engineering careers  Could Self-driving cars free up an enormous amount of room in our cities?
engineering careers  Could Self-driving cars free up an enormous amount of room in our cities?

A fascinating study by two British engineering firms, Farrells and WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff (which looked at how London’s streets might be entirely redesigned) points to a future where our overcrowded cities might be completed transformed to have more open public spaces.

wsppb-farrells-av-whitepaper-19

It isn’t difficult to see that cars take up way too much space in cities. However, the study looks at a future where we would use shared autonomous vehicles (AVs) instead of owning our own cars. This version of self-driving cars sees you call for an AV, and it zipping right to your door.

Not only would this save a huge amount of space, as there would a smaller number of cars in total, but self-driving technology would mean those cars on the road would take up less collective space. Nestle closer together without fear of rear-ending each other.

1

The study points out that a city like London could gain another 15% to 20% of developable area; “of the estimated 8,000 hectares of central London land occupied by parked cars today, it is reasonable to assume that 50-70% — potentially more than 5,000 hectares — could be released once AVs are commonly in use”.

While the report might be something of a utopian daydream – it does showcase what a revolution self-driving technology could offer across many different areas of our lives.


For a more in-depth analysis of the report take a look at Vox’s ““Cars take up way too much space in cities. New technology could change that” which looks at the study alongside other schemes set to revolutionise our cities.