“What do driverless cars hold for the future of our transportation system?” Dr. Adam Weiss gave this keynote presentation to the Bayview-Cummer Neighbourhood Association at their Annual General Meeting on April 10th.
Weiss presented an overview of why AVs matter and what impacts (both positive and negative) might result from their widespread adoption. The importance of planning and understanding AV impacts was emphasized, as were the possible consequences of failure to do so, including increased urban sprawl, congestion and emissions.
Positive outcomes from AV adoption will result when “triple bottom line sustainability” – social, economic and environmental – is considered along with concerns of individual transportation system users.
Weiss provided an overview of three iCity-CATTS research goals:
- to understand and quantify what the transformation from AV adoption might be
- to find ways to enable positive transformation
- to ensure that the transformations are positive across the board (triple bottom line sustainability).
A question period followed Weiss’ half-hour presentation, and the audience of about 25 demonstrated keen interest in the subject. According to Weiss, “I had one question about understanding how AVs will lead to an uptake in transit use. My response to this question is that AVs may result in moving towards mobility as a service whereby instead of driving entirely to your destination in your car, an autonomous vehicle would be able to drop you off at a major transit station and then drive itself back home, effectively solving the first mile last mile problem that many transit agencies have.”
Dr. Adam Weiss is a postdoctoral fellow with the iCity Centre for Automated and Transformative Transportation Systems (iCity-CATTS) at the University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute.