The recent deaths of a woman struck by a car Uber was testing in driverless mode and of a man whose Tesla Model X crashed when his hands were off the steering wheel because he was letting the car do some of the driving may shift the debate over autonomous vehicles.
Those tragic fatalities are raising overdue questions about whether people and places will be ready when this new technology moves from beta-testing to a full-throttled rollout.
As an urban planner who has analyzed how technology affects cities, I believe that driverless vehicles will change everything that moves and the stationary landscape too. Until now, the public and governments at all levels have paid too little attention to how letting these machines drive themselves will transform urban, rural and suburban communities.
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