Driverless cars will worsen gridlock in city centres, World Economic Forum warns

Once confined to science fiction, robo-taxis and shuttles that can be summoned through a smartphone will become available in some large cities by the end of this year, according to the agenda-setting organisation, more widely known for its annual meeting in Davos.

Researchers built a sophisticated traffic simulation model based on the American city of Boston, which showed the contrasts between current traffic patterns and future scenarios and found that driverless, on-demand car services will increase traffic, leading travel times to increase by 6 per cent in central parts of the city.