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Self-driving cars could actually make congestion much worse

Self-driving cars could actually make congestion much worse
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images



Self-driving cars may eventually eliminate the need for personal vehicles, but they may not lessen road congestion




New research from the Journal of Transportation Policy suggests traffic could even get worse as self-driving cars cruise empty on streets awaiting their next rider.




The findings could be more fuel for those seeking to implement congestion charges in more cities.



Where does your self-driving car go after it has dropped you off?
That’s the question Adam Millard-Ball set out to answer in his latest research — and the results of his investigation could throw cold water on some of the promised benefits of self-driving cars.
As the University of California, Santa Cruz environmental studies professor lays out in his research set to publish next month in the Journal of Transportation Policy, autonomous vehicles have three choices when it comes to what to do between rides: park, go home, or circle aimlessly to kill time.
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