著車四處尋找。坦白說,今天在城市中燃料的最大殺手之一,正是尋找車位的汽車。或想想,在紐約市用智慧手機搜尋智慧計程車,所以你不必在寒冷的天氣中等待並叫一輛車,或今後在TED會議時,可以讓你的車跟所有參加者的行事曆溝通,讓你知道所有返家的最佳路線,當你們要離開時,都能及時趕到下一個目的地。這是一種能將數百萬個別車輛整合成單一系統的科技。

 

因此,我認為,很顯然,我們擁有解決這個大問題的一個開端。但我們發現,在解決二氧化碳及化石燃料問題方面並沒有什麼法寶,解決方法不會是更多車、更多道路或新的鐵路系統。我相信,我們只能從相互連結的全球網路中發現解決之道。現在我知道,我們能開發達成這個目標的科技,但我們得願意走出去,尋求解決方案,這是否意味著車輛共享或公共運輸,或其他我們尚未想到的方式?我們整體運輸結構和基礎設施,必須能承擔所有未來的選擇。

 

我們需要用最佳及最聰明的方式開始處理這個問題,企業、企業家、風險資本家都需要了解,這是一個巨大的商機,以及一個巨大的社會問題。正如這些群體欣然面對綠色能源挑戰,當我看到在過去三年的努力中,包含了多少腦力激盪、多少金錢、以及多少認真的思考,全都傾入綠色能源領域,這確實讓我驚訝不已。我們需要以同樣的熱情和力量來打擊全球交通阻塞,但我們需要所有像在場各位的人-具前瞻性的思考者,我的意思是,坦白說,我需要你們大家幫忙,思考該如何解決這個大問題。我們需要來自各行各業的人,不只是發明家,我們還需要決策者和政府官員,一起思考該如何應對這個挑戰。

 

目前還沒有任何一個人或團體著手解決這個問題,這將需要一個國家制定的能源政策,坦白說,對每個國家來說都是,因為每個國家的解決方案都將會不同,根據其收入水準、交通阻塞程度以及這些系統目前的整合狀況。但我們需要持續進行,現在就得行動,我們必須有一個設計成能承受未來變化多端情況的基礎設施。

 

你知道,我們已走過一段很長的路,在T型車出現之前,大多數人一生從未到過離家25英里以外的地方,從那時起,汽車讓我們擁有選擇居住地、工作地及出遊地點的自由。坦白說,從那時起,我們才能自由外出並四處遨遊。我們不希望倒退並失去這種自由,我們正在尋求解決的道路上前進。正如我之前所說,我知道我們還有很長的路要走,一個我們全都將注意力集中在其上的大議題正威脅著它,那就是環境問題。但我相信我們所有人都必須將我們所有的努力、聰明才智和決心,轉而幫助解決這個全球交通阻塞的問題。因為這麼做,我們將能維持我們已認為是理所當然的事,就是移動的自由,以及毫不費力地遨遊世界。坦白說,如果解決這個問題,將能提高我們的生活品質,因為,如果你能像我一樣,想像一個零二氧化碳排放及在全國和世界各地自由行動的未來,就像我們今天習以為常的這樣,以今天辛勤的努力來維持這份自由是值得的。

 

我相信,當面臨這個大問題時,我們一定能處在最佳境地。這是個大問題,而它是不等人的,讓我們現在就開始吧!

 

謝謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

Bill Ford is a car guy -- his great-grandfather was Henry Ford, and he grew up inside the massive Ford Motor Co. So when he worries about cars' impact on the environment, and about our growing global gridlock problem, it's worth a listen. His vision for the future of mobility includes "smart roads," even smarter public transport and going green like never before.

About the Speaker

As executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford leads the company that put the world on wheels. Full bio and more links

Transcript

By birth and by choice, I've been involved with the auto industry my entire life, and for the past 30 years, I've worked at Ford Motor Company. And for most of those years, I've worried about, how am I going to sell more cars and trucks? But today I worry about, what if all we do is sell more cars and trucks? What happens when the number of vehicles on the road doubles, triples, or even quadruples?

My life is guided by two great passions, and the first is automobiles. I literally grew up with the Ford Motor Company. I thought it was so cool as a little boy when my dad would bring home the latest Ford or Lincoln and leave it in the driveway. And I decided about that time, about age 10, that it would be really cool if I was a test driver. So my parents would go to dinner. They'd sit down, I'd sneak out of the house. I'd jump behind the wheel and take the new model around the driveway, and it was a blast. And that went on for about two years, until -- I think I was about 12 -- my dad brought home a Lincoln Mark III. And it was snowing that day. So he and mom went to dinner. And I snuck out and thought it'd be really cool to do donuts or even some figure-eights in the snow. My dad finished dinner early that evening. And he was walking to the front hall and out the front door just about the same time I hit some ice and met him at the front door with the car -- and almost ended up in the front hall. So it kind of cooled my test driving for a little while. But I really began to love cars then. And my first car was a 1975 electric-green Mustang. And even though the color was pretty hideous, I did love the car, and it really cemented my love affair with cars that's continued on to this day.

But cars are really more than a passion of mine; they quite literally in my blood. My great grandfather was Henry Ford, and on my mother's side, my great grandfather was Harvey Firestone. So when I was born, I guess you could say expectations were kind of high for me. But my great grandfather, Henry Ford, really believed that the mission of the Ford Motor Company was to make people's lives better and make cars affordable so that everyone could have them. Because he believed that, with mobility, comes freedom and progress. And that's a belief that I share.

My other great passion is the environment. And as a young boy, I used to go up to Northern Michigan and fish in the rivers that Hemingway fished in and then later wrote about. And it really struck me as the years went by, in a very negative way, when I would go to some stream that I'd loved, and was used to walking through this field that was once filled with fireflies, and now had a strip mall or a bunch of condos on it. And so even at a young age, that really resonated with me. And the whole notion of environmental preservation, at a very basic level, sunk in with me.

As a high-schooler, I started to read authors like Thoreau and Aldo Leopold and Edward Abbey. And I really began to develop a deeper appreciation of the natural world. But it never really occurred to me that my love of cars and trucks would ever be in conflict with nature. And that was true until I got to college. And when I got to college, you can imagine my surprise when I would go to class and a number of my professors would say that Ford Motor Company and my family was everything that was wrong with our country. They thought that we were more interested, as an industry, in profits, rather than progress, and that we filled the skies with smog -- and frankly, we were the enemy.

I joined Ford after college, after some soul searching whether or not this is really the right thing to do. But I decided that I wanted to go and see if I could affect change there. And as I look back over 30 years ago, it was a little naive to think at that age that I could, but I wanted to. And I really discovered that my professors weren't completely wrong. In fact, when I got back to Detroit, my environmental leanings weren't exactly embraced by those in my own company, and certainly by those in the industry. I had some very interesting conversations, as you can imagine. There were some within Ford who believed that all this ecological nonsense should just disappear and that I needed to stop hanging out with "environmental wackos". I was considered a radical. And I'll never forget the day I was called in by a member of top management and told to stop associating with any known or suspected environmentalists. (Laughter) Of course, I had no intention of doing that. And I kept speaking out about the environment. And it really was the topic that we now today sustainability. And in time, my views went from controversial to more or less consensus today. I mean, I think most people in the industry understand that we've got to get on with it.

And the good news is today we are tackling the big issues, of cars and the environment -- not only at Ford, but really as an industry. We're pushing fuel efficiency to new heights. And with new technology, we're reducing -- and I believe, someday will eliminate -- CO2 emissions. We're starting to sell electric cars, which is great. We're developing alternative power trains that are going to make cars affordable in every sense of the word -- economically, socially and environmentally. And actually, although we've got a long way to go and a lot of work to do, I can see the day where my two great passions -- cars and the environment -- actually come into harmony.

But unfortunately, as we're on our way to solving one monstrous problem -- and as I said, we're not there yet; we've got a lot of work to do, but I can see where we will -- but even as we're in the process of doing that, another huge problem is looming, and people aren't noticing. And that is the freedom of mobility that my great grandfather brought to people is now being threatened, just as the environment is. The problem, put in its simplest terms, is one of mathematics. Today there are approximately 6.8 billion people in the world. And within our lifetime, that number's going to grow to about nine billion. And at that population level, our planet will be dealing with the limits of growth. And with that growth comes some severe practical problems, one of which is our transportation system simply won't be able to deal with it.

When we look at the population growth in terms of cars, it becomes even clearer. Today there are about 800 million cars on the road worldwide. But with more people and greater prosperity around the world, that number's going to grow to between two and four billion cars by mid century. And this is going to create the kind of global gridlock that the world has never seen before. Now think about the impact that this is going to have on our daily lives. Today the average American spends about a week a year stuck in traffic jams. And that's a huge waste of time and resources. But that's nothing compared to what's going on in the nations that are growing the fastest. Today the average driver in Beijing has a five-hour commute. And last summer -- many of you probably saw this -- there was a hundred-mile traffic jam that took 11 days to clear in China. In the decades to come, 75 percent of the world's population will live in cities, and 50 of those cities will be of 10 million people or more.

So you can see the size of the issue that we're facing. When you factor in population growth, it's clear that mobility model that we have today simply will not work tomorrow. Frankly, four billion clean cars on the road are still four billion cars. And a traffic jam with no emissions is still a traffic jam. So, if we make no changes today, what does tomorrow look like? Well I think you probably already have the picture. Traffic jams are just a symptom of this challenge, and they're really very, very inconvenient, but that's all they are. But the bigger issue is that global gridlock is going to stifle economic growth and our ability to deliver food and health care, particularly to people that live in city centers. And our quality of life is going to be severely compromised. So what's going to solve this?

Well the answer isn't going to be more of the same. My great grandfather once said before he invented the Model T, "If I had asked people then what they wanted, they would have answered, 'We want faster horses.'" So the answer to more cars is simply not to have more roads. When America began moving West, we didn't add more wagon trains, we built railroads. And to connect our country after World War II, we didn't build more two-lane highways, we built the interstate highway system. Today we need that same leap in thinking for us to create a viable future. We are going to build smart cars, but we also need to build smart roads, smart parking, smart public transportation systems and more. We don't want to waste our time sitting in traffic, sitting at toll booths or looking for parking spots. We need an integrated system that uses real time data to optimize personal mobility on a massive scale without hassle or compromises for travelers. And frankly, that's the kind of system that's going to make the future of personal mobility sustainable.

Now the good news is some of this work has already begun in different parts of the world. The city of Masdar in Abu Dhabi uses driverless electric vehicles that can communicate with one another, and they go underneath the city streets. And up above, you've got a series of pedestrian walkways. On New York City's 34th St., gridlock will soon be replaced with a connected system of vehicle-specific corridors. Pedestrian zones and dedicated traffic lanes are going to be created, and all of this will cut down the average rush hour commute to get across town in New York from about an hour today at rush hour to about 20 minutes. Now if you look at Hong Kong, they have a very interesting system called Octopus there. It's a system that really ties together all the transportation assets into a single payment system. So parking garages, buses, trains, they all operate within the same system. Now shared car services are also springing up around the world. And these efforts, I think, are great. They're relieving congestion, and they're frankly starting to save some fuel.

These are all really good ideas that will move us forward. But what really inspires me is what's going to be possible when our cars can begin talking to each other. Very soon, the same systems that we use today to bring music and entertainment and GPS information into our vehicles are going to be used to create a smart vehicle network. Every morning I drive about 30 miles from my home in Ann Arbor to my office in Dearborn, Michigan. And every night I go home, my commute is a total crap shoot. And I often have to leave the freeway and look for different ways for me to try and make it home. But very soon we're going to see the days when cars are essentially talking to each other. So if the car ahead of me on I-94 hits traffic, it will immediately alert my car and tell my car to reroute itself to get me home in the best possible way. And these systems are being tested right now, and frankly they're going to be ready for prime time pretty soon.

But the potential of a connected car network is almost limitless. So just imagine: one day very soon, you're going to be able to plan a trip downtown and your car will be connected to a smart parking system. So you get in your car, and as you get in your car, your car will reserve you a parking spot before you arrive -- no more driving around looking for one, which frankly is one of the biggest users of fuel in today's cars in urban areas is looking for parking spots. Or think about being in New York City and tracking down an intelligent cab on your smart phone so you don't have to wait in the cold to hail one. Or being at a future TED Conference and having your car talk to the calendars of everybody here and telling you all the best route to take home and when you should leave, so that you can all arrive at your next destination on time. This is the kind of technology that will merge millions of individual vehicles into a single system.

So I think it's clear we have the beginnings of a solution to this enormous problem. But as we found out with addressing CO2 issues, and also fossil fuels, there is no one silver bullet. The solution is not going to be more cars, more roads or a new rail system; it can only be found, I believe, in a global network of interconnected solutions. Now I know we can develop the technology that's going to make this work, but we've got to be willing to get out there and seek out the solutions -- whether that means vehicle sharing or public transportation or some other way we haven't even thought of yet, our overall transportation mix and infrastructure must support all the future options.

We need our best and our brightest to start entertaining this issue. Companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, they all need to understand this is a huge business opportunity, as well as an enormous social problem. And just as these groups embrace the green energy challenge -- and it's really been amazing to me to watch how much brain power, how much money and how much serious thought has, really over the last three years, just poured into the green energy field. We need that same kind of passion and energy to attack global gridlock. But we need people like all of you in this room, leading thinkers. I mean, frankly I need all of you to think about how you can help solve this huge issue. And we need people from all walks of life; not just inventors, we need policymakers and government officials to also think about how they're going to respond to this challenge.

This isn't going to be solved by any one person or one group. It's going to really require a national energy policy, frankly for each country, because the solutions in each country are going to be different based upon income levels, traffic jams and also how integrated the systems already are. But we need to get going, and we need to get going today. And we must have an infrastructure that's designed to support this flexible future.

You know, we've come a long way. Since the Model T, most people never traveled more than 25 miles from home in their entire life time. And since then, the automobile has allowed us the freedom to choose where we live, where we work, where we play and frankly when we just go out and want to move around. We don't want to regress and lose that freedom. We're on our way to solving -- and as I said earlier, I know we've got a long way to go -- the one big issue that we're all focused on that threatens it, and that's the environmental issue, but I believe we all must turn all of our effort and all of our ingenuity and determination to help now solve this notion of global gridlock. Because in doing so, we're going to preserve what we've really come to take for granted, which is the freedom to move and move very effortlessly around the world. And it frankly will enhance our quality of life if we fix this. Because, if you can envision, as I do, a future of zero emissions and freedom to move around the country and around the world like we take for granted today, that's worth the hard work today to preserve that for tomorrow.

I believe we're at our best when we're confronted with big issues. This is a big one, and it won't wait. So let's get started now.

Thank you.

(Applause)
 


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