Autonomous cars could cut traffic and pollution — or make them worse, planners say
The Los Angeles City Council last year approved a $4.9-billion contract to design, build and operate an automated people mover at Los Angeles International Airport. The elevated system will have driverless electric trains that carry passengers between terminals, a transportation center and the Metro light-rail system. It is expected to be operational in 2023. (Los Angeles World Airports/AP)
As self-driving vehicles begin to transform the way people get around, urban planners around the country are beginning to think about how they will remake cities and change the way we live.
Not since the Model T replaced the horse and buggy have transportation and cities faced such an extensive transformation. Many planners say they see an opportunity to prevent — and correct — the 20th-century mistakes of the auto’s reign: congestion, pollution, sprawl and roads designed to move vehicles rather than people.