Sorry to break it to you, but autonomous vehicles won’t rid the world of gridlock, according to new research.
The study: A report released today by the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group used simulations to examine how traffic flows would change around the city of Boston as more robotic cars hit the roads.
The results: They found that self-driving cars could lead to a 5.5 percent increase in traffic in the city’s downtown. While there will be fewer cars on the road overall, congestion will increase because commuters will likely choose the new vehicles over public transportation.
The silver lining: Surrounding neighborhoods like the Allston-Brighton area would see about a 12 percent decrease in traffic. The number of parking spaces needed in Boston would also fall by 48 percent.
Why it matters: As we’ve written about extensively, US cities could be transformed by shared autonomous vehicles. Urban areas similar to Boston can prevent more gridlock by encouraging sharing of self-driving vehicles and continued use of mass transit. To do this, the report recommends lowering prices for autonomous carpoolers, converting parking lots into pick-up and drop-off zones, and creating self-driving-only lanes.
A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?
Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.
A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate
Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway
Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.