Beyond the Driverless Car
A penetrating look at near-future disruption as truly autonomous vehicles arrive.
Anthony Townsend argues that the driverless car is a red herring. When self-driving technology infects buses, bikes, delivery vans and buildings, a wild future awaits. Technology will transform life behind the wheel into a hi-definition video game that makes our ride safer, smoother and more efficient. Meanwhile, autonomous vehicles will turbocharge our appetite for the instant delivery of goods, making the future as much about moving stuff as it is about moving people. Companies will link the automated machines that move us to the cloud, raising concerns about mobility monopolies and privatisation of “the curb”. Our cities and towns will change as we embrace new ways to get around. Ghost Road explains where we might be heading with driverless vehicles, and the choices we must make as societies and individuals to shape that future.
“Today, Townsend foresees a future of “ghost roads” full of driverless
corporate vehicles satisfying a growing appetite for instant delivery of
goods...” — Nature
“Some readers will feel that Townsend has
sketched out a future with vast possibilities; to other it will seem like a nightmarish
vision where robots effectively control our movements. Both groups, however,
will learn a lot.” — Alistair Dalton, Scotland on Sunday