Stories by Jim Barbaresso

Expert Voices

Cities are experimenting with ways to reduce traffic ahead of AVs

Night view of Times Square in New York City with cars in traffic
Times Square in New York City. Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cities are adopting tolling and closed-loop shuttle buses to mitigate traffic, to integrate AVs into public transit, and to prepare for the possibility that AVs used in ride-hailing could exacerbate urban congestion.

The big picture: Reducing congestion in densely populated, trafficked metro areas will require distributing people more strategically across transit options and routes.

Expert Voices

How to prevent AV curbside chaos

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Ride-share congestion at airports, stadiums and shopping malls may be foreshadowing the chaos at popular destinations if AVs begin making most pickups and dropoffs.

The big picture: As transportation options diversify to include more car-sharing, ride-sharing and AVs, cities will need to invest in new infrastructure to keep traffic flowing safely and smoothly at transportation hubs and other high-activity areas.

Expert Voices

As AV technology advances, infrastructure needs to catch up

Illustrated collage including elements of road infrastructure
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The AV industry has largely focused on the best technology for the cars themselves, not the roadblocks that current infrastructure will present to their deployment.

Why it matters: We may soon find ourselves with functional AV technology, but infrastructure so poor that in many places AVs cannot be safely deployed. The U.S. needs both basic improvements to its roads — to the tune of as much as $1 trillion — and also investment in a new generation of infrastructure that is smarter, more responsive and more sustainable.