1) In order for AV to be effective and yield safety results (VisionAV0) for cars, bikes, and peds, you need a new roadway INFRASTRUCTURE, a smart one, and that also separates the modes of travel.
2) No longer is it safe to mix pedestrians, bikes, and cars / trucks in the same real estate on the roads, without barriers or grade separations. Our accident rates and data prove this. They are going up in recent years despite new traffic controls, and are currently unacceptable. 40K fatalities each year in the USA is a terrible statistic, unacceptable, and status quo is no longer acceptable especially when we CAN find a solution(s).
3) New solutions are required. It will require planning and engineering coordination at all levels of government... civil engineering and transportation planning to bring this together in a meaningful and effective way. While I don't necessarily agree with Bill Ford's assessment that this will take lots of time, it doesn't have to...because as a Traffic Engineer who's main goal is the safe movement of people, I want to see safety first, capacity and throughput second. We have a huge safety problem NOW. We need to take action for safety's sake, use the latest technology, not put lipstick on a pig, but redesign and retool our infrastructure in smart ways... and AV can help and is in fact, the answer to our safety problem.
Daimler Mercedes Benz is one of the leaders in AV. Thinking away ahead, and planning, implementing. Thinking society too.
GM is Launching Robocars with NO STEERING WHEELS or PEDALS next year in 2019.
In case anyone is wondering how fast this is coming... GM is also in the running. But there many others. In fact, ALL car companies are in on the action and are attempting to define how this is all going to play out, because their very existence depends on it. And in their defense, they own it, they are in the driver's seat. They have the vehicle technology which is so advanced, that companies like Apple and Google are literally playing catch up. While Google and Apple think about and work on making software that controls some robotics in the car, the real tech is in the engine,
from the WIRED article:
"After more than a century making vehicles for humans to drive, General Motors has ripped the heart out of its latest ride, and is now holding the grisly spectacle up for all the world to see: A car with no steering wheel. And it plans to put a fleet of these newfangled things to work in a taxi-like service, somewhere in the US, next year.
And no, this robo-chariot, a modified all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, doesn't have pedals either. This is GM's truly driverless debut, a car that will have to handle the world on its own. No matter what happens, you, dear human passenger, cannot help it now.
Terrifying? Maybe. But it's also a major step in GM’s aggressive bid to maintain its big dog status as the auto industry evolves away from individual ownership and flesh-and-blood drivers. And it’s just the beginning for the Detroit stalwart. “We’ve put together four generations of autonomous vehicles over the course of 18 months,” says Dan Ammann, GM’s president. “You can safely assume that the fourth generation won’t be the last.”
While Waymo, Uber, and others in this..." (read more at WIRED.COM)
Grant Johnson, registered Traffic Engineer, shares insights and experiences from around the world.