Uber and Lyft Induced Congestion Give a Preview of Driverless Car Hell

We’ve been fantasizing about self-driving cars for decades; the luxury of napping, watching TV, or reading while a robot car takes us to our destination. The first truly autonomous car debuted in the 1980s from Carnegie Mellon University’s Navlab project, and in the last four decades transportation has rapidly evolved into chauffeur-esque services like Uber and Lyft. But what are the real implications of this impending driverless future? New data from Uber and Lyft might give us a window to our unregulated driverless future: increased congestion and emissions…

New studies show that ride-hailing companies are the biggest contributors to congestion in the San Francisco Bay Area. Uber and Lyft released a joint report last month showing that their services have contributed to a significant increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the main urban cities they operate of up to 13 percent since they started service.