What’s the Latest Development?
The technology that will enable vehicles to drive themselves has shown much promise. So much promise, in fact, that industry experts believe private drivers as well as industry will inevitably adopt them. “By now, seeing one of Google’s experimental, driverless cars zipping down Silicon Valley’s Highway 101, or parking itself on a San Francisco street, is not all that unusual. Indeed, as automakers like Audi, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz make plans for self-driving vehicles, it is only a matter of time before such cars become a big part of the great American traffic jam.” In short, driverless vehicles may dramatically transform our cityscapes.
What’s the Big Idea?
Just as the integration of the Internet with the cellular phone transformed the meaning of both, automated cars, trucks, and deliver vans could fundamentally alter what it means to drive and revolutionize the infrastructure of the cities they inhabit. “Imagine a city where you don’t drive in loops looking for a parking spot because your car drops you off and scoots off to some location to wait, sort of like taxi holding pens at airports. … And the air would be cleaner because people would drive less. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30 percent of driving in business districts is spent in a hunt for a parking spot, and the agency estimates that almost one billion miles of driving is wasted that way every year.”
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