Hive Mind: The City in the Age of the Autonomous Automobile
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The adoption of autonomous vehicles and the integration of an internet-based general purpose technology platform into urban environments will catalyze the formation of a new system of automobility in the 21st century, subsequently necessitating the development of supporting architectural infrastructures. Using the City of Vancouver’s transportation and planning mandate and present trends in urban planning as a framework, a scenario is generated for Vancouver, BC that re-imagines its downtown peninsula as a pedestrianized public realm serviced by autonomous vehicles via key routes. The new urban transportation model is supported by a system of intelligent, networked inter-system/modal hubs known as “Hives.” This thesis specifically explores the potential of the Hive system as an integrated architectural-infrastructure that combines transportation, distribution, commercial and public activities into a modular, multi-scalar flow management structure capable of evolving, expanding and contracting as technological, economic and social conditions change through time.