Self-driving Cars, Traffic and Parking Problems

Self-driving cars should be able to solve traffic and parking problems. However, this requires that most self-driving cars are used with ride-sharing to maximize the useful rides per car and to reduce the amount of parking that is needed.

Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, warns that if self-driving cars are allowed to circle cities while waiting for passengers, this will make traffic much worse.

Making Traffic Worse and Wasting Parking

Studies find that 30% of city traffic is already caused by people in cars looking for parking.

Self-driving cars that do not park would make traffic two times worse.

Cities like Seattle have five parking spots per household.

Adam Millard-Ball writes in Transport Policy on The autonomous vehicle parking problem. Millard-Ball recommends congestion pricing to penalize roaming self-driving cars that are not parking.

Traffic and Parking Can Be Much Better

Self-driving cars and networked cars can prevent traffic jams, reduce the need for parking and reduce the overall number of cars that are needed to efficiently move people around. The reduction of traffic jams involves robotic cars being able to safely follow more closely. Maximizing the number of rides while reducing the number of same cars will reduce transportation costs, traffic and parking demands.

Tesla and Elon Wants to Create a Hybrid model of Uber and AirBnb

Elon talked about a Tesla self-driving car future. Tesla will enable ride-hailing and ridesharing. There will be Tesla dedicated cars for ride-hailing and customers will be able to share their car at will, just like you share your house in Airbnb. It will be a combination of two models. Allowing customers to share their self-driving car will solve the parking and reduce traffic congestion.

17 thoughts on “Self-driving Cars, Traffic and Parking Problems”

  1. I am think small metal meteors hitting the moon leaving small craters with a high enough concentration of platinum metal to be worth mining. Process them on the moon. And fling it earth ward with a mass driver.

  2. I’ve brushed past this concept in my professional life, so here’s some elaboration on Goat’s reply.

    Yes, you can examine the light reflected by rocks and dirt and look for characteristic spectra of desirable minerals. And yes this would include platinum or uranium or something.

    This would work better on the moon, because you won’t have any of the spectrum absorbed or scattered by an atmosphere. Both the light hitting the moon from the sun and the light bouncing off will cover a broader spectrum with no absorption bands that aren’t from the rocks (or sun) itself.

    However this does rely on said minerals being on the actual surface, in the sunlight, reflecting the light.

    Cover everything with even a millimeter or two of dust and what you’ll detect is… the dust. (I’ve wasted a couple of afternoons that way.)

    The moon is covered with dust. Furthermore, it’s dust that gets redistributed every day.

    So it’s possible that it won’t be easy at all.

    If it is possible, I suspect it was already done years, if not decades ago. Maybe NASA has had the maps waiting all this time.

  3. You’d think the UK would be racing to join up with the rest of the Anglosphere. At least the Commonwealth should be accomodating.
    But so far it’s been them trying to get free trade with the EU only.

    The fact that the EU is NOT willing to do free trade with a huge current trading partner indicates that maybe they don’t actually believe that free trade is always a net good.

  4. A fine reply, Mark. Your thinking is NOT wrong, by any means. The “problem” turns out to be the Moon itself. 

    Its been there for some 4.7 billion years, perhaps only a half billion years younger than the age of the Solar System itself. (There were once hundreds or perhaps thousands of planets from below-Ceres sized up between-and-larger than Neptune. Gradually the Jovians either sucked them in, or simply ejected them through orbital dynamics. The “three body” problem and its chaotic solutions.)

    Anyway, the Moon had a very thin crust and lots of volcanic activity. As it cooled, it was repeatedly bombarded (just like Earth, Venus and all the planets) by wave after wave of “asteroids”, comets, meteroids and the like. However, as the frequency of these grew less, and the regolith thickened both thru cooling and thru constant bombardment build up, … it became rather remarkably well mixed. Churned.  

    So, while there certainly ARE likely “masscons” (mass concentrations) of asteroids and meteor ‘parts’ that didn’t completely disintegrate, there aren’t many, and most will be well covered with dusty regolith. 

    And that is the problem. Its dark grey like ground up charcoal mixed with ashes. And just as undifferentiated. With a few exceptions.  

    So yeah, for sure: LETS TRY IT OUT (microwave reflection at key wavelengths). But I’m not counting on spectacular finds. Not without a lot of possibly costly and futile exploration to start with. 

    Just saying,

  5. Read this article once and it gave me the idea that you would sense minerals remotely.

    Just in case you don’t have access to that page look for “remote sensing of minerals in Afghanistan”

    There are also articles on remote sensing by gamma ray emissions. Maybe possible to also detect beta and alpha emissions on the moon.

    I figure a low flying satellite scanning a body without an atmosphere would be able to detect minerals in enough detail to detect sites that would be worth further direct sampling.

  6. You are right of course. Apparently tho, there are a few spots up there at the N and S poles of Luna which have peaks which are “eternally lit”. Yes, the solar array would have to pivot to always be Sol-facing. But there apparently is a lot of power to be had. 

    The other side is “batteries work on Luna, too”, provided either that the battery packs are argon-gas filled and hermetically sealed, or the individual cells of a battery are double-wall hermetically sealed. Vacuum is a hard bargainer for high-voltage electricity.  

    Still.. as expensive as hauling battery packs up from Terra’s surface to land on the Moon, they still handily solve the 2 week night issue. That, and turn-able solar power arrays. Make the most of the “perfect weather”.  

    Solar is also about 45% higher in energy output per square meter than on Planet Dirt, due to lack-of-atmosphere and hazes. Kind of nice. Also, with appropriately chosen encapsulation, the solar panels ought to last nearly indefinitely.  The do of course have to be “very thin and low mass”. 

    Mass ≡ cost to transport. 

    Just saying,

  7. 2 week long nights make storing solar energy on the moon even more of a problem than on the earth.
    Solar for activities in orbit, nuclear for activities on bodies big enough to be worlds.

  8. Thanks for the considered response. Now here’s hoping for intelligent people in charge rather than the retarded narcissists currently in fashion.

  9. Wow… if given the reins and funding … as King … what to do?
    Good question.  Hard to condense it into the 1500 character limit.
    Of this SPOT.IM commenting program. 

    But in a nutshell:

    • Fund Musk’s BFR “superheavy” launch system
    • Fund Rocketdyne’s recovery of Apollo era rocket motors
    • Fund Boeing’s huge lead in spacecraft
    • Fund “the 20 universities” which churn PhD’s in space science
    • Lobby Congress to separate funding for The Space Force
    • Fund US Robotics for an autonomous Lunar ‘bot.

    Then the goals:

    • Establish a “pair of pairs”, along the Luna:Earth line. 
    … redundant LEO “spaceport” and “filling station”. 
    … regular fuel-oxygen and parts/materials launches.
    … regular “rocket-bus” Earth-Station service.

    … redundant HLO (high lunar orbit) spaceports. 
    … and a regular “rocket bus” service to Luna and back.

    • Create a Luna One Moon station. Big. 100+ person cap.

    • Develop all the mining and exploration/exploitation stuff.
    • Venture across Luna like branches of a tree. Or ivy vine.

    • outfit the Luna One lab with all materials-science stuff.
    • engage program to “map the resources” of Luna.

    • Find really useful (or profitable) purposes for Luna dust
    … especially here on Planet Dirt.

    Just a start…

    Just saying,

  10. Just curious Goat, If given the reigns to NASA and funding, how would you proceed with a mining operation?

  11. Marky Mark… you have a magic unicorn-horn bullet to do that? 

    Just because you can imagine it, doesn’t mean that Science Fiction is Science. 

    We’ve had a devil-of-a-time detecting lowly water H₂O, frozen as ice, on Luna. Many satellites and hydrogen-oxygen microwave illumination-and-return RADARs together have given 100-meter-resolution of ice patches at most ⅓ km below the surface of the regolith at Luna’s south pole. 

    That’s after scanning the whole darn orb. 

    Platinum doesn’t have any particular RADAR signature.  Its also NOT going to occur as big ol’ juicy nuggets.  There have been almost no “weathering and siderophile concentration of salts” processes to concentrate the relatively rare platinum group of elements into near-surface masses.  

    Just saying, Mark.

  12. LOL… of course.  Don’t count on ESA either: much of its intellectual core was from Britain, as well as funding. After BREXIT it too will be weaker. Thing is, the New Britain can (with some glad-handing and fine-writing) conjoin with the US as a partner in Space.  Along with Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The anglosphere definitely — together — has the resources to do much. Or as the saying goes, it ain’t over ’till the Fat Lady sings.

  13. What we need to do is scan the entire lunar surface for platinum metals and water. One satellite with high resolution scanners should be able to do it. We would then follow that up with a few rovers to check our findings.

  14. i think they should mine uranium, and then use nuclear fission to power a fusion device to produce hydrogen and oxygen.

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