Pollution is a serious problem. Right now, the human population is facing a serious crisis in terms of air pollution and CO2 emissions – in fact it’s so bad that air pollution is currently the fourth biggest cause of death worldwide.
92% of the entire population in the world is living in what is considered dangerously polluted areas; breathing air that is scientifically proven to be exceeding a safe standard. That is a scary fact, particularly when you take into account that over half a million people in India die each year from pollution related disease. It’s not just in India where this is a problem either – in the UK, 35,000 people a year are dying from air pollution related illnesses whilst this rises to 50,000 in the USA. By 2050, experts are predicting that unless we change our approach, pollution will cause six million deaths each year.
It’s not just health where air pollution is causing problems either. Research by international finance institute World Bank suggests that air pollution is costing the economy over $225 billion every year!
Whilst these are truly shocking figures, thankfully things are beginning to show signs of changing. Technology is playing a huge role in revolutionizing the way we interact with our surroundings and is providing people with solutions that allows them to cut down their CO2 emissions and find alternative ways to travel.
One of the biggest effects in recent years has been the boom in shared mobility options. Ride sharing with companies such as Uber is cutting down the number of cars on the road whilst electric scooters and bicycles are also helping to reduce congestion across major cities around the world. This can’t come soon enough either, a recent study by MIT in America estimated that in the USA, seven billion hours are lost each year by people sat in traffic jams – burning three billion gallons of fuel in the process!
Thankfully, people are beginning to get smart. Smart technology has completely changed the way we engage with the world beyond recognition. Smart phones and tablets are providing a wealth of information direct to the palm of their users whilst smart devices let us control our household with voice commands. Cities are even becoming smart with governments and councils able to control things like street lighting to help reduce emissions as well as helping them to control the amount of pollution being put into the air in city centers. In London earlier this year, smart technology allowed them to introduce the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which electronically monitors vehicles coming into the city and fine those vehicles that do not meet strict emission tests.
These innovations are helping to open people’s eyes and make them think about how what they’re doing is affecting the world around them. Increasingly, in major metropolitan hubs around the world citizens are demanding more liveability and greener options of getting around. No longer are cars the main focus of transport for city-dwellers, instead they are seeking far more eco-friendly solutions – which has resulted in the boom in electric-powered transport.
In America alone, 2018 saw 84 million trips made on a shared electric mobility device and 2019 looks set to be even bigger. It’s a trend that is being repeated around the world in every city; residents are tired of sitting in traffic jams or being packed into an overcrowded public transport network. They are consistently seeking a more fun, greener alternative.
Electric powered mobility, such as scooters and bikes, is the most energy efficient motorized form of transport in existence. It’s this reason that has seen the boom in companies such as Bird and Lime, which offers people the chance to ride an electric scooter or bicycle for a small fee before simply locking their device when they’ve reached their destination for someone else to use.