Despite the chattering on the web about the May 7 fatal crash of a Tesla that was operating on a Florida highway under the control of its Autopilot software, there is nothing definitive to be learned about the event until the NHTSA investigation is finished with its conclusions and recommendations. That is, unless Tesla releases… Read More


These two notes re Uber in Toronto  are taken from page 7 (Road Transportation) of the May 2016 Transportation Information Update (No. 141) prepared by Joseph Monteiro and Gerald Robertson for the Canadian Transportation Research Forum and distributed to CILTNA’s members with permission. UberX will be allowed to operate legally in Toronto, city council decides… Read More


A paper by Grush and Niles has been named Runner-up for the best conference paper at the 2016 annual Canadian Transportation Research Forum in Toronto. The paper, “How cities can use autonomous vehicles to increase transit ridership and reduce household vehicle ownership” was one of 100 papers presented at the conference. From the Introduction: Automated… Read More


This TVO video is starting to show a balanced discussion between private ownership and public service vehicles, but still somewhat blurred as possible futures.  Cherise Burda held out the strongest for planning the world we want rather than waiting to see.  To Steve Paikin’s consistent credit, his guests were worth hearing from. This video from… Read More


It is important to question the assertion that fully autonomous vehicles will be available in showrooms for household consumption by 2020. This seems to be implied in marketing language used by automakers and suppliers and Silicon Valley and is often passed on uncritically by journalists and commenters. Fully autonomous, SAE Level 5 means that no… Read More


A video article from the Motley Fool: “Monetizing the Autonomous Car: A Long and Winding Road” refers to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute called: “Automated Vehicle Crash Rate Comparison Using Naturalistic Data”.  One of the speakers on the video, Armun Asgari, at time=4:15, says the Virginia Tech report shows that Google Self-driving… Read More


Should you take the view ‘if we hold back and wait for a few years then autonomous vehicles will cure all our problems’,  reading the opinions of two experts in the field (see page 62 and page 64) may make you think again. Caught between a tide of rising population, increasing urbanisation and ever-tighter budgetary constraints, today’s DOTs are no place for the… Read More


One of us recently attended an Automated Vehicle conference and compiled these comments. Because we are fairly critical of much current AV-thinking, we decided against disclosing which conference or which speakers/attendees we describe. We thought that prudent and fair, even if lacking in courage. No one yet understands how the autonomous vehicle future will roll… Read More


The fully autonomous vehicle (driverless, SAE Level 5) holds enormous promise for greater safety and greater efficiency for personal, private travel (household vehicle, robocab). This efficiency may apply to personal time, family expense, environmental harm, reduced congestion, fewer parking bays, lower crash costs, more livable urban design, lower household ownership, and many other anticipated effects.… Read More


A couple of years ago, John Niles and I started writing, blogging, and speaking about getting ready for autonomous vehicles. We called this work, collectively, The End Of Driving in recognition of our certainty that technology would displace the driver just as the automobile had replaced the horse. We’re still certain of this. Then, as… Read More


Many people tend to think about robotic mobility as nestled within our existing world of household vehicles, potholes, congestion and complex intersections. Others describe it in the context of a far-Jetsons future when no one living will even remember what it must have been like to own or drive a car. Neither of these perspectives… Read More


Some New Thoughts on Autonomous Vehicles [By Bob Poole, Reason Foundation. From: Surface Transportation Innovations #145, November 2015. Reprinted with permission.] Autonomous vehicles keep making news, with three October stories highlighting important questions. First, a Google self-driving car (the little pod without a steering wheel) was stopped by a traffic cop in Mountain View, CA for driving… Read More


Massive fleets of shared autonomous vehicles are desired and expected in the future. Rather than waiting and hoping for feature creep in privately-owned automobiles to evolve somehow into consumer demand for mobility in shared autonomous vehicles, the desired outcome will be realized sooner if public and private enterprises start now to deploy available, automated transit… Read More


Seventeen years after Singapore installed its electronic road pricing system, twelve years after the London Congestion Charge was implemented, ten years after Germany began tolling trucks on its highways, eight years after Stockholm installed its congestion charging system, and even after several other countries and cities have installed successful, effective, wide-area congestion pricing systems for… Read More


How realistic are the interpretations of several robo-taxi simulations made in the US, Sweden, and Portugal since 2012? Can we rely on these as discoveries to help indicate the size and range of robo fleets that might be possible? A recent OECD-sponsored International Transport Forum report regarding a robotaxi simulation in Lisbon Portugal builds on… Read More


Three important and interrelated questions being asked about cities and cars today are: How can we create more livable and sustainable communities with a more intelligent mix of mobility modes including walking, biking, transit use and planning such as Complete Streets? How can we reduce the environmental harm generated by motor vehicles independently of how… Read More


Will AVs [1] mean more or fewer household vehicles? Will they generate more VMT [2] or less? Promote more or less PMT [3]? Opinions range widely from “AVs will be clean and generally shared so no one would want to own one” to “AVs will be so useful and desirable that VMT and PMT will both… Read More


The AV arguably may be a key innovation for 21st century automobility, but it is not “the one” that will really matter. Rather it is an enabler in a massive network of innovations most of which are as yet incomplete or unknown—certainly very few of them are fully conceived and none are built. Many of… Read More


It is easy to get excited about the promises made about autonomous vehicles.  Excited either way, I mean. For or against. But who do you believe? Someone who promises general availability by 2020 sounds a tad optimistic. (Have you noticed 2017 isn’t mentioned as much any more—this in spite of the fact that some autonomous vehicles are operating in… Read More