While the self-driving car is looked upon as the holy grail to traffic congestion, the San Diego Union-Tribune looks at studies that show how — once the autonomous vehicles become as indispensable as a mobile phone — travel will actually increase, potentially causing "greater congestion for a long time."
"To make the shared-vehicle model work, government would have to impose congestion pricing on highways, restrict parking in urban centers, add more high-occupancy vehicle lanes and take other measures to discourage people from traveling alone in their self-driving cars.
Land-use policies may need to be adjusted to prevent sprawl, or people will move beyond the fringes of metropolitan areas for low-cost housing because they can work while commuting at high speeds. Taxes based on the number of miles a personal vehicle travels are another way to discourage car travel.
All these policy changes would be controversial and difficult to achieve.
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