Driverless Cars Promising Changes to South Florida




I have good news for you today regarding self driving cars. Did you know ten years from now your commute will undergo a makeover as driverless cars take over South Florida's street corners.

The Benefits for you and I of those future changes: Narrower lanes, flyover ramps at intersections, fewer public parking lots and more shortcuts through neighborhoods, say local traffic managers, who are already assessing the potential impact.

"The big question is how disruptive and how quickly will these sweeping changes occurs?" asked Nick Uhren, executive director of the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency

I'm told some cars are crafted with sensors that automatically brake if the vehicle gets too close to another. Additionally, autonomous automobiles will have sensors that communicate with the road, traffic signals, and each other to prevent collisions with vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians and anything else within the environment.

Less accidents improve traffic flow, so existing lanes can be narrowed and more lanes added to each road to handle more vehicles, said Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization executive director Greg Stuart. "The width of these roads is now going to be changed because within the next seven to ten years vehicles are going to be able to pass each other within 2.5 inches," he said.

The following is What officials predict coming:
  • Five years: We won't see noticeable changes to roadways but there will be unseen technology adjustments to traffic signals to tell self-driving cars to stop at a red light. "You'll probably see a few more antennas on our mast-arm traffic lights than you've seen in the past," Stuart said.
  • Five to ten years: There will be fewer riders on buses, trains, and trolleys as people shift to self-driving vehicles that will be on the road all the time, picking up and dropping off different passengers constantly. This is the bad part of driverless cars, Stuart said. "It's going to take folks away from the mass transit bus system."
  • Ten-fifteen years: Autonomous cars will avoid traffic congestion on main roads by finding alternative routes through side streets. "it's going to start impacting our neighborhoods by themselves, Stuart said.
  • Twenty-five years: Eventually, autonomous vehicles will saturate roadways, forcing changes in road design. instead of two lanes on a 30-foot wide street, there will be three or four lanes.

"You can move more vehicles in the same space on the roadways because they're more efficient, they're safer and they are connected to one another so their spacing is regimented," Uhren said. "our rights of way could be smaller, our travel lanes could be smaller, we'll have more space for other uses."

Further more, Uhren said other uses might involve dedicated lanes for driverless buses and trolleys.

Miami-Dade already has several bus-only roads where self-driving buses could roll.

"Transit and transit-supportive projects are the number one priority of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planing Organization," quoted the executive director Aileen Boucle.

Over the next five years, she said the county will be installing about 300 "smart signals" with cameras that monitor the busiest intersections and reprogram red light timing to quickly respond to changing traffic volume.

This means folks who owns cars will only use then for long trips. People traveling shorter distance to work or shopping can opt for the driverless automobiles.

The volume of cars will change the look of the roads for sure. Some intersections will get flyover ramps to handle the flow of traffic.

"The roadway designs during and after transition are going to have to accommodate higher vehicle growth, said Stuart. "That means more lanes, that means different kinds of overpasses and underpasses to get vehicles around."

Uhren said some people in South Florida may embrace this change. Perfect example is the aging retirees, fewer will be able to drive themselves so autonomous vehicles maybe the best option.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this article!

Cavakia TherlongeAbout the Author
Cavakia Therlonge is a Miami fitness professional and digital marketing consultant. When he's not in the gym helping men and women find fitness, he likes to dedicate a portion of his time to Info Oomph to help reach fitness hopefuls via the written word. A side from sharing the fitness gospel, he's passionate about helping local companies generate more traffic via SEO and social media marketing. To connect with Cavakia for digital marketing solutions, email him at info@infooomph.com or via social media.

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