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Cities Making Plans Driverless Cars Already

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On: Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 11:03AM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Cities Making Plans Driverless Cars Already

Google’s driverless car experiments have been nothing short of fascinating. They have sparked many innovative minds to start making big plans for the use of these kinds of vehicles. Major planning is underway that involves implementing these driverless vehicles once the technology is perfected and they become legal in all states—and it involves the way cities are operated.

Once only an idea seen in science fiction, self-driving cars will soon join you on your commute to work. Automakers Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota all have plans to make their own driverless vehicles. Before too long, these kinds of cars will be ‘normal’ in the auto industry and their uses will be broad. The technology has people eager to start using these vehicles as a part of plans for city programs and development.

These vast plans could revolutionize your driving habits and many other facets of city life. Driverless cars could make things possible, like having your car valet itself after it drops you at your destination. This could easily be made possible at destinations—like an airports or malls—that would allow for holding pens or rails that would cart your car off to await your return. Other uses could involve delivery services, taxis, or just allow you to sleep or catch up on emails on the way to work instead of zoning out while sitting in stressful traffic jams.

Ultimately, the idea is to reduce traffic congestion and the need for parking lots/spaces throughout the city.

While these kinds of plans would come with some major challenges, benefits of projects involving driverless cars would be grand. Parks wouldn’t have to be turned into parking lots to accommodate the growing number of visitors to locations, traffic would flow more efficiently, and parking tickets would be a thing of the past. Air would become cleaner as people would spend less time driving around looking for places to park. Housing would be cheaper as more space would be freed up in the city. With the lessened need for massive parking garages, more retail stores could even move closer to the center of cities.

These plans do come with risks that would need to be addressed first. Pedestrian and animal safety may be a challenge amongst densely populated areas. Vehicles would also be at an increased risk for theft without a human operator.

Technology has a long way to go still, but many are anticipating driverless cars to become common within the next decade or so. Engineers and city officials are already coming up with ways to put the cars of the future to good use.


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