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Concerns Raised about Sprawl, Public Safety Implications of Autonomous Vehicles

A pair of articles sounds separate warnings about what a future of autonomous vehicles will mean for law enforcement and fuel consumption. The warnings are far from the utopian ideal that many desire for the technology.
Roman Boed / Flickr

Writing for Bloomberg, Alan Ohnsman reports that Toyota (one of the companies developing driverless technology), "said the appeal of autonomous cars carries the risk of adding to urban sprawl and pollution as they may encourage commuters to travel farther to work." That prediction came from Ken Laberteaux, senior principal scientist for Toyota’s North American team studying future transportation, in attendance at the Automated Vehicles Symposium earlier this month in San Francisco.

Writing for The Guardian, Mark Harris reports on the contents of an unclassified but restricted report obtained by the The Guardian under a public records request: "the FBI predicts that autonomous cars 'will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car.'"

"[The report] directly contradicts the message that many developers of self-driving vehicles are trying to communicate: that these cars – immune from road rage, tiredness and carelessness – can be even safer than human operators."

Full Story: Automated Cars May Boost Fuel Use, Toyota Scientist Says

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