Why change infrastructure? Unless author is referring to a 5G grid overlay. Change the car! Most new technology tends to bring a ‘reformat’ of products anyway. We no longer use brick-like mobile phones nor bulky PCs. That the author forgot about the car, is an indication of the hold the car industry has on consumers’ perception of personal mobility. If we want ‘robo-cars’, then the car itself better transform into a Smart-Mobility App(liance) on wheels. If it is going to have electric drive and become electronically controlled, better forget the whole notion of an oily, petrol-driven, polluting vehicle then.

If we are to believe Elon Musk, his Teslas will become driverless already next year. Many think that his portrayal is unrealistic. Personally, I’d like to think that making cars smaller and sleeker yields three major advantages in having them function autonomously: 1. the less road space is used, the more margin to evade other road users, 2. the easier the task of overseeing vehicle and its surroundings for the autonomous on-board tech, 3. if legislators persist in keeping the human driver as a fail-safe, he/she will feel more committed, be more alert in a smaller car, particularly if he/she has great peripheral view. Think of a helmet-on-wheels. Helmet makers already experiment with 360 degree cameras whereby the rear vision is projected on the visor’s inside).

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On-board tech can sensor-scan-image the vicinity more effectively because of the vehicle’s sloping outer contours and small footprint, more so than one on top of a wide, boxy car. And that one already tends to isolate the driver from what’s happening around the vehicle. Look, if Elon Musk thinks that a Tesla is capable of maneuvering autonomously through dense city traffic, what would it mean for a car which is less ‘physically challenged’…

Energy efficiency a huge benefit too. No more electric cars that tax payers will have to subsidize through EV tax credits. Plus the road infrastructure can be used more efficiently

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Cheers, Ralph

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Identify how high-tech bypasses common sense to sell us a solution that frequently misses the point | country: Netherlands

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