How self-driving cars can make cities better

It means taking into account the decreased travel times that SAEVs will enable, which will in turn reduce demand for new roads; improving existing roads will take priority. It means taking into account the radically reduced parking needs of a fleet of self-driving (and self-charging) vehicles, using the freed-up land to make cities more livable. It means rethinking road design, taking advantage of the safety SAEVs offer to “rebalance the use of the right-of-way, with less space for cars and more space for people walking, cycling, using transit, and recreating.” It means using SAEVs to serve rather than supplant public transit, “by providing first and last mile connections to major transit lines via shared, automated vehicles, and by providing cost-effective, on-demand transit in lieu of low-performing fixed routes.” And it means involving city officials in the technological and regulatory planning process from the very beginning, so urban needs can guide development.