Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Self-driving solving traffic congestion?

I've been hearing a lot about self-driving cars creating this utopia of no more car ownership, end of congestion, etc. I take issue with that for purely common sense reasons.
Consider that people work and live and shop in locations scattered all over. This clearly explains why, out of 140-million workers in the US, 107-million are single-occupant drivers and only 7-million use all forms of public transit combined.

All of the self driving developments are great, and the possibility of less car ownership is wonderful too, however, if you think about it, it doesn't mean less traffic.

The problem stems from the fact that people need to get to work. Their homes are scattered all over the place, and so are their work locations. Rarely, even if husband and wife work in the same location, do they want to travel together, as it limits their freedom to come and go as they want, and to run personal errands that the spouse may not want to go on.

Suppose that half of these people started using self-driving cars that are owned by Uber or other car share companies. True, the number of cars needed would decrease drastically, and that would solve a lot of parking problems, however, the flow of people would not change by much, except that the parking lanes might be used to increase road lanes, and therefore capacity, and the cars may be able to drive with less braking distance, as the reaction time would be reduced. There would be virtually no change in traffic as the same number of people need to go to the same number of places. The duty cycle of each car is greatly increased as they don't sit around in parking garages, but rather go on to give the next ride. So unless they are electric, the pollution is not even diminished.

The simple solution is to have single-occupant drivers/riders in cars that are less than 40” wide. That gives the same clearance in half of a freeway lane that trucks have in a full lane. The narrow cars would stagger naturally, and this gives added safety as they are short and much more maneuverable. They are also fully electric, as it's almost impossible to make the center of gravity low enough in a gasoline vehicle to make it stable.

I believe that the only way to combat traffic congestion and to get most commuters driving electric, is to give them something that makes commuting easier, faster, safer, and more fun.
The Tango ticks all the boxes.
• Dimensions of a motorcycle
• 0-60 3.2 seconds.
• FIA certified racecar roll cage
• Same rollover threshold as a 911 Porsche
• Fastest speed recorded by Consumer Reports through the “Emergency Lane Change Maneuver (Moose Test)
• Holds two large adults comfortably.
• Self-driving or not, solves traffic congestion.



Cheapest Car Lease said...

Very interesting car, i can definitely see how it can solve traffic congestion. Thanks for the read!

Becky said...

This is a cool looking car! Very interesting blog. I think these type of cars would drastically improve traffic.

n said...

super post

Unknown said...

good post

Car Review said...

nice concept :) its nice post :)

Mazda CX-5 said...

In today's World of cars, every person has their own car. The reason behind that is Mazda cars. On the other hand, traffic has also now become a serious issue. Your blog is filled with complete information regarding how to tackle traffic using tango cars.

Unknown said...

Very Interesting Rick,

Floyd Rainear

Bill said...

Damn this would be a super cool solution

nidhi kumari said...

wow very nice..happy new year2017

muzammil said...

its awsome..no need of big roads it can pass even trough corridor,,,its amazing,,,very good for single person

Anonymous said...

jejejeje nice cars, i guess that is easy to find a park lot.!! Copart

Suzan Baker said...

They are practical but why do they have to be so ugly.
compare airport parking prices
compare parking rates

Unknown said...

I think your article its very important and interesting,good work.
New cars in India

Rick Woodbury said...

Well Jenna, beauty is subjective. I've heard at least 100 comments that it's the cutest car they've ever seen to every one that says it's ugly. I challenge you to design a practical car, as you've stated that the Tango is, and make it look better. Maybe we can use your design. It must be no wider than 39", no longer than 102" and has to fit two 6'6" adults comfortably. It must also accommodate up to 300 miles of range, meaning a 90 kWhr battery pack. The battery pack dimensions must be roughly 3' x 4' x 11" high. On top of that there must be 7" vertically under the seat for the electronics. There is no other place to put them. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder! I think the Tango is kind of Cute and with its 0-60 and 1/4 mile who cares how it look as you blow the doors off the Noisy Muscle Cars!