Many people envision a future in which roads get dominated by electric and self-driving cars. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye in the sustainability of such a transportation system. The limitations of this scenario are laid bare in the article “Self-driving cars will not fix our transportation woes” by Roberts (2020).
The author highlights the several drawbacks of an autonomous mobility system. For instance, self-driving cars could increase accidents, electric vehicles could impact climate change, and Robo-taxis could lead to unsustainable trips. A shared, slow, autonomous shuttle could be helpful as it would reduce climate impact, result in sustainable transportation and reduce accidents.
Autonomous vehicles will become less energy-efficient because they are suited to the demands of users. For example, running such vehicles faster could mean more energy consumption. Mitigating this impact using electric cars may not be ideal because of increased carbon emissions. Many users would feel uncomfortable using autonomous vehicles because of increased chances of vandalism caused by passengers.
Even with necessary modifications to enhance safety and convenience in their use, many people still prefer to use personal cars. The best possible solution to this menace is adopting public shuttles that can pick up several passengers at a time. Such a system could be a viable way to support sustainable transportation, eliminate technology’s current hurdles and reduce the consequences of climate change.
An efficient system, such as the slow, shared shuttles, requires adequate coordination and planning from all stakeholders. It is implausible for an autonomous mobility system to eliminate all transit challenges experienced today. The mobility system must get shaped efficaciously to address transportation woes through adequate planning, activism, and regulation. Every system has its challenges that must be anticipated and effectively addressed by stakeholders.