Urban Velo

One Less Driver

Calling John Connor. We need help. Or maybe George Jetson.

When I first started reading this article about cars that DRIVE THEMSELVES from Wired Magazine, I could only think, “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CYCLISTS!” Of course, as I continued reading I was assured that these Google developed driverless cars “..can track pedestrians and cyclists.” Whew! Well that takes care of that then!

Cynicism aside, I continued reading and found myself slowly turning the corner of acceptance and stupid hope, believing in a world without road rage, where human error is taken out of the equation and cars freakishly stop for pedestrians and cyclists whether the “drivers” want them to to or not! Maybe, just maybe, CARS will become the greatest advance towards cyclist safety we’ve ever known!

Then the Terminator busted through my front door and shot me in the head.

Obviously, the development and acceptance of something like this is quite a distance out, but I’m sure somebody said that about instant video chatting in the recent past too. I’m truly curious to see how this technology develops and what benefits and drawbacks (Terminator jokes not withstanding) come to the table. What’s your take on this and do you think driverless cars will have greater benefits or risks to cyclists?

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

View all posts by Scott Spitz →


  1. Lane KagayMarch 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I’m totally on board with this. I’ll take computer-drivers over humans in a second. Faster responses, distraction-free, etc. No-brainer, in my opinion.

  2. James SMarch 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    In order for it to happen, there will be massive amounts of testing and the final product will include failsafes and multiple redundancy. So it should (in theory) be way safer than the average idiot driver. However, it won’t happen on any real scale so it’s not going to matter much in the long run – peak oil and the coming collapse of western civilization will eventually kill car culture. (Electric cars are not the answer either, but it would take way too much time to explain why here).

  3. TerryMarch 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Yep, because computers never have problems…

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