Rubén M.Cenzano

Chartered Civil Engineer specialised in Transportation

Ingeniero de Caminos especialista en Transporte

rethinking the role of transport

Posted On Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The US Department of Transportation recently promoted a top-level committee to analyse the potential impact of transport automation on society, including automotive companies, academics in the field of transportation, politicians, and companies with an interest in the area such as Waymo, Uber, Lyft, Delphi or Apple.

We are about to see a revolution on transport*, where there are some different approaches:

 1)  Self-production of autonomous vehicles: companies such as Tesla, Ford or GM
 2)  Collaboration with technology providers: Toyota, Audi and BMW are working in conjunction with technology providers such as Mobileye, Intel or Nvidia, among others.
 3)  Development of new scenarios:
 3a.)  Daimler is working with fleet managers like Car2go or MyTaxi,
 3b.)  Volvo and Uber are developing specific products.
 3c.)  Waymo (Google) is integrating and manufacturing more and more of their own sensors and components, as well as offering their services to companies like Fiat Chrysler.

However, there is a key point for all these approaches: Private ownership of autonomous vehicles makes no economic sense and could well see more traffic as they circulate empty or in search of parking spaces, which leads to share economies such as carpooling.

An MIT study shows that a fleet of 3,000 vehicles used on a shared basis would be sufficient to replace New York’s 13,237 taxis covering 98% of trips with a waiting time of about 2.7 minutes.

Uber Pool was presented in a TED talk in March entitled “Uber’s plan to move more people in fewer cars” has achieved a great success. Al the same time, Uber’s CEO (Travis Kalanick) has said that he loves the idea of replacing Uber's human drivers with robots.

If this is the new scenario we are progressing to, car makers will sell no vehicles to individuals. Instead, cars would be managed and optimized by companies, which will renew fleets more often as a result of higher usage rates due to the fleet optimization.

According to Google, Waymo has managed to bring the cost of driverless technology - including the expensive laser sensors - down 90%.

Producing truly driverless cars at that sort of scale is the hard part. Connecting them to passengers via an app isn't. Uber's advantage right now is the drivers it brings to the platform. Once they're gone, what would they offer to the market?

* If you still don't believe that driverless cars are almost here and able to drive anywhere -not just under urban western standards, you should be aware of driverless cars being tested in what it looks to be the hardest conditions on Earth: India. With unruly pedestrians, disorderly drivers, reckless autorickshaws, a variety of slow-moving carts, darting dogs, and the occasional elephant, Indian roads are really something else. But there’s one company that apparently has the audacity to test driverless cars in India: Tata Elxsi.

Further info: E.Dans, T. Cheshire

No comments

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.


accessibility acs airbag airport amsterdam analysis anpr app APTA arduino athens auckland audi australia ballasttamper bateadora battery belgium berlin beter benutten bid BMI Boston uni bratislava brazil bridge BRT building bus bus bunching bus stop business case cable-stayed cadiz califormia camouflage canada cancun car club car sharing carpooling challenge CHIC chicago china CILT colombia commitments commuting congestion charge connected vehicle construction consultation copenhagen crane creativeness crime crowdfunding cycling dam demolition DfT diabetes diesel differential gear disabled disaster distance diversity dot dragados driverless driving drone dublin e-road eCall economy edinburgh Edinburgh uni edu efficiency electric vehicle emergency emergency brake energy enforcement engineering enrique dans ephemeris escalator estonia ethics ETSC EU europe evaporation EVP extreme fares ferry financing finland flight floating car flooding france free software freight FT funding gentrification germany GHSA global debt google greece green wave guide health HEAT heavy equipment helsinki HGV high speed hong kong HOT HOV hydrogen hyperloop iberoamerica ice IEA implosion india INEA infringement interchange intersection investment ireland isochrone israel italy ite ITS japan junction design koolicar korea lake lane width last mile LatAm latvia LEZ lighting lithuania london LOS los angeles low cost lyft MaaS madrid maersk line maglev McGill uni megaproject melbourne microsimulation milan mirror mistake mit mobile mobility mobility plan modelling montreal nacto netherlands new materials NGO nhtsa no car day noise nokia north america norway nutonomy nyc nz ocean on demand online learning online tools open data oregon oslo oulu parking pavement pedestrian peru petrol phantom traffic jam philadelphia platooning PnR poland pollution PPP probability protected intersection public transport R&D rail railroad real time renewable energy road charging road construction roundabout rubber russia safety samsung san francisco saudi scandinavia scania schipol school science SCOPE scotland seville sharing economy siemens signpost singapore skyscraper skytran slovakia smart city smart network smart parking snow south africa spain speed camera spinlister statistics stockholm stress structural steel subway SUMP sustainability sweden Swinburne uni switzerland tallinn tax taxi TCRP TED tel aviv TEN-T tenerife tensegrity tesla texas text and drive tfl thermodynamics time lapse tispol tokio toll road toronto traffic congestion traffic light traffic management transport planning travel TRL tunnel turin turkey uber UITP UK UN underground urban planning usa usdot v2i v2v viaduct vigo vision zero VMT volvo walkup washington weigh-in-motion wellington WHO winter wireless charging works WPT WRI wtf zipcar

Contact Form