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How Autonomous Vehicles Could Ease Congestion

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June 20, 2016—Two keys concepts—ride-sharing and prepared cities—may decide how autonomous vehicles ease traffic congestion in the future, according to Mobility Lab

At a recent conference in Detroit discussed how modern transportation could change in the coming years. Millennials drive less and are more comfortable with using various forms of other transportation. Additionally, ride-sharing and ride-hailing is becoming more prevalent through services such as Zipcar and Uber. 

A shared autonomous fleet model could reduce the number of vehicles on the road and the need for street parking, thus reducing congestion and pollution. 

“It gets a bit different with a fleet model. Fleets could keep us from adding lanes and use thinner lanes and could allow us to add things like sidewalks and bike lanes,”  Sam Schwartz, CEO of Gridlock Sam and former traffic commissioner of New York City, said. 

“AVs are possibly the biggest of all car technology disruptions. With autonomous cars, cars won’t be parked on the street,” Kaye Ceille, president of Zipcar, said. 

In addition, cities must prepare for autonomous vehicle and make the vehicles easily integratable into their already complex transportation infrastructures. Autonomous cars must be able to work around bicycles, buses, trains, subways and more. Each city must also optimize how these different systems will work best together to reduce congestion. 

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