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AV myth buster: Autonomous vehicles will cause more traffic

Autonomous vehicles are surrounded by myth and conjecture. We’re here to set the story straight in this series of myth busters. Learn about how autonomous vehicles have the potential to reduce traffic and add value to our communities beyond transportation.

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Nobody enjoys getting stuck in traffic, yet the problem just seems to get worse. In 2022, U.S. drivers lost, on average, 51 hours stuck in traffic, costing each of them over $1,000 in lost time and fuel. These stats are likely to increase as more of the national workforce returns to the office more regularly. And as city populations continue to grow, there will be more cars on the road making the problem worse. Now, autonomous vehicles (AVs) are hitting the streets too. But that isn’t the problem you may expect it to be; it could actually be the solution.

More autonomy, less ownership

One of humanity’s greatest treasures is autonomy: the freedom to act for oneself. And one of America’s greatest symbols of autonomy is car ownership. With a car, you can travel almost anywhere at any time. So it’s no surprise that 91.7 percent of U.S. households own at least one vehicle and 22.1 percent have three or more. Yet, the focus on car ownership has had negative consequences on the way we live. We find ourselves stuck in traffic and our cities are built more for the vehicles that traverse them than for the people that live in them. Next time you drive around, pay attention to the number of parking lots and parking garages taking up valuable real estate.

We believe level 4 and 5 autonomous technology has the potential to improve the way we live, starting with our streets and eventually revolutionizing our cities. We are strong advocates of cities developing strong and reliable public transportation systems. That’s why we’ve made it our business to develop first-class autonomous microtransit. Microtransit—which focuses on on-demand, shared rides within a specific zone—provides communities big and small with easier first- and last-mile transportation, meaning whether you’re trying to get to the store, connect to other transit options or get anywhere in between, we’ve got you covered.

How does this help with traffic congestion? Well, if we can make public transportation more accessible and affordable to everyone, then we can hopefully help three-car households drop to two cars and two-car households drop to one. As people are less reliant on owning cars, then we will see fewer vehicles on the streets. This will result in less time traveling and more time doing the things that matter. So, through our autonomous microtransit, autonomous vehicles can actually help to decrease congestion instead of adding to it.

Improving our cities with autonomous vehicles

Reducing traffic would be a dream come true but our vision goes much farther than that. Colombian president and economist Gustavo Petro once said that a “developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.” Our CEO, Edwin Olson, took those words to heart when he founded May Mobility. Through autonomous modes of transportation, we can develop the ideal city where everybody takes shared transportation options such as buses, trains and microtransit vehicles. And by ideal city, we are talking about the city as a whole, not just its streets.

Parking lots and garages take up so much space that could be better utilized. A small parking lot for up to 10 cars could be around 1,000 square feet. But if you need to accommodate 100 to 200 vehicles, then we are looking at 10,000-20,000 square feet at the very least. But what if we didn’t need all of those parking spaces anymore? We could instead build more parks, recreational spaces, restaurants and gyms. Those are just of the few alternatives that would drastically improve the quality of life of the people that live nearby.

We believe that incorporating our autonomous microtransit system into communities across the world is an important step toward promoting greater use of public transportation and making this ideal a reality. Our AVs can reach places that are difficult for traditional transit systems to reach reliably and then either bring people directly to where they need to go or else give them wider access to those other transit options.

It’s time we stop wasting away the hours sitting in traffic. It’s time we do something that will beautify and diversify our cities for our long-term benefit. Autonomous technology can do so much more than change mobility, it can improve the way we live and that’s a future worth fighting for.

AV myth busters

  • It takes a village: Creating safe and equitable transportation

    2024年2月22日

  • Less parking, more public transit

    2024年2月7日

  • The future of autonomous technology at CES 2024

    2024年1月23日

  • Progress in partnership: Autonomous vehicles and government

    2024年1月11日

  • May Mobility CEO Edwin Olson to speak at CES® 2024

    2024年1月3日

  • May Mobility launches first driverless transit service for Early Riders in Arizona, takes next step toward transforming the way riders get around cities and urban environments

    2023年12月18日

  • MOTER Technologies and May Mobility join forces to advance autonomous vehicle insurance solutions

    2023年12月13日

  • Get to know May: Anna Brunelle, chief financial officer

    2023年12月6日

  • How autonomous vehicles give wheelchair users more autonomy

    2023年11月30日

ニュース&ストーリー をもっと見る

  • It takes a village: Creating safe and equitable transportation

    2024年2月22日

  • Less parking, more public transit

    2024年2月7日

  • The future of autonomous technology at CES 2024

    2024年1月23日

  • Progress in partnership: Autonomous vehicles and government

    2024年1月11日

  • May Mobility CEO Edwin Olson to speak at CES® 2024

    2024年1月3日

  • May Mobility launches first driverless transit service for Early Riders in Arizona, takes next step toward transforming the way riders get around cities and urban environments

    2023年12月18日

  • MOTER Technologies and May Mobility join forces to advance autonomous vehicle insurance solutions

    2023年12月13日

  • Get to know May: Anna Brunelle, chief financial officer

    2023年12月6日

  • How autonomous vehicles give wheelchair users more autonomy

    2023年11月30日

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私たちは、自治体、公共交通、キャンパス、組織、そしてビジネスが自動運転技術を導入し、長期的な交通インフラの課題を解決するためにご紹介しています。乗合サービスを提供し、交通の課題を解決するために、パートナーシップを結びましょう。ご連絡をお待ちしております。

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