Webinar featuring Susan Shaheen, UC Berkeley and Mike Manville, UCLA
Autonomous vehicles hold enormous potential – a future with self-driving cars could mean safer streets, less congestion, and increased equity. These benefits are particularly promising when autonomous vehicle technology meets shared mobility companies like Uber and Lyft. But how close are we to that future? Professor Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley and Associate Professor Michael Manville of UCLA talked about this difficult issue during a webinar hosted by the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies.
We are still some time away from truly autonomous vehicles. There are five stages of automation: level 4 means you can occasionally take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel and level 5 means completely self-driving vehicles. No large-scale deployments of level 4 or 5 automation exist, but that will change soon.
“What I think we’re going to see as we move into 2017 and beyond is more of these highly automated or fully automated deployments,” explained Professor Shaheen. Companies like Uber and Tesla are already starting to scale up autonomous vehicle experiments.
When autonomous vehicles do roll out in larger numbers, it will likely be in limited scenarios. Cities like Columbus and San Francisco are working on low-speed autonomous shuttles that will offer a relatively safe way to study this technology. Pilot projects like these could pave the way for autonomous transit well-suited to areas currently underserved by public transportation.
The future of autonomous vehicles is not without issues. Professor Shaheen pointed out that self-driving cars could increase driving, especially if people own their own private autonomous vehicles. Is a world saturated with self-driving cars one in which public transit is obsolete?
Autonomous vehicles have significant potential as tools of shared […]