Peak Car is the theory that one day soon, the global auto industry will reach its sales maximum and numbers will only decrease from then on. Increase in the number of city dwellers, concerns over pollution and crippling gridlock (all of which are conveniently shown above, in Beijing) could all contribute to the auto industry reaching peak car.

To us, peak car is intriguing, if only because it forces us to think about the future of mobility if and when the car falls out of favor. Will connected and autonomous cars take over, will there be a rush on public transit or will there be something else we haven't thought of yet? Bloomberg does a great job of exploring those various options, while also looking at what impact the increasing number of cars has on areas around the world.

Hop over to Bloomberg and have a look, and then come back here and let us know what you think of the story by posting in Comments.


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  • 20 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 9 Months Ago
      Sure car sales will shrunk in the future. It will be provoked by autonomous car sharing where the car sharing services take a car at your door without a driver and then you get in the car and it drive you where you want to go. That way less car and it will be possible to take up to 5 or 6 passengers so even less car on the road and less cost for passengers. Less pollution too and strict speed limit. Used conventional car price will shrunk too. Every one on autonomous car sharing taxi. California residents will be getted off traffic jams and air pollution. If you have an old faschion car of the sixties or seventees keep it , the price will explode as many like to drive themselves and gas price will shrink.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 9 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        That is one possibility. But I don't see it like that. I think people will still want their own cars because of privacy reasons. Just like people continue to maintain their own homes even with the advent of AirBnB, etc. Some people maybe renting out their vacation homes, but nobody is talking about getting rid of their own homes and live in shared homes forever.
          goodoldgorr
          • 9 Months Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Yeas but in the future you gonna be able to rent your car when you don't use it so you buy a car, use for your own but rent it short term when you don't use it . People that has less money can just rent it instead of buying it so less money invested and less insurance cost. Also less trouble to park the car, you get off the car and the car go somewhere else to get another passenger.
      skierpage
      • 9 Months Ago
      "In 25 years, there will be 9 billion people living in urban areas -- more than the entire population of the Earth today." Oh please no. Overfishing, soil depletion, pollution, water wars, deforestation, ... I hope more people practice Peak Population instead.
      AUTOerotic
      • 9 Months Ago
      When the car was created had you asked people what they wanted they would have said, "a faster horse". It might be hard to picture a world very different than your current... but things will change. You can choose to accept it or hold on to the past, choice is a beautiful thing. Don't think too small.
      Car Guy
      • 9 Months Ago
      I guess since the peak oil myth has been dispelled, it has to be peak something or another......
        Ryan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        The cheap, easy oil has been used up, and eventually it will take more than one barrel of oil to make one barrel of oil, we will have some problems then.
          Colin
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Ryan
          We reached peak conventional oil in @2006. Now we are living in a frack-induced high of faith in perpetual cheap hydrocarbon energy. With all the old giant fields now experiencing decline rates, and burgeoning populations in the old oil producing countries demanding the use of more of their own oil, oil supplies are in fact stressed. That's why oil prices, notwithstanding all the fracking and shale oil etc. are still where they were five years ago. Just think of this short period we exist in now as being like, in the film, the back of the Titanic broke and there was a moment of stability. That's where we are today, and for a short while yet. But not for much longer I fear.
        brotherkenny4
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        Depends on what you mean. Are you willing to spend $7 dollars for gasoline. If you are then peak oil will not happen for a while, your correct. However, much above $4 a gallon and we have a global economic failure. If you don't mind that, then we're good.
        Cool Disco Dan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        Peak oil will happen at some point just not for 100s if not thousands of years from now.
        Mark Schaffer
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Car Guy
        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131016132252.htm
      MTU 5.0
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'll give up my automobiles when I'm six feet in the ground. Other people can do what they want; ride the bus, bike, walk, etc. More open roads for me.
      paulwesterberg
      • 9 Months Ago
      I think that autonomous horses are the future.
      ckm
      • 9 Months Ago
      The pollution in Beijing is not caused by cars, it due to unregulated/illegal factories and coal fired power plants: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-seligsohn/beijings-air-pollution-it_b_115484.html
      Torch
      • 9 Months Ago
      Just like in "War of the Worlds" a little virus or other microbe will solve everything - much like the Renaissance was preceded by the Bubonic Plague. If not we will rip each other to pieces one way or another and limit population growth. I think we certainly have enough cars right now - can't imagine any growth but I see India and China has it and the SE Asia will next get on substantial wheels in the next few years.
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