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Watch: most seats in most cars are left empty. That's about to change.

There's a lot of exciting stuff happening in the world of transportation these days, in terms of both technology and the new habits and behaviors technology enables. It's all beginning to converge to solve one of the biggest, most persistent problems in the transportation world: slack automobile capacity.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that most seats are empty in most cars, most of the time. (Some 85 percent of cars have one passenger.) If those seats could be filled — even a modest number of them — then more people could be moved, more efficiently, with no need for new infrastructure.

It's starting to happen! Information technology is connecting more cars and enabling better awareness of what rides are needed, where. Add in the imminent arrival of autonomous vehicles, and you can begin to envision a transportation system somewhere between private ownership and public transit.

All of this is nicely teased in the video above, by the Virginia-based think tank Mobility Lab. Fun times!