Volume 18

A Future without Human Driving

by Guy Seidman and Aviv Gaon

Cities, especially those lacking a well-functioning public transport system, have long had a love-hate relationship with privately owned cars. On the one hand, cars allow a massive influx of people into cities from the surrounding areas. This inflow helps cities maintain their economic vitality and social relevance. On the other hand, there are massive prices to pay. Congested traffic means a slow commute, which is both unpleasant and wasteful. Furthermore, car parking is enormously expensive in terms of physical space and financial cost. Worse still is the cost in life and limb that car accidents cause. Small wonder that commentators have called for the complete removal of cars from cities or that many cities have taken up the initiative of banning cars from their centers. Autonomous Vehicles (AV) hold the promise of a “gentler, kinder” car, which will allow more individual passengers to get to their desired destinations faster, more comfortably, and more safely than they do now. We have two goals in this paper: first, to present the technology in its transition from the drawing board into mainstream use while outlining current trends in emerging technologies regulation (AVs included); and second, to suggest that AVs hold particular promise in the urban context. Here, we look into AV regulation in more detail, discussing the social impact and legal considerations that should be

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