Our current energy crisis could be alleviated a little by hitchhiking. I see many cars with only the driver, which is a huge waste of space. And many places people want to go are destinations for thousands of others, making it more likely that both hitchhikers and motorists would want to go there. If we could double the average occupancy of each car, we could save millions of driving hours a year!
It would require some very important changes.
- An electronic thumb of some sort (like in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), rather than using your regular thumb.
- The ability for hitchhikers and motorists to rate one another, similar to couch-surfing.
- The tipping point where both motorists and hitchhikers have a large enough pool on the other side to use the app.
- Cultural adaption to having strangers in your car.
Hitchhiking, or a sanitized version of it, can make a comeback if the right minds get behind it. In the future, community will be ever more important. Sharing (or selling?) resources like your driving time would be a great way to spread the wealth.