Aug. 3, 2011 SVForum Green Transportation

On Wednesday, August 3, 2011 in Menlo Park at Orrick’s Silicon Valley Office, SVForum held a Green and Clean Evening “Trends in Green Transportation.” Greg Heibel of Orrick moderated panelists Paul McGrath of RideSpring, Geoff Ryder of SAP, Brien Seeley of CAFE Foundation, Matt Trevithick of Venrock and Ian Wright of Wrightspeed. They discussed the trends and opportunities in a world of rising fuel costs and temperatures.

Oil prices continue to fluctuate upward forcing people to look at natural gas, with its own production and distribution costs. Getting the gas out of the ground can cause environmental and safety headaches. The amount or molecular density of natural gas pumped into a vehicle may vary if it is fueled on a hot or cool day, leading to “range anxiety.” Electric cars have the similar issues but are rapidly gaining storage capacity and charging stations. Besides, it is possible to generate electricity without burning any fuel and increasing greenhouse gases.

Public transportation is very efficient in energy but not always on time, as anyone waiting for a bus will tell you. Better location based services and social media for ride sharing can help. There are also personal space and security issues. People like “pod” space around them.

The ultimate futuristic transportation would be the auto-pilot flying car. No more delays or searches at an airport but door-door service in a quiet electric vehicle. The air traffic control would be managed at a better level than today’s archaic system. The skies might be friendly again.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

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