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Drive Life : January 7th 2011
1HERSA1 0009 *3 year free ser vice based on standard scheduled servicing (normal operating conditions) until first of 3 years or 40,000kms. ^Drive away price for the Koleos Expression manual 4x2 non-metallic paint. ol rawford Motors 497 Pittwater Road, Brookvale 2100. Tel: 99 41 1200 DL 6342. Northshore Motors 60 Pacific Highway, Waitara 2077. Tel: 9 473 7122 DL11646. Overs ity 573 Gardeners Road, Mascot 2020. Tel: 9317 2111 DL 11226. Peter Warren Renault Hume Highway, Warwick Farm (Liverpool) 2170. Tel: 9828 8844 DL5411. Rick amelian Renault Cnr Elswick Street & Parramatta Road, Leichhardt 2040. Tel: 9560 1000 MD18402. REN1811/SMH www.renault.com.au 5-Star EURO NCAP Safety Rating ABS with EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) ESP (Electronic Stability Program) 6 Airbags 17" Alloy Wheels Cruise control with speed limiter Fog lights Bluetooth® Hands Free system KOLEOS EXPRESSION Free Service or 40,000kms*. Unlimited Warranty. Unlimited Roadside Assist. YEAR ADULT OCCUPANT RIVE THE HANGE ROSSOVER WITH ONFI EN E For a limited time, with free 3 year scheduled services* RIVE AWAY $29,990^ The Sydney Morning Herald Friday, January 7, 2011 9 DriveLIFE Future trends . . . (left and above) the EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) was developed by GM and showcased at Expo 2010 in Shanghai; (right) Peugeot's BB1 is fully electric. 'Electro-mobility will come very fast --- much faster than most think.' Professor Steffen Lehmann structures will not only accommodate the use of electric cars but also reduce the need to commute at all. "We need to transform the city for sustainability, meaning more liveable, more walkable, more pedestrian-focused," Lehmann says, adding that crucial urban redesign initiatives are already under way in places such as Europe and Asia. "The car will not go away but the car has to become less important in our lives. Electro- mobility will come very fast -- much faster than most people think. It will deliver a built environment that is less noisy and less polluted. If you have people getting around without making noise, it's fantastic. People can walk and cycle. This will allow planners and architects to build the city differently. This means people can move back into the city centre, open their windows to cross-ventilate their office or apartment. This will allow us to transform the city back into what it used to be before the car made it impossible. Electric cars will allow us to have a different lifestyle. In 20 to 30 years, all cities will operate on this premise." As any futurist will attest, the development of new personal modes of transportation will only be one part of the puzzle when it comes to revolutionising the people-moving problem. Adventurous public transport options will also be crucial. Already, the not-so-distant future looks impressive, with some international models promising to radically redefine the possibilities for transporting large numbers of commuters simultaneously. The yet-to-be-constructed, Chinese- developed 3D Fast Bus has been designed to transport passengers above the traffic in elongated capsules that resemble subway cars. Designed to run on special tracks embedded in the roadway, the electricity-powered bus straddles roads, allowing other vehicles to pass underneath it. The system is predicted to cut congestion by up to 30 per cent. Chinese scientists are also believed to be developing a next- generation high-speed train capable of speeds up to 1000km/h. Possibly online within a decade, the design utilises maglev (magnetic levitation) technology in an underground airless tube environment, with the total absence of friction allowing for the attainment of enormous speeds. But while highly ambitious, don't expect to see similar high- tech options in Australia any time soon. Futurist, engineer and researcher Mark Pesce doesn't believe super-expensive VFTs (very fast trains) and maglevs will be viable options here because of our relatively small population. On the contrary, he predicts a return to the past in the form of modern tram and light rail systems. "I doubt we'll see high-speed rail or maglev trains in Australia," he says. "I think until we get 75 million people in the country, it's probably not going to be an economically successful idea." When it comes to the Australian model, Pesce believes the desire to own a mode of personal transport will retain its traditional allure well into the future. And while also contending that the future is largely electric, he believes our addresses will dictate the exact type of vehicle we drive. He says that while many people living within the urban quarter may still not need a car, "we're going to now start to see how far we can stretch that boundary". Like others, Pesce predicts a mix of vehicle types to populate the roads, as well as the growth of concepts such as readily accessible car rental and car sharing. "I think the answer is probably not going to be all one or the other," he says of the ideal car- design option. "I think the little cars that people use to shuttle around the inner city will probably be electric because it's just efficient and cheap and you can recharge them at night. But I think when you start getting further out and asking 'Is a ute going to be electric powered?' then it's maybe, maybe not. Maybe it's a hybrid. It's probably still getting really good mileage using fuel. What you want to do is get that fuel out to the country where the low-density population will not foul the country up as much." When it comes to long-distance road trips between major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, Pesce says future infrastructure and the availability of rapidly replaceable car batteries will also enable us to also rely solely on electric power. "You'll be able to pull up to a recharging station and have a battery replaced completely mechanically and it'll happen in about 45 seconds," he says, adding that a system just like he describes is set to be deployed in Israel by the American electric car infrastructure company Better Place. "If you can get 500-600 kays out of a battery, you'd probably just have a big battery-changing station at Albury." While options for future transport modes are seemingly wide and varied, one question still needs to be asked: is there a chance that changing work habits might largely nullify the need for many of us to commute at all? Could, for instance, the practice of cyber-commuting and home working eliminate the need to sit in traffic and clog arterial roads in our daily quest to convene at a designated place of work? While easily achievable even by today's standards, it seems this is one option that's unlikely to result in wholesale changes to our driving needs. "People's desire to own their own vehicles won't change," Braunl says. "People have their habits and they're going to be very difficult to change. I think people are going to go out of their way to try and improve new [transport] technology rather than trying to change their habits. This is basically part of lifestyle." Pesce agrees. "For a lot of people, the desire to be social and to be around other people is a very important part of why they work," he says. "Some people will enjoy working alone and you'll have those kinds of jobs that afford that type of flexibility. But other people will want to work in people environments where there's a lot of one-on-one human contact. Like the fuel situation, it won't be a one-size-fits-all solution."
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