Autonomous vehicles have been described as a heaven or hell scenario. Many of the depictions of the hell scenario center on private ownership of AVs. A recent report from the University of California Davis and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy provides evidence to back this up. Looking at three scenarios, UCD and ITDP shows how congestion and emissions will climb under a Business as Usual or Electrification+Automation (without Sharing) scenario.
Lesson one: the carbon work is mostly done by electrification, the urbanist work by ride-sharing
Lesson two: the scenario with the greatest social benefits requires the most policy support
Lesson three: geometry requires sharing
This new research and Roberts’ charge makes it clear: there is a role for urbanists and policymakers to make the case for sharing.