When I was a child I had a book that dreamed the future.  One of the things in that book were cars that drove down highways (driverless) on a kind of inbuilt steel rail.  Of course this came to nothing.  But wait over the past few years technology leapt ahead & now Google cars are getting around Silicon Valley.  One report I read recently said they have 10 cars on the road there 24/7.  They have now done 300,000 miles.  Two accidents.  One hit by another car and the 2nd when the Google car was being driven by a human.  These cars are now up to 70 mph  on the road. 

We all know about the cars that can self park been around for years), the cars that can find a car space at the AUDI factory (bit newer)and so on.  I am amazed that this dream of my childhood may become a common reality in the next decade.

I then saw this report in the Personal Tech column in the NY Times on July 7 2013.  Hence the headline for the discussion.  How will this affect our cities?  City planners are now starting to think this through.  Take the time to read.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/disruptions-how-driverless...

"That city of the future could have narrower streets because parking spots would no longer be necessary. And the air would be cleaner because people would drive less. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30 percent of driving in business districts is spent in a hunt for a parking spot, and the agency estimates that almost one billion miles of driving is wasted that way every year."

California has given a partial green light to the testing

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/technology/self-driving-cars-for-...

They are speculating that land use devoted to parking may reduce.  How??

Then another story considering how this may affect city revenues from things like parking meter revenue.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/09/the-end-of-parking-tickets...

Obviously I have posted this as I wonder how it will affect cyclists. One of the things they mention is the cars may have sensors for intersections so traffic lights become less required.  How do bicycles fit into all this???

Love to hear your thoughts.  As the first word says Disruption..........

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Nothing especially new but this BBC article sums up the arguments for a change to autonomous electric powered vehicles and proposes that most people may have already purchased their last private vehicle and the changeover may be as short as 10 years, similar to the historical change from horse to car? A quoted "think tank" expects a decrease of 80% in the US vehicle fleet in that time. Of course Australian politicians will see through this hoax and we can expect a long future of fossil fuelled human driven vehicles after all we need something to fill up all the new motorways we are building.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45786690 

PS: Note in the 5th Avenue 1900 and 1913 photos that there is many more pedestrians on the "sidewalks" than people in the horse drawn or motor vehicles , not much has changed, I wonder how horses got priority over people, guess it's something to do with the wealth & "importance" of the people in the "vehicles" verses those on foot

Coal burning steam cars  are going to be big. Well, hard to make them small.

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