The Future Of Transportation Must Be A “Connected” One

In the recent past, there was a perception that when autonomous vehicles (AVs) were on the streets, a “driverless utopia” would soon follow. That utopia consisted of a reduction of fatal auto accidents, the declining need for parking garages close to city centers, the ability to relax in a car while commuting, and the maximum use of commuter vehicles that sit idle most of the working day. Unfortunately, reality has dictated otherwise, as can be seen with the initial introduction of autonomous robotaxis in cities like San Francisco and vehicles with similar advanced autonomous features like Tesla’s Autopilot, which recently is subject to a massive recall for deficiencies in failing to prevent drivers from using it when they are not in control of the vehicle or where Autopilot isn’t designed to be used.

What’s the problem? Mixing advanced technology vehicles on roads that are not yet equipped to handle them and with unpredictable human behavior has produced an ambitious but equally toxic cocktail without regard for on-the-ground reality…

The solution is for AVs to have a real purpose. And, at least during their initial rollout, that purpose should primarily focus on “connectivity”: AVs should be connected to the current transportation echo system to enhance other existing and expanding transportation options, such as public transit.

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