The transportation industry is not only being privatized but made robotic as well with SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES and the MARS ROVER was the early research on just that. The number of job categories set to be eliminated is MASSIVE so why would WE THE PEOPLE MOVING FORWARD these policies? Just because that 5% to the 1% have rigged our elections? We can fix that easy peasy!
Here we have TESLA pushing our US car manufacturer GM out of business. Remember, this coming economic crash comes with our US corporations taking heavy corporate bond debt just to push them into bankruptcy so they can be folded into multi-national corporations so this is why GM is on the decline. So jobs in all US auto industry will disappear along with pensions, wage and labor protections as SELF-DRIVING CARS, TRUCKS, TRAINS by a TESLA take the global market.
Obama loved his global 1%------free market economy with these subsidized WINNERS----not really.
Remember, Congressional and Presidential targeted subsidy to what are often campaign contributors is ILLEGAL----and TESLA was a big winner in GREEN ENERGY subsidy for developing driverless vehicles for planetary exploration and replacing a huge workforce sector.
Apr 10, 2017 @ 05:37 PM 5,295 The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets
Musk's Tesla Rockets Past GM To Become The Most Valuable US Carmaker At $51.5 Billion
Alan Ohnsman ,
Thumbing a ride at the intersection of technology, autos and mobility
AP Photo/Richard Vogel
Clouds and palm trees reflected on the hood of a Tesla Model S in downtown Los Angeles.
Elon Musk takes great pleasure in announcing ever quicker iterations of Tesla’s luxury electric vehicles, cars that rocket from zero to 60 miles an hour in about 2.5 seconds. In the world of global automotive brands, Tesla itself has moved at a similarly rapid pace to become the most valuable U.S. automaker based on its stock price just seven years after its IPO.
Tesla shares closed at a record $312.39 in Nasdaq trading on April 10, inflating the Silicon Valley-based company’s market capitalization to $51.5 billion. That drove it past General Motors, the biggest U.S. carmaker by sales volume, which ended the day with a market cap of $50.2 billion. Exactly one week earlier, Tesla passed Ford. The company that revolutionized mass production of automobiles a century ago had a total market cap of $44.6 billion as of April 10.
Tesla investors remain remarkably loyal and excited by Musk’s vision of a future defined by exhaust-free cars powered by clean energy, despite the company’s tiny sales volume, limited lineup of all-electric vehicles and lack of profitability, aside from two quarters in the black. The U.S. outlook for Tesla, ahead of the addition of its first widely affordable car later this year, the $35,000 Model 3 sedan, is also somewhat unclear as the Trump Administration mothballs environmental programs and policies that incentivized sales of emission-free vehicles.
At its current valuation, Tesla is worth more than eight times its revenue in 2016. In terms of scale, the company delivered only about 77,000 Model S and Model X vehicles to customers last year, while GM sold 9.8 million cars and trucks. And while Tesla lost $675 million in 2016, GM reported net income of $9.4 billion.
So what accounts for the stock’s rapid ascent?
From the outset, investing in Tesla has been defined by its corporate vision, rather than mundane near-term financial concerns. Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, who recommends that investors “underweight” Tesla shares, recently compared belief in the company to the “red pill/blue pill” choice posed in “The Matrix.”
Neo, the hero of the 1999 film played by Keanu Reeves, is told that if he takes a blue pill offered to him by rebel leader Morpheus “the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.” But if he chooses the red pill “you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
“Much of the 'cult' stock appeal of Tesla revolves around, in our view, the science fiction-like future envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk,” Johnson said in a research report this month, after Tesla’s market cap topped Ford’s. “Supported by Mr. Musk’s side ventures in rockets to Mars (SpaceX), hyperloops, advanced tunneling, and now brain-computer implants, Tesla investors and car buyers are deeply attached to the notion that they're not buying a regular financial instrument or vehicle, but instead a ticket to the future.”
Tesla is trying to significantly reduce the cost of its powerful lithium-ion battery packs through the opening of its Gigafactory plant in Nevada, which continues to boost production even as work to complete the $5 billion facility continues. Musk also wants Tesla to be a leader in both autonomous driving and in manufacturing technology, saying the Model 3 is designed to make it both simple to build and defect-free.
That last goal is crucial, because Tesla is working to boost annual vehicle production from a little over 100,000 units this year to 500,000 in 2018 and a million in 2020.
Those are big goals. If Tesla hits them, and weathers a murky U.S. political environment, investors may see their faith in the company rewarded.
We talked some weeks ago about the goals of UBER as a corporation-----it was used to deregulate our public transit tied to taxis, buses, and give those citizens trying to hold on to car ownership the idea they had options in keeping that driving freedom. Who developed the idea for UBER? Our poor city citizens who for decades would hold out their hand to hail a private citizen for a cheap ride. Our taxis went from being public ----because it is next to impossible to operate in profit a cab company unless of course they are driverless.
Here in Baltimore our immigrant citizens tied to being that cabby are seeing it impossible to survive in the current environment ---these jobs are often that step for immigrants to US citizenship.
Driverless vehicles will replace delivery drivers---another often outsourced job category to immigrant citizens----and a top employer for our US citizens. See what all those SMALL SATELLITE CORPORATIONS are doing filling our sky? SPACE-X/SOLAR CITY/TESLA control most of these smallsat corporations as subsidiaries.
BALTIMORE IS GROUND ZERO FOR DRIVELESS VEHICLE DEVELOPMENT AS IS ARIZONA AND PITTSBURGH.
Uber's self-driving cars are back on the road after an accident
by Selena Larson @selenalarson March 27, 2017: 7:16 PM ET
Your video will play in 00:13
Uber's self-driving cars are back on the road, following a weekend crash in Tempe, Ariz. that grounded test cars in Pittsburgh and Arizona.
Tempe police confirmed to CNNTech the self-driving Uber vehicle involved in the rollover accident Friday night was not at fault, and there were no life-threatening injuries.
The self-driving car tests resumed in both cities Monday, after a temporary halt to investigate the accident.
In addition, Uber's self-driving car testing resumed in San Francisco, the company told CNNTech.
Uber had been forced to stop testing in that city in December, after California regulators revoked the vehicles' registrations. The company had skirted regulations by not applying for permits, and after it ignored warnings from the DMV, regulators halted its program.
Uber then moved its testing to Arizona, which has no special regulations for autonomous vehicles.
A spokeswoman for the California DMV confirmed Uber obtained a permit to test its autonomous vehicles on March 8. That permit covers two vehicles and 48 drivers, and each additional car and driver will need to be approved individually.
Uber's self-driving car program has faced criticism before.
Waymo, Google's autonomous car division, recently filed a lawsuit against Uber-owned Otto for stealing trade secrets and intellectual property.
The accident and reinstatement of autonomous cars in San Francisco comes at an increasingly tumultuous time for the company, which includes customer boycotts. Uber is currently investigating claims of sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace, and CEO Travis Kalanick recently said the company plans to hire a COO.
It was our Maryland Transit Unions that would have been out in force against these privatization policies these several years but instead they are being told to hide these goals as our MTA is privatized and dismantled. We think our labor unions supporting immigrants is fine----but if we are not fighting US CITIES AS FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES and against all global corporate control of our public agencies----here we see protests against UBER ----we saw protests against VEOLA Transportation----but our international labor union leaders keep supporting the worst of global Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA neo-liberals as happened here in Baltimore and Maryland.
THIS IS SERIOUS FOLKS-----THE MOVING FORWARD TO NO JOBS UNDER THE GUISE OF GLOBAL CORPORATE FACTORY AND CAMPUS LABOR POOL EMPLOYMENT----OH, THAT GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS IS BRINGING INNOVATIVE JOBS!
Maryland and Baltimore is privatizing all public transit and moving forward driverless vehicles in all industries while the 5% to the 1% say----SHOW ME THE MONEY INSIDER TRADING ON STOCKS BRINGS MONEY THAT THEY WILL LOSE.
Pittsburgh Public-transit advocates and union groups protest Uber
Posted By Ryan Deto on Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 6:02 PM
- CP photo by Ryan Deto
- Uber protesters in Denny Park, in Pittsburgh's Strip District
On Feb. 2, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick announced that he was leaving President Donald Trump’s economic advisory council. The billionaire was already in a lot of hot water for joining the team, both from the public and Uber employees. But criticism escalated Jan. 28, when during a hour-long strike by New York City taxis in solidarity with immigrants affected by Trump’s travel ban, Uber turned off its surge pricing. (Uber says the no-surge-pricing timing was unrelated and happened after the taxi strike was over.) The company subsequently lost more than 200,000 users after a #DeleteUber Twitter campaign.
But protesters in Pittsburgh are still upset with the ride-hailing company. On Feb. 4, a group of more than 35 protested at Denny Park in the Strip District, and then marched toward Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center (where they make and test driverless cars), located just a few blocks away.
Laura Wiens, of transit-advocacy group Pittsburghers for Public Transportation, commended Kalanick for stepping down from Trump’s advisory council, but believes the company can do more to support immigrants. Wiens said she would also like to see Uber oppose state anti-immigrant bills like SB 10, Pennsylvania’s anti-sanctuary city bill currently in the state Senate.
Uber spokesperson Craig Ewer responded to the protest with a statement sent to City Paper: "More than ever, it's important that we all support freedom of speech. Like many others, Uber strongly opposes the President's unjust immigration ban which is harming many innocent people, many of whom are drivers. That's why we created a $3 million legal-defense fund to help, and why we're offering compensation for lost earnings for any driver stranded abroad. We will continue to stand up for those being hurt by the President's executive order."
Uber also recently donated $10,000 to Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to provide rides to victims of domestic abuse.
Wiens added that the group's frustration with Uber goes beyond its immigration-related policies, and PPT believes Uber has policies that hurt workers.
“Just as Trump is in support of deregulation, so is Uber,” said Wiens. “Just as Trump is anti-worker, so is Uber.”
Sean McGrath is an Uber driver who said Uber has labor practices that hurt drivers’ ability to make money and speak out against management. Uber refers to drivers as “partners” and pays drivers as independent contractors, not employees.
“The partnership is only one-way,” said McGrath. “There is no way for us to voice our opposition.” McGrath has recently grown frustrated with how quickly the Uber app updates its “hot spots,” or highlighted areas where drivers can take advantage of surge-pricing rides. “This zones refresh every 15 seconds, so you expect to get a good pay, but then the surge disappears by the time you arrive.”
Tom Conroy, of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents most of the county’s public-transit workers, was most critical of Uber’s specific role in Pittsburgh: driverless vehicles. He says driverless vehicles could eliminate public-transportation jobs and that Uber has been silent on this topic.
“Where is [Uber’s] commitment to the 100,000 of workers who stand to lose jobs with the emergence of autonomous cars,” said Conroy. Protesters also called on Uber to share its transportation data with Pittsburgh, as well commit to a more transparent process when working with the city and community.
Arizona as Maryland were ground zero for the biggest Democratic primary election frauds against a supposed left-social Democrat and not one word from our labor unions on fixing these election riggings. In fact our national, state, and local public unions partnered with international AFL-CIO came out early for HILLARY who is team global Wall Street privatization of our public transit. WE THE PEOPLE must move from simply coming out to protest what will MOVE FORWARD because we are leaving the same pols in office.
VEOLA Transportation already has much of Maryland's public transit----now we have Hogan's Maryland Link commuter buses all tied to global transportation corporations and all with a goal of DRIVERLESS VEHICLES. The number of bus and transit employees is huge saying BYE-BYE to those jobs while voting for global Wall Street players.
Our labor unions should be leading the rolling peaceful protests for weeks and months filling our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones for economic disruption====this is vital not only for jobs but freedom and liberty stemming from public transportation for 99% of citizens.
Phoenix transit union workers protest outside City Hall
by Lynh Bui - Aug. 20, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Bus unions agree to extend negotiation deadline
Routes that would run at reduced service during a strike
Routes that would be unchanged during a strike
Transit workers marched through the midmorning sun Thursday, picketing for fair contract negotiations with employer Veolia Transportation Services.
With sweat running down their faces, protesters waved signs with several messages: "Transit riders deserve better," "Veolia Threatens Union" and "Don't subcontract jobs."
Employees chanting and marching in circles near Phoenix City Hall said they're worried Veolia isn't negotiating in good faith with the unions representing bus employees. They said the company may bring in replacement labor in case of failed contract negotiations.
But a representative for Veolia said having backup drivers and other transit employees is just a precautionary measure and something the company has a right to do to keep service on the streets.
Phoenix contracts with Veolia to operate 33 out of 99 bus routes in the Valley Metro system.
The protest of about 50 workers near Washington Street and Second Avenue was the latest development in a months-long saga between Veolia and its three employee unions in Phoenix.
The contracts for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 428, representing mechanics, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 104, representing fuelers and cleaners, are set to expire at midnight Aug. 31. Veolia is also negotiations with the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents bus drivers, though that contract doesn't expire until Sept. 30.
If an agreement isn't reached, bus service could be disrupted across metropolitan Phoenix if unions choose to strike or Veolia replaces current laborers with outside employees.
Union officials marching Thursday said they don't want to disrupt bus service for Valley transit users.
Before the last contract deadline of Aug. 15, which was extended, Veolia flew in drivers from other parts of the country to take the place of union employees in case of a strike.
The city has no direct control over contract negotiations or whether there would be a work stoppage because the negotiations are between Veolia and the unions.
But city officials have developed contingency plans in case bus service is disrupted, said Marie Chapple, a spokeswoman for Phoenix's public-transit department.
Busses would still run, but there would be fewer on the road running less frequently than usual, Chapple said.
A strike would mainly affect routes in Phoenix, Glendale and Scottsdale. Information about service disruptions resulting from a work stoppage is available at valleymetro.org or 602-253-5000.
Johns Hopkins in its growth to global corporation has of course its own fleet of transportation vehicles ready to kill any attempts by local citizens to have that small business deliver or transport company ----we can only be INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS for these global 1% corporations. As the category of INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR soars for ordinary jobs----so too does that classification as employee----this is why unemployment figures no longer match actual unemployment. Citizens are trying and leaving these kinds of INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR jobs because they are enslaving and as this happens of course global Wall Street tells WE THE PEOPLE they must bring global labor pool to take jobs Americans do not want. How many times do we listen to that?
With all this comes that environmental disaster waiting to happen. We discussed this under environmental public policy---all that battery and digital rare earth mineral going into each piece of these driverless technology vehicles is huge.
THE TIME FOR WE THE PEOPLE TO STOP MOVING FORWARD IS NOW.
Trump is not killing our jobs for US and immigrant workers----CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA has and they are still in office.
A person commenting on my posts says:
Only the worst kind of people can be against autonomous vehicles.
Well, I will venture to say you either do not know where these policies lead or you don't care----I think that makes the worst kind of people. Autonomous vehicles used in selective cases can be a social good---capturing 99% of people in movement they cannot control is purely evil.
06/11/2015 03:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 10, 2016 Autonomous Vehicles Will Replace Taxi Drivers, But That’s Just the Beginning
By Sam Tracy
Google, Tesla Motors, and many other companies are in a race to build the first completely self-driving car. With technology improving so quickly, it’s only a matter of time until fully autonomous vehicles are widely available, with the CEO of Ford predicting their arrival by 2030. Much has been written about how this will disrupt the taxi industry, and with good reason: Uber, already upending traditional taxi companies with its wildly popular app and network of independent drivers, is openly planning to replace human drivers with self-driving cars once it’s feasible. Yet while taxi and Uber driving will probably be the first professions to be made obsolete by autonomous vehicles, this developing technology has the potential to replace at least twenty times as many jobs, all of which are higher-paying. The driverless revolution is about so much more than taxis, and has the potential to radically transform not just transportation but the entire economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are about 178,000 people employed as taxi drivers or chauffeurs in the United States. But once driverless technology advances to the point that vehicles can be fully autonomous — without the need for any human behind the wheel in case of emergencies — professional drivers will become a thing of the past. Bus drivers, whether they’re for schools, cities, or long-distance travel, would be made obsolete. Once cars drive themselves, food deliveries will be a matter of restaurants filling a car with orders and sending it off, eliminating the need for a delivery driver. Each of these professions employ more people and are better paid than taxi drivers, as shown in the table below.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some of these may be a bit surprising, like postal carriers. But once fully autonomous vehicles are commonplace it would make sense for the Postal Service to make use of the technology to deliver mail, especially in areas where curbside mailboxes are standard and it would be rather simple for a mechanical arm to deposit and retrieve mail directly. Drivers of delivery trucks for companies like UPS and FedEx may also face extinction, if they’re not replaced by Amazon’s delivery drones first — or perhaps they’ll develop a combined system where self-driving trucks bring packages from the warehouse to their destination, and a drone delivers them the last few yards from curbside to doorstep.
Despite their importance for the economy, each of these professions pale in comparison to heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers. This field employs the most by far — nine times as many people work as truckers than as taxi drivers, and it’s the most common job in a whopping 29 states — and is also better paid than most, with an average salary of about $42,000. When considering the total amount of wages paid to each of the seven occupations in the table above, truck drivers make up nearly half, while taxi drivers & chauffeurs only account for 3%. The development of self-driving tractor-trailers won’t be far behind automated taxi cabs, with companies like Daimler already testing out partially-automated trucks in Nevada.
While there may be other driving-focused jobs not included in these BLS statistics, there are certainly many more industries that will be impacted by the replacement of humans with self-driving vehicles. If this technology leads to a sharp decline in car ownership like many predict, insurance companies will have far fewer customers and may not need as many employees to service them. The same goes for mechanics and auto part manufacturers, who could face a massive drop in demand. Fewer human truckers on the road means fewer motel stays and rest stop visits, and cheaper trucking could take business away from freight trains or even oil pipelines. Vehicles programmed to obey traffic laws won’t need nearly as much policing, which also means fewer traffic tickets and less revenue for municipalities. The full scale of these economic shifts will be impossible to understand until they’re upon us, but the one thing we can know for sure is that they’ll touch almost every aspect of society.
Yet this isn’t to say that driverless vehicles will cause more problems than they’ll solve — far from it. Robots taking human jobs means that those humans can spend their time doing higher-valued work that will drive even more progress, which is especially good news for less-desirable professions like long-haul trucking, which is actually facing a worsening shortage of workers. Automated vehicles, immune to road-rage and carelessness, will be safer and more efficient than human drivers — meaning less wasted energy, fewer accidents, and cheaper goods. As with all automation, it also has the potential to further concentrate wealth and power into the hands of a small elite, but this is something that can be mitigated with enough foresight and creativity. My next article will outline a few different business models that could be used for self-driving vehicles, and explore how we can best harness the benefits of the driverless revolution for the largest number of people.
As a former resident of Seattle nothing is better than those ferry systems running all through San Juan Islands making traveling a relaxing wonder. Here we have that public transit employee sector also on the chopping block as water taxis and ferries are also slated to go self-driving. Don't worry---global Wall Street is going to pay 99% of WE THE PEOPLE $2000 a month BASIC INCOME not to work-----
We will have 300 million US citizens fighting to be planetary mining slaves or global factory workers in China or Malaysia......
Scientists in Amsterdam will test self-driving boats in the city’s canals
Row-bot. (Courtesy MIT Senseable City Lab.)
September 20, 2016
The self-driving movement is coming to Amsterdam’s canals.
Researchers are planning to launch “roboats” to traverse the Dutch capital’s canals next year, part of a five-year project to test the self-driving vessels’ ability to transport people and goods in a city whose area is about one-quarter water.
The roboats can also serve as temporary infrastructure, such as on-demand bridges or stages, said Carlo Ratti, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. MIT is working with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, Delft University of Technology, and Wageningen University on the project.
Like the Amazon. (Courtesy MIT Senseable City Lab.)The autonomous boats will be programmed for other missions that were once left to humans trying to make a euro, such as retrieving the some 12,000 bicycles that end up in the cycle-centric city’s canal each year, the organizers said. Other potential tasks include collecting data about air and water quality.
While researchers tout the project as the first time self-driving boats will be used in a metropolitan area, automation of other sea-bound vessels have been cropping up lately.
Engineers in California are testing out robotic sailboats to monitor fisheries and other marine life, the New York Times recently reported. Rolls Royce is studying automation (pdf) and remote-controlled commands for cargo ships, such as self-docking.
Advocates of automated fleets, including the Amsterdam roboats, argue the main advantage is that they are safer than those operated by humans.
The rules that will govern self-driving cars are becoming clearer. Money-saving seafaring vessels could be next and they might even have easier regulatory and cultural hurdles to clear since many of them would carry cargo, not passengers. But automated ferries and water taxies may not be far behind. So the next time you’re in Venice, give your gondolier a hefty tip.
I like this. As global Wall Street takes these few decades to make the 99% think this is all about innovative transportation for the masses while having the goal of having 99% of citizens not able to leave a global corporate campus and certainly not driving freely around a SMART CITY filled with the global 1% and their 2%----we hear the cost are dropping on personally owning a driverless car then we hear the major market will no doubt be leasing or renting these cars.
This article has it right---from driveless car parking spaces---garages and fueling spaces ----traffic industrial engineering geared only to that driverless capacity-----being an individual human will disappear into autonomy. They will have the only option for movement being in driverless vehicles owned by global corporate campuses.
Sorry, that parking space was reserved by the driverless car nearing this area----keep looking for that parking spot.
'Driverless cars will make a significant impact on transportation, specifically on parking. In 15 years from now, 90% of our current parking spaces will decrease due to autonomous cars'.
Forget all those VALET PARKING jobs-----no need for humans in any aspect of this process.
Why Driverless Cars Will Increase Tensions in Cities and Suburbs Alike
Think the battle between drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians is ugly now? Wait until engineers start designing intersections for computers instead of people.
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Driverless cars sound less and less like science fiction with each passing month, and that's prompted widespread discussion about how they might change society. They will bring many changes, but when it comes to the car's role in the city, they may just intensify current tensions.
The Atlantic Cities' own Emily Badger interviewed a research team of computer scientists at the University of Texas at Austin, who are studying how to make intersections move far more cars than they can today. They devised algorithms that let driverless cars flow through the intersection without need for lights that only let one direction of traffic move at a time.
But what's missing from this diagram? How about... people?
[H]uman-driven cars would have to wait for a signal that would be optimized based on what everyone else is doing. And the same would be true of pedestrians and bike riders.
That certainly sounds like all other users of the road will have to act at the convenience of the driverless cars, under constraints designed to maximize vehicle movement instead of balancing the needs of various users.
My background is in computer science, too, and computer scientists love figuring out how to make complex systems perform efficiently. Driverless cars provide an opportunity to optimize the real-world traffic system, if you can get most people driving computer-controlled cars and can get all of those computers to cooperate.
But you can't optimize people so easily. Already, cities host ongoing and raucous debates over the role of cars versus people on their streets. For over 50 years, traffic engineers with the same dreams about optimizing whizzing cars have designed and redesigned intersections to move more and more vehicles.
These changes frequently pushed other users aside with longer waits for crosswalks, the need to push buttons to get a walk signal, awkward bridges over wider and wider arterials, or simply omitting bike or pedestrian facilities entirely and then blaming those users when careless drivers hit and kill them.
Some pro-automotive advocacy groups like to push the theme of a "war on cars," but bicyclists and pedestrians feel like there's been a war against them since the early 20th century. This Texas team's video just perpetuates that impression.
The video even depicts an intersection with a whopping 12 lanes for each roadway, at a time when most transportation professionals have come to believe that grids of smaller roads, not mega-arterials, are the best approach to mobility in metropolitan areas.
Driverless cars, therefore, are poised to trigger a whole new round of pressure to further redesign intersections for the throughput of vehicles above all else. It won't only happen in the cities, either. Suburban areas are often ground zero for these debates, where the majority of people drive, but a significant and often growing number are either unable to drive due to age or disabilities, or are unable to afford cars. (Driverless cars probably won't be cheaper.)
Suburbs, therefore, often develop a greater tyranny of the majority, where county and state departments of transportation optimize their roadways for car throughput and leave bus stops in awkward and narrow roadside spots, leave crosswalks out or even remove existing ones, and set the stage for rising deaths.
If autonomous cars travel much faster than today's cars and operate closer to other vehicles and obstacles, as we see in the Texas team's simulation, then they may well kill more pedestrians. Or, perhaps the computers controlling them will respond so quickly that they can avoid hitting any pedestrian, even one who steps out in front of a car.
In that case, we might see a small number of people taking advantage of that to cross through traffic, knowing the cars can't kill him. That will slow the cars down, and their drivers will start lobbying for even greater restrictions on pedestrians, like fences preventing midblock crossings.
Our metropolitan areas could then look, more and more, like zoos for humans interlaced with pathways for the dominant species, the robot car. Maybe the machines really are on the way to taking over, but instead of Skynet declaring war on humans, we'll be the ones passing laws and reshaping our communities for their convenience.
I'm not suggesting we avoid research into driverless cars. Like any technology, they can bring good or evil, depending how society handles them. Driverless cars can allow buses to become on-demand jitneys and virtually eliminate the need to own a personal car in a city, or to build huge amounts of parking under office buildings. Instead of storing cars during the day, they can just drive around and transport people like taxis.
But we do need researchers excited about driverless cars not to forget the human element. The goal of our built environment is not to move cars as fast as possible everywhere, but to create a better quality of life. The computer science researchers need to also talk to their colleagues in other disciplines, set appropriate goals that consider all users of the roads, and think about what algorithms can actually make life better.