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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

How Autonomous Shuttles Could Transform the College Experience

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A University of Delaware campus bus.

Autonomous vehicles have become a de facto mode of transportation for the future.

Credit: Kerline Aures/The Review

It's no secret that parking seems to be a pain point among college students on several campuses across the United States. According to The New York Times, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has one parking space for every five people and approximately 65,000 students. The campus plans to add an additional 2,200 parking spaces over the next 20 to 40 years, which seems like a long time for a campus and student body that is continuously growing. In fact, the application rate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison increased from 2017 to 2018 by 20%.

Transportation and parking remain an ongoing issue among campuses everywhere.

Many public state universities are over a thousand of acres wide. The University of Florida, for example, is sprawled over 2,000 acres of land. With bus systems unable to service the demand and not enough parking space for students, students need an alternative transportation solution that is timely and efficient.

Autonomous vehicles have become a de facto mode of transportation for the future. While we're still in the early stages of the evolution of this technology, fixed-course autonomous shuttle vehicles could be a true transportation solution for college campuses. The use of controlled-speed timed shuttles that would allow students to travel between campus destinations will be revolutionary for universities that experience crowding or issues with parking.


From The Review

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