Ride-hailing giant Uber has signed a proposal which calls for strict limitations on owning driverless cars so that only companies like itself can operate autonomous vehicles (AVs).
Part of a wider proposal, the restriction would be in effect in city centres as a means to minimise traffic and congestion as well as free up parking spaces. It also says that if “managed by professionals” then AVs can be properly maintained and all relevant software updated, making them safer on the roads.
On their website, the article said:
“10. WE SUPPORT THAT AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES (AVS) IN DENSE URBAN AREAS SHOULD BE OPERATED ONLY IN SHARED FLEETS.
Due to the transformational potential of autonomous vehicle technology, it is critical that all AVs are part of shared fleets, well-regulated, and zero emission. Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals, and actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking, and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas.”
Called “The Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities”, the proposal was also signed by ZipCar, a company which specialises in short-term car rentals and Lyft, a San Francisco-based car transportation app. It was originally signed by a collection of NGOs in early October at the 2017 Ecomobility World Festival in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The mapping and transit app, Citymapper, is also one of the signatories.
Made up of ten “principles”, the proposal calls for greater co-operation between local authorities, transit companies and NGOs in city planning as well as prioritising public transportation and methods, like walking or cycling, over privately-owned cars.
Uber already offers self-driving vehicles in some of the American cities where it operates, such as Phoenix and Pittsburgh. One of its main competitors, Lyft, reached an agreement with Ford back in September. The American car manufacturer, Fiat Chrysler has said it will provide thousands of minivans to Google’s driverless car project Waymo.
You can read the full proposal here.
Photo Credit: By Grendelkhan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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