Originally Posted by christof
You nailed it! Decentralization will be back in vogue when self driven cars hit the road.
There is an ebb and flow to everything. The city was everything, then came cars and suburbs became the thing. We are likely seeing the peak of city revitalization before self driven cars changes everything again.
Your overly optimistic take on self driven cars and your incredibly ambitious timeline to their easing traffic congestion aside, your viewpoint misses a huge factor.
Global warming is not going to become less of a problem as time goes on. Even if self driven cars are an entirely electric fleet, it still won't offset how incredibly inefficient suburban living is.
Personal carbon footprints, energy efficient societies. These factors will have a greater impact than self driven cars and dense city living is the key to energy efficiency.
So you see, playing with future is tricky and requires looking at more than one factor. Self driven cars are close to being introduced to the public. But they will only have a significant affect on traffic congestion when they are the only such cars on the highway. Considering how much americans love driving their cars your previous assertion that this will be happening by the 2030s is super optimistic. You're talking about something that is many many years in the future, it's impossible to say what will happen that far in the future.
Public transit is incredibly important now and it is FAR too soon to write it off as unimportant to the future.