Slower Speed Limits Move More Traffic
Joyce Park stashed this in Vehicles
"Everybody knows that congestion causes slow speeds. However, this does not mean that low speed limits cause traffic jams. The capacity of a given lane depends on the time-intervals between successive vehicles. The slower the leading car drives in front of a queue, the closer follows the next car. From the point of view of capacity, it looks like the optimal speed level in urban street network is somewhere between 30 and 40 kilometers per hour"
Seems like self-driving cars will be better able to take advantage of this fact by automating it.
I'm actually super curious what the mental state of people in self-driving cars is like. I would imagine that the law which forces drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel leads to boredom and frustration -- whereas when cars are fully auto, and drivers can actually be passengers, they will care a lot less about things like speed limits or stopping for pedestrians.
I think you're right.
Eventually the people in the self driving cars won't have to keep their hands on the wheel, as you said, and then being a passenger will be a lovely experience.
Of course seatbelts being made compulsory in 1975, and the continuous improvement in car safety also would've had a major influence in these figures.
Reducing speeds within cities does make sense, and when no time is lost, there is no reason not to, but again, this is one of those cases of scientific ignorance, we'd progress at a greater rate if people had a little more trust in academics...
Makes me wonder why more people don't trust in academics. ;)