Automated Cars: A smooth ride ahead? (Independent Transport Commission, 2014)

This paper, by researchers at the Imperial College London, raises a wide range of important public policy questions regarding vehicle automation, from safety issues to the effects on public transport and the movement of goods. This is still a rapidly developing area of transport, and the uncertainties about what autonomous cars will mean for life are examined. More than purely technological solutions are needed; customs, social mores and legal regulations also need to change. This paper argues that the changes brought about by increasingly sophisticated vehicle automation will appear in an evolutionary pattern and it highlights many of the second-order impacts that will arise, including improved mobility and capacity on existing networks; the release of time when travelling; improved safety; and extending our driving life further into old age.
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