In China, the conflict between fast urbanization and limited recourses leads to traffic problems such as congestion, parking resource shortage and low efficiency package delivery, etc. With the fast development of information technology and control science, the development of driverless cars has stepped to its widely testing period and has provided possible solutions for such problems. This paper tries to propose a perspective view of applying driverless cars on Beijing transportation system. With the promotion of driverless cars in Beijing, up to 168 km2 land use and 320,000 labor force could be released. About 5.3 million travelling hours will be saved every day if Beijing transportation system applies driverless door-to-station and station-to-door service. In addition to releasing up to 1 million labor force, driverless delivery could potentially provide more efficient delivery services. However, challenge still exists while widely applying driverless cars in Beijing, especially for central areas, the highly mixed traffic condition as well as the complex road network will greatly affect the operation of driverless cars.
*This paper was written for the Marron Institute Conference on Self-Driving Vehicles, which took place on May 28 & 29, 2015 and was convened with support from Google.
Photo courtesy of Joel Hatfield.