Uber was supposed to help traffic. It didn’t. Robotaxis will be even worse

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Who said it was supposed to help traffic? Whether you drive your own car, rent a car, or take an uber you’re still getting around by car. What it helps with is parking. And every time you see an uber picking someone up at a bar that is probably taking a drunk driver off the road.


I think the main thing uber helped with was reducing the amount of drunk drivers on the road. Growing up in my early 20s prior to the smart phone boom countless people would drink and then drive because it was cheaper than a taxi or we had no way to call a taxi. With the creation of Uber I have seen more young people simply leave their car and call and Uber and get home safely.


It could help reduce parking lots, who said it would reduce traffic?


I remember reading a piece about a traffic-flow analysis that found that Caracas Venezuela had the highest traffic-flow in the world, and that researchers had gone there to investigate what their secret-sauce was.

They looked at lane-striping, at signal-timing, at road-layout, at everything that they could think of. In the end? They concluded that it was just because people in Caracas drive like total lunatics.

So… program the robot-cars to drive like maniacs! That should help.


We have known for almost a century now what is the solution for traffic. Good public transport


What’s wrong with public transport?


Trains will help traffic .. public transportation will help traffic… that is it…


Bullshit, Uber was never supposed to help traffic.


If *all* vehicle traffic were autonomous and there was centralized and coordinated control, then outside of the most densely populated (with vehicles) areas that also have high numbers of pedestrians, congestion would be all but eliminated. You could just adjust speeds perfectly to allow for continuous motion that avoids all collisions. But it requires 100% conversion to automation.


I don’t buy that they’ll be worse – having drivers come in from Sacramento to serve Uber trips in SF causes way more traffic than cars deploying from a handful of parking lots across the city, where they can return to if demand dies down. These companies are burning money on empty rides as opposed to Uber who pays drivers nothing for empty miles


But it helps the aged and disabled. Have a 11am appointment at the hospital? Call a Robotaxi. Human driven taxis are incredibly unreliable.


Remember you are never in traffic, you are traffic.


Uber wasn’t supposed to help traffic. Uber was supposed to make money.


Active travel (walking, running, cycling) and mass transit (trains, trams, buses) are how you solve traffic.

The more you make roads amenable to cars, the more you have car centric initiatives, the more you urban planning puts the car first; the more cars you get.


The only solution to traffic congestion is viable alternatives to driving, but there’s a problem…

Nobody rides bikes because they don’t want to die by riding in unprotected bike lanes and will get arrested for riding on the sidewalk.

Nobody walks because you have to cross a mile of parking lots just to get from the sidewalk to the front of the store.

Nobody takes the bus because they come once every 45 minutes and drop you off two and a half blocks from your house that’s in deep suburbs.

Nobody takes the train because the stations are so far and few between that and you need to fucking drive to the train station anyway.

Worst of all we can’t change any of it because when someone came up with the really good idea of 15 minute cities, the crazies came out in droves declaring them a violation of freedom somehow.

A self driving car on the road is still a car on the road.


Robotaxis will eventually make it much much much better.


I don’t remember ‘Uber will help traffic’ being part of the conversation. I remember it being sold as ‘ride sharing’.


America will do everything in its power to not invest in public transit. All bullshit innovations


I personally would give up a car for rideshare but only if was cost effective and if I still lived in a big city.


If you think there are a lot of cars with one person in them, wait until there are cars with no people in them.


Uber was never supposed to help traffic. Uber was supposed to make uber money. They might have said it was was to help traffic to sell it, but Uber doesnt care about traffic.


Lmao how was uber supposed to help traffic?


Ya wanna reduce traffic? Let people work from home. But the smarty pants CEOs are too insecure to accept what has proven to increase productivity and improve lives of employees, at almost no cost to employers.


The truth is nothing helps with traffic, because people are traffic. If you make it easier for people to get around, more people will get around, and that counts for cars, buses, trains, walking and bicycles.

The only solution is not to force people to travel to a specific area, which means work-from-home, e-commerce and more distributed services (schools, cinemas etc) closer to people’s homes.


Only mass transit and living closer to work will elevate traffic. Everything else is BS.


Article was a lot better than the headline.


Uber and co improved the taxi industry, creating more price competition vs the taxi monopolies, and more convenience around app-based hailing, GPS tracking etc.


With improvements came more demand, came more traffic. But that’s not a bad thing per se, because there’s more consumers’ demands getting met than before. It just means investments in public transport must be matched, and taxes must be set, such that we keep efficiently using the infrastructure available.


In my view robotaxis will help improve the situation, actually. Why? For one because ubiquitous robotaxis allows a larger share of the population to ditch their personal car, saving lots of parking space which can be turned into among others into road for: pedestrians, bicycles, public transport lanes, or indeed car traffic. And secondly, because the vast majority of trips are single-person, whilst the vast majority of cars seat 4 to 6. With a fleet of robotaxis that are 50% single-person pods, and 50% 4-6 seaters, the average vehicle size goes down which reduces road-use, traffic, reduces weight and thus can drive faster while not being more dangerous to other road users etc.


Finally, there’ve been lots of studies into how traffic occurs, and it’s mostly human-behaviour driven. See a short explanation here: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHzzSao6ypE](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHzzSao6ypE)


The moment you have fleets of robotaxis on the road communicating with each other, you could solve the majority of traffic. Traffic essentially is born out of our brain’s limitations to coordinate perfectly between all road users, it’s a human issue, not a natural law of the universe.


where the FUCK are our high speed trains?


The title is worded to create a bias against robotaxis. Nobody expected Uber to reduce traffic thats ridiculous.

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