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Self-Driving Cars to Transform Cities, Housing

July 28, 2016 2:04 am


Self-driving cars have made headlines as a revolutionary invention, but little has been written about their revolutionary impact—until now.

According to a recently released report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the preponderance of self-driving vehicles (SDVs) could result in less accidents, less pollution and less traffic in urban centers brimming with commuters.

“There is a compelling case to be made for SDVs in cities,” said Nikolaus Lang, co-author of the report, which postulates that cities will be irrevocably altered by the self-driving car, in a statement. “Ride-shared, electric robo-taxis can substantially transform and improve urban transportation, and, by direct extension, livability, by providing more people with easier access to mobility, making streets safer, and freeing up space no longer needed for parking.”

The report estimates universal use of SDVs, including robo-taxis, could reduce the number of cars on city streets by 60 percent, reduce vehicle emissions by 80 percent, and reduce accidents by 90 percent.

Developments such as these are not far off, if the report’s findings bear out—58 percent of drivers in cities around the world are open to an SDV, and many are willing to pay a premium for one. The initial upfront cost, they reason, pales in comparison to the potential savings, including on gas and parking fees.

Savings could even be realized in housing, the report adds—SDVs may make it “more convenient to live farther from the expensive city core.”

Policymakers believe SDVs will soon have a transformative effect on cities, as well. Sixty percent of those included in the report expect at least one city to ban conventional car ownership by 2025.

That city, with few cars, less road incidents and minimal pollution, will serve as a paradigm for others, and a catalyst for widespread adoption, the report concludes.

Source: The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
 

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