Self-driving cars would also create all kinds of positive possibilities in urban design. Tech-enabled transportation companies such as Uber and Lyft believe they can undermine the idea that every household should own a car or two. While the drivers for these companies are all human now, automated cars would be even easier to share because they could spend all their time on the roads. This could be the future—after all, Google GOOG is a major investor on Uber.
Cars that aren’t beholden to a single driver would mean cities wouldn’t have to use up so much valuable land on parking lots. A fleet of robotic drivers could use narrower lanes, shrinking the proportion of city’s surface area taken up by roads.
Will all cars become like NYC taxis? That is an enticing thought to me. I, like most teenage boys I suppose, was in love with cars. My first new car after college was a 1970 Mustang muscle car. I spent hours each month making sure it was clean and had a fresh coat of wax. The car was my identity as far as I was concerned.
But like the bible says, when I was a child I did childish things but when I became an adult I put childish things aside at least for the most part. Now in my old age I think of cars mainly as just a way to get from point A to B. A car is just not that important to me anymore. So, when I read this article it got my attention. Why not share cars with everyone. That is an idea that needs a LOT of work for some, especially those California folks who simply adore their cars to the point of absurdity.