Designing for Humans in the Livable Self-Driving City
As autonomous vehicles force us to rethink cities, we should make sure to center them on people
Shared autonomous electric vehicles are poised to transform the city as we know it. Within the next few years, they could—with the right implementation—begin to reduce crashes and cut carbon emissions. They can also provide cheaper transportation to low-income communities and free up massive amounts of parking space in dense urban areas.
But perhaps most importantly, autonomous vehicles provide an opportunity to reconsider the way we’ve built our cities.
Over the past 60 years, our suburban and urban landscapes have become increasingly centered around cars. The 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act pushed freeways deep into cities and brought about the modern phenomenon of vast urban sprawl. The growth of suburbia fueled the 20th century American Dream and aimed to provide new levels of freedom and mobility to all Americans through detached single-family homes, spacious lawns and the private automobile.
By Robert Young
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