Driverless Cars Steer Us Away From a Carless Future

Discussions over the potential benefits and drawbacks of driverless cars seemingly overlook one important question, says Allison Arieff: "[W]hy continue to design and plan for a car-based society?"

"Many experts, from architects to automobile executives, predict the ascendancy of the autonomous vehicle within three generations," writes Arieff. "Allstate is preparing actuarial tables; Ford, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, among other car manufacturers, in an unusual shift toward long-term planning, are seeing the writing on the wall and have developed working prototypes."

"Self-driving cars seemed futurist a century ago; today, it seems out of touch to focus on cars at all," she observes. "Americans are buying fewer cars, driving less and getting fewer licenses as each year goes by. Rates of car ownership are decreasing. Bikeshare, rideshare and carshare programs are gaining in popularity and acceptance, as are transit-oriented communities."

"By becoming so enamored with how technology might transform the car, we’ve neglected to adequately explore how getting rid of cars might transform how and where we live."

Full Story: Driving Sideways

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95