U.K. City Is Designing a Future of Fewer Cars — By Focusing on Its Roads

If all goes as planned, by 2018, Milton Keynes’ downtown will be served by an on-demand, publicly run system of 30 to 40 driverless two-seater pod cars, which will allow residents to travel between any two points in the city’s downtown without navigating or reacting to obstacles themselves. Beyond the city center, the trials will also test the viability of semi-autonomous connected cars for private use, a fast-developing technology that at present still requires a driver to be present in case of emergencies. These trials, announced in early 2015, are striking in their own right but also came simultaneously with another significant announcement. In March, Milton Keynes Council rejected the idea of building a tram or monorail line, citing high costs, disruption and potential inefficiency. For now at least, Milton Keynes believes that when it comes to exploring the future of greener, safer transport, vehicles for individuals are a better bet than pumping money into mass transit.