WHETHER you think of them as automobiles or motor cars, there is no denying that the monster Karl Benz let loose on the world has changed all our lives.
They may be essential for some, but that doesn’t mean you have to own one.
Brighton-based journalist Jim Griffin has discovered that this is nowhere more evident than in one UK city beside the sea.
But it’s a trend that is not without its own its ironies – especially in the United States, where the historic lobbying might of the automotive industry so influenced urban planning that streetcars were switched onto tracks to obscurity or extinction while the suburbs sprawled, making the car essential and omnipotent.
Now, that concept of universal car ownership is being challenged – by car clubs.
In a thought-provoking contribution to the first edition of AsPerceived Quarterly, Jim Griffin highlights some of the social and environmental consequences of this latest trend in transportation.
“User figures (in the UK) suggest the idea is firing the public’s imagination,” he says as the number of vehicles available and the sophistication of the technology involved.