From Bloomberg: “Who’s Winning the Self Driving Car Race?“
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts that robo-taxis will help the ride-hailing and -sharing business grow from $5 billion in revenue today to $285 billion by 2030. There are grand hopes for this business. Without drivers, operating margins could be in the 20 percent range, more than twice what carmakers generate right now. If that kind of growth and profit come to pass—very big ifs—it would be almost three times what GM makes in a year. And that doesn’t begin to count the money to be made in delivery.
The Director of Engineering at the City of Vancouver, Jerry Dobrovolny was in Mexico City assessing the earthquake damage which severely impacted some of the poorest neighbourhoods. He sent this photo of an augmented speed bump.
The two photos below show the impact of an earthquake fissure three feet deep that runs through a park, and also separates a parking garage from the ramp into the back lane. Photos by Jerry Dobrovolny.
Written in 1957, with now-outdated thinking, the BC Motor Vehicle Act is ripe and ready for major update. As PT has discussed HERE, with detail as to what’s outdated.
And here’s more support:
NPA council hopeful Adrian Crook bravely tweets strong opinions on viaducts and car culture. Does this look to you like a preview of the evident internal struggle within the NPA? Hello, Glen Chernen, are you in this discussion?
In the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department, Bike Biz notes that Manuel Marsilio, general manager of the Confederation for the European Bicycle Industry has spoken out about the need for cyclists to “identify” themselves for autonomous vehicles. With the salvo that lives will be saved with “cycle to vehicle” sensors, Marsilio made his comments at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. “It is the goal of the “connected car” industry to make cyclists wear sensors or beacons so they can be detected more easily. Currently, “erratic” cyclists are hard to detect by autonomous vehicles. And pedestrians, too, are often not spotted by a plethora of detection devices on the most tricked-out “driverless cars.”
Of course the example of the lady killed by a self-driving Uber car in Arizona was also trotted out as an example of why pedestrians could benefit from wearing a “vehicle tracker”. While there have been previous iterations of bicycle to vehicle communication systems, “B2V is a new addition to the Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology. C-V2X connects equipped vehicles to a larger communications system allowing them to communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, cyclists and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones.”
It has been pointed out that if cyclists need to have beacons and pedestrians need trackers that “smart” cars are not yet smart. While cycling is growing for health and to get around congestion, Mr. Marsilio stated that the main concern was cycling safety, and the need for communication with other road users, and a good legislative environment was needed for users to adopt tracker technology. Mr. Marsilio observed “Bicycles of the near future will have sensors that will allow cyclists to be detected by car drivers. It’s not a [case] of putting a chip in bodies or to force everybody to have a smart watch, the main idea is to have bicycles equipped with the necessary equipment in order to be able to be connected with all vehicles.”
As expected, there has been plenty of reaction to this story and the motordom based solution to have beacons on all road users. And once again, it shows how the embracing of a new technology can warp the understanding that active transportation users and pedestrians need to be embraced and embedded into a city’s living fabric. Should cyclists and pedestrians be bowing to the new needs of autonomous motordom? Not so much.
The Great Freeway Fight is one of the key mythologies of post-war Vancouver, still referenced as a key to understanding this place. But at exactly the same time – late 1960s to 1972 – a parallel fight was happening in Seattle. While I-5 had been built (and was used explicitly by the Vancouver Planning Commission to oppose the Chinatown Freeway), Seattle citizens were organizing to oppose two more freeways.
The so-called Freeway Revolt didn’t just determine the fate of Seattle’s built environment — halting the development of the proposed R.H. Thomson Expressway and Bay Freeway — it was also a galvanizing force in local politics, according to a new directory released by the Seattle Public Library.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, a broad coalition of activists in Seattle challenged plans for a dense network of freeways traversing and girdling the city. Seattle’s freeway revolt was remarkable in its scope and diversity, uniting geographically, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse groups across the city. Their collective actions over a multi-year period succeeded in halting two major freeways and significantly downsizing a third, saving parks, shoreline and thousands of homes and businesses. …
The freeway revolt was part of a unique period of activism and social change in Seattle, from the anti-war, environmental and Black Power movements to transformation of the Seattle City Council with a “new wave” of political leaders. The well-known “Save the Pike Place Market” initiative passed at the ballot only a few months before voters defeated the R.H. Thomson and Bay Freeways; leaders of the two movements were collaborators and colleagues.
Organizations such as the Seattle Model Cities program, Central Seattle Community Council Federation, Choose an Effective City Council and the Forward Thrust campaign came into being around this time and intersected with the freeway revolt around issues of community empowerment, civic leadership and mass transit.
Multiple Studies Find Ride-Hailing Contributes to Congestion and Transit Losses
Surveys on ride-hailing conducted by regional planning agencies, academic institutions, and public transit agencies throughout the U.S. reviewed by the Associated Press largely led to the same conclusion: more traffic and reduced use of transit.
One of the most comprehensive studies on ride-hailing which surveyed 4,000 users in seven major metropolitan areas was released last October by UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) …
The study “found that a large portion of travelers are substituting ride-hailing in place of public transit, biking, and walking trips, or would not have made the trips at all,” wrote Clewlow
A ridership study [pdf] also released last October by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority … found that “30% of passengers across all modes report that using [ride-hailing] services reduces their use of the MBTA.”
The two studies were among many reviewed by Steve LeBlanc of the Associated Press on Feb. 25. All but one conducted by Seattle-based firm INRIX that evaluated traffic congestion in London found transportation network companies (TNCs) contributing to traffic congestion and transit ridership reductions.
“The emerging consensus is that ride-sharing (is) increasing congestion,” said Christo Wilson, a professor of computer science at Boston’s Northeastern University who has analyzed Uber’s surge pricing.
Here are some practical, on-the-ground thoughts.
Yesterday, we dusted off the Toyota for a trip to White Rock on family business. It wouldn’t start. Dead as a doornail. Called BCAA, who arrived within 15 minutes.
Dead battery. No surprise. But now comes the surprise.
“How often do you drive it ?”, asks the BCAA tech.
“Not much”, I say, “About 1,000 km a year.”
“OK, your battery died from low usage”, he says, “They self-discharge, and when they get low, this can alter battery chemistry too”.
“We see lots of this in the West End. There’s so much within walking distance, and so many choices to get around. Walk, transit, bike — car usage drops and dead batteries are common”. “We’re seeing more of it all over Vancouver, too”, chimes in the BCAA tech’s co-worker.
“What you can do is this: drive it 30-45 minutes a week, or put in a trickle-charger, or else dump it and join a car-share program.” We chat for a few minutes.
Maybe the talk was a slick promo for BCAA’s EVO (I doubt it), but the techs had both clearly researched Car2Go as well. They knew the ins and outs.
While we chatted, the BCAA techs checked the battery carefully and started the car with their booster; we idled it for 45 minutes, then made it out to White Rock and back without incident.
I think its’ time for us to consider a move away from car ownership and towards something else. All because of the “West End Syndrome”. All the transportation choices we use have reduced car dependency to the point that it’s detrimental to the car’s operation. Who knew?
Anyone interested in a Toyota Yaris? Very low mileage.