My cover story for the spring edition of Berkeley Engineer Magazine examines the impacts of integrating self-driving vehicles into the transportation network - but from a policy, not an engineering standpoint. The outcomes are hard to measure because the questions are as big as all of society.
The gee-whiz technology gets a lot of attention, but the real thing to watch, experts says, is us, the traveling public. When driverless vehicles begin integrating into an increasingly complex transportation ecosystem — one that includes partially automated vehicles, sharing and pooling services, not to mention delivery vehicles, robots and drones — the public’s travel behavior will shift as we adjust to new mobility choices. What will the impacts be on traffic and transit? How will jobs and land use shift? Will services be equally available to everyone or just another amenity for the wealthy?Read more.
Fresh Ink! is a blog showcasing recent work by Ann Brody Guy, an Oakland-based freelance writer-editor covering science, health, and higher education