Next stop: will autonomous driving take over our cities?
‘Next stop’ is a three-part series which looks to the future of technology, from domestic AI, to the daily commute, and luxury medical breaks
At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Renault exhibited the EZ-GO concept ‘robo-taxi’, designed for future cities filled with perpetually moving, non-personal transport devices, shared by many and capable of autonomous door-to-door travel.
Right now, the auto industry feels beleaguered, despite annual global sales nudging 100 million units, and ideas such as the EZ-GO attempt to blend ride- on-demand culture with the certainty of a familiar badge. Car companies are looking to fully join the ride-sharing economy.
The downside of this is that we’ll be making a potentially irreversible transition from using a public facility to a private one. For example, if autonomous vehicles manage to dodge the many obstacles in their path to public embrace, one casualty might be the traditional city-wide transit network. Instead, our streets will be filled with a cacophony of brands, all vying for our daily commutes. Tomorrow’s tech might be tantalisingly close, but it doesn’t pose a straightforward route for urban transit.
As originally featured in the June 2018 issue of Wallpaper* (W*231)