“The fundamental flaw of the entire automated vehicle concept revolves around our confusion between a road and a street.”

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I’m thinking Google didn’t quite grok my intent in searching.

I’m not interested in this purported autonomous panacea, and it isn’t because I’m a Luddite in terms of technology (although I’m getting there). Rather, Marohn explains it; we’re merely substituting one form of car-centrism for another.

And eff all that.

AUTOMATED VEHICLES WILL MAKE OUR STREETS WORSE, by Charles Marohn (Strong Towns)

There are a lot of people very excited about automated vehicles and their potential to transform our cities. I’m not one of them. I think we as a society seem all too enamored with technology, all too trusting of those pushing it and all too forgetful of the fact that we’ve been down this street before.

SNIP

Let me be very clear: I think the fundamental flaw of the entire automated vehicle concept revolves around our confusion between a road and a street. Roads are connections between places where speed and travel efficiency is the emphasis. Streets are the framework for growing a place, a platform for building wealth where the quality of the human habitat is more important than the throughput of vehicles.

The promise of automated vehicles is the promise of the stroad, the street/road hybrid. Adherents believe that, with AV, we will be able to move vehicles quickly and — simultaneously — improve safety and comfort for people not in a vehicle. This is nonsense, or stated more clearly, this is nonsensical unless we are willing to destroy the street as a platform for building wealth in a place.

Let me provide a simple mind experiment. I’m going to call it the Cambridge Test after my experience last week at the Harvard campus for a Strong Towns speaking engagement …

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