Right hooks are just one of many issues that people on bike confront when trying to navigate city streets imperfectly designed for bicycle transportation and it seems that this is one area that autonomous vehicles don’t yet have an answer for, according to this article from the Guardian. If driverless cars only had to deal with other cars, then behavior and safety could be much more regulated, and in fact the vast safety savings anticipated from autonomous vehicles comes from a reduction in vehicle to vehicle, or even solo vehicle, crashes. But, cities are also made up of people who walk, bike, and roll, presenting different challenges due to speed, mobility, and the fact that the goal of walking, biking, or rolling is not always to maximize speed. And these other modes often have their own infrastructure that varies by block and intersection and part of town. For cycling, infrastructure ranges from simple bike lanes to protected bike lanes to no dedicated infrastructure at all, adding to the complexity. Figuring out how driverless vehicles will complement biking, especially as a worldwide resurgence in this sustainable and space saving form of transportation is taking place, will be especially important to get right for the sustainability of our cities.
In another hopeful move that transit and ridesourcing services like Uber and Lyft will be combining efforts to better provide accessibility and mobility for all, FTA this week announced nearly $8 million in grants – mostly to transit agencies – to incorporate mobility-on-demand into their agencies. Take a look at the funded projects here.