Streetcars and Autonomous Shuttles

Streetcars and Autonomous Shuttles

Autonomous vehicles are slowly being introduced to communities, and we can’t wait to ride in one!

They have a definite cool factor, and once more and more autonomous vehicles are on the road, driving will be safer by minimizing the human error element.

But, experts say that could be a long time in the future. Roads will need to change, street infrastructure will need to change, and these vehicles are not cheap.

However, the most important part to understand is that they are never meant to replace other forms of transit like buses, trains, bicycles … and you guessed it, streetcars. All have different benefits and can all work together to create a robust transportation network.

The autonomous shuttle that is currently in Lincolnoperates at a maximum of 15 miles per hour, and carries up to 15 people (four of them standing). The route isn’t fixed, so trips can be more customized.

The Omaha streetcar could carry up to 160 people every 10 minutes and goes as fast as 35 miles per hour. The route is fixed and therefore – uniquely – attracts significant economic development to the city.

Autonomous shuttles are exciting and new – but today’s streetcars are not your grandpa’s trolley, either. Streetcar technology has advanced exponentially and provides an energy-efficient, smooth, quiet ride.

Ultimately though, shuttles have no permanency, and therefore do not result in the same economic growth that would come from a streetcar.

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