Landscape Architect & Specifier News

AUG 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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58 Landscape Architect and Specifier News According to the accepted scale of autonomous vehicles from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) that ranges from 0-5, cars ranked at 0-2 use human drivers to monitor the driving environment, and those ranked at 3-5 use automotive driving systems to monitor the driving environment. Most cars currently seen on the road are at a 1 (Driver Assistance) or a 2 (Partial Automation). However, the cars that rank at a 5 (Full Automation) are the ones most on people's minds, including those concerned with how driverless cars might affect city planning and street design. Highways The Fails Management Institute (FMI) in a September 2016 report shared expectations for the disruption of current highway and street designs, claiming that streets, sidewalks and curbs would all need to change in the face of the push for driverless cars. John "Jay" Bowman estimated that the continued introduction of autonomous vehicles and the gradual elimination of driver- monitored cars would result in a 25 percent reduction of lane width in freeways leading to a 50 percent increase in road capacity. Because autonomous vehicles are designed to be able to connect with other cars near them, they can all begin to accelerate and decelerate at the same time, halting the normal buildup traffic and making commutes faster and simpler. Perhaps due to advanced programming in cars that require no human drivers to see in order to steer, lighting, signage and railways could be largely eliminated from the design of car-heavy areas like highways. Thinner lanes on highways call into question the place of large trucks that would not be able to fit on redesigned streets. These vehicles would need a specific venue for transporting large items and materials across the country. This kind of exclusive, truck-only avenue would perhaps streamline transportation systems, causing trucks to reach their destinations more quickly without smaller vehicles to impede their progress. Regardless, this aspect of street transportation would need to be considered alongside other issues surrounding more compact, passenger-oriented cars. 1: Pedestrian crossings should be made short and safe. 2: Sidewalk areas could be made larger to contain more space for people and structures. 3: Bike lanes would need to be completely separate from vehicle lanes in order to protect human riders. PHOTO: NACTO BLUEPRINT FOR AUTONOMOUS URBANISM Right: Advancement in autonomous automotive technology may usher in innovative ways to create a better environment on city streets, allowing bigger and safer spaces for a diverse group of people, slower speeds for vehicles and more accessibility for public transit systems. PHOTO: NACTO BLUEPRINT FOR AUTONOMOUS URBANISM

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