Driverless cars have become a reality in the streets of San Fransisco, extensive research has added credibility to driverless cars being viable globally. Recently His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (king of Dubai), announced the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy – “by 2030, 25% of all trips in Dubai will be driverless”. Indeed a great vision from a visionary leader who has transformed Dubai into what it is today.
He also invited RFP from global R&D centers to design such a solution. A quick array of thoughts ran across my mind as I read this. Thought of sharing, how I can envision this solution? (combining solutions that we already see)
Everyone hails rides from the Autonomous system
Let’s say people don’t need to own a car anymore. They don’t need to pay for purchasing it, maintaining it, buying fuel. Cabbing just gets that cheaper when there’s no driver involved. Maintenance costs lower for the provider because there’s just one “Autonomous system of cars”.
Autonomous system enforces Sharing rides
Government does force people to do things already, let’s say Government enforces “Sharing” rides in this Autonomous transportation system. All those cars that you see on the road with a single passenger reduces by a 3rd. If you are in a hurry you better plan ahead, as you already do due to traffic congestion.
Traffic Management inspired by Hub & Spoke
Let’s say everyone hails rides and gets routed into hubs and moves in batches from the hubs through dedicated lanes to other hubs. Think of it as how you would catch your local rail or metro. The combinations of traffic movements are limited. People route through dedicated lanes between hubs and then spoke into their respective destinations. The autonomous system is organized and schedules every driverless car to optimize travel time. If there’s a breakdown somewhere the system knows about it and re-routes traffic optimizing for time.
Driverless system with no Jerks around
Say we are going 100% driverless. In this autonomous system, driverless cars need not be designed to take care of those Jerks who break the rules. You don’t need to create driverless cars that can safe guard against the mistakes of other human drivers. It just seams so much more safer and controlled now!
I believe I might not be alone with these array of thoughts. As the picture shared by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on announcing the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, reflected a peek into his vision, looking very similar to what I could envision. (probably a guess)
I hope you are thrilled to wait for 2030, to witness the results of the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy. We can also hope for more leaders to follow suit globally.