LTC Dialogue #3: Can Technology Save us?
With. My, did a presentation, a while back with, some. University of California, out of their path program, and, some. Of the things that they talked to talked about was what they call the three revolutions, of transportation, and I thought it was very fitting, for today, those, two revolutions, that they really talked about is a number one electrification, of the fleet so if we start looking at gas taxes, which is how we pay for our transportation system, primarily right now well, as the fleet electrifies, what happens to all that revenue, gone. So from, city perspective county, state how, do we start looking at how do we maintain roads, if we have no money coming in if our fleets electrified, that's. Just one unintended, consequence, of some. Of the choices were making obviously there's environmental benefits, to electrification of the fleet but, something I hope you talked about a little bit more today too. Is what we call the shared economy or the shared fleet so, I. Saw hasanah CRADA from Sky a while back did a presentation, where. He talked to or he had a slide up that said 10 years ago, the. Number. One. Or ride. Hailing service, in the United States was yellow cap, today. It's uber and, uber. Has something like 10 times more cars, than yellow cab ever had an uber, owns zero, cars so. If you think about that from a shared economy he also had a. Perspective. Related to hotel, rooms so, 10 years ago the number one hotel room was Hilton or hotel, provider was Hilton hotels and they had I can't. Remember the number some don't quote me on this but, it was something like a hundred thousand hotel rooms worldwide, today it's Airbnb. And they have something like 10 million rooms, that you can rent and they own 0 of them so, we've got a totally different economy, that's taking place and I think that's also something that we should, talk about and then the third thing and I hope you don't spend too much time on it but there are definitely unintended consequences, when you talk to start talking about the autonomous, vehicle fleet we've. Done a variety of research as to, vehicle. Fleet penetration, so what percentage of the fleet has to be autonomous before, you start realizing, those capacity, benefits, of the system we've, also done a variety of testing, and a lot of this is up on my firm's website related. To, induced. Travel, so when we make it easier, and cheaper for. People, to travel they tend to drive more and. Autonomous vehicles basically, enable that so, the action, and I think the real reason the. Real task. That governments, have and the industry, has and you're starting to see this with uber now saying they're going to collaborate more with governments, they appeared out of nowhere. And kind of took government by surprise I was in San Francisco about two weeks ago talking, to the city of San Francisco a block from ubers headquarters, and even. They they they said even up the street from us literally, up the street from us they would surprise this is what they would come up with and have on the road the next day that, era is kind of over and it's.
Going To be necessary for. Government and industry to sit down and figure out how. They actually. Coexist. To deliver services, together right, now I think 32, of the 34, largest, transit properties in the in the United States everything, except Seattle in Houston is losing. Ridership, not, to the tune of about 8 to 12 percent loss of fare box returned ridership so they're losing, horrendous. Amounts of government money already combine. That with the fact that uber lost four and a half a billion with a B u.s. dollars, last year the, situation, is certainly untenable so the action, is City, screaming, for everyone to sit down industry. And government, with the help of academia which is essential I'm going to start with the benefits. Of. Switching to zero mission. It. Gives cities, and private companies the ability to meet local state. And federally, mandated climate, action plans. Obviously. It improves the air quality each. Of our vehicles, in our class which is class 4 which. Is medium. Heavy duty class about. Fourteen thousand five hundred pound vehicles. Each. Of our vehicles were world roughly save about sixty, solid. Tons of carbon dioxide per year. There's. Operational. Fuel and maintenance savings, to be had as well. The. Opportunity to market clean technology, to future generations of environmentally. Concerned patrons. I think. That it's important to understand, that as the younger generations, think about transportation, that. The ridership will go up if you offer them a solution. Different, than the you, know then what they've had in the past. Some. Of the challenges, I you, know we can get into them later. It's, with budgeting, especially, with cities budgeting. For the incremental costs, how, do we implement and adopt these new technologies. And also. Infrastructure. Planning where. Do we put the Chargers what kind of panel, upgrades do we need what kind of power do we need to service our vehicles.
And. Also researching. The. Incentives, and funding opportunities that. Are available today. Action. Education. At. Phoenix motorcars we try to educate all of our potential. Customers on, the incentives that are in place the funding opportunities, out there, we. Help design, and. Implement. Charging, station. Drawings. Permit. And. Also. Show. Them the different types of you, know state, and federal funding that's available for. Infrastructure, in particular. So. A few, of you guys have spoke, all, of you guys spoke to some of the shifts. That are happening, and. I'd. Like to revisit it at least as a starting point Jason, you mentioned, the three. Revolutions. In transportation, so my. Initial. Question I'd like to start with is what, are. The the big shifts, in transportation. Related technology. That we, should all be paying attention to I think, from a bigger picture if we think about how we plan our transportation, system a lot of that is done through our regional, MPO or Metropolitan Planning, Organization. And. At the MPO level we're doing a variety of modeling, and analysis, to try and help us identify what, that infrastructure, needs to look like in the future make, sure we have funding to deliver it and ultimately make sure that we're meeting our air quality conformity. Standards, right or. The Scaggs model, currently account for autonomous, vehicles, in their, model, does. The Scout model currently, account for. Transportation. Network companies like uber and lyft, we're. Seeing. Increasing. Mode share related to TN sees. Beyond. Transit. We're including transit, in our MPO models but we're not accounting, for TNCs, as a trip, purpose in and of itself, to. My knowledge very few travel amia models are doing this if any. Well. Let's, let's uh keep. Moving that along and building on this. Why. Are these that things, happening now why are these shifts happening now what problems, are we trying. To solve it one of the main concerns and, that. Cities are having right now is improving, the air quality. It's, sad to say but one, of the reasons why California, has the greatest. I would say state incentive program out there is, due to the bad air quality and the need to fix it. You. Know we work hand in hand with all, the major, air quality management and air pollution control districts, and, they put out Maps. Yearly. Indicating. You. Know the, the toxins, the NOx levels the co2 levels, so. There is a real push to try to clean the air quality especially. Around schools. And. Also in other parts of cities ports. Disadvantaged. Communities. And. Motorcars, we decided we, wanted to make, a solution, that. Would work and integrate, easily.
With. Some of the already. Built. Up technologies. I think there's a couple different drivers. That are that. Are creating the now a, number, one is regulation. That's a driver and I think that's that's what you were getting at Thomas is some of the air quality conformity, regulations, that we have both at the state and the federal level basically having an hour an hour and a half of just sitting in your car or having to pay attention and taking. That that hour of time that you could have been spending with your kids or spending at work or being productive and you've. Got one focus of trying to, watch. The car in front of you and make sure you didn't ruin them, you, know that's that's a big. Motivation, as far as some. Of the opportunities. That the private sector are seeing on how, can we do the final motivator, and. This is one of the things that relates. It I think back to everybody is safety if, you look at the. Economic, drivers behind. Insurance. In. The United States and, collisions. Things. Of that nature there is, lives. And, dollars to be safe there nobody's, mentioned. SpaceX. Hyperloop. Drones. Is, there anything else in the way of new technological. Shifts, that just, before. I started, scratching, that the congestion itch that we, should address, here today just go okay guys let's just build a boring company, let's. Tell it's tunnel under LA instead of driving through it let's, build a. Let's. Build a Hyperloop, to, Vegas let's do all this other stuff there's. Been a hundred years of investment, in the highway infrastructure, and nobody can walk away from that right now so we. Need to make it more efficient, as far, as connected and autonomous vehicles I know there's a session that's going to cover that separately. Fundamentally. I don't think they're going to decrease traffic they're going to decrease parking, big time and then third of urban space is used roughly, around the country for parking, that's huge, but. Without other social, changes, in the mobile patterns, they're, not going to decrease the amount of VM T we call vehicle miles traveled or, VM T because. The vehicles are not only going to be riding around with people in them they're gonna be riding around empty going to pickup. I'll. Say there's technology, available today, to. Help solve traffic congestion that we have not rolled out in California. One. That I did want to touch on there's a software. Platform or, an algorithm if you will that was developed, in Australia. Commonly, referred to as VicRoads. And. Essentially, what they've done is they've looked at their freeway system and realized that when you have a hot spot on your freeway, you need to start managing traffic ten miles upstream, of it start looking at the number of vehicles, that you have accessing, your your your.
System There and start, ratcheting it back in managing, your floats what, VicRoads is trying to do is start managing, the, congestion or the the amount of traffic that's being delivered to that hotspot of that congestion location. Ten miles upstream, and all. The way to it, and, essentially. What they're finding is they were able to raise their congested. Throughput, from 1,300, vehicles per hour per lane to, something. Closer to 18 or 19 hundred, vehicles per, hour per lane Derner congested, time periods so, I think their software and processes. And technology, currently, available to. Help us from manage our system that in California, we haven't taken advantage of because right now we choose to park our vehicles, on the freeways in congested, conditions instead, of holding them before they hit the freeways so, when you get about 50% of the fleet as autonomous, we start seeing pretty major. Improvements. In capacity. And a lot of that sort deals with what, we call headway which is a component of congestion I'm, sorry a component, of capacity, so essentially we're able to have cars follow, a little bit closer together because autonomous, vehicles have better reaction, times than, vehicles, than. Drivers and then. When. We start increasing that capacity, we also autonomous, vehicles have the. Ability to not overreact, so if you're thinking of a person when they see congestion, and they slam on their brakes and they overreact, that, has a ripple effect upstream. On the, congestion. So. When you start smoothing some of those out and you get about 50 percent autonomous. Vehicle. Penetration. Into the vehicle fleet we start seeing some major capacity. Enhancements, right now, you know if my company is billing me out at $100, an hour and I'm sitting behind the wheel not able to build my time out because I'm driving a vehicle if. All of a sudden I can take that hour in a vehicle and be on my laptop and generating, a report that I can bail out at $100, an hour to a client, that, value, of time is very very, different in a car so, the, the cost of driving essentially, goes down when you start looking at electrification, of the fleet cost. Of travel per mile is going to go dramatically. Down as. The fleet electrifies, so when we start looking at some of those cost factors or the cost of driving, or traveling, and those go down we're actually seeing what we call induced travel when we make it cheaper and easier for people to drive guess what people drive a lot more that's, where we get into the VM T increases that you talked about in vehicle miles traveled people, will just drive, more because it's easier just one. Of your concerns, or hopes that, you you're most excited about and what, should cities. Be doing now in response, to either that. Opportunity, or you, know that potential cost for, the fur community. So. Helping, with the infrastructure, utilities. Are finally becoming. You. Know more helpful they're designing, actually, and they've asked us for feedback on how they can implement. You. Know specific, electricity. Rates. Designed. To be lower and to avoid demand charges so. That that's not one of the obstacles we run into again. Well. I want to say this, is kind of how smart mobility is going to get done people ask how how are we going to do this how we're going to pay for it and the. Answer is believe. It or not the money is already there what. Needs to be done is, create. A business, model, where. Governments. Are able to realize substantial. Cost takeout using technological, technological. Innovations, like, TNCs, like on-demand transit. That, is able to reduce what had been for decades in decades since since, then there used to be a lot of private transit, it was taken over by governments, after World War Two up through the 70s and has been operated, at a substantial. Law something like and I was at Washington's, Transit Authority as one of the other things I did in my career we. Were making 40, percent return on the dollar for fair bucks return for our bus system and we were the highest in the country at the time now. Fair. Buck a fair and fair bucks is the amount for those of you don't know if that's how far out that's how much money you actually make, back as a transit agency no, single transit agency that I'm aware of in the United States at least actually, makes money now they, make about 20 cents on the dollar now at 40 was really good 20 cents so they're losing 80%. Of their return and getting, back 20 cents and it's more like 12 to 15 and most of the major cities on the dollar. Concurrently. You have uber and lyft using literally. Millions of private investor dollars where. The innovation, can, happen pretty quickly is, for. Agreement between government, and industry to. Monetize, that so that instead of losing 80. Percent, 80 cents on the dollar they, now only use say 70, or even 60, that, would generate huge, revenues, for the private sector that the pub that would that they would get in monetizing.
The Cost take out and that. Would cut would be able to basically put, these companies, on a paying basis, and have, substantial, substantial, reduction of the burden for taxpayers that, can actually happen fairly quickly we don't have to build a new system and that's, where the revolution, needs to start. You. Know with the the, electrification, of fleets we're only talking about it because battery technology, has gotten to the point where we can actually store, enough energy in, a, vehicle and let. It run, a significant. Amount of. Mileage. Before. Needing to charge again and so, I think with that technology that we're seeing as far as in battery systems you know hopefully in the future we will be able to see. Utilities. Think of new ways to, store. The energy part, of solving that problem we've looked at a community, scale has been the. Deployment of solar the. Deployment of other renewable, generation, technologies, and. Then another key component that is is, on-site, storage in some ways vehicles. Represent, an opportunity to help balance. Or add some resiliency, to the system by. Transferring. Energy and storing and batteries of those, vehicles in. Other cases where we've looked at, deploying. Batteries, on-site within buildings so you, know a couple the, on-site generation with, on-site storage and you helped build some resiliency, into the system okay next question. Sorry. He was faster than you or, my eyes are back in bed. We've. Looked at it. You. Know I've spoken, with our engineers quite a bit about it, one. Of the biggest things that solar, can offer our size vehicles, would be to combat, the usage of air, conditioning, especially, in Southern California. Air, conditioning, units especially on the shuttle bus it's a big unit it, takes probably 10 15 percent of the. Batteries, so it cuts, out about 15 percent of your range. That. Being said it's. It's, hard because it's not necessarily, cost-effective. I, mean, and knowing our luck we finally, put solar panels on the roof and then we'd have like years of cloudiness, or something but.
When. I'm trying to talk to the fleet's and explain. To them the cost-effectiveness there's, an incremental cost of, going. Electric, and what. A lot of cities look at is how much is it gonna how long is going to take to. And if. We did offer a solar option, I think. It would, you. Know start tipping less. Out of favor with the, incremental, costs of how much it would cost how much the vehicle would cost to. Build them with solar panels it would, be minimal. I mean we used a 105, kilowatt battery pack in our, vehicles alone. You. Know solar panels you could probably get three to five percent all, day. Charging. The. Impact. Of the. Cleaning. Of the air in Southern California. Have. You seen this effect or, an. Impact. When. I was these guys, age we. Talked about the quality of life. So. As technology. Unintended. Made. Us much more or. Less attentive to other personal. Issues and, I guess I'm talking about quality of life time I found a nd you, don't ever put that 55, on the road again, so. It's. How. Much. So. I think the first question is thanks. Jason. Take. That target. Answering. The the. Air, quality question I think is in a lot of ways, much. More straightforward absolutely. I mean, who. Here grew up in the region in IE, right okay so, I mean who. Here then who, grew up in the region if you didn't answer first you're just you're just qualified. Can. Remember how often you could not see the mountains right. Happen. All the time I remember being, school, your school riding today oh it's, a I think, what we call now but you couldn't go outside and play because there, was terrible, and. That. Is far less of an issue now it, is it is the problem is not solved. Of course. Folks. That kids that grow up in the Inland Empire still, have a much, much higher incidence of asthma they, still have much much higher incidence of respiratory related, diseases. You. Know our life expectancy in the Inland Empire is less and part that's related to our air quality. Now. I'm going to throw one of our big industries under bus right logistics, is a big part of of contributing. To that as well as a small vehicle operation, and, and some of those impacts are still. Far more localized, we. Have some. Of one. Of the neighborhoods in the Inland Empire at the 60 freeway and the 15 interchange the Maryland village area has, some, of the worst air quality in the country you go a little bit further west on the 60 in Ontario, and you start seeing the same kind of rates, of. Criteria. Pollutants and and health implications. So. Yeah. We've come a long way and I think the, technology that's been devised. To, help, California address this problem has carried over throughout. The rest of the country and other places in the world and the electrification of vehicles will. Substantively. Help that will. Efficiency, impact. Quality, of life. My. My, take on it is yes and, again. I you. Know sometimes benefit impacts, are beneficial, and sometimes they're not and so I don't, know if we're gonna see a net benefit, or not as. Jason. I think is Jason mentioned that when the time value of transportation. Decreases. You. Say decrease right no decrease I think it's gonna be far easier to spend more time in cars right. I mean it it's not it may be. Easy. To imagine that I buy, a home in Palm Desert because I like the debt at the desert and it's beautiful. When it's clean and and. I. Inland. Empire Orange County er LA. And I just get up at 4:00 in the morning getting. My bed car sleep, on the way in you know and then, get up at 8:00 a.m. when. I arrived at work I tell, my car to go circle, the walk for eight hours or find a parking. Space in Duarte and come, back and get me at 3:00 p.m. you. Know and try to take me back home I. Don't. Know if that's really gonna benefit, my quality of life my stress might go down but I might be spending more time in come in in in in the car or you know it might be a lot easier to send my kids to ball practice too I just dial up a car for Jacob. Then I dial up a car for Kellen and send them off and then you know they're, later in the afternoon and. Then the car brings them home after practice I don't know that that's really gonna be a good thing yeah one.
Component. Goes I probably the u.s. likely get run over in a car. At. Least maybe maybe, I'll get run over but not being a car accident I said I want to make sure that we do hit on this too is, I did a presentation with, Rick, Wilson, who's a professor of but Cal. Poly Pomona and one of the world's foremost experts on parking I think. You used, a Sat that there's six, parking spaces for every vehicle owned in the United States so. If you think about our average cost of a parking space being, eight, thousand, I think right now is the going rate when you do factor in land value of. A parking space in the state of California, and. You multiply by those extra, five spaces, that are not utilized. You, know there's, a tremendous amount on land that should, become available well is if we move if you. Know this is something we didn't talk to touch base on if, the, autonomous, vehicle fleet is a shared fleet so. I, think. The quality of life component, you'll you'll start seeing some major changes, in land use you're gonna see some, modifications. And parking, and, I think that's also going to have a tremendous impact. On, our quality of life so instead of having big giant parking lots or parking, structures, throughout. Some of our downtown areas or some of our areas those are or. Destinations. I think those are going to be things. That are going to be redeveloped and, create different opportunities. To improve your quality of life. You.