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The Guardian: "With Trump and Uber, the driverless future could turn into a nightmare"

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"Undoubtedly, the prospect of a driverless future is replete with liberating, almost utopian elements. If towns and cities steadily go driverless and car ownership drops, parking will become progressively less of an urban issue, and a whole mess of issues around the shortage of space could be transformed.

"Moreover, plenty of lives will be transformed by driverless travel. Many autistic people find driving impossibly taxing. Older people, people with physical disabilities and thousands of others for whom driving has never had any appeal will see autonomous transport as a gift. Viewed from another perspective, if the driverless vehicle means the end of the age of petrolheads and Jeremy Clarkson, why worry?

"The answer lies in some pretty obvious fears. If unprecedentedly cheap taxi rides become the norm, what will be the fate of buses and trains? Won't all those fleets of cars cause unbelievable congestion? Are we ready for the loud, arrogant demands for the rebuilding of urban space that will come from Uber, Lyft, Tesla, Waymo (Google's new offshoot) and all the other driverless giants?

"And what if the driverless ride is the means not to some great feat of collective emancipation, but individualism taken to the nth degree – the same dystopian isolation captured in Iggy Pop's hymn to self-possessed detachment The Passenger ('I am a passenger/I stay under glass')? As evidenced by such movies as Total Recall and Minority Report, the driverless ride has long been central to plenty of visions of dystopia. There may well be a very good reason for that."

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