Sometimes a car is not just a car

5 thoughts on “Sometimes a car is not just a car”

  1. Great article. The interesting thing to see is how long it will take policy to catch up with technology. Driverless cars are going to have a huge impact on human activity-travel patterns and choice processes. It may decrease the disutility of traveling by personal vehicle, potentially contributing to increased vehicle miles of travel. With travel becoming less onerous, households may choose to reside, work, shop, and play at locations that are more distant. Vehicle ownership patterns are also likely to be affected in profound ways: on the one extreme, it is possible to envision a scenario where every individual (regardless of age and physical condition) owns and operates a driverless car (thereby greatly increasing vehicle ownership and possibly use per capita, particularly for the elderly and the physically challenged), and at the other extreme, it is possible to envision a scenario where personal vehicle ownership becomes a relic of the past with fleets of driverless cars serving mobility needs on demand. It is an exciting time for us transportation planners and modelers but also raises questions like you do regd. the future of the auto industry.

      1. I work as a transportation modeler for an engineering company. The work focuses on estimating and forecasting travel demand (passenger and freight) for the public sector and entails statistical and econometric modeling. So autonomous vehicles are of great interest to people like me. To give a flavor of the type of work we modelers do, here is a recent paper from the Seattle area Metropolitan Planning Org (PSRC) on the impacts of autonomous vehicles. http://blog.psrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/TRB-15-AVs.pdf. Happy reading.

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