Showing posts from 2017

Sustainability and the Promise of Driverless Cars

Bottom line. Sustainability is why I'm interested in driverless cars. And It's why we should all be interested. We  are, after all, facing existential challenges .  Central to them all is the fact that 5 billion people (give or take) are shortly to join us in the developed world. While a wonderful thing in general, with countless fringe benefits and unseen potentials, it is almost certainly unsustainable with the transportation tools at hand. And as much as I'd like to sleep at the wheel, or no longer have to look for parking, I wouldn't care about driverless cars if they didn't have the potential to tackle real-world problems.  If this technology doesn't increase our ability to deal with the very real challenges facing us today then I have no  interest in it at all. Can driverless vehicles, and the driverless system they enable, make a difference? Not just an incremental one, not just a marginal improvement,  but change fundamentally the way we mov

The Hitchhikers Guide to Driverless Vehicles

INTRODUCTION - I start with a caveat; this technology is 5-10years from having a substantial impact on transportation in general, and sustainability in particular. This paper will argue that even in this extended time frame it’s a subject that should receive attention from the sustainable transportation community. Because the technology that supports autonomous vehicles has the potential to have a profound impact on how we move goods and people throughout the developed world its not too early to start considering how to take advantage of opportunities the technology may present as well as anticipate possible negative outcomes. The paper includes an overview of the present state of affairs, an assessment of potential impacts on sustainability, and a historical perspective on changes in transportation and what they suggest about the road ahead. The endless twenty years Before enrolling in our program I had an interview with Professor Scott Rutherford. When I asked for his tak
Excerpts from my Final paper, Masters Degree in Sustainable Transportation; The Shape of Things To Come The potential that autonomous vehicles (AVs) represent for disruptive and beneficial change calls for increased study and evaluation. Because of the speed at which relevant technologies are developing the time has come to look beyond short term impacts on safety, travel time reduction, accessibility and parking. History suggests that the present focus of debates over driverless vehicles-- liability, security, and popular acceptance -- are likely to be transitory. The significance of a mature autonomous transportation system will take longer to develop, but will have a profound impact on our social, economic, and built environments. This study examines the potential for driverless vehicles to address travel demand generated by activities not usually associated with single-occupancy vehicles. The focus is on the potential for small, lightweight, automated vehic