Two new articles from The Atlantic Cities discuss the impact driverless cars will have on busy intersections, and if this technology acknowledges the pedestrian element when considering seamless travel and constant traffic flows. Elated proponents of driverless technology emphasize the increase in traffic flow efficiency as a hallmark of computer communication that eliminates the possibility of human error. Additionally, the potential advantages for the elderly or disabled underscore driverless vehicle application in a streamlining transportation experience.
On the other hand, there are some reservations about driverless vehicles’ suitability in a pedestrian or cyclist context. While the technology enables cars to seamlessly communicate with and avoid collisions with each other, it does not predict the actions of a pedestrian or bike rider. Moreover, a shift to driverless cars would preclude a comprehensive redesign of current intersections to defer to auto vehicle throughways, whereby users of non-vehicular modes are inadvertently placed in a haphazard situation.
For more information on driverless vehicles’ potential as agents of efficiency or tension, respectively, please click here or here.