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7 Benefits and 1 Huge Problem With a World of Driverless Taxis

Perhaps the biggest win: no more on-street parking.
A map of a shared robotaxi simulation for Lisbon.
A map of a shared robotaxi simulation for Lisbon.International Transport Forum

A city where private cars are largely replaced with driverless taxis doesn't feel terribly close, but it's not too far away to think about. And all the better when someone does the thinking for us—as is the case with this delightfully thorough new report on a "taxibot" world by Luis Martínez of the International Transport Forum (spotted by Gizmodo Australia).

Martínez and collaborators used real trip data to model what life would be like in Lisbon, Portugal, if shared autonomous vehicles of various size ruled the streets. Some scenarios had these taxibots partnering with high-capacity public transit—in Lisbon's case, a subway network—while others considered a transit-less city. (Though taxibots replaced local buses in all cases.) At half a million city and 2.8 million metro area residents, Lisbon is a pretty typical midsized city, though it's car-ownership rate (217 per 1,000 people) is on the lower end of the global scale.