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The Great Transportation Wormhole: Are We Ready for Autonomous Vehicles?

Reader Comments

November 8, 2017View for printing

"95% of U.S. car miles will be traveled in self-driving, electric, shared vehicles by 2030."

Transportation planners are on to something big and, for the most part, they are keeping it to themselves. The future is a relatively small fleet of shared, electric, self driving vehicles, and it's coming fast. Are we ready?

Dave Biggs | @MetroQuest ... us-vehicles


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Reader Comments:

I think the day of the self-driving vehicle will definitely come. The removal of the current driver-operated inventory of vehicles is going to take quite some time. Those vehicles will have residual presence because of their value to owners, the amount of infrastructure created for them, the number of people employed in repairing and maintaining them. Lastly, the sheer physicality of all those vehicles means there will be a need to dispose of or store millions of vehicles. This is both a problem and an opportunity.

"As early as 2021, just over three years from now, traveling by a shared vehicle will be four to 10 times cheaper than buying a new car. Even if your vehicle is paid off, it will be two to four times cheaper to summon a shared vehicle.

Uber, Lyft, and other car sharing companies are just the beginning. The tipping point will occur when private vehicle ownership is deemed unnecessarily by the majority. According to the report this tipping point will occur soon. Because each shared vehicle will satisfy the travel demands of multiple people each day, the total number of vehicles needed is projected to drop dramatically. The report highlights that, "as demand for new vehicles plummets, 70 percent fewer passenger cars and trucks will be manufactured each year.

This could result in total disruption of the car value chain, with car dealers, maintenance and insurance companies suffering almost complete destruction."

Beyond the many changes to the economy, social disruption associated with dramatically reduced automobile ownership is another area that is arguably far-reaching and difficult to predict."

What will we do with unused home garages? Parking garages? 4 lane freeways? Huge parking lots at stores, offices, venues etc.?

The end of carcatecture is coming much faster than any of us realize.

Alas, the harm that the auto has wreaked upon the urban fabric may transform. Highways turned into greenways, boulevards into retail centers, garages into ADUs. The auto industry is looking as soon as ten years for the demise of the individually owned car. I'm wondering what happened to the millions of autos that were trashed in the Houston storm? Can the frames, and salvaged parts be converted into electric vehicles? This situation is tiny compared to quantity of obsolete vehicles once driver-less cars dominate.

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