One billion people in the world today do not have access to all-season roads. One billion people. One seventh of the Earth’s population are totally cut off for some part of the year. We cannot get medicine to them reliably, they cannot get critical supplies, and they cannot get their goods to market in order to create a sustainable income. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, 85 percent of roads are unusable in the wet season. Investments are being made, but at the current level, it’s estimated it’s going to take them 50 years to catch up. In the U.S. alone, there’s more than four million miles of roads, very expensive to build, very expensive to maintain infrastructure, with a huge ecological footprint, and yet, very often, congested.
So we saw this and we thought, can there be a better way? Can we create a system using today’s most advanced technologies that can allow this part of the world to leapfrog in the same way they’ve done with mobile telephones in the last 10 years? Many of those nations have excellent telecommunications today without ever putting copper lines in the ground. Could we do the same for transportation?
Source: Andreas Raptopoulos, TED.com