Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Driverless Cars Favor Suburban Living

I listened to remarks presented about autonomous vehicles yesterday and how one urban planner organization views economic development in the future where these cars are prevalent.

It wasn't presented as a biased presentation, but it was.  The planners took an urban view, even though they didn't confess it.

The real debate is which density of living does the driverless car audience of the future favor.  

Many wish for urban.  I say it's suburban.

Suburban vs. Urban is a legitimate debate. Slate wrote a good piece presenting multiple viewpoints and helped to show where bias of some lies.

The issue is this:

Will I still want to own my own car?

Will I still want street parking and wide streets in front of my suburban-style house?

Will I still need to park my car at work?

The answer is "yes" in all three cases for me and, I contend, the vast majority of the general public. Thus, the nationally-favored choice of suburban living won't change.

The planners assume that Generation X and older generations won't matter in this choice.  They're wrong there too.

Yes, there is a growing audience who, in their early adult and childless years, prefer not owning a car, living in a dense neighborhood without streets, and who won't need to park a car at work.

That early adult audience grows up, though, and lives longer than previous generations.

Policy makers need to be aware when and where bias is entering.  Some are already being paid as consultants to try to steer policy.  The policy debate has already begun.

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