Driverless vehicles are changing basic transportation. City centers may need buses and subways, but for less dense areas the economics of mass transit are suggesting that it may be cheaper to implement fleets of driverless cars instead of buses. They may also work better. A fleet of driverless taxis can better accommodate a more diverse set of pickup and dropoff points, which is more typical of suburbia. Suburbia, which frequently hasn’t benefited as much from mass transit may finally have a solution that reduces the total number of vehicles on the road, decreases the size of parking lots, and increases safety. Not surprisingly, rich suburbs like Beverly Hills are already considering the idea. It is easy to imagine a city of driverless buses overlapping with a periphery of driverless taxis with the definition of rural effectively meaning people who continue to drive their own vehicle. Because driverless vehicles don’t require new infrastructure, implementing them may be faster and cheaper than conventional solutions. The change could happen within the next few years.
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