Transportation experts say car-congested cities could become a thing of the past, provided people are prepared to ride-share with a robot driver.
A study published Thursday by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggests that widespread use of “taxibots” could cut by 90 percent the number of cars needed to perform the same number of journeys per day.
Researchers used data from Lisbon, Portugal, to simulate how such self-driving, communal cabs would affect traffic. Even with only one passenger per ride and no complementary public transport, the number of cars still dropped by 77 percent.
The authors said replacing personal cars with self-driving cabs would also free valuable real estate currently used for public parking, equivalent to over 200 soccer fields in Lisbon’s case.