How can people influence the future of green cars?

Automotive development is a complex process that's often managing a range of different challenges at any given time, so clearly it should be left to the professionals right?

Not necessarily. After all, the opinions and ideas of the people that will eventually drive these cars are just as valuable - if not more so - than those of the designers. 

These wants and needs could redefine the future for some vehicles, with green cars looking to go from strength to strength as the related technology and infrastructure develops. 

Here's how consumers can have a hand in their development. 

Ford hands the power to gamers

The key to greener cars lies not just in vehicles with lower fuel consumption figures, but in the surrounding infrastructure as well. 

Ford has acknowledged the role that urban design plays in creating more efficient transport, announcing a competition for game designers to encourage people to address these issues. 

Commuters in London lose up to 50 hours per year due to traffic.

The car manufacturer wants game developers to provide gamers with a chance to tackle international mobility concerns while still having fun. According to Vice President of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering Ken Washington, video games are a positive way to bring awareness to global issues. 

"Applying the fun, engaging and rewarding aspects of games to journey planning can allow people to improve their commutes, track their success and become aware of how their behaviour impacts the transport infrastructure as a whole."

How else will technology change traffic?

One of the main contributors to inefficient transport is traffic, with McKinsey & Company revealing that people who drive to work in Brussels and London lose up to 50 hours per year due to congestion. 

There are also substantial economic effects created by increased traffic, with the firm revealing that inefficient infrastructure can cost countries up to 1 per cent of their GDP. 

McKinsey & Company found that current infrastructure doesn't necessarily require a complete redesign to eliminate transport issues. By making use of data analytics - as Ford is attempting to in the example above - up to US$400 billion a year could be saved internationally. 

Would less traffic reduce your fuel consumption?The NSW government has released apps to help manage traffic.

There's also a user-based solution to traffic concerns, with NSW releasing apps that allow commuters and travellers to better plan their journeys. 

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay expects these apps to offer a number of advantages to people travelling around the state. 

"This government is not only delivering transport upgrades, but also technology to get users to their destinations faster and with more ease," he said. 

"No longer do you have to wonder what the traffic will be like on any particular morning – these apps make your phone like a pocket sized crystal ball."