Most discussions around driverless cars often indicate barely how much this technology will impact our cities and traffic infrastructure. The expectation is that the changes will be significant.
Not only are robotaxis going to replace the majority of cars on the street and serve mobility needs with a fraction of today’s cars – estimates are between a tenth to a third – they also will require fewer parking spaces, and probably replace public transport.
How can we imagine such a future? A new tool, accessible for everyone, allows just that. ReStreet is an online-app that comes with urban and suburban streets can be customized. A user can choose from multiple street templates and change lane widths, the usage of lanes, or simply drop them and replace them with other usage scenarios. A four lane urban street mit two parking lanes quickly turns into two car lanes only with bike lanes, trees, benches, and gardens. A streetcar or bus line? Just add them.
In the past only city planers had this capability, but now citizens can try their skills with the tool which was developed by experts from the University of San Francisco and the California Polytechnic State University. Street design can then be submitted to an ever growing catalog and be used by city planers and other interested parties..
Especially the future ubiquity of robotaxis will completely revamp our cities, like no other technologie in the past 100 years. Hundred years ago the car managed to take public space away from humans. Autonomous cars will give this space back to humans.
This article has also been published in German.