A new kind of vehicle has taken to the roads, and people aren’t sure what to make of it. Is it safe? Can it cope with other road users? Will it require a radical overhaul of the transport infrastructure?
The questions that are being asked today about self-driving cars were raised a century ago when the first motor cars roared onto the roads. So how can the concerns raised during the first road revolution help us think about the second?
Safety is the main concern at the moment, after the first fatality in a self-driving car, which took place in May. Joshua Brown, the owner of a Tesla Model S, was killed when he set the car to “Autopilot” mode and it ran into the side of a lorry which its sensors had failed to spot.
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