Driverless cars will trigger gridlock chaos as they roam the roads to avoid ...

Never pay to park again! Autonomous cars will drive aimlessly around a city until their owners finish shopping instead of pulling up (but experts warn it could cause gridlock chaos) University of California professor claims autonomous vehicles will wreak havoc In London, drivers often spend more than £2,000 each year on parking charges UK drivers are spending 35 per cent more on driving than the US and Germany

By Peter Lloyd for MailOnline

Published: 12:22 GMT, 1 February 2019 | Updated: 12:22 GMT, 1 February 2019

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Driverless cars will cruise around city centres while their owners shop instead of parking to avoid extortionate parking fees, according to new research.

The influx of the controversial vehicles meandering around the roads would likely increase congestion and cause huge traffic jams, scientists claim. 

During this time they will also save petrol by going slow to 'kill time' - amplifying the issue. 

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Driverless cars will cruise around city centres while their owners shop instead of parking to avoid extortionate parking fees, according to new research. The influx of the controversial vehicles meandering around the roads would likely increase congestion and cause huge traffic jams, scientists claim (stock) 

Driverless cars will cruise around city centres while their owners shop instead of parking to avoid extortionate parking fees, according to new research. The influx of the controversial vehicles meandering around the roads would likely increase congestion and cause huge traffic jams, scientists claim (stock) 

Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said: 'Parking prices are what get people out of their cars and on to public transit. 

'But autonomous vehicles have no need to park at all. They can get around paying for parking by cruising. They will have every incentive to create havoc.' 

Chancellor Philip Hammond expects 'fully driverless cars', with no safety attendant on board, to be in use in just two years - by 2021. 

The study, published in the journal Transport Policy says the nightmare of 'robot-fuelled gridlock' is right around the corner.

Professor Millard-Ball says self driving, or autonomous, vehicles are likely to become commonplace in the next five to 20 years.

He carried out the first analysis of its kind into the combined impact of parking costs and the vehicles on city centres where the expense and availability of space restricts car travel.

It found, under the 'best-case scenario,' the presence of just 2,000 self-driving cars in downtown San Francisco will slow traffic to less than two miles per hour.

Professor Millard-Ball used game theory and a traffic micro-simulation model

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