Its blindingly obvious that self driving cars will make congestion worse, for several reasons:
- Many more people will be in them creating many more vehicles on the road: those who presently can’t afford a car, or who can’t driver such as elderly, children, drunks, parcel deliveries, nail bars, hair dressers etc.
- Self driving taxis will be fantastically cheap because you wont need to pay for a driver.
- Many people will work in the car and hence commuter from further away. They will want to travel at a leisurely pace so then can work, slowing down traffic.
- Motorway capacity will increase because platoons of vehicles will be locked close together, but these will all be trying to get into a city near you.
Some examples of recent articles on this:
Just because you won’t be driving doesn’t mean you won’t still be sitting in traffic. In fact, the morning commute could get worse.
Advocates of self-driving cars have often sighted traffic as one of the problems that riding the world of human drivers would improve. Driverless cars, for instance, won’t rubberneck. Interconnected cars could move faster and smoother than human drivers.
The problem with that thinking: Once getting in a car means no longer driving, a lot more people may want to be on road. Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of car company Renualt, speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum, which was moderated by Fortune’seditor Alan Murray, said that it will soon be possible to do everything in a driverless car that you would do at home or in the office. More people will want to work on the road.
That’s not all. Paul Jacobs, the CEO of Qualcomm also on the panel, says he thinks that there will be more and more services that may be delivered on the go. He suggested traveling nail salons or doctors appointments.
On top of that, autonomous cars will give the elderly and others the ability to get around. That’s great, but it’s also more traffic.
Delays on motorways and major roads during peak periods are expected to rise by 0.9 per cent when a quarter of cars are automated, researchers found.
Early models of driverless cars are actually expected to operate more cautiously than regular vehicles, resulting in a possible decrease in “effective capacity and a decline in network performance”, the report warned.
Researchers found that the performance of driverless cars is dependent on the behaviour of the vehicles around it, so the benefits of the technology may not be felt until they make up the majority of vehicles on the road.
(This stupid study ignores the fact that self driving car numbers will necessarily increase in number)
Self-driving cars could be terrible for traffic — here’s whySelf-driving cars might make your future commute a lot more pleasant, but they won’t eliminate traffic.
Execs like Google cofounder Sergey Brin have touted traffic reduction as one of the many benefits of having self-driving cars on the road. The idea is that autonomous cars will eliminate accidents caused by human error, a major contributor to traffic.
But experts say the vehicles’ impact on traffic will either be minimal or negative.
Lew Fulton, a co-director of the STEPS program at UC Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies (ITP), told Business Insider that autonomous vehicles won’t fix congestion woes unless a pricing system is put in place that discourages zero-occupancy vehicles.
“We are especially concerned about zero-occupant vehicles that can happen with automated vehicles,” Fulton said. “That scenario is especially plausible with private ownership of those vehicles and no limits to what we can do with them.”
For example, many companies are interested in programming autonomous cars to run errands or pick-up packages, but these efforts could increase traffic by multiplying the number of zero-occupant cars, or “zombie cars,” on the road, Fulton said.
A new simulation shows that comfortable rides can come with big congestion costs.Safety is often celebrated as the biggest benefit of a world full of driverless cars, but two other presumed social improvements follow closely behind. One is that the technology could reduce traffic congestion, since shorter gaps between cars means more cars per lane. The other is that car travel will become more productive time for either business or pleasure—the way riding a train is today.
Traffic congestion: is London running out of road?
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“One target of criticism has been Uber, the US car-hailing app that has grown rapidly in London, as it has in many other cities. This August there were 81,710 cars licensed to operate as private hire vehicles — a 64 per rise in three years. The number of traditional black cabs, at about 22,500, is the same as it was in 2011, the year before Uber was launched. Attempts to curb the number of Uber cars on the road have so far failed. A regulatory crackdown proposed by former mayor Boris Johnson triggered a public backlash last year, while central government has blocked calls for a cap on their number.”