Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Driverless Cars Herald Greener, Cleaner and Quieter New World

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Driverless Cars Herald Greener, Cleaner and Quieter New World

Article excerpt

Byline: David Williams

ADRAMATIC fall in privately owned cars, an exciting new network of green parks housing quiet cycleways, clean air, a vast reduction in road accidents and more time to enjoy life at home or in the workplace.

These are some predictions for London by 2030 if development of the driverless car continues at its present rate and if the city has the willpower to usher in the era of the autonomous car, according to a report by Mark Waterman, head of industrial products at supply chain firm Vendigital.

Based on knowledge of current developments in automated vehicle technologies, his far-sighted report says driverless cars will make the lives of Londoners unrecognisable.

"As well as transforming the way we use the road network, driverless vehicles have the potential to dramatically change our lives for the better in a number of surprising ways," reveals Waterman.

He says personal car ownership will reduce by about 95 per cent as motorists take advantage of on-demand access to high-quality, zero-emission driverless vehicles, leased and managed by Transport for London, to get them from A to B. As a result, the average cost of motoring will reduce from PS3,400 per year to around PS350. The number of cars will fall from 2.6 million to around 1.5 million. Driverless travel will cut commuting times by half, as autonomous cars make more efficient use of the roads.

Commuters will enjoy an average time saving of 37 minutes each day 144 hours a year.

An estimated 20 square miles of real estate (equating to three per cent of the 600 square miles that make up Greater London and worth PS500 billion) will be liberated following the release of street, office and retail parking space. Anticipated usage would include housing, direct retail, manufacturing, offices and free urban green space. "It is possible to envisage an extensive network of safe cycle lanes throughout the capital," says Waterman. …

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