Countless reports and studies regarding driverless vehicles speculate about the drastic changes that will happen as a result of the proliferation of this disruptive technology (my Guide included!). I thought I’d highlight a few of the more extreme myths and de-bunk them:
- No more headlights will be needed! Despite what this article states, headlights will still be needed. Even if the vehicles don’t need headlights to “see” in the dark, pedestrians and cyclists will always need to be able to see the vehicles.
- AVs will reduce or eliminate stoplights! While this article highlights the potential for commute time savings with no stop lights, it ignores the fact that (again) pedestrians and cyclists will need to know when they can safely cross intersections. Moreover, the study assumes a society with all driverless vehicles and it may be many decades before we come close to that.
- Connected vehicle technology won’t be needed once AVs are here! Driverless and connected vehicle technologies are distinct technologies that have significant benefits independently; however, the combination of the two will maximize the safety benefits for society.
- All AVs will be EVs! Just about every research report discussing AV impacts highlights reduced greenhouse gas emissions since AVs will be fueled by electricity. These are two distinct technologies, so it can’t be assumed that AVs will leverage the EV technology.
- Public transit will be obsolete! While I do think transit agencies will need to re-think their service offerings, fleet types, pricing, and coverage areas, I believe government involvement in public transportation will always be necessary. Government will need to manage their jurisdiction’s mobility to minimize congestion, ensure proper transportation options for all demographics, and enable seamless payment across platforms (amongst others).
The list of driverless car myths is much longer….any other ideas?