From smartcitiesdive – some things to think about when designing or adapting cities for autonomous vehicles:

  • Preparations and improvements could start with something as simple as fixing potholes and ensuring lane markings on city streets are visible and consistent.
  • Should (AVs) be in dedicated lanes, at least during a likely transition period when they will need to share space with human-operated vehicles?
  • Dedicating lanes to AVs could raise questions about fairness, as AVs would initially only be used by a select few people.
  • It could be difficult given the constraints already on cities’ right-of-way and a lack of space to further widen their streets.
  • Cities also need to consider upgrades to their intersections, so that connected AVs can communicate with traffic signals to ensure a smooth ride.
  • If the growth in AV use means less need for parking, cities may need to decide what to do with excess surface parking lots and parking garages.
  • Companies are already exploring how to change parking lots and garages, especially if those AVs also run on electricity and need to be charged. … With humans not required to plug the AV in to charge it, the car could take itself to recharge at any location that has the infrastructure.



  1. Automated vehicles, electric vehicles…not the answer. They’re neat, they’re cool–new tech is always interesting. But they don’t solve the fundamental question around transportation and are just a gimmick to distract from that.

    1. A gimmick ? One day ALL, or likely many, public transit vehicles will be AVs. Especially on smaller routes.
      But one designs a city with current technology in mind for current needs and foreseeable trends. The AV road is unknown as is the pickup pace of EVs .. and it is very likely we will have a mix of diesel buses, natural gas trucks, e-trucks, AVs, scooters, tricycles like, bikes, e-bikes, e-wheel chairs, 4 wheeled scooters, golf carts, 12 seater AVs, electric sedans, single seat EVs like for a long LONG time in parallel on the same road surface .. some fully autonomous and many more in various automatic modes (like: find me a parking spot under $2/h within 200 m from here) until 2100 at least I’d say ..

    2. Cars aren’t a gimmick they’ve been the peoples’ choice for mobility in North America by a wide margin for over 60 years

      1. Choice? The entire built environment was redesigned to provide only a single travel mode to choose from. I don’t call that having choice.

        1. I see these choices today in Vancouver
          Motor biking
          Using a bus
          Using car share
          Using a train
          Using a car that is owned by you
          Using wheelchairs, electric or self propelled
          Did I miss a mode ?
          Other cities have far fewer options. Some you can’t jog because the air is so bad. Some you can’t use a bike as the roads aren’t paved, or full of huge potholes. Some you can’t use a bus. Others are so clogged that a car is useless.
          Perspective please, perspective.

        2. Right, here in Vancouver we have a lot of choices. Many places though have a single choice. This fact was no accident but was designed that way, either through innocently thinking that other modes were outdated or wanting to remove any other consumer choice than theirs.

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