Can driverless cars pave the way for complete streets?


Richard Gilbert is writing a comprehensive series in the Globe and Mail on driverless cars. I’ve written before on the topic, but Richard has done an amazing job researching the technology’s potential. Most tantalizing he suggests that driverless car sharing services may be available in as few as five years:

Google has hinted that it may see car-sharing as the primary business model for its driverless car technology. The above-noted statement by IEEE members suggested that driverless cars will be much used in car sharing programs. A car-sharing service using driverless cars and an AT service amount to essentially the same thing.

My personal hope is that the new technology will not only change how we move around but how our cities look, paving the way for complete streets. Not every house will need a garage or as big a garage if more cars are shared. Malls and retail centres won’t need as many parking spaces, and the ones we do build can be built out of the way. We can better share the space on our roads because automated cars will be able to use it more efficiently. This technology provides a great deal of promise and Richard makes it clear that my generation is ready for a transportation revolution.


3 thoughts on “Can driverless cars pave the way for complete streets?

  1. 66 feet. All that space and we cover it with asphalt and give it to cars! And, most shocking of all, people don’t even notice how much of their world is devoted to the transportation system.

    • Wow great summary of the discussion. Glad to see your riding the robotaxi wave. As you might be able to tell I’m very excited to see where this technology takes us. From Jarrett’s post I was also intrigued by the concept of the “complete imagined future.” I think that is where a lot of people envisioning the future of the suburbs sit, in the “complete imaged future.” So I think I may take some time to explore the credible paths and possible incremental steps needed to encourage more walkable areas outside the downtowns in a future post.

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