How Self-Driving Vehicles Will Revolutionize Urban Design

The sweeping changes mad possible with self-driving vehicles may extend well beyond commercial application and the influence this technology is expected to have on the transportation industry. From the largest commercial trucks to the smallest passenger cars, having growing numbers of self-driving vehicles on the road will have a major impact on urban planning and city design. Having to rethink urban development from the ground up may be the only way developers and planners will be able to keep pace with autonomous vehicles.

Congestion, Traffic and Parking

Traffic patterns are expected to undergo a rapid evolution thanks to vehicles that drive themselves and those that are able to operate without the need for human occupants. Certain routes, roads and areas may see a steep rise in the total volume of vehicles and traffic while other locations may experience a sudden drop off. Removing human drivers from the equation can also eliminate many of the most common and significant causes of traffic congestion. Even dedicated parking areas and structures may no longer serve a useful purpose as self-driving vehicles that have been stored off-site can easily routed to pick up passengers regardless of their proximity or surroundings.

Other Advances in Transportation Technology

Autonomous vehicles are not the only emerging technology that may serve to reshape urban environments. Other transportation technologies, such as emission-less vehicles, next-generation public transit systems and even aerial delivery drones may all have a role to play in shaping the ways cities are designed and built. Overcoming the limitations of existing city layouts and making the necessary changes and infrastructure upgrades needed to maximize the potential benefits made possible with self-driving vehicles is an important undertaking. Widespread access to more efficient and convenient transportation solutions is expected to make a big impact on the way tomorrow’s cities and urban areas are designed.

The Age of Self-Driving Vehicles

The era of automation just beginning and the 2020s are likely to be known as the decade of the self-driving car. Vehicles that are able to navigate and operate without human intervention, often in a far safer and more efficient manner, are poised to create sweeping changes to the very fabric of our daily lives. Everything from urban design to the transportation industry can expect to experience nothing short of a revolution thanks to advent of autonomous vehicles.

The sheer number of autonomous vehicles that can be expected in the next few years may be much higher than many people might assume, and there is a growing list of places where drivers may already be sharing the road with automated cars, trucks and even buses. While this new technology is still in its infancy, the latest vehicles show a great deal of promise and are often able to outperform their human counterparts in terms of operational safety, adherence to traffic laws and even reduced instances of driver-caused traffic congestion.

Removing human drivers from the equation is likely to have a major impact that will be felt across numerous economic sectors. While long-haul drivers, couriers and others who work within the transportation industry may be the first to experience changes due to the growing popularity and numbers of self-driving vehicles, they will not be the last. Automotive insurance providers, healthcare professionals who see large volumes of collision-related trauma and injuries and even those who deal in city and urban development may soon begin to see a great deal of change within their respective industries. Fully-automated vehicles have a lot to offer and the numerous and significant ways that they may begin to change the world around may be just a preview as to what future trends in automation may have to offer.