It has been decades since cartoons started to portray futuristic life and although the world is yet to have flying cars. Evidence suggests those city cars are remotely controlled may actually replace buses, a factor that is considered as a creative expectation.
Driverless cars, also known as autonomous vehicles, may become commonplace. Taking into consideration that the use of modern technology may lead to drastic changes in the transportation sector. Studies have shown that although autonomous vehicles are yet to be accessible. They may hit the market very soon especially when feasible purchases are available to the average citizen. Experts also predict that driverless cars may be affordable to wealthy consumers who will be able to taste these products and use them for their personal comfort.
Experts have also predicted that driverless cars may become a reality in the course of the next ten years. This is because huge urban regions may become charter cities. It will be possible for private companies to operate multiple fleets of driverless cars. For instance, firms such as Lyft and Uber provide services such as on-demand taxis. Such services have the potential of offering fleets of numerous vehicles that operate autonomously.
Since these vehicles would be largely on the move, they may minimize the need for parking. Thus flee the space that’s important for the urban space that currently occupies parking slots. Transit planners argue that driverless cars may lead to a massive reduction in the ownership of traditional vehicles. Lastly, the development of special lanes may lead to the establishment of roads that are strictly developed for driverless cars.
Therefore, what message will the presence of driverless cars mean for the public transport system, especially the presence of buses? Basically, critics argue that it is impossible for autonomous cars to completely remove the need for buses. Whereas this is argument is true, the presence of driverless cars will drastically change the nature of the transportation system. This is because the presence of driverless cars will significantly reduce the demand for buses in the transportation system due to the increase in the number of driverless cars.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released a report showing that 70% of millennials, which include individuals aged between 18 and 34 years, prefer to use a kind of public transportation option to travel. In addition, 54% argued that the public transportation system was ranked as the most appropriate mode of travel. The public transportation system outdid other transportation models such as car sharing, car ownership, walking, or bicycle sharing.
Driverless public transportation
Relying on the public transportation system is one of the major reasons why the multi-modal transport system will endure. New technology plays an instrumental role in enhancing the movement of a large number of people. In addition, limited space will also play a major role in enhancing the popularity and success of driverless vehicles, particularly in dense urban environments. Studies have also revealed that autonomous vehicles will have the capacity of utilizing limited space compared to private cars. For instance, it is evident that it is not possible to replace a bus that can carry 50 people with 50 vehicles, especially in a dense public environment. Furthermore, evidence suggests that in suburban regions, autonomous vehicles may dominate as the main preferred mode of the transportation process. As more people continue to prefer residing in urban areas, driverless cars will become the most preferred transit model.
Running experiments and the first statistics data
It is important to note that the usage of driverless cars does not imply an immediate end to the personal utilization of ride-sharing services in private ownership. This implies that autonomous cars and driverless vehicles will simply augment the usage of buses in the public transportation system. For instance, studies have shown that Olli is one of the affectionate autonomous shuttles that have already carried people in Washington DC. Evidence suggests that Local Motors were the developers of this electric shuttle and the main operator is the IBM Watson supercomputer. The shuttle operates when it is given specific sentences, such as taking someone to the nearest shopping mall.
Furthermore, studies have shown that the shuttle has the capacity of carrying 12 people at a speed of 12 miles per hour within a range of 32 miles. This shuttle is basically a step towards the mass production of driverless cars. Such service will augment the services that are provided by the buses in the public transportation system. Cities located in areas such as Switzerland, Netherlands, and China experiment using autonomous cars as well as driverless shuttles. Studies indicate that this approach increasingly leads to a reduction in operating costs as well as charges to passengers.