A thought experiment that intrigued Clive Rock – from the BBC:
Mike Hearn … a Zurich-based software developer is both an ex-Google engineer and one of the leading Bitcoin software developers. …
Emancipated automobiles sounds like a crazy concept. But the man advocating the idea goes further: he thinks they’ll have babies. …
At the heart of his vision is the idea that once driverless cars become commonplace, most people won’t want or need to own a vehicle any more. And in a world dominated by self-steering taxis, each ride becomes cheaper if the vehicles are autonomous rather than owned and run by major corporations.
Instead of controlling which car goes where via proprietary software, the cars would communicate with people and the surrounding infrastructure via a new internet-based commerce system, he dubs the Tradenet.
“You would be using an app that goes onto Tradenet and says: ‘Here I am, this is where I want to go, give me your best offers,'” the developer says.
“The autonomous taxis out there would then submit their best prices, and that might be based on how far away they are, how much fuel they have, the quality of their programming.
“Eventually you pick one – or your phone does it for you – and it’s not just by the cheapest price, but whether the car has a good track record of actually completing rides successfully and how nice a vehicle it is.”
More realistically – from SustainableCitiesCollective:
What Do Driverless Cars Mean for Suburban Planning?
Probably the biggest change is the demise of the large parking lot. These huge slabs of asphalt dominate suburban commercial landscapes, often taking up 80 percent of commercial parcels. They dominate the streetscape, and arterial suburban roads are lined with them. Without personal vehicles to park, there’s no need for a parking lot. That land could be put to productive use.
With a transportation system that’s five times as efficient, too, there’s little need for wide arterial roads packed with single-occupant vehicles. As well, without human drivers, there’s no need for “forgiving engineering” focused on driver psychology and driver needs. We can narrow lanes from 12 feet (freeway width) down to 10 feet or even 9.5 feet and have the same vehicle capacity and speed. There would rarely be a need for roads wider than 2 lanes in the suburbs.
So, we can wave goodbye to parking lots and wide arterial roads.