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So should our cities be adapted to self-propelled vehicles

self-driving cars and trucks have been on the wallpaper for a long time. It is tied high hopes to an automated fleet of vehicles to make traffic more efficient and cities less crowded.

the transport system. The speeds drops at the same time as the risk of accidents remains. ”The situation is untenable,” says the state research institute, the Rise in a recent study on how urban mobility can be improved.

But self-driving cars in itself does not necessarily make things better, at least not in the beginning. A mixture of the old and the new traffic can cause problems.

– Flows may be worse if you just allow people to use autonomous vehicles, " says Lei Chen, who is leading the project behind the study.

Cities must start planning for to distinguish the self-propelled, or autonomous, the traffic from the traditional, " he says. The only way you can get the full benefit of the new technology.

An easy first step is to use the current bus lanes better.

– today, they are not used fully. Buses run on schedule, but self-driving cars can drive there all the time, and on order.

instead of The three seconds gap between vehicles in normal traffic it would suffice with a one-second gap.

Lei Chen is leading a project at the institute Rise for better mobility in cities of the future. Photo: Rise

is to build a new, separate infrastructure for the automated vehicles in the form of raised paths or tunnels.

the Tunnels would be much smaller and more slender – and therefore cheaper – than today's huge concrete pipes for människostyrda vehicles with internal combustion engines.

" But it is necessary margins of safety, we should count on it.

In Stockholm, would you be able to build undervattenstunnlar.

– Yes, how can you build an effective and efficient transport system with so much water in the city? You should be able to go straight from beach to beach, " says Lei Chen.

the Project, which is collaborating with the London-based architect PLP, has also looked at the Gothenburg and Varberg.

In the latter city, have been sketched on the possibility to introduce small self-propelled shuttles. The municipality has shown interest and maybe even started already later in the year.

But a steady, uninterrupted flow of vehicles that run automatically and pick up and drop people on demand reduces the need for parking spaces in the cities. In the long term, it would be able to disappear completely.

" Our goal is to get rid of all p-places in town. The urban environment should be returned to the people who walk, for cyclists and for various activities, " says Lei Chen.

brave the traffic system? Lei Chen and his project team believe that there needs to be a division between the public and the private in much the same grounds as in the day.

This means that the public is mainly for the infrastructure, while private companies are developing the vehicles themselves, and manages parts of the operation, for example, fleets of self-driving cars, like taxi companies.

" It pays for itself with the public financing of infrastructure because the rate of use becomes much higher, it becomes more effective. It is not corporate responsibility to develop the road system.

Individuals can also take automated vehicles, but all must adapt to the new infrastructure, practical terms.

– If a family owns a self-driven car, they can choose if they want to share the car with others or not. But they must meet the requirements for driving in these files, " says Lei Chen.

" Already today there are experiments with slow self-propelled mini-buses in some neighborhoods. Within five years we can begin to see autonomous cars driving at high speed in the specially designed infrastructure.

– But it takes time before we get to cities with completely autonomous vehicles that can handle any complex environments. If you believe Elon Musk (an entrepreneur in electric cars and other new technologies), it is ten years left. According to other vehicle manufacturers, it is a little further away, " says Lei Chen.

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