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Public authorities must deploy driverless cars - or congestion will rise, says transport association

Lee Baker
16 January 2017

Autonomous vehicles pose the risk of increased congestion due to car travel becoming even more comfortable and attractive if they are not put into shared fleets as 'robo-taxis,' according to a new paper by the International Association of Public Transport.

Shared fleets of autonomous vehicles offer "the possibility of a better urban future," if public authorities take an active role to ensure that they do not undermine mass transit and that single car occupancy and empty driverless cars are limited and not lead to increasing and needless trips, according to UITP. But the association fears that with companies such as Google, Amazon and Uber involved in their deployment, this could lead to the privatisation of transport and the loss of influence of public authorities.

It highlights the example of Singapore's Land Transport Authority as an authority that is preparing to integrate autonomous vehicles into the public transport network for "last-mile connectivity" whilst also improving walking and cycling infratructure for local trips. 


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