The first picture that comes in our minds when we think about autonomous cars, usually are very high-tech vehicle where the user do not interferes in the driving. However, there are different types of classification for different levels of vehicle automation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the most acceptable definition about autonomous cars. Automation exists in different levels, creating more than one category to define the driverless cars. Those factors are based on how much the driver has control under the car.
• Level 0 – No-Automation: The driver is in complete and sole control of the primary vehicle controls (brake, steering, throttle, and motive power) at all times, and is solely responsible for monitoring the roadway and for safe operation of all vehicle controls. Vehicles that have certain driver support/convenience systems but do not have control authority over steering, braking, or throttle would still be considered “level 0” vehicles;
• Level 1 – Function-specific Automation: Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions; if multiple functions are automated, they operate independently from each other. The driver has overall control, and is solely responsible for safe operation, but can choose to cede limited authority over a primary control (as in adaptive cruise control), the vehicle can automatically assume limited authority over a primary control (as in electronic stability control), or the automated system can provide added control to aid the driver in certain normal driving or crash-imminent situations (e.g., dynamic brake support in emergencies). The vehicle may have multiple capabilities combining individual driver support and crash avoidance technologies, but does not replace driver vigilance and does not assume driving responsibility from the driver;
• Level 2 - Combined Function Automation: This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to relieve the driver of control of those functions. Vehicles at this level of automation can utilize shared authority when the driver cedes active primary control in certain limited driving situations. The driver is still responsible for monitoring the roadway and safe operation and is expected to be available for control at all times and on short notice. The system can relinquish control with no advance warning and the driver must be ready to control the vehicle safely. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering;
• Level 3 - Limited Self-Driving Automation: Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and in those conditions to rely heavily on the vehicle to monitor for changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control, but with sufficiently comfortable transition time. The vehicle is designed to ensure safe operation during the automated driving mode. An example would be an automated or self-driving car that can determine when the system is no longer able to support automation, such as from an oncoming construction area, and then signals to the driver to reengage in the driving task, providing the driver with an appropriate amount of transition time to safely regain manual control.
• Level 4 - Full Self-Driving Automation: The vehicle is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip. Such a design anticipates that the driver1 will provide destination or navigation input, but is not expected to be available for control at any time during the trip. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles.
Urban mobility is a constant challenge that requires a lot of planning and attention. The city’s population grew at an accelerated rate, with an estimated increase of 2.5 billion people by 2050 according to United Nation’s data in 2014. According to the report, about 66% of the world's population will live in cities until 2050 compared to current 54%.
Rapid urbanization and the constant movement from rural areas to the cities have caused a swelling of urban space. To combat increase of the population, it is necessary an efficient and quality public transport system, as an alternative to cars. In Brazil alone, passenger cars account for 38% of CO2 emissions according to the Brazilian Department of Environment.
Cars are very convenient but an inefficient mode of transportation. In Salvador, for example, according to data from the Bahia Infrastructure Secretariat study, in 2013, seven out of ten cars circulate with only one occupant, overloading an existing road infrastructure. The Brazilian average are 1.5 person / car, as explained by Mobilize.
In Europe, according to the European Development Agency (EEA), UK, rate of 1.58 person / car, Germany 1.42 and the Netherlands 1.38.
In order to respond to the inefficiency of passenger vehicles it is necessary the public transportation system. Public transportation can be explained as an accessible system for the population, and may or may not require taxes, be local or regional and have a specific schedule. There are famous examples like the train, subway, ferry, bus and trains.
There are several benefits associated with the adoption of public transport by the population. There are improvements in indicators of deaths in transit, air pollution and health. In the US, only 1% of transit accidents are related to public transportation, while 75% are directly linked to passenger cars according to US Department of Transportation data. The stimulus to public transport has so much power to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that the German Government are studying make it free for the population.
Studies have shown that if there is sufficient investment in the public transportation system to the North American cities, the benefits related to helath costs per person would be $ 355 per year, while the benefits associated with an integrated public system with cycles and routes would be $ 541, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In this way, it is easy to see several advantages related to the investment in public transportation by the governing power. It is now up to decision-makers to invest more resources and time in improving existing systems and creating new systems.
The bicycle represents the most used individual vehicle in Brazil, mainly in small urban centers, which means cities with less than 50 thousand inhabitants. The small centers are about 90% of all Brazilian cities, as exposed by the Ministério das Cidades in the Brazilian Bicycle Program.
In large cities, there is a change in bicycle use due to the greater number of collective transportation services and the existence of a considerably more aggressive traffic. However, the peripheral regions of large cities usually have a less efficient public transport system, generating a scenario where these peripheries are similar to medium-sized cities, thus there is a greater use of cycling in these areas, as also indicated by the Ministério das Cidades.
Brazil has an international presence in bicycle production as fourth largest producer in the world. The country produced in 2016 around 2.5 million units and has an estimated fleet of 70 million bicycles according to data from the Brazilian Association of Manufacturers of Motorcycles, Mopeds, Scooters, Bicycles and Similars (ABRACICLO). The fleet is calculated usually based on the production / sale of the bicycle in the past 7 years, which represents the average life of a bicycle. With a projected population estimated by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in 2017 of 207 million Brazilians, there is a rate of 0.338 bicycles per inhabitant.
According to data from ABRACICLO in 2016, there was a drop in the sector of bicycle production in Brazil in the order of 11.5% compared to the reference period of January to December 2015. The study was based on the analysis of the Manaus Industrial Zone. One cause may be directed linked with the economic crisis in which the country lived in 2016.
Still according to ABRACICLO, the Brazilian industrial sector increased its exports in 2016 by 27.4% compared to 2015. Most of the products was destinated to Paraguay, Bolivia and UruguayIt is expected that in 2017 total bicycle production will increase by 19% as the country begins to show signs of improvement in the economy.
The stimulus to the increase bicycle use in Brazil is explored in diverse fronts. The installation of bycicle-sharing system, spread to several cities, such as: Petrolina, Porto Leve and Recife in Pernambuco; Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul; and Santos São Paulo and Sorocaba in São Paulo. The rental price and conditions may vary from city to city. The following table was obtained from the Bike system site in some regions.
The BikeRio system was implemented in October 2011 through a partnership between the municipality of Rio de Janeiro, Banco Itaú, Serttel and Luciano Hulk. The average use was of 4740 trips per day. Another observation is that only the capitals in the table above generated 5,225.73 Carbon Credits. With the expantion of the bicycle-sharing system across the coutry it is probable have an increase in bicycle use at the national level and a massive reduction in carbon emissions could happen over the years.
The Constitution and Justice Commission are analyzing the PEC 27/2015, which aims to generate tax immunity for bicycles, their parts and spare parts, when they are manufactured by the national industry. This measure has the potential expand the bicycle industry and make it cheaper by reducing the cost to the final consumer.
Brazil has a prominent position in several fields related bicycle use and production. Its industrial strength, mainly in the Southern Cone, can be of great benefit in a world that is increasingly looking for non-motorized vehicles alternatives. It can also be said that Brazil has a solid base to create a nation with a high rate of bicycle use as a mode of transportation, as strong as in European countries. However, it will be up politics creates public policies toward a future away from fossil fuel-dependent transport models.
When we think about architecture, we usually think about the great skyscrapers, the beautiful avenues and beautiful houses.