The 21st Century values time down to the smallest increment. If browsers do not spit back the desired answers in less than a quarter-second, exasperation sets in. We no longer even use the original term for a browser: search engine. Are three syllables so much more onerous than two?
Perhaps nowhere is wasted time more acutely sensed than in our cars. One study conducted by Texas A&M University's Transportation Institute sampled data across the US, which shows drivers stuck in traffic 38 hours per year. A similar study of Britain's high-density centres carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows motorists idling 50 hours annually. Traffic in Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Shanghai is legendary and only getting worse. We may love to romanticize life behind the wheel of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches and 707-horsepower Hellcats on bucolic, sinewy country roads and the odd dragstrip. But the reality is nose-to-tail arterial sclerosis.
New traffic signal mechanisms, however, which leverage cameras, computer software and timing equipment, have been netting impressive traffic reductions in urban centres around the world. These solutions keep traffic flowing based on real-time data streaming into the systems