Will Autonomous Cars be Banned from Cities?
Despite the increased interest and growing popularity of autonomous cars among individuals, Peter Calthorpe, a 30-year veteran of urban design, believes that autonomous cars will not only cause problems for current cities but also negatively influence future city plans.
While Calthorpe recognizes that autonomous cars could reduce the number of cars on the road, he suggests that instead it will create more "moving miles.". That means that people will use their cars to travel longer distances than before which has implications on urban sprawl and commuting.
Despite the intention of autonomous cars creating ride sharing opportunities, Calthorpe comments that "if people don't share [these cars], you can end up with a 90 percent increase in the total miles driven by the car". This statistic decreases if people do share the cars with more than one person, however, there will still be a 30 percent increase in those "moving miles" according to Calthrope.
While Calthorpe doesn't suggest banning autonomous cars from cities, he does believe that the focus of cities should be on the matters that make communities thrive like walking, biking, and mass transit.
While working with city planners in Jinan, China, Calthorpe constructed several principles that he believes could be applied to any city to make it more efficient. He suggests creating opportunities for mixed-use infrastructure, emphasizing walkability, advertising cycling as a main method for transportation, investing in mass transit, and reconstructing roads so that they can allow for multiple modes of transportation without the need to construct several different tracks. When comparing his principles they all seem to have one commonality: a hope for a greener future.
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