Sitting in traffic jams sucks, but would you really want this solution?
A team of European scientists says traffic could be cut by 90 percent if self-driving taxis hit city streets. The study was led by Luis Martinez of the International Transportation Forum and performed by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It focused on small and mid-sized European towns, with a model based on the traffic patterns in Lisbon, Portugal. Factors taken into account included population, city size and car ownership.
Based on the model, the researchers estimated that robot taxis (shared by multiple occupants) could clear 9 out of 10 cars off the street, create more parking spaces, and drop rush hour traffic by 65 percent. Now this is just one study modeled after one European city. But if even half these numbers could be achieved by driverless taxis then the world’s cabbies and rideshare drivers may want to start reconsidering their careers.