From driverless tech regulations to designing mobility around inclusivity – here’s a roundup of the most interesting transportation industry related news that we’ve happened upon in the past seven days.
Scant Oversight of Self-Driving Technology, The Wall Street Journal
[C]ar-safety regulators were forced to wait until a major mishap before significantly addressing Tesla’s Autopilot system. The May 7 fatal crash in Florida that killed 40-year-old Joshua Brown when his Tesla Model S drove under the trailer of an 18-wheel semi truck turning in front of the car offers NHTSA officials their first significant chance to flex regulatory muscle.
Roads That Work for Self-Driving Cars, The Wall Street Journal
In its rush to get hot new products into consumers’ hands, Tesla—along with many other car manufacturers—has pursued a flawed vision of the future, one in which tomorrow’s technology is simply layered on top of today’s. As with the “horseless carriages” of the early 1900s, which at first were merely added to the jumble of pedestrians and carts swarming through the streets, the real benefits of the new technology won’t be realized until we see substantial changes in our transportation infrastructure.
Maltzan’s proposal turns on its head the conventional wisdom about the relationship between freeways and the communities that surround them. If you look at the diagrams his firm and Arup have developed to accompany the design, what you see seeping out from the new freeway bridge into nearby neighborhoods is not a plume of pollution but a spreading zone of benefits: an expanded wildlife corridor, better equipped schools, improved air quality.
Teen drivers’ brains may hold the secret to combating road deaths, The Washington Post
In this study, the subjects weren’t being pressured or persuaded by peers to drive faster. They were simply being primed ahead of time. The teens appeared to be swayed by their perceptions of other people’s attitudes, or what Simons-Morton calls “social norms.”
“The issues that Oakland is facing right now are the same issues that metropolitan areas around the country, indeed around the world, are going to have to grapple with in coming decades,” Tumlin says. Among the questions he thinks a new DOT will play a role in answering: How can a mobility system be designed around inclusivity? How can cities accommodate the many who are now demanding better bike infrastructure, knowing it means some drivers will feel they are being made to give up their privileges? How does a city grow its economy while ensuring opportunities also proliferate for those who have historically been bypassed by economic growth?