With current occupancy averaging around 1.1 riders per vehicle, rising to even 1.2 could eliminate congestion in many cities. That marginal math cuts both ways: 1.0 or lower means gridlock. That’s why autonomous vehicle advancement alarms transportation planners: Robot ride-sharing puts zero-occupancy vehicles in motion, on their way to and from rides or simply cruising for fares.
What’s the solution? Totally old school, writes one high-occupancy tech exec: Employ the existing hierarchy that favors vehicles carrying more people. Don’t give AVs access to, say, carpool lanes without humans inside.
Read OZY’s Immodest Proposal on congestion pricing.