Automated Vehicles Pose 'Political Threat' to Transit
In a post adapted from remarks made by Steven Higashide, its director of research, TransitCenter outlines several things transit agencies should keep in mind as self-driving vehicles loom large in the public mind. "The threat that automated vehicles pose to public transit," he argues, "is a political threat."
Higashide's points include the following:
- High-capacity transit makes more efficient use of urban space than smaller vehicles, even when they're automated and/or shared.
- It'll be a while until automated vehicles can safely navigate busy urban cores and residential neighborhoods, even if they can be made functional on highways.
- Despite the high-tech veneer of public partnerships with transportation startups, "testing new technology for global motor vehicle markets for its own sake is a job for universities, research agencies, and private R&D."
- Transit systems need to become more competitive for current riders, and not simply hold out for potential tech-enabled solutions down the line.