Traffic Jam in India

For many city dwellers, the daily commute is usually filled with the same tasks... gas-honk-brake, gas-brake-honk, honk-honk-punch, gas-gas-gas. America's roads are filled and it's hard to imagine them being clogged with an ever-increasing supply of vehicles and drivers. Going against the International Energy Agency, a team of researchers from California thinks we might have already hit "Peak Travel."

Looking at data from 1970 up to 2008, Lee Schipper and Adam Millard-Ball believe that passenger travel peaked back in 2003. While the IEA predicts a passenger growth rate of 1.5 percent through 2030, that also means they have estimated fuel consumption and emissions based on a growing number of drivers on the road. Shipper and Millard-Ball believe we may be able to lower those estimates based on their initial findings. They also admit that more research is needed, but feel it's a promising sign for the future.

The two examined data from six countries; the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden. If you've been paying attention to global trends for the last decade, you will notice two very big data points not on that list; India (shown in the photo above) and China. While it's promising that we may not see more cars on the road, this study clearly doesn't factor in the rapid changes taking place in these exponentially expanding markets. Thanks to all for the tips.

[Source: Wired | Image: Manish Swarup/AP]