The policy implications of self-driving cars
Parking reform, the end of shitty transit, and more
Ten years ago, we saw a crescendo of hype around self-driving cars that then went into abeyance when the problem turned out to be harder to solve than the biggest optimists had hoped. Elon Musk certainly didn’t help. He salted the earth a bit by being incredibly famous and extremely vocal, continually making inaccurate promises and engaging in deceptive marketing around “full self-driving” for Teslas. But along the way, genuine self-driving cars came to be and are now on the streets of San Francisco, Austin, and the suburbs of Phoenix and Los Angeles.
My understanding is that right now, this is mostly a curiosity. Self-driving taxis aren’t really cheaper than normal ones, and some of the markets where they’re available have very low cab demand anyway.
But the technology is not hypothetical. It clearly works, and while there are some technical challenges to rolling it out further, the concept has been proven. It will take some time to fine-tune and get regulatory approval in various pl…
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