Monday, January 12, 2015

Trinity Toll Road Plan ended due to self-driving car advances.

The Trinity Toll Road will be obsolete before it is ever completed, if that ever happens. 

Within the decade the Dallas Morning News may be having articles about the new LBJ Freeway’s multiple lanes being a waste of money due to massive overbuilding! Why?  The efficiency of self-driving cars!

For over 6 years my brothers have been using GPS driven tractors to provide a significantly more accurate distribution of seeds and fertilizer on their farms.  They save enough money to more than pay for the GPS related equipment on their self-driving tractors. 

Have you seen such tractors in operation yet Steve?  It is nothing new.  Driving a massive multi-ton vehicle covering a 140 feet wide strip of land with one pass though the field, and enough accuracy to be within a fraction of an inch of "perfect" with each pass, is normal now!

While self-driving vehicles are nothing new what is new is the rate of change and usage of such well tested self-driving technology as it expands to self-driving cars.   They will quickly become more visible to the general public over the next 5 years as new cars are purchased, many of them with components of self-driving included.

By the end of February hundreds of the new Tesla’s sold in the DFW area will receive software upgrades that will allow auto-pilot capabilities. This will be a major step on the long road already traveled toward self-driven cars, including vehicle to vehicle communications allowing them to travel close to each other at whatever the speed limit is.   Meanwhile the “driver” reads, works online, or makes phone calls.  We are not there yet, but it is now being predicted within the next decade.

Within the decade Dallas will also be discussing dedicated self-driven car lanes that can manage 500% more cars in one lane than current freeway lanes!   That is, we will have one lane each way on LBJ that could handle ALL THE TRAFFIC NOW ON LBJ!

This technology will render the newly constructed LBJ Freeway as an obsolete, over-built freeway.  

The timing of such technology is uncertain. The fact that it is coming is certain!   Simply google “self driving car” today and read only what was posted within the past week.  You will get articles like “
It’s 2015, self-driving cars are more than a promise  and “Self-driving Cars Are No Longer a Thing of the Future | TIME  

To ignore this rapidly advancing technology makes the destruction of the last major natural resource in Dallas, the Trinity River flood plain, that much more of a crime against our own children and grandchildren!  

Dallas has the potential to become one of the great urban centers of the world if we manage these decisions well, and liberate ourselves from old technology!