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ECF: "Watch out for laws that demand cyclists get out of the way of driverless cars"

Link to web site

"The past can tell us a lot about the future, and the past tells us that we’re very poor at predicting the next transport revolution. 18th-century folk thought canals would last forever. Early 19th-century folk thought the same about turnpike roads. And for those who grew up in the 'railway age', the only future imagined was of steel rails and steam trains. Few predicted the motor car's eventual dominance, and it’s reasonable to assume that the same inability to accurately predict the future afflicts us, too. As 'car age' people, we tend to extrapolate into the future of transport using what we know, and that's car-shaped objects on roads.

"Driverless cars – known to futurist wonks as AVs, autonomous vehicles –  are not, in fact, the disruptive technology that many think it is. I’ve been using driverless cars for a great many years, cars which scuttle away and hide when not needed. I can summon one with an app when in a meeting and it will appear outside and whisk me to wherever I want to go. I’m talking about taxis. When I use taxis, including Uber, I can kick back and let the driver – a silent automaton if I so will it – worry about the road ahead.

"Where autonomous vehicles might change the world – if we let them – is over who has priority on roads. Currently, driverless cars are programmed to avoid cyclists and pedestrians. In a city full of cars driven by onboard computers it will be a great game to ride or step in front of them, safe in the knowledge they’re programmed not to touch you."

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