More space and improved living conditions in cities with autonomous vehicles

Jaap Vleugel, Frans Bal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Many people live in cities today. Many more will do so in future. This increases the demand for space and (space for) transport. Space to expand roads is usually scarce. Building tunnels or elevated bridges is very expensive. Solving one bottleneck creates a next bottleneck downstream. More road infrastructure leads to more cars and more cars to more congestion and externalities. Megacities
invest in large-scale (preferably underground) public transport. Smaller cities lack the required number of travellers and the money to warrant the high investment costs. In a sustainable city the supply of goods, services, water, energy and transportation should differ from the current practice.
New car technologies are interesting, in particular the nearly roadworthy self-driving (autonomous) cars. It is still very demanding to let these share roads with conventional cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Cities lack the space for a separate network for these cars, yet. A socially challenging alternative would be to replace all private cars by shared electric self-driving cars and small shuttle
buses and integrate these with mass transport, cycling and walking. Passenger transport would need much less space for driving and parking. Congestion will vanish. Local air pollution, noise and use of resources to produce cars and road materials are reduced. Reclaimed space can be used to create a more sustainable and social environment and to optimize city logistics. The building blocks of such a (public-private) system exist already or will become available in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2017
Event11th International Conference on Ecosystems and Sustainable Development - Cadiz University, Cadiz, Spain
Duration: 26 Apr 201728 Apr 2017
Conference number: 11


Conference11th International Conference on Ecosystems and Sustainable Development
Abbreviated titleECOSUD 2017
Internet address


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