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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would like to start a discussion on the effects of self driving electric cars on our cities and in particular on the amount of new land that will be available because of the lack of parking spaces that will be required once large uber like fleets of self driving cars are the norm.

From what I read and understand our current cars are only utilised for 4% of the time and are parked for the other 96%,once large uber like fleets of self driving cars are the norm that percent will be reversed with SDEC being utilised for 80-90% of the time picking up and dropping of people and being parked to charge for 10-20%.

SDEC will not need to park except to charge,they will simply pick up and drop of passengers then go to the next person that has requested a ride and because they are utilised 80-90% of the time rather than 4% of the time there will be a lot less cars needed, perhaps up to 80% less cars.

This will have a huge affect on the amount of parking spaces that are needed in our cities,perhaps eliminating the need for curb side parking and payed parking and free parking lots as well as a big reduction to parking spaces around shopping centres and shopping malls.

Parking spaces for cars in our cities requires a huge amount of land,I have read up to one third in some cities such as Los Angeles goes to parking cars,I would imagine it would be less in Australian cities perhaps 10 -20% but never the less that is a lot of land that would be returned to the cities and not needed to park cars.

What could the city use the extra land for,perhaps used for new sites for building developments,parks,gardens,bikeways,light rail and bus lanes for public transport

A lot of the information above comes from a 10 part series Youtube channel by Now You Know Autonomous Diving Future,check it out if you have time
 

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Don't confuse self-driving cars with shared cars.

There is no guarantee that self-driving cars will be shared. In fact, I would suggest that they are more likely to be not. The early-adopters will be those people with money who want their own new shiny cars, and the rest will follow.

Think of the possibilities. Instead of parking your car in the morning and walking to work, you could have the car drop you at work, make its own way to the car park and after work you can call it up and have it collect you in front of work. Just like having your own chauffer driven vehicle.

Of course, this means more traffic on the road and no reduction in parking requirements, and perhaps fewer people using public transport so greater subsidy, but hey that's a reasonable price to autonomous vehicles isn't it?
 

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QUEENSLANDER!!!
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The traffic will inevitably become worse. Imagine everyone getting their self driving cars to work and then returning them home (because they don't want to pay for parking). That means the peak will go both ways.

I don't know what regulations will be imposed i.e. must be a human in the car, must not be drunk etc, but I just can't see them becoming the norm. People will still want to drive their own cars (most of the time).

The industry is too invested to turn back now. They are pushing hard. I wonder if it will flop. I have no desire really to have one.
 

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Exactly. Driverless tech is perfect for first/last mile in dense urban areas. Note I didn't say driverless cars...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-19/fastest-driverless-vehicle-unveiled-in-adelaide/9887458

I see the best use of driverless tech as small frequent buses acting as 'range extenders' to heavy rail stations. If the use of driverless single occupant cars in cities isn't regulated it will lead to gridlock, unless the driverless tech is used to prioritise shared vehicles.

On the urban fringe and in regional areas, it is a different story.
 

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Yes, walk a mile a day in the streets so you don't need to pay to walk in a ridiculous walking machine!

@Robot123: Uber already exists. It uses normal cars with human drivers. I don't see less private cars in the road or parked. Self-driving may be cool, but they may change nothing at all. It may work only if automated shared cars become so cheap that it's silly to buy your own.
 

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Surely walking should be the primary first/mile last/mile mode in 'dense urban areas'? It is in less dense suburban areas that we need bus feeders, such as the one in the linked article.
Yes of course, but say that your current station catchment is 800-1000m, with frequent, small, self driving buses you may be able to increase the station catchment to 2.5-5km within a similar door to door time, without the usual frequency issues associated with local feeder buses.

In lower density areas it could also be the difference between a frequent trunk transport route being viable or not viable.

As an example, in a lower density area where you are building a new line (let’s take the north/south Metro to WSA as an example) it could be the difference between station spacing of 2-3km and 5-6km, with associated increase in end to end speed. Even better in this example is that the are being greenfield allows local priority measures to be built near the stations, increasing the 10-15 minute radius around each station even further.

Like I said, a range extender.
 

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What I'm looking forward to most is the death of diesel. Cars and Utes spewing out literally clouds of diesel cr#p at every traffic light. It just can't be healthy. Constantly drive with the air on recirculating...
 

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Surely walking should be the primary first/mile last/mile mode in 'dense urban areas'? It is in less dense suburban areas that we need bus feeders, such as the one in the linked article.
Depends on how far you have to go to get to a station. There is a lot of Sydney where the nearest station is well over a Km away (often 3-4).

Besides congestion isn't an issue (generally) on local streets for short journeys. Its the longer journeys (10Km+) that are mainly responsible for the congested motorways in Sydney.
 

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If you're talking about the proper, totally autonomous driverless car, well...

First off there'll be a million people who lose their jobs very, very quickly. Cabbies, truckies, delivery drivers, couriers, bus drivers, chauffeurs, everything. They're gone. The driverless car will be way cheaper.

Secondly, distance and delivery costs will become less of an issue. Goods delivery will become stupidly cheap. The most expensive part of goods shipping is the last few miles, and the driver is by far the most expensive part.

Unlike leccy, I think on-demand shared cars are a certainly. There will be several companies offering them. They'll be so cheap to use that everyone will use them all the time - cents per kilometer. There'll be no need for the average person to own their own car. Car rentals (Thrifty, etc.) as we know them today will also disappear for the same reason - if they're smart they'll get into the on-demand share car business.

Because few people own cars, car parks, garages and driveways will be redundant. Some may be converted to depots for share-cars, but most will be demolished. Expect a lot of houses with new converted-garage bedrooms! A lot of land will be unlocked for other uses. A huge win for property owners.

Peak traffic will become two-way, as share-cars bring commuters into the CBD in the morning, then return back to the suburbs to pick up their next passenger(s).

Traffic will be appalling, in the absence of some form of government intervention. Almost all Sydney CBD traffic today is either commercial or taxi/Uber - and that'll skyrocket.

Mass transit will have a greater role than it does today. The scale and speed from a dedicated right-of-way will be unmatched. Services will be much more frequent (if no staff costs) and as a result much more useful.

A good government response would be to favour higher capacity vehicles with bus lanes, transit lanes, preferable tolls, etc. That way there'll be tiers of share-cars, with cheaper minibuses that collect people heading in the same general direction that get priority for road space. A hoard of smaller, nimble Private operators will offer on-demand services, door-to-station across the suburbs.

I think people will still opt to walk the last few 100m from the station in more congested areas, but their tolerance for walking longer distances will disappear when an on-demand car is so cheap.
 

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Because few people own cars, car parks, garages and driveways will be redundant. Some may be converted to depots for share-cars, but most will be demolished. Expect a lot of houses with new converted-garage bedrooms! A lot of land will be unlocked for other uses. A huge win for property owners.
People won't need their own personal garages, but you'd need a lot of land, most likely industrial land toward the urban fringes, for the depots housing these share cars.

Peak traffic will become two-way, as share-cars bring commuters into the CBD in the morning, then return back to the suburbs to pick up their next passenger(s).
Sounds god awful, two way gridlock.

I assume that as obviously fewer cars are needed on the road at 12pm than 8am, there would be a mass exodus of share cars to parking depots out in woop woop at the end of the morning peak, and a return of them toward the inner suburbs in the afternoon.

Mass transit will have a greater role than it does today. The scale and speed from a dedicated right-of-way will be unmatched. Services will be much more frequent (if no staff costs) and as a result much more useful.
People will be pushed onto mass transit to escape the gridlock created by the number of car trips increasing so much, which itself will have been partially due to people switching from using public transport to using car sharing if it becomes so cheap.

We could see public transport disappearing from some places, particularly out in the suburbs where now it functions as a welfare service for the car-less, because the cost of ride sharing will drop to a point where it can perform the same role.
 

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Whether or not you get two way gridlock depends on whether or not you build a rail network that comprehensively outclasses end to end car transport.

If you do, then you end up with more people using a car to get to their nearest station.
If you don't then yeah, the motorways will fill up with cars as usual.

Here's a bit more theory..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downs–Thomson_paradox
the equilibrium speed of car traffic on a road network is determined by the average door-to-door speed of equivalent journeys taken by public transport.
And this effect holds true, even if you gain "efficiencies" from autonomous driving abilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I can see that a extensive train and light rail public transport system coupled with shared autonomous car as a service platform to be needed to combat traffic during peak hour while coming and going from work,no point having autonomous cars dropping people to work then returning to the suburbs empty to pick another person to take them to work,does not make sense,autonomous fleet cars dropping passengers at a nearby train station or light rail station and the person boarding the train or light rail to the city makes much better sense

Electric cars whether self driving or not do not have any tail pipe emissions,can't wait for dirty polluting internal combustion engine cars to be replaced by electric cars especially diesel cars ,trucks and buses

I never really considered that once fleets of autonomous electric cars are common place and people stop owning cars that there will be heaps of garage space available,I guess people will just fill there garages with other stuff
 

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New Laws should prevail...like, anyone living within 5km...I wanted to say 10 km...but hang in there...of the CBD should be banned completely from driving a car into the city. They can walk, ride a bike or take a train, tram or bus...then further out people can drive so they have some semblance of life. I know...I know many see driving in traffic is loathsome yet it is not really. You have your own space in comfort with your own media or music...air conditioning to your specifications and no harassment. OK...there is road rage but you don't need to get involved and as someone who drives an electric car and often uses Autopilot yet at the same time never gives in to it...yet...know the world is heading this way. Scream and yell or abandon the sense that the world is not about you...or me. Next, electric cars or Uber will not drive you to work then go home by itself as all that does is make a one way trip doubled...so if a car delivers you to you work place it will immediately go to the next closest person to take them to their destination and onward. People who like to own their own car will still do that but pay a premium in data travel...to replace fuel excise.It is all simple and there in front of you...Anyone who may think they know me know I am no Greenie or lefty or even wealthy...but electric cars are the future and not so far ahead. You can own an electric car and have solar on the roof and storage on the garage wall so you hardly ever need to use the supercharger network unless you travel longer distances...no problem even here in Australia. If you follow news you see Chicago has announced it will use Tesla to run a fast network from the CBD to O'Hare in 12 minutes using Tesla pods...based on current Model X structure. Get with the future people...Current freeways will prove to be far more benefit with fast transit of cars close together at speed making heavy rail an antiquated 19th century expensive anomaly...lastly, I get that most of you still haven't experienced time travel so again I feel frustrated and bereft...yet...can still smile.
 

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They will be cheap for the first few years. Then once most of the competition is eliminated, it will be off to the races on fares once these companies monopolize transportation. Uber currently loses over $1.5B USD a year and it would just be trading the cost of the driver for the cost of purchasing and maintaining vehicles. Sure, Uber underprices, but it does so to drive out the competition. How much would they need to raise prices just to turn a profit, and then subsequently how much more would they need to start purchasing thousands of vehicles?
 

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I don't own a car. Its unnecessary. I am however a user of Uber and Goget. If you look at any inner city street that amount of land devoted to cars is kinda shocking. With autonomous vehicles this space will be unlocked, and then some. The mistake some seem to be making in here is that autonomous vehicles will replace the current fleet one for one. It won't be anything like that. You won't own an autonomous car, you wont need to. This is the wrong way of looking at it. The age of individual car ownership is coming to an end, and clearly that is the hardest thing for some to understand.

There will always be exceptions. There will be people who need vehicles for the jobs. However, even this is overblown. I already get almost everything I need in life delivered, bar medical care. There is no reason to spend hours schlumping around a shopping centre looking for a particular drill bit or set of hand towels. There is no need to go to a shop to buy cans of lentils. What drudgery. All this can be done for you and delivered. It would be far more expensive for me to own and service and car and waste my time running around doing the menial kind of shopping. Its cheaper, right now, to pay small delivery fees and occasionally use an Uber or a Goget. And this is before true automation. The time and money savings for consumers will be much better when automation becomes standard. Physical shopping will be something you do purely for recreation.

Putting all this together, the trajectory for cars and the space they need is down, down, down...even with increased population. Already, inner city councils are preparing for this future by planning for multi story car park to residential/other uses conversions, already new apartment builds are being thought of with delivery in mind.
 

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I don't own a car. Its unnecessary. I am however a user of Uber and Goget. If you look at any inner city street that amount of land devoted to cars is kinda shocking. With autonomous vehicles this space will be unlocked, and then some. The mistake some seem to be making in here is that autonomous vehicles will replace the current fleet one for one. It won't be anything like that. You won't own an autonomous car, you wont need to. This is the wrong way of looking at it. The age of individual car ownership is coming to an end, and clearly that is the hardest thing for some to understand.

There will always be exceptions. There will be people who need vehicles for the jobs. However, even this is overblown. I already get almost everything I need in life delivered, bar medical care. There is no reason to spend hours schlumping around a shopping centre looking for a particular drill bit or set of hand towels. There is no need to go to a shop to buy cans of lentils. What drudgery. All this can be done for you and delivered. It would be far more expensive for me to own and service and car and waste my time running around doing the menial kind of shopping. Its cheaper, right now, to pay small delivery fees and occasionally use an Uber or a Goget. And this is before true automation. The time and money savings for consumers will be much better when automation becomes standard. Physical shopping will be something you do purely for recreation.

Putting all this together, the trajectory for cars and the space they need is down, down, down...even with increased population. Already, inner city councils are preparing for this future by planning for multi story car park to residential/other uses conversions, already new apartment builds are being thought of with delivery in mind.
The age of car ownership is coming to an end? What are you basing this on? Certainly not the facts. Car ownership per capita is trending upwards in Australia and has been year on year since the early 90s. Affordability has been tracking the same way. In fact even from 2016 to 2017 car ownership went from 770 per 1000 people to 775 per 1000.

It's fine to speculate what the future might be but there is absolutely ZERO evidence at the moment to support your view. Zero. The evidence is only showing increased car ownership rates in Australia in line with their affordability. A recent article in The Australian suggests even stagnant wages is having no impact on either.
 
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