Autonomous Vehicles: Separating the Hype from Reality


This is our fourth dispatch from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), which took place in Savannah, Georgia in May. Chuck Marohn attended CNU and hosted a series of in-depth podcast conversations about some of the most pressing topics for cities today, with leaders, thinkers, and activists in a whole range of fields. Now we're bringing those podcasts to your ears throughout the summer.

In this episode, Jeffrey Tumlin, Principal and Director of Strategy at Nelson Nygaard, and Corey Ershow, Transportation Policy Manager at Lyft, discuss the hype around autonomous vehicles and what the AV future might actually look like.

Questions discussed in this podcast include:

  • How will autonomous vehicles fit into our existing taxi and ride-hailing network?
  • How far are we in the technological progression toward autonomous vehicles?
  • Autonomous vehicles seem to work okay on a closed course, but what about in a complex urban space?
  • If we don't criminalize "jaywalking," how can humans and autonomous vehicles interact in a way that allows both to move freely and safely in an urban environment?
  • Will autonomous vehicles take over our cities and marginalize pedestrians, or might the opposite happen as a result of automation?
  • Will autonomous vehicles encourage longer suburban commuting?
  • What are governments doing right, in anticipation of autonomous vehicles?

(Top photo source: Cpl. Jake McClung)