In a previous post I touched on how the reduction of traffic can lead to less air pollution in high traffic cities, specifically Souther California. Doing so requires innovation through multiple facets such as infrastructure, design, and technology. Elon Musk and the Boring company have proposed a plan to build underground tunnel systems that will stretch from Interstate 405 from Hawthorne to Westwood and be able to travel from Westwood to LAX in just six minutes. Reducing traffic leads to reduced air pollution, among other potential benefits. This same idea can be applied to cities outside of California once results show how beneficial this system can be. To go a step further, I propose an app be built that tracks the user’s environmental footprint. Through geo-location this app would keep track of the individuals daily commute, how they commuted, and various other factors that contribute to an environmental footprint. This app would also show the user how traveling with the tunnel system would reduce their individual environmental impact on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Much of this is covered in the previous blog post, so I would like to expand on the features of this app as well as dive deeper into the value proposition.
The app would have a sleek, easy to use design and be available to both Android and iPhone users. When the user first opens the app, they will be given a tour of how it works. The app will showcase the user’s environmental footprint through a ranked number system, in which they can compare with the averages of others in their area. This number will be displayed for the user each time they open the app, and it will fluctuate depending on the user’s daily commute. This app would essentially act as a “calorie counter” only in this case the calories are the amount of pollution they contribute to the environment through their daily commute. The user would be able to see how using the tunnel system can help reduce their personal environmental footprint number, as well as, seeing how much air pollution they could prevent from traveling with this system over periods of time. The app would also have incentives outside of the feel good knowledge of helping the environment. Each time a passenger hits a milestone with their environmental footprint they are given reward points which can be used for free rides, or put towards discounts or free products to specific brands offered in the app.
With 83% of people in Los Angles commuting by car, truck or van the target market for this tunnel system and app can capture a massive audience.
The target market would be daily commuters who have concern about the environment and want to have a part in reducing pollution. These individuals will understand that pollution is an issue, especially within their populated city, and have a desire to be a part of the solution. The tunnel system a part of that solution, and the app will be their guide and tracker to this ongoing problem. This easy-to-build and inexpensive app is free to consumers. It will help incentives them to use this tunnel system more often leading to increased ticket sales, and reduced air pollution. The Boring Company will fund this app through private money, as it will with the tunnel system. The app will release alongside the tunnel system and work hand-in-hand with it. Additionally, as mentioned above, the reward system for users will allow the Boring Company to make profit from the app by having companies advertise their products for users to apply their reward points towards and make purchases. Companies will pay for their advertisement on the app as well as having a percent of the sale on their products go to the Boring Company.