No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future

PublicAffairs. Nov. 2018. 272p. notes. index. ISBN 9781610398657. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781541724044. TECH
In his latest work, Schwartz (Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars) writes a practical, future-focused book on how automated vehicles will come to influence transportation. As the term automation has been applied in many ways to new technologies, such as self-driving cars, a helpful appendix on levels of automation helps to foreground the work and examine the degrees to which it can be achieved in the automotive field. To prove his points, Schwartz brings perspectives and lessons learned from his years as New York City's traffic commissioner. Chapters expand into several aspects of self-driving cars including infrastructure costs and designs, traffic and land use, business and health implications, and the varied ethical considerations of autonomous vehicles. What this work does best is provide timely and informed reporting on historical continuities with the current automated car debate.
VERDICT For readers interested in learning more about technology and transportation policy, especially those contemplating the uses, drawbacks, and future possibilities of emerging technology on society writ large.—Jim Hahn, Univ. Lib., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

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