A Future With Driverless Cars — City Visions 91.7 FM Tonight At 7pm

Driverless cars, or autonomous vehicles, have been making headlines recently, as companies as diverse as Google, Tesla, GM, Lyft, and Uber are making big bets.  These companies foresee a future with vehicles that can drive themselves, leaving the driver to do anything but drive.  The autonomous capability could also allow people to summon vehicles that they “rent” like a Netflix subscription, instead of owning and parking for most the of the day.

Image result for self driving carWe already see the technology introduced in Teslas and other vehicles, starting with smaller features like self-parking and automatic braking.

But as we move to a world of full autonomy, the future could either be very bright or very dark.  On the bright side, a reduction in car ownership could lead to freed space for more housing and pedestrian spacing.  Car accidents could be a thing of the past, while vehicles could be “right-sized” for each trip and more efficient and lighter without the need for safety features.

On the dark side, autonomy could lead to a significant uptick in driving miles, as well as more sprawl and congestion.  This could lead to more pollution and loss of open space.

To discuss these issues, I’ll be hosting City Visions tonight at 7pm on KALW 91.7 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Joining me will be:

  • Dorothy Glancy, J.D., Professor of Law at Santa Clara University
  • Gerry Tierney, Associate Principal at Perkins + Will
  • Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center and Adjunct Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley

For those not in the Bay Area, you can tune in via live streaming.  Hope you can join, and feel free to call in or email with your comments for us to address on the air.

UPDATE: audio is now posted here.


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