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Self-driving cars bolster the case for light rail

By Chris Steel MLA 3 July 2017 55

The ACT Government is planning for the future by building a mass-transit system in light rail that, over coming decades, will be complemented by cheap and ubiquitous electric and self- driving car technology.

Like many Canberrans, I’ve enthusiastically followed the development of self-driving vehicle technology. Coupled with reliable and cheaper electric vehicle (EV) technology, autonomous electric cars (AVs) have the potential to replace conventional vehicles in the future and we will all benefit.

I’m keen to see the ACT Government play an active role in promoting self-driving and electric vehicle policy and infrastructure in our city. I was pleased that ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced an investment of $1.35 million in funding in the 2017 ACT Budget for a trial of self-driving technology in the ACT.

The ACT Government has already lowered duties for fuel-efficient cars and provided electric-car charging stations across the territory. We’re also continuing to lobby Waymo and Tesla to test more driverless car technologies in Canberra.

Seeing Machines, Waymo, Uber and Tesla are all in the race to develop driverless technology, and with Apple rumoured to be developing its own vehicle, it is clear self-driving cars are on their way. While some advanced driver assistance technologies are already here and they will become much more sophisticated over the next few years, fully driverless technology will take longer to develop. Nonetheless driverless cars are definitely a part of our future.

Electric cars are already here and are gradually becoming less expensive. The first deliveries of the lower priced (and aesthetically pleasing) Tesla Model 3 will take place in November this year, and will include inbuilt semi-autonomous driverless technology with the capacity for fully-autonomous upgrades. Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis has predicted electric cars will become cheaper than conventional cars by 2022.

The combination of electric and autonomous technologies has the potential to provide significant environmental benefits, increased safety through reduced human error, and increase in leisure or work time for commuters while on route to their destinations.

Importantly though, we must recognise autonomous vehicles will not displace the role of mass transit systems like light rail. Cars are still cars, and they will still cause congestion, autonomous or not. A mix of transport solutions, with autonomous electric vehicles, active travel and a mass transit system like light rail, will all have a role to play in moving people around Canberra in the future.

Light rail is a proven mode of mass transit. It will move people around our city quickly and efficiently across our future city wide network outlined in the Light Rail Master Plan.

The role of mass transit transport will only increase in importance as our city grows.  This week the Census has confirmed the ACT is the fastest growing jurisdiction in the country.Our city of 400,000 people is projected to increase over the next two decades from 400,000 to more than 500,000. On current growth estimates, Canberra will overtake Tasmania’s population by the early 2030s. This growth trajectory will mean thousands of extra cars on the road and – regardless of whether these cars have driverless technologies or not – this will lead to associated congestion. Unless we invest in mass transit, to move large numbers of people around quickly and efficiently, our city will suffer the same gridlocked fate as Sydney.

That’s why the future is very bright for mass transit systems like light rail. Sustainability and Resource Productivity company, McKinsey, has put forward ‘an integrated perspective on the future of mobility’ including autonomous vehicles that finds that:

Mass-transit rail systems – in combination with walking and cycling – would remain a vital and essential part of the mobility system, as the speed and capacity of such systems remains unrivalled.

Self-driving cars cannot solve the congestion problem alone. If not implemented properly, autonomous vehicles and taxis may in fact add to congestion pressures because of ‘dead trips’ when commuters ‘call’ empty cars to them from across the city. Ride-sharing isn’t an easy solution for this problem either.

There is no doubt autonomous vehicles have the potential to be more efficient than conventional cars in negotiating traffic conditions. Efficient braking and acceleration, and a fully integrated autonomous network where vehicles are ‘talking’ to each other can improve fuel efficiency and traffic flow.

However, mass transit systems will continue to play an important role in moving large numbers of people down major transport corridors, reducing congestion for other road users.

Self-driving taxis have potential to feed mass transit options like light rail, rapid bus routes and train lines rather than adding to traffic on a congested thoroughfares. Far from supplanting Capital Metro, a fleet of self-driving taxis will augment our public transport network by more conveniently directing patronage through light rail stops.

This supports the aim of Transport Canberra to create an integrated transport network for our growing city. The Government’s approach is proactive and will ease congestion, tackle transport-based pollution and direct economic activity into our city centres.

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has put together a neat diagram of the consequences of autonomous vehicles:

As the diagram suggests, an integrated light rail network will not only provide better quality of transport for people, but lead urban regeneration, while reducing congestion.

The narrow obsession of anti-light rail protagonists in promoting a single mode of transport – more privately owned cars on the road – will only lead to more traffic.

So while I welcome the emergence of self-driving vehicle technology, the ACT Government must also stand up to safeguard the liveability of our city by investing in a multi-modal transport future.

We will continue to invest in a city-wide light rail network and better active travel connections at the same time as supporting nascent autonomous vehicle technology – because all are part of the future of mobility in Canberra.


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Self-driving cars bolster the case for light rail
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dungfungus 10:59 am 10 Jul 17

JC said :

KentFitch said :

Urbos make lots of vehicles, with different lengths and capacities, but the ACT Gov has contracted a 33m model, configured at full capacity to carry 207 people (with just 66 seated).

Changing to a longer model will be awkward/expensive as it will incur platform lengthening (and associated track works), changes to the depot, and, depending on the model and running frequency, it may require upgrades to the power infrastructure. So, I’m assuming the contracted model will be running in 2019, replacing all bus services between Gungahlin and Civic.

Urbos make no vehicles, Urbos is a model of light rail vehicle made by CAF.

And think you will find adding additional modules is a trivial task from a technical perspective, CAF (and most light rail makers) design their vehicles to be module and changeable. Plus think you will find the platforms and depot etc have been designed for a longer vehicle. If one were to delved into the light rail plans, rather than cherry pick and nit pick you and others would fine a lot more thought has been given for future proofing then given credit for.

Is that light rail future proofing for the benefit of public transport or urban regeneration?

wildturkeycanoe 7:28 am 10 Jul 17

Making the people of Canberra shift their mode of travel to public transport is not as easy as just building a network. If the new service takes longer, requires spending more time in our unpleasant climate extremes or costs more than now, it may even backfire and lose support. Until put into practice, of course folks will say they support something new. When they find they have to stand for 30 minutes instead of sitting comfortably as they do now, or they have to leave half an hour earlier to do the same commute, there is an element of uncertainty in the boasts made by the government on patronage. A distinct lack of an express service will make people leave PT in preference for getting to their destination on time, especially those with family commitments such as school aged children. We can’t assume anything based on other cities and their success or failures. The Gold Coast for example has a different climate and relies on tourism, not local workers for consistent revenue. What tourism does Northbourne offer? Who is going to brave the -7°C mornings or 39°C afternoons instead of taking a climate controlled journey in their own vehicle? Case studies mean little as this is not like any other city in the world. We could promote mopeds based on usage figures from Bangkok, just as easily with data gathered there. Doesn’t necessarily mean it will work though.

JC 9:02 am 09 Jul 17

KentFitch said :

Urbos make lots of vehicles, with different lengths and capacities, but the ACT Gov has contracted a 33m model, configured at full capacity to carry 207 people (with just 66 seated).

Changing to a longer model will be awkward/expensive as it will incur platform lengthening (and associated track works), changes to the depot, and, depending on the model and running frequency, it may require upgrades to the power infrastructure. So, I’m assuming the contracted model will be running in 2019, replacing all bus services between Gungahlin and Civic.

Urbos make no vehicles, Urbos is a model of light rail vehicle made by CAF.

And think you will find adding additional modules is a trivial task from a technical perspective, CAF (and most light rail makers) design their vehicles to be module and changeable. Plus think you will find the platforms and depot etc have been designed for a longer vehicle. If one were to delved into the light rail plans, rather than cherry pick and nit pick you and others would fine a lot more thought has been given for future proofing then given credit for.

Walker 9:51 pm 08 Jul 17

Chewy14’s instincts got me thinking. Labor hasn’t put this production on for nothing. Maybe something has frightened them?

It’s not all about privately owned autonomous cars as they’ve put it, and even on that level it presents some problems for light rail.

It’s really about publically owned autonomous cars used as public transport.

This game changing fact has been carefully avoided, and the people behind it misrepresented. Read the links (Chris answering Chewy14).

You can believe the implications of disruptive technology or not, but that shouldn’t distract you from examining Labor’s motives and methods.

Maya123 2:02 pm 06 Jul 17

dungfungus, didn’t I read here somewhere that you wrote you walk ten kms a day, which is VERY impressive? So, you should have not a problem with needing to walk to and from a bus. Just take the distance off your impressive ten kms 🙂

KentFitch 12:49 pm 06 Jul 17

Damien Haas said :

The services running adjacent to Flemington are likely to be expanded to support light rail. That has been stated since the outset of Stage One. If this incorrect assumption is the basis for your extrapolations, then all your subsequent analysis is equally wrong.

Maybe you’re not aware that the planning and modelling for the project, and all the Gov statements to date say that there will be no buses travelling from Gungahlin to North Canberra. Currently, in weekday 8am-9am, there are 30 buses, carrying at capacity about 2130 people, about 1360 of whom can be seated. All these people will either have to transfer to the tram, starting travelling by car, or take up walking or bike riding to get between Gungahlin and North Canberra.

But, the tram as contracted will have just 10 services per hour in that same peak period, hence carrying at capacity 2070 people, about 660 of whom can be seated.

Damien Haas said :

There are many different buses in the ACTION fleet .I’m not sure what your point is. No doubt it is supremely important in your alchemic calculations.

Damien, it is just maths – I don’t know how I can represent it more simply.

Damien Haas said :

KentFitch said :

Do you contest that the tram capacity is 66 seated and 141 standing?

The Urbos LRV can carry 129 to 327 passengers according to wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbos

Urbos make lots of vehicles, with different lengths and capacities, but the ACT Gov has contracted a 33m model, configured at full capacity to carry 207 people (with just 66 seated). Changing to a longer model will be awkward/expensive as it will incur platform lengthening (and associated track works), changes to the depot, and, depending on the model and running frequency, it may require upgrades to the power infrastructure. So, I’m assuming the contracted model will be running in 2019, replacing all bus services between Gungahlin and Civic.

I fully appreciate this is bizarre: that there is less capacity on the Gungahlin – Civic route in the AM peak with the tram, given the initial positioning of the tram as a transport solution and given the increasing density along the route. But I’m just the messenger – the message is the from the ACT Gov, and it seems we are all in the dark as to what they are actually thinking, or perhaps hoping.

dungfungus 12:46 pm 06 Jul 17

Maya123 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Maya,your BMI figures while interesting do not factor in the following. A person in Gunners catching a tram will catch a bus from their home to the tram station. They sit all the way to work, getting FB time or having brekkie. In Civic they will probably have a short,convenient walk to work. If the distance is far the rest of the trip may also be done by bus [free city loop?].
With a car they probably won’t get any more or less exercise at the onset. But with public parking being taken over by new office space they will be seeking all day accomodation for their vehicle further from their workplace, meaning a longer stroll and, wait for it, exercise! Not only that but using the accelerator,clutch, brake pedals and the steering wheel will use more calories than holding your phone in front of your face.
The drawcard of the tram and the appeal is supposed to be its convenience. That does not to me sound like a factor in promoting exercise or they would have designed it to run along Limestone Avenue instead. I argue that it is only going to increase health problems rather than decrease them. You show me how it will encourage walking without eliminating the suburban bus routes connecting places like Forde and Crace to the Gungahlin town square. People will not take up exercise if they aren’t motivated. While convenient alternatives are there, lazy people will continue to take them. I just can’t see those living more than a kilometer from the tram taking up walking, because they would already be doing so to use our Action bus network, which does a better job than the tram ever will.

Apparently studies round the world (I heard of others) have shown catching public transport involves getting more walking than it does driving to work. This is only one case and giving personal experience is always that, but my past (I’m retired now) experience of catching a bus to work only involved 120 metres to the bus from home (later when I moved house, 400 metres), but a 2km walk from the bus to my work at the other end. I could have caught another bus in Civic to take me to about 200metres from work, but waiting for that, plus the bus ride, took me longer than walking, and I came to enjoy the walk, so I walked. After I retired I took a part time job for awhile. 400metres to the bus and then a 1.3 km walk to work when I got off the bus. Coming home, 1.3kms back to the bus and then if I missed the bus it was quicker to walk the 2.6kms home rather than wait half an hour for the next bus. In summer I rode to work, which was quicker, but where I worked, the streets had little lighting and so I would walk in winter. Initially I thought that walking would be too far, but once I tried that rather than catch a second bus, I discovered it was at times quicker to walk than wait for the bus, giving me needed exercise. Without using the bus I would never have walked. And before starting to use the bus, I didn’t expect I would be walking. So, this can, and did in my case, lead to more exercise and a mental attitude change.

This supports the claim that Parisians can eat all that butter, duck fat and chocolate they love and still look slim and healthy because they have to walk a lot to catch the busses and the metro to get anywhere – and there is nothing wrong with that as they don’t have the alternative choice to drive a car as they have no where to park a car and the roads are to small.

Oh, how they envy us in Canberra.

Maya123 10:59 am 06 Jul 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

Maya,your BMI figures while interesting do not factor in the following. A person in Gunners catching a tram will catch a bus from their home to the tram station. They sit all the way to work, getting FB time or having brekkie. In Civic they will probably have a short,convenient walk to work. If the distance is far the rest of the trip may also be done by bus [free city loop?].
With a car they probably won’t get any more or less exercise at the onset. But with public parking being taken over by new office space they will be seeking all day accomodation for their vehicle further from their workplace, meaning a longer stroll and, wait for it, exercise! Not only that but using the accelerator,clutch, brake pedals and the steering wheel will use more calories than holding your phone in front of your face.
The drawcard of the tram and the appeal is supposed to be its convenience. That does not to me sound like a factor in promoting exercise or they would have designed it to run along Limestone Avenue instead. I argue that it is only going to increase health problems rather than decrease them. You show me how it will encourage walking without eliminating the suburban bus routes connecting places like Forde and Crace to the Gungahlin town square. People will not take up exercise if they aren’t motivated. While convenient alternatives are there, lazy people will continue to take them. I just can’t see those living more than a kilometer from the tram taking up walking, because they would already be doing so to use our Action bus network, which does a better job than the tram ever will.

Apparently studies round the world (I heard of others) have shown catching public transport involves getting more walking than it does driving to work. This is only one case and giving personal experience is always that, but my past (I’m retired now) experience of catching a bus to work only involved 120 metres to the bus from home (later when I moved house, 400 metres), but a 2km walk from the bus to my work at the other end. I could have caught another bus in Civic to take me to about 200metres from work, but waiting for that, plus the bus ride, took me longer than walking, and I came to enjoy the walk, so I walked. After I retired I took a part time job for awhile. 400metres to the bus and then a 1.3 km walk to work when I got off the bus. Coming home, 1.3kms back to the bus and then if I missed the bus it was quicker to walk the 2.6kms home rather than wait half an hour for the next bus. In summer I rode to work, which was quicker, but where I worked, the streets had little lighting and so I would walk in winter. Initially I thought that walking would be too far, but once I tried that rather than catch a second bus, I discovered it was at times quicker to walk than wait for the bus, giving me needed exercise. Without using the bus I would never have walked. And before starting to use the bus, I didn’t expect I would be walking. So, this can, and did in my case, lead to more exercise and a mental attitude change.

dungfungus 10:13 am 06 Jul 17

dungfungus said :

AnAverageGoat said :

Lol. It’s ridiculous to say that people will use shareride hired self-driving cars. No one uses Lyft Carpool or Uber Pool anywhere. They’re failing in the US.

That’s the feedback I am getting too.

There are risks too. http://malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/684687-female-passengers-urged-to-be-extra-cautious-when-using-ride-hailing-services.html

dungfungus 8:31 am 06 Jul 17

Maya123 said :

dungfungus said :

You are totally right and indeed, and while our government reliant on motorist-centric revenue it is not about abandon that cash cow. They are even placing the radar speed vans on the Monaro Highway at Williamsdale (near the new “Welcome to Canberra” signs) to catch interstate travellers who will “feel the love of Canberra” too..

Not the only traffic authority. Others do this too on the border. Not far south of the Northern Territory border, on the Stuart Hwy, the South Australian authorities have set up radar to catch motorists heading south from the Northern Territory. The speed limit in SA is 110; while in the NT over the border, 130. It’s to take advantage and catch drivers still doing NT speeds and who haven’t woken up quickly enough that speeds have changed. This is the middle of the Australia with low traffic and straight roads, where oncoming traffic is easily spotted.

That cross border example you have cited is nasty but I would have thought most motorists in that area would be aware of the situation. I have never been on that road but I am aware (through regular news stories) that the limit in the NT is 130.

The situation on the Monaro Highway is different as the cross-border limit is constant and drivers are mainly from NSW and transiting the ACT. The “joke’ is that the van is just near the new sign saying “Welcome to Canberra”. I reckon this action is detrimental to Canberra’s tourism efforts but what would I know. Just shut up and pay your rates and taxes is the message that is conveyed.

wildturkeycanoe 7:28 am 06 Jul 17

Maya,your BMI figures while interesting do not factor in the following. A person in Gunners catching a tram will catch a bus from their home to the tram station. They sit all the way to work, getting FB time or having brekkie. In Civic they will probably have a short,convenient walk to work. If the distance is far the rest of the trip may also be done by bus [free city loop?].
With a car they probably won’t get any more or less exercise at the onset. But with public parking being taken over by new office space they will be seeking all day accomodation for their vehicle further from their workplace, meaning a longer stroll and, wait for it, exercise! Not only that but using the accelerator,clutch, brake pedals and the steering wheel will use more calories than holding your phone in front of your face.
The drawcard of the tram and the appeal is supposed to be its convenience. That does not to me sound like a factor in promoting exercise or they would have designed it to run along Limestone Avenue instead. I argue that it is only going to increase health problems rather than decrease them. You show me how it will encourage walking without eliminating the suburban bus routes connecting places like Forde and Crace to the Gungahlin town square. People will not take up exercise if they aren’t motivated. While convenient alternatives are there, lazy people will continue to take them. I just can’t see those living more than a kilometer from the tram taking up walking, because they would already be doing so to use our Action bus network, which does a better job than the tram ever will.

Maya123 10:39 pm 05 Jul 17

dungfungus said :

You are totally right and indeed, and while our government reliant on motorist-centric revenue it is not about abandon that cash cow. They are even placing the radar speed vans on the Monaro Highway at Williamsdale (near the new “Welcome to Canberra” signs) to catch interstate travellers who will “feel the love of Canberra” too..

Not the only traffic authority. Others do this too on the border. Not far south of the Northern Territory border, on the Stuart Hwy, the South Australian authorities have set up radar to catch motorists heading south from the Northern Territory. The speed limit in SA is 110; while in the NT over the border, 130. It’s to take advantage and catch drivers still doing NT speeds and who haven’t woken up quickly enough that speeds have changed. This is the middle of the Australia with low traffic and straight roads, where oncoming traffic is easily spotted.

dungfungus 9:55 pm 05 Jul 17

AnAverageGoat said :

Lol. It’s ridiculous to say that people will use shareride hired self-driving cars. No one uses Lyft Carpool or Uber Pool anywhere. They’re failing in the US.

That’s the feedback I am getting too.

dungfungus 9:52 pm 05 Jul 17

Holden Caulfield said :

Damien Haas said :

…It isn’t just the private car that may be displaced by autonomous vehicles…

Let’s be real, privately owned cars aren’t going to be displaced in our lifetime. Or that of our children.

Moreover, the fairy land of autonomous vehicles being discussed here is at least 10 years away. That’s if it ever arrives.

It’s us humans who are to blame. An autonomous network could operate effectively if the fleet on our roads consisted only of autonomous vehicles. However, because there will be human-controlled vehicles for the foreseeable future (be they push bikes, motorbikes, cars, trucks or buses) the advancement of autonomous vehicles will suffer.

It’s true the pace of technology change continues to amaze, and I may have this totally wrong, but those anticipating an army of magic cars driving around our streets in the next few years are underestimating the magnitude of what is required for that to happen.

You are totally right and indeed, and while our government reliant on motorist-centric revenue it is not about abandon that cash cow. They are even placing the radar speed vans on the Monaro Highway at Williamsdale (near the new “Welcome to Canberra” signs) to catch interstate travellers who will “feel the love of Canberra” too.

In the meantime they will dole out millions of dollars to the electric/autonomous car cause to appease the supporters of those concepts and their reveries.

Maya123 5:15 pm 05 Jul 17

Maya123 said :

Lucy Baker said :

Maya123 said :

Lucy Baker said :

Maya123 said :

Whenever I read things like this, I just imagine the worsening health of the public; the further increase of obesity. Many people don’t get enough exercise now and a high proportion are overweight. Most people drive to work and the most daily exercise they get is likely to be the walk in from the car park, before they spend the day sitting at their desk. Now comments such as this are encouraging even less exercise. .

Well I would say I am pretty typical of Canberra public servants. I drive to a dedicated park at work, and I am not overweight let alone obese. I exercise for a solid 30 minutes to an hour on weekdays, more on weekends. Walking to the bus stop and back is not going to counter obesity, sorry.

One person does not make the average person. It’s great you exercise, but most people don’t get enough exercise now. From the following link: http://www.aihw.gov.au/overweight-and-obesity/
“Australian adults (63%) are overweight or obese.” You are not typical. You need to broaden your reference.

How about addressing my point that walking to and from the bus won’t make an iota of difference?

You didn’t make a point, just a vague statement. You didn’t explain why, to quote you, “walking to and from the bus won’t make an iota of difference”. You need to explain why not. Likewise, you should attempt to answer my comments, which you didn’t. Please explain where these self-drive cars will park, and why they will get to park for free, when other cars don’t? Please explain if they will park near your work, or drive further away to park. You did say, “have your car go off and self-park for free”, indicating it was a private car, but even if a shared public car, after peak hour, most would still need to park, either nearby, or further away, extending peak hour traffic as they drive kms to park.

Re walking to and from public transport, read this: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4887

“Results from multivariate linear regression analyses suggest that, compared with using private transport, commuting by public or active transport modes was significantly and independently predictive of lower BMI for both men and women. In fully adjusted models, men who commuted via public or active modes had BMI scores 1.10 (95% CI 0.53 to 1.67) and 0.97 (0.40 to 1.55) points lower, respectively, than those who used private transport. Women who commuted via public or active modes had BMI scores 0.72 (0.06 to 1.37) and 0.87 (0.36 to 0.87) points lower, respectively, than those using private transport. Results for percentage body fat were similar in terms of magnitude, significance, and direction of effects.

Conclusions Men and women who commuted to work by active and public modes of transport had significantly lower BMI and percentage body fat than their counterparts who used private transport. These associations were not attenuated by adjustment for a range of hypothesised confounding factors.”

Another link; perhaps better: http://bic.asn.au/information-for-moving-people/health-and-public-transport

Maya123 4:14 pm 05 Jul 17

Lucy Baker said :

Maya123 said :

Lucy Baker said :

Maya123 said :

Whenever I read things like this, I just imagine the worsening health of the public; the further increase of obesity. Many people don’t get enough exercise now and a high proportion are overweight. Most people drive to work and the most daily exercise they get is likely to be the walk in from the car park, before they spend the day sitting at their desk. Now comments such as this are encouraging even less exercise. .

Well I would say I am pretty typical of Canberra public servants. I drive to a dedicated park at work, and I am not overweight let alone obese. I exercise for a solid 30 minutes to an hour on weekdays, more on weekends. Walking to the bus stop and back is not going to counter obesity, sorry.

One person does not make the average person. It’s great you exercise, but most people don’t get enough exercise now. From the following link: http://www.aihw.gov.au/overweight-and-obesity/
“Australian adults (63%) are overweight or obese.” You are not typical. You need to broaden your reference.

How about addressing my point that walking to and from the bus won’t make an iota of difference?

You didn’t make a point, just a vague statement. You didn’t explain why, to quote you, “walking to and from the bus won’t make an iota of difference”. You need to explain why not. Likewise, you should attempt to answer my comments, which you didn’t. Please explain where these self-drive cars will park, and why they will get to park for free, when other cars don’t? Please explain if they will park near your work, or drive further away to park. You did say, “have your car go off and self-park for free”, indicating it was a private car, but even if a shared public car, after peak hour, most would still need to park, either nearby, or further away, extending peak hour traffic as they drive kms to park.

Re walking to and from public transport, read this: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4887

“Results from multivariate linear regression analyses suggest that, compared with using private transport, commuting by public or active transport modes was significantly and independently predictive of lower BMI for both men and women. In fully adjusted models, men who commuted via public or active modes had BMI scores 1.10 (95% CI 0.53 to 1.67) and 0.97 (0.40 to 1.55) points lower, respectively, than those who used private transport. Women who commuted via public or active modes had BMI scores 0.72 (0.06 to 1.37) and 0.87 (0.36 to 0.87) points lower, respectively, than those using private transport. Results for percentage body fat were similar in terms of magnitude, significance, and direction of effects.

Conclusions Men and women who commuted to work by active and public modes of transport had significantly lower BMI and percentage body fat than their counterparts who used private transport. These associations were not attenuated by adjustment for a range of hypothesised confounding factors.”

Holden Caulfield 4:03 pm 05 Jul 17

Damien Haas said :

…It isn’t just the private car that may be displaced by autonomous vehicles…

Let’s be real, privately owned cars aren’t going to be displaced in our lifetime. Or that of our children.

Moreover, the fairy land of autonomous vehicles being discussed here is at least 10 years away. That’s if it ever arrives.

It’s us humans who are to blame. An autonomous network could operate effectively if the fleet on our roads consisted only of autonomous vehicles. However, because there will be human-controlled vehicles for the foreseeable future (be they push bikes, motorbikes, cars, trucks or buses) the advancement of autonomous vehicles will suffer.

It’s true the pace of technology change continues to amaze, and I may have this totally wrong, but those anticipating an army of magic cars driving around our streets in the next few years are underestimating the magnitude of what is required for that to happen.

AnAverageGoat 3:54 pm 05 Jul 17

Lol. It’s ridiculous to say that people will use shareride hired self-driving cars. No one uses Lyft Carpool or Uber Pool anywhere. They’re failing in the US.

Lucy Baker 1:28 pm 05 Jul 17

Maya123 said :

Lucy Baker said :

Maya123 said :

Whenever I read things like this, I just imagine the worsening health of the public; the further increase of obesity. Many people don’t get enough exercise now and a high proportion are overweight. Most people drive to work and the most daily exercise they get is likely to be the walk in from the car park, before they spend the day sitting at their desk. Now comments such as this are encouraging even less exercise. .

Well I would say I am pretty typical of Canberra public servants. I drive to a dedicated park at work, and I am not overweight let alone obese. I exercise for a solid 30 minutes to an hour on weekdays, more on weekends. Walking to the bus stop and back is not going to counter obesity, sorry.

One person does not make the average person. It’s great you exercise, but most people don’t get enough exercise now. From the following link: http://www.aihw.gov.au/overweight-and-obesity/
“Australian adults (63%) are overweight or obese.” You are not typical. You need to broaden your reference.

How about addressing my point that walking to and from the bus won’t make an iota of difference?

goggles13 10:13 pm 04 Jul 17

Thank you for providing me with a laugh when I read this article. While I am still physically able, I will still drive my car around Canberra, whether it’s to travel to work or for other reasons. For the foreseeable future, no form of public transport can beat the convenience of a car in Canberra. It takes me no more than 15 minutes to drive to work each day and there is no form of public transport that do it quicker at the moment.

Call me old school (I proudly drive a V8 Commodore), but there is no way in hell I would consider riding in or buying a self-driving car. I enjoy driving myself thanks.

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