Today’s Headlines

  • Obama: Self-Driving Cars Must Work for Everybody (Wired)
  • DC Officials Consider 1-Cent Sales Tax to Fund Metro (WaPo)
  • Anthony Foxx: Next President Will Formalize Self-Driving Car Rules (Detroit News)
  • NJ Transit a “Cautionary Tale of Neglect” (NYT)
  • Milwaukee Receives Federal Grant to Study Streetcar Extension (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Study: Suburbs Will Get Denser, More Diverse (Curbed)
  • San Francisco Lets Guerrilla Bike Lane Stay Put (CityLab)
  • The People Who Need Transit Most Have the Least Access to It (Treehugger)
  • Congestion in Vancouver Area Shopping Mall Parking Lot Traps Drivers for 4 Hours (Daily Hive)
  • gneiss

    The disturbing element in many of the discussions about self driving cars is that there is little talk about how they car manufacturers and others are planning on making the streets better for those who are not in vehicles. Lots of vague talk about how much “safer” they are, but not a single shred of quantitative analysis of what that actually means.

    In addition, videos showing how car throughput can be improved when we have fleets of self driving cars continue to promote the idea that the public realm should only be for cars – that we can entirely eliminate traffic lights and speed limits because only cars will be on the roads, completely ignoring the fact that people walking and riding bicycles need to be integrated into those systems as well.

    Given the victim blaming culture among state DOTs, police departments and other government agencies, I hold little hope that the safety situation will improve for those who aren’t in cars. In fact, there’s every potential that this technology could further marginalize those who choose not to embrace it.

  • Vooch

    SD cars will drive the speed limit

  • Jesse

    I’m with you 1,000%. I think safety might improve for people outside of cars but only at the expense of access because speeding cars through cities will continue to be the imperative. So for instance, if a self-driving car is incapable of hitting a jaywalker or aggressively yielding in a crosswalk and all the cars on the streets of Manhattan are self-driving, then pedestrians would quickly dominate the streets and self-driving cars wouldn’t get anywhere. The city-friendly solution would be to turn those high pedestrian-traffic areas into transit / bike / ped corridors and just eliminate cars from them entirely. The more likely scenario (the one that DOT seems to go with more often than not) is pedestrian management devices like those barricades the cops put up in tourist season. Only these would be permanent. And maybe separate phases at crosswalks and aggressive jaywalking ticketing.

    Self-driving cars are not some kind of transportation panacea. They only look that way to people who believe that cars are the only viable transportation option. They definitely run the risk of further eroding the urban landscape.

  • HamTech87

    It is too bad that even in super-awesome Vancouver, Canada, there is a giant shopping mall.

  • AnoNYC

    Mercedes Decides Who An Autonomous Car Should Save And The Answer Is Worrying

    http://jalopnik.com/mercedes-decides-who-an-autonomous-car-should-save-and-1787749419

    “All of Mercedes-Benz’s future Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous cars will prioritize saving the people they carry, according to Christoph von Hugo, the automaker’s manager of driver assistance systems and active safety.

    “If you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car,” Hugo said in an interview at the Paris auto show. “If all you know for sure is that one death can be prevented, then that’s your first priority.”?

  • CeeTee55

    This is exactly how it’s happening. Self-driving cars are just going to exacerbate problems that already exists for anyone not in a car. The proposed solution will be “get in a car”.

  • CeeTee55

    Speed limits may be increased though.

  • CeeTee55

    They are a transportation panacea to those dedicated to the continuance of the dominance of automobility.

  • Vooch

    city speed limits being decreased these days, NYC is 25 MPH, Seattle 20 MPH

    suoerhighway limit are likely to being increased w/ SD cars

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