Most Americans think autonomous cars will be quite common within 15 years, though 74 percent of people say they don’t expect to have one and two-thirds say they wouldn’t want to walk or ride a bicycle anywhere near one.
Confusing? That’s in part because the results come from three different recent surveys on Americans’ attitudes toward autonomous cars.
Taken together, however, they underscore widespread misgivings about the autonomous vehicles that people expect will be among them shortly, the challenge that automakers face in marketing them, and a need for safety reassurances from federal regulators.
Most Americans — 70 percent, according to an HNTB survey being released Monday — have softened to the idea that driverless cars factor in their future, whether they plan to ride in one or not.
As driverless cars and shuttles become commonplace, they could reduce the need for bulk parking at commercial developments, thus paving the way for greater density and a more profitable use of land, Phillips Edison & Co. CEO Jeff Edison told the Wall Street Journal.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The rise of self-driving cars is set to dramatically alter the way we move around cities in the future.
In particular, private car ownership is expected to shift toward shared mobility services, with vehicle fleet operators offering on-demand transportation. This should help to reduce traffic in urban areas and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
For these services to grow, however, accurate and computationally efficient algorithms will be needed to effectively match individuals with on-demand vehicles, in order to cope with the hundreds of thousands of trips that are routinely made within large cities.
But researchers have yet to solve the problem of how best to size and operate a fleet of vehicles, given a particular level of demand for personal mobility.
Now, in a paper published today in the journal Nature, a team of researchers coordinated by Carlo Ratti, director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, unveil a computationally efficient solution to this problem, which they dub the “minimum fleet problem.”
Sometimes the last mile of a trip in an urban area is the most difficult. While trying to reach your destination after exiting public transit, options dwindle or become less convenient. Why hail and Uber or Lyft for just a mile? Walking may take too long or is unappealing because of the weather or other factors, and there aren’t any buses or traditional taxis nearby. It may be the point at which frustration sets in.
With the “last-mile” problem having vexed urban dwellers for decades, venture capitalists are seizing the opportunity to fund projects that could fill in gaps that public transit cannot meet. Bikesharing and electric scooters are two common methods used to help commuters snake through city streets when other options have been exhausted or are inconvenient.
Over the last several months a handful of startups have dropped hundreds or thousands of electric scooters on the sidewalks in cities like San Francisco, Austin, and San Diego, allowing anyone who downloads an app to unlock and ride them across town for a small fee. It’s a radical – and controversial – experiment in urban mobility. But scooters could be just the beginning.