Comment 119807

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted August 17, 2016 at 09:00:14

The estimation by the US Department of Transport is that, as long as ownership levels stay the same, fully autonomous vehicles will add at the least 20-25% percent to the amount of total miles driven by all cars. This is because people will send the cars back home to pick up other family members once they are done with it. This will add to congestion.

The president of Toyota warned everyone that the cost of cars will explode in the next few decades because of the combination of driverless technology and the adoption of non fossil fueled engines. The technology for both are far from fully developed and are all very expensive which he said, will significantly drive up the cost of building cars. Regardless if they sell more of them to try and lower costs through economy of scale, the technology is still 15 years away at best. 30 years if you want it to be affordable.

Since both comments seem to suggest opposite directions for car ownership what you come away with is that, no one really knows yet what the technology will bring. Big changes yes, wipe out the need for higher order public transit, hardly. Both statements assume that future generations will have the same desire for car ownership at anywhere near the same level of today, which thanks to our current generations of younger adults seems to already be challenging that assumption.

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