Swedish public transportation company Vasttrafik takes all the talking points on the benefits of self-driving cars and points out the elephant in the room.

Self-driving cars. They’re supposed to be the solution to the world’s traffic woes, turning transportation into a wonderful autopia (pardon the pun) where cars come and go in perfect harmony thanks to every vehicle talking to each other and the path of travel optimized thanks to GPS.  But such is not the case according to this Swedish ad. According to Mashable on their piece highlighting the ad earlier today (Mar. 28, 2017) the 45 second ad from Swedish public transportation company Vasttrafik reveals some common sense arguments that not only apply to self-driving cars but also regular ol’ electrified city buses. Check out the video for yourself below!

The thumbnail of the video hints that this is some wonderful new vehicle due to the shape of the bus being hidden in darkness. Only its lights give us a hint as to what this type of vehicle is. Cue the buzzwords. Electrified. Delegated driving. Sustainable. Mobile connected. Easy vehicle sharing. The future of mobility. All the while an otherwise ordinary city busy benefits from the cinematic light play only reserved for car companies revealing a new model.  Surprise, it’s just your bog-standard bus.

A huge selling point of self-driving technology is not having to drive yourself. Buses have been around for more than a hundred years and are an already available solution to relinquishing the burden of driving to someone else. Additionally, Vasttrafik points out that using a self-driving car has net zero effect on the amount of cars on the road. Regardless of what’s under the hood, the actual footprint of a car remains. Electric buses on the other hand have been reducing traffic footprint per person for decades.

This ad is a great expose and is, at the end of the day, an ad for public transportation. However, this is Sweden we’re talking about. Sure, in large metropolitan areas  self-driving public transportation may in fact be the solution to a city’s traffic woes. But self-driving cars in the United States is a different story. With much of our country’s infrastructure set out to benefit the single vehicle owner, self-driving cars and all the hype surrounding them will still reign supreme in the red, white, and blue.


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