Comment 119742

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted July 24, 2016 at 12:03:36 in reply to Comment 119735

@JimC LRT can be modified so that it can become driverless and that technology is already here, they use it San Francisco, in Muni's LRT Tunnels. It's only a test project and it has had its issues. But like most things the devil is in the details! To make a LRT driverless it legally can't run on a open street right of way like most LRT systems do. Transport Canada or the Department of Transport/FTA in the US, just does not allow that.

The bus that Mercedes tested did not run in the open street it ran on a street in a closed circuit protected right of way. It also did not exceed 20 mph (32kph) during the tests. Regardless what it says on the internet. Truly driverless vehicles are years away and will most likely, combined with other forced improvements, double or triple the cost of an average private car. Even since 2008 car prices in Canada and the US have grown at a rate more than twice the rate of inflation. All at a time were for most people's income is barely growing, this is not me saying this but the president of Toyota. The driverless passenger bus is at best 10 years away for most transit services and this assumes that regulators play catch up with the rules. The Province of Ontario will introduce legislation that will allow testing of driverless vehicles in certain areas but it is not a blanket permission for driverless private or commercial vehicle ownership and operation, which is still illegal outside of aircraft and railway equipment. 15-20 years seems to be the likely time scale for general adoption by transit agencies and trucking companies of driverless technology. Assuming you can keep costs down.

Point is that, without the B-Line LRT service improvements that are desperately needed both for the infrastructure and the operational experience gained by HSR a having to plan bus service with LRT in mind, the environment that will make the central part of Hamilton really grow and prosper, just won't be there. The new reality for cities is that, unless your core is healthy the suburbs which just don't bring in anywhere near enough taxes, will just die! Buses and cars inhibit that growth!

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