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Fully automated taxi service

16 February 2017

It’s no longer necessary to own a car in Brussels. A web app allows you to book transport as a resident, or as a commuter when you arrive in Brussels. How many people, how much baggage, from where to where and around what time. The electric self-driving cars, the property of Brussels, drive around the streets completely automatically. More flexible than public transport. Cheaper than your own transport. No need to own a car, no need for parking spaces. Just a smartphone and app. A terminal could be placed in stations with a pay card for commuters who do not have a subscription. An idea suggested by Wim (Afffligem)

Self-driving cars are no longer out of the ordinary. Electrically powered cars are particularly useful for short distances. Nowhere more so than in cities. Overcrowded cities are constantly struggling to provide enough parking spaces. For many, public transport is not flexible enough, or too public. Uber and other solutions are examples of the next generation of quick mobility. Their success is evidence that people are ready to travel in this way. Car ownership, expensive parking, lack of parking spaces, expensive home extensions to be able to safely park that car overnight and not having to get up each day with the fear of scratches, theft or sabotage to your expensive car.
Why not create a system which steers a car of the required size, to the place where it is requested, at the indicated time.  Separate or shared travel can be selected via the app.

Indicate with how many people and how much baggage you want to travel, and whether or not you wish to travel alone. The options you select determine how quickly a car will be sent to you.
The organisation that supplies these services uses the smart city wifi services. It uses the mapping and traffic services of smartcity/google/etc.
The app and the booking application are probably yet to be developed.
Various types of car will have to be offered. Small ones, larger ones - perhaps even luxury and less high-end types can eventually be made available.

For residents of Brussels, the cost is covered by the municipal tax. Anyone who wants more luxury will have their payment adjusted and pay more.  In any event, I estimate that far more smaller types of car will be needed (no driver, no boot, just the passenger (average 1 to 2 people?)

The success of Uber, cambio, and shared car purchases demonstrate that people are gradually letting go of the idea of really needing to have their own car.
And cities more readily lend themselves to this.

Some parts of the city can even be connected to transport networks other than the automatic cars.
The booking system software will have to be fed with information on battery charge and guide the vehicle to a fully-automated charging point (such as has existed for many years for robot mowers)

Of course, the system becomes more lucrative the more people use it.

However, if public institutions are required to use the system instead of private cars paid for by the community, this alone will create a very large pool of users for these services.
Relevant administration(s)
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