Quoted: How driverless cars might affect cities

“What automation is going to allow is repurposing, both of spaces in cities, and of the car itself.”

Ryan Calo, drone and robotics specialist and assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law, tells the New York Times that driverless vehicles — which the public and some states, such as California, seem to be  embracing — could change cities. Some of the anticipated changes include less space needed for parking and cleaner air. Not so fast, says Bryant Walker Smith, a fellow at Stanford and member of the Center for Automotive Research there. He tells the NYT that driverless cars could become extensions of home, meaning people would be more willing to live farther away from work. “The future city is not going to be a congestion-free environment,” he says.


A driverless car is seen at Google  in September, when California Gov. Jerry Brown came to the company’s Mountain View headquarters to sign a bill that allows driverless cars to be operated on public roads for testing purposes. (Gary Reyes/ Mercury News)

Levi Sumagaysay Levi Sumagaysay (4265 Posts)

Levi Sumagaysay is editor of the combined SiliconBeat and Good Morning Silicon Valley. She also helps take care of SiliconValley.com, the Mercury News tech website. Email: lsumagaysay@bayareanewsgroup.com