The country's leading transport expert describes how the driverless vehicle revolution will transform highways, cities, workplaces and laws not just here, but across the globe.
Our time at the wheel is done. Driving will become illegal, as human drivers will be demonstrably more dangerous than cars that pilot themselves. Is this an impossible future, or a revolution just around the corner?
Sam Schwartz, America's most celebrated transportation guru, describes in this book the revolution in self-driving cars. The ramifications will be dramatic, and the transition will be far from seamless. It will overturn the job market for the one in seven Americans who work in the trucking industry. It will cause us to grapple with new ethical dilemmas-if a car will hit a person or a building, endangering the lives of its passengers, who will decide what it does? It will further erode our privacy, since the vehicle can relay our location at any moment. And, like every other computer-controlled device, it can be vulnerable to hacking.
Right now, every major car maker here and abroad is working on bringing autonomous vehicles to consumers. The fleets are getting ready to roll and nothing will ever be the same, and this book shows us what the future has in store.
Sam Schwartz, a.k.a. "Gridlock Sam," is one of the leading transportation experts in the United States today. He served as New York City's traffic commissioner and the New York City Department of Transportation's chief engineer. Schwartz currently runs Sam Schwartz Engineering and is a columnist at the New York Daily News. He has been profiled by the New Yorker, New York Times, and many other national publications. Schwartz lives in New York City and owns a Volvo that can drive without him.
Table of Contents
Introduction: You Can't Put This Car in Reverse 1
1 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Future Is Now 11
2 Infrastructure: Less Is More 37
3 Traffic and the Future of Land Use 67
4 Business and Consumerism 99
5 Saving Lives: Are AVs Good for Our Health and Safety? 131
6 Makers, Drivers, Passengers, and Pedestrians: Hard Questions and Moral Dilemmas 165
No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future 3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
It will be the best of times. It will be the worst of times. How will your life change when there is No One at the Wheel?
“Most transportation experts say that by 2075 driven cars will be completely replaced...By 2035, we may find that the majority of driving miles are completed by machines, not humans.”
In 2018, 1.3 million people are projected to die in road crashes with 50 million more injured. The need for a solution is clear. Autonomous vehicles are coming. Every major automobile company has one in development.
Will the resulting society be a utopia of staring at your phone continuously while your car drives you to work with no risk of accidents? Or will it cause massive disruption in the economy and overcrowded roadways? What will the one out of seven US residents who work in transportation do for a living? How will they be retrained and who will fund it? The decisions made now will determine our later fate.
No One at the Wheel shares the pros and cons of this new technological development. By making analogies to the development of the original cars, the author paints a dim view of the future of driven cars—as bleak as that of a horse and carriage in 1940.
I found both the history of cars and the potential of autonomous vehicles fascinating. But I’m still unsure what I can do personally to ensure a rosy outcome. No One at the Wheel is recommended for futurists and historians in equal measure. 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, PublicAffairs, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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