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Slight tangent on "autonomous vehicle" and their impact to "traffic" : Autonomous vehicle is only increasing efficiency. The hard limit is still set in stone at their physical capabilities and the infrastructural dimension and characteristics. For instance, I question a simple flat intersection has the same capacity as a roundabout - and I bet they're nowhere near the capacity of a four-stack interchange.

If anything, we already have autonomous "cars". Today.

 

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5 hours ago, YNM said:

Slight tangent on "autonomous vehicle" and their impact to "traffic" : Autonomous vehicle is only increasing efficiency. The hard limit is still set in stone at their physical capabilities and the infrastructural dimension and characteristics. For instance, I question a simple flat intersection has the same capacity as a roundabout - and I bet they're nowhere near the capacity of a four-stack interchange.

If anything, we already have autonomous "cars". Today.

 

I was avoiding this thread, but what was the intent of this video? I have to say the many city planners want to do away with freeways systems in the heart of the central business system because of its untenability in expanding cities. No city ever says I will get the size of New York City, but if they are successful they will, then look at New York city for its transportation system, where are the personal cars. Even bicycles are not commonly used. Autonomous vehicles do not solve the problem either, they are just a want. Autonomous taxi's might be useful.

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1 hour ago, PB666 said:

Autonomous vehicles do not solve the problem either, they are just a want. Autonomous taxi's might be useful.

Many, possibly most autonomous cars will in fact be shared, that's kind of the point. 99.99% of the time, every car is idle. Wake up, drive to work. Park. Leave work, drive home. Park. Repeat. The odd errand thrown in.

What self-driving allows is for cars as a subscriber serive for some, or for people to own cars, but allow them to be used by others while idle, offsetting the cost of the vehicle. My wife would pretty much always need a car that we have 100% access to (in case she has to take someone to the OR as an emergency), but for most of us, we could loan the car out.

Some might say, "Yuck, I'm not letting strangers in my car!" I can totally see this, I like the inside of the car clean. I could have the app for my car only allow a tiny subset of people to use it, though. Perhaps I only allow people in my contact list with a certain button checked use it. Cars could have internal cameras, and each user gets rated by hygiene, etc. Leave a mess, and most self-driving cars start ignoring you.

This seems like taxis, but it will be a whole, new paradigm, I think.

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2 minutes ago, tater said:

Many, possibly most autonomous cars will in fact be shared, that's kind of the point. 99.99% of the time, every car is idle. Wake up, drive to work. Park. Leave work, drive home. Park. Repeat. The odd errand thrown in.

Its good for me because I own a truck, but mostly I don't drive it, getting the car out of the driveway is a good thing.

People tend to accumulate junk in cars over time, their new car they will keep clean for a few weeks, then after that its wasted. So probably it would stay clean, and you would have the car go to a service site every few hours to be detailed and put back on the road. One of the solutions my family had that saved time and money (particularly for you people) was they would park at my house and I would drive 3 or 4 people to work. Given the cost of parking it smart to spread the cost out. But another solution to the crowding problem is to put a higher value on living close to work and put a higher tariff on living far from work. Even if you have autonomous cars being shared it does not get rid of the commute problem.

Here we had nice farmland south of the city, prone to flooding but people would build these planned communities. The houses got built and then all of a sudden, within 4 years traffic went from being a small to a huge problem. Many people I knew that moved into big houses in new suburbia, moved into much smaller houses more expensive houses in town. Big houses can be big head-aches there are intangible cost to complicating your life with big commutes. The reason this happened is that cities manage development, typically if a metro sprawls out of its county then there is essentially no planning in the adjacent county for a decade or more. There are no trains that go to those areas, no public buses, . . . .IOW people get forced onto the road or very expensive private transportation systems. So the solution is really reactive mass transit, 6 people need a ride from points A,B,C,D,E,F close to point P to point Q close to destination U,V,W,X,Y,Z,  where between P and Q is some overcrowded corridor. So cars are dispatched picking up A'B, C'D, E'F (you could even have people bicycling to point P) and brings them to P where they get in car, use the HOV lane, get off, head to destination point Q again redistribute the passengers (maybe a bike-share in centers) to U'V, W'X, Y'Z and then to final destinations.

Another benefit of a properly structured route is that you can use all electric cars, they drive a set distance, recharge, drive the same set distance back, recharge . . . . . .Thus you can get rid of pollutants. And because they are small they don't have the problem of trains (traffic obstruction in redesigning unplanned cities) and buses (obstruction of traffic).

IM all for this but the problem is that people are married to cars, and they really don't think about this kind of economization.

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2 minutes ago, PB666 said:

IM all for this but the problem is that people are married to cars, and they really don't think about this kind of economization.

They won't have to.

Say you buy a self-driving car. Your brand is tied to a ride-sharing app (or apps) of your choice (uber, lyft, whatever). As the car owner, you have a setup for your vehicle. You might say that you don't want it used at night (drunks, etc). You free the car only after 8:30 am or something (it drives you to work, via the kids' school, for example). It then takes rides for $$, but it is set such that it takes no rides that cannot guarantee it is back in your office parking lot at 5:30. You might have it tied to your calendar app, so that on a given Tuesday it makes sure to be at one school to take one of your kids to practice, then back to work, then it takes you to see the last 30 minutes of practice OTW home, etc.

This can be made really easy for people to customize. It could simply be blackout periods where the car finds a place to land someplace within X km of wherever your phone is, for example.

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3 hours ago, PB666 said:

I was avoiding this thread, but what was the intent of this video? I have to say the many city planners want to do away with freeways systems in the heart of the central business system because of its untenability in expanding cities. No city ever says I will get the size of New York City, but if they are successful they will, then look at New York city for its transportation system, where are the personal cars. Even bicycles are not commonly used. Autonomous vehicles do not solve the problem either, they are just a want. Autonomous taxi's might be useful.

... And that's where you'll just descend down to unsolvable problems. California-style.

NYC has a metro. The Netherlands has a rail system. Traffic on the road can be moved to public transport, and the reach of each transit station can be expanded with the involvement of biking. I'm not suggesting everyone to bike the entirety of their 15 km (10 mi) commute to work - but you could use it to ease stuff.

The Netherlands do have their expressways. Just not in the cities.

 

EDIT : I'm well-aware of the idea for car-based PRT, but they still takes more space than, say, a double-decker bus. If anything, why not an autonomous bus ?

Edited by YNM

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2 minutes ago, YNM said:

... And that's where you'll just descend down to unsolvable problems.

Everything is solvable with proper planning, its just that the nature of elected and appointed planners tends to not make them very good at solving things. People put subways in Tokyo, which doesn't seem like a problem until you realize that most of the subterranean part of the system is below sea-level _AND_ it is one of the most seismically active places in the world _AND_ the soil in Tokyo is notorious for undergoing liquefaction during Earthquakes. But with the right clearances and engineering you can get it to work and survive Earthquakes (although the great Kanto is yet to come). I been on Tokyo subway a few times, you can see some of the mitigate engineering, its a rather utilitarian system. . . not much of  a tourist thing, but it works.

But then I hit the nail on the Head. People wonder "how do people survive in Japan without cars". If you lived in Japan a long time you might wander why people in the US go everywhere in their cars. In Japan you get out of your house, you walk to a train station, meh 6 or 7 minutes later your at a distribution center, and then maybe a shinkansen after about 3 minutes buying a ticket,  . . . . .and then you are within an hour at a destination 250 km away, and then you stop, grab your gear, walk or take  a taxi to your final.

In the US, you get in your car, drive 30 minutes to an Airport, 15 minutes or more to park your car, wait for 1.5 hours to get on a flight, fly for 45 minutes, wait for the airplane to unload, go through security and/or retrieve your bag, hail a taxi drive another 30 minutes to your destination. You spend twice as much time, and probably paid in total (time and expense) 50% more.

Sometimes Japan is surreal. I remember a trip one time between Kochi and another city along the inland sea, you get on the train, and then the train stops, and you are dropped on a makeshift platform in the middle of nowhere (and if there is a nowhere in Japan, I found it). And you wait, and wait, and wait . . .a farmer walks buy and offers to sell you some oranges. .and you wait some more, and wait. And then a rail-bus comes (a single car slightly bigger than a school bus) and you go off  into the 'late paleolithic' and for an hour or and then you see a person, then another person, and finally at your destination you see more than afew people. BUt even that, despite the apparent backwards-ness of it all, still works. 

Problems get solved when people have a great desire to solve them. Some times the solutions are simple and sometimes sophisticated, but with no planning there is one solution, every man for himself . . .and inevitably your have freeways with intersections that are 20 x 20 lanes wide with the highest hiway death fatality rates per mile that one can dream of. For me when I look at one of those monstrosities what my mind sees is the end of the world.

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2 hours ago, PB666 said:

People wonder "how do people survive in Japan without cars".

They... don't ? Look at their major cities, you'll find loads and loads of amazingly built expressways. I've been told that they all have cars by my lecturer who studied there. It's just that they don't use their cars all the time. They'll use their cars when going to holidays and such I think.

 

EDIT : And there's one I forgot to mention : if you have a car you have to provide the parking space on your premise. Otherwise no car.

Edited by YNM

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Major metro areas are one thing, but mass transit is a non-starter where I live. The drive downtown is 24km, and takes about as many minutes in a car. Transit would in its most optimistic form take twice that amount of time. The altitude change is about 500m, too. Biking is certainly possible, but rather more of a workout than dead flat at sea level.

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@tater Then I guess yours haven't need one yet. Though having the infra would be useful when it's needed later.

50 minutes for 24 km sounds quite long. I think ours is the same still, but there's a train at least every 10 minutes (could be down to 2) and the equivalent journey time by car at peak hours can be upwards of 2 hours.

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1 hour ago, YNM said:

They... don't ? Look at their major cities, you'll find loads and loads of amazingly built expressways. I've been told that they all have cars by my lecturer who studied there. It's just that they don't use their cars all the time. They'll use their cars when going to holidays and such I think.

To parties, maybe airport, shop owners running errands etc. In Japan the expressways are an afterthought and they a-r-e expensive. Not everyone has cars, one of the neighborhoods I stayed in only 2 of 5 houses had a car, 2 had a motor scooter, one was an elderly woman. Its different, if you want to go to the shopping mall, most of these are integrated with the major train stations (so no benefit there). If you want to go out to dinner, alot of them are either walking distance, close to a train station. Grocery stores, usually there is on close to the train station, but they are in walking distances, smaller, more compact, and more of them. We wanted to go to a restaurant (one of those hole in the wall 5 star things) we had to take a bus, you could park, thats not the problem, but its just so much of a hassle to drive. Also you need to have a car park, because the streets are a US  drive way wide and there is no room on the side to park. The cars are quite a bit smaller than ours, this allows them to fit in make shift driveways. Then there is driving in the country, and it can be a real chore, speed limits on Japanese hiways are typically 40 to 50 km/h which is 25 to 30 mph, and you might think that is bad, but some of the roads are like a bucket of snakes, i takes hours to go short distances some time. So you pay.  Typically when we drove, we had an agenda, we went to this open market, that park, this restaurant, that seafood house, this specialty shop . . . . . . Once your are out and on the move you connect the dots. When you travel they will tell you, take this bus, its faster than train, or don't take the bus, takes five hours (its stops at residences along the way) and train takes 2.

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3 hours ago, tater said:

Many, possibly most autonomous cars will in fact be shared, that's kind of the point. 99.99% of the time, every car is idle. Wake up, drive to work. Park. Leave work, drive home. Park. Repeat. The odd errand thrown in.

What self-driving allows is for cars as a subscriber serive for some, or for people to own cars, but allow them to be used by others while idle, offsetting the cost of the vehicle. My wife would pretty much always need a car that we have 100% access to (in case she has to take someone to the OR as an emergency), but for most of us, we could loan the car out.

Some might say, "Yuck, I'm not letting strangers in my car!" I can totally see this, I like the inside of the car clean. I could have the app for my car only allow a tiny subset of people to use it, though. Perhaps I only allow people in my contact list with a certain button checked use it. Cars could have internal cameras, and each user gets rated by hygiene, etc. Leave a mess, and most self-driving cars start ignoring you.

This seems like taxis, but it will be a whole, new paradigm, I think.

That will solve the parking problem, car is either used by others or it drive somewhere outside of downtown to park.
If anything it will increase traffic as parking is no longer an issue and the same car does more driving. 
Shared cars can simply be an couple sharing it, you probably get more car pool groups.
 

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1 minute ago, magnemoe said:

That will solve the parking problem, car is either used by others or it drive somewhere outside of downtown to park.
If anything it will increase traffic as parking is no longer an issue and the same car does more driving. 
Shared cars can simply be an couple sharing it, you probably get more car pool groups.

Me and my wife share her car, when I am the driver, and because I am the driver:wink:

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Yeah, it will not solve traffic, except that certain issues will cease to exist. There is a spot on I-25, for example, where traffic reliably slows, which creates a nasty wave going a few miles in each direction. It's a lane ending, and most humans are pretty lousy about efficiently merging. Self-driving cars will be more reliable in this sense.

Take a lane ending for an accident, or construction. The most efficient merge is to let alternate cars in right at the last minute. The problem is some people merge early (slowing traffic), then they don't want to let anyone ahead of them, and it gets ugly. Computers won't be spiteful drivers.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

It's a lane ending

... which means it's a bottleneck. It'll stay as a bottleneck...

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34 minutes ago, YNM said:

... which means it's a bottleneck. It'll stay as a bottleneck...

Yeah, true, but people's reaction to a bottleneck is not rational. Look at accidents. Traffic southbound will drag to a crawl when there is an accident---on the northbound side. People slow to look at the emergency vehicles, etc. This causes huge backup, for nothing at all. They could look left briefly at full speed, no need to slow to 20 to rubberneck.

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28 minutes ago, YNM said:

... which means it's a bottleneck. It'll stay as a bottleneck...

Yes, but autonomous and communicating cars will at least make thing go more smoothly, to a maximum limit. The problem around here is where an on-ramp merges onto our two-lane "freeway" :rolleyes:. Yes, traffic needs to slow down a bit and move over where possible and such. But as soon as one person spikes the brakes due to inattention or being cut off, then that wave of brake lights travels back and gums everything up.  At least computers should be able to avoid that and make things flow more smoothly.

I think that private car ownership will cease o be a thing for all but the wealthy. You request a car service and pay based on the passenger capacity of the vehicle and directness of the trip, perhaps based on subscription levels. The cars, vans, and buses etc return to service centers between trips for service and cleaning as needed.

3 minutes ago, tater said:

Yeah, true, but people's reaction to a bottleneck is not rational. Look at accidents. Traffic southbound will drag to a crawl when there is an accident---on the northbound side. People slow to look at the emergency vehicles, etc. This causes huge backup, for nothing at all. They could look left briefly at full speed, no need to slow to 20 to rubberneck.

Another thing computers will be immune to while passengers can gawk all they want at 130kph

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30 minutes ago, tater said:

Look at accidents.

Doesn't zero out, though I'll point that some of the obligations I've seen on Highways England includes 0 fatality, so I'll say they'll increase efficiency.

27 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Yes, but autonomous and communicating cars will at least make thing go more smoothly, to a maximum limit.

That maximum limit is traffic flow after = traffic flow before. In a given time interval, capacity before =capacity after. Assuming 2 lane merge into one, that means less (half) capacity than "standard maximum" (no merge/bottleneck) on before (leave a space for the other car) or half as fast speeds. Hasn't change.

If everything goes soo smooth, you're just approaching fluid/liquid flow. Not an extraneous magic.

Also, if we're talking people density, obviously the easiest way is just to let people walk on their own. Or get them in a massive vessel. Which is what public transport is... Not in puny vessels that can only get 3-4 people comfortably or 10 very dangerously.

Edited by YNM

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Merging traffic with human drivers is nothing at all like efficient. Or people in the left lane not passing. Honestly, in urban areas it's so much worse than Albuquerque. We complain if it takes 5 minutes extra to get someplace 20 miles away because it's rush hour. In LA, the traffic is... horrific. Bad enough for wasted time, but if I could read this forum and type stuff instead of driving (if I lived in LA), it would be fine. The difference of course is speed. Slow downs cause more slow downs, even when not needed A single person needlessly stepping on the brakes causes a chain reaction, even if their actual slow down is imperceptible, the cars behind brake differently, and a jam is created.

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Spoiler
28 minutes ago, tater said:

in urban areas it's so much worse than Albuquerque. We complain if it takes 5 minutes extra to get someplace 20 miles away because it's rush hour. In LA, the traffic is... horrific.

Easy rider.

1960s
easyrider_3078291b.jpg

2010s
150330112015-mexico-city-traffic-780x439stock-photo-tired-asian-business-woman-s

 

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1 hour ago, tater said:

Merging traffic with human drivers is nothing at all like efficient. Or people in the left lane not passing. Honestly, in urban areas it's so much worse than Albuquerque. We complain if it takes 5 minutes extra to get someplace 20 miles away because it's rush hour. In LA, the traffic is... horrific. Bad enough for wasted time, but if I could read this forum and type stuff instead of driving (if I lived in LA), it would be fine. The difference of course is speed. Slow downs cause more slow downs, even when not needed A single person needlessly stepping on the brakes causes a chain reaction, even if their actual slow down is imperceptible, the cars behind brake differently, and a jam is created.

Traffic flow on roads is maximized at around 18 km/h (10 mph). Above this, there's more empty space for safety (you might think somehow you can get rid of this with autonomous vehicles but I assure it won't - much like how higher speed creates less pressure in fluids), below this the throughput is simply hindered by the velocity despite the possibly increased density.

Traffic jam is simply caused by the output being greater than the input, no matter what that is. As often shown in illustration, this could simply be because of sudden decrease in overall velocity.

But here's the thing : this value (18 km/h) barely changes whoever is at the helm. It doesn't mean that suddenly, you can have a pack of vehicle going very close at high speeds - there's a good reason why people have to train to fly planes in formation, or to make any formation at all, and why they're avoided in general usage.

So yeah, I'm skeptical you could arm a congested city with a fleet of autonomous vehicle and receive a massive boost in traffic flow.

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Also they now make flamethrowers.
Because Boring is all about the tunnels.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

Spoiler

14f292111cc96d837ab171b7903bd7c9.jpg

 

Another tool for a Martian colonist.

Spoiler

maxresdefault.jpg

 

Now I understand why the BF(MartianShip) takes fuel only one way, and what are they going to make methane of...

Edited by kerbiloid

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I recently moved to one of the largest cities in the US, and I'm seeing lots of ride-sharing systems crop up left and right that will probably end up being integrated directly into car autonomy. Maven's car-sharing, and the fact that you can now get an Uber from just about anywhere in the city within 5-10 minutes. 

Electric cars REALLY need to be self-driving, because of the charging issue.

 

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7 hours ago, YNM said:

Traffic flow on roads is maximized at around 18 km/h (10 mph). Above this, there's more empty space for safety (you might think somehow you can get rid of this with autonomous vehicles but I assure it won't - much like how higher speed creates less pressure in fluids), below this the throughput is simply hindered by the velocity despite the possibly increased density.

Traffic jam is simply caused by the output being greater than the input, no matter what that is. As often shown in illustration, this could simply be because of sudden decrease in overall velocity.

But here's the thing : this value (18 km/h) barely changes whoever is at the helm. It doesn't mean that suddenly, you can have a pack of vehicle going very close at high speeds - there's a good reason why people have to train to fly planes in formation, or to make any formation at all, and why they're avoided in general usage.

So yeah, I'm skeptical you could arm a congested city with a fleet of autonomous vehicle and receive a massive boost in traffic flow.

Yeah, you're talking about actual urban areas (walking cities, like NYC, etc), my "city" is a western, spread out city. Like LA, only far smaller. Many western cities are like this, so think LA, not London.

ABQ is maybe 40x30km, with ~600,000 people (and another couple hundred thousand spread out farther). It's almost homogeneously populated, too, and the "downtown" is not where most people actually work (the largest single employers are the school system, and Sandia National Labs).

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