Let’s Use Self-Driving Cars to Fix America’s Busted Infrastructure

For the last 15 years, Oregon has been exploring a replacement to the gas tax based on vehicle miles traveled, a more accurate and fairer way to make sure drivers pay for the roads they enjoy. In the Oregon pilot project, a volunteer plugs a device into their vehicle that records miles driven and fuel consumed, and is sent an invoice or a refund depending on the state gas tax already paid at the pump.
That same data collection, reporting, and debiting could come standard in new cars tomorrow, providing a payment platform that could be used to pay for insurance, parking, existing tolls, and other location-based services. Integration of this miles traveled charge into market-ready and emerging vehicle technology can provide data to drive transportation planning decisions.