Steve Jurvetson

You heard it here first.

The Transportation Research Board Conference is going on in Washington this week, which means Washington's nerd-per-capita ratio is higher than usual.

How high? Panel discussions included "Pavement Marking Management: Best Practices and Safety Benefits" and "State of the Practice in Ground Tire Rubber–Modified Asphalt."

No wonder, then, our correspondent found herself yesterday at a panel on driverless cars, which was so crowded that people were sitting on the floor. There, she heard an interesting prediction for the future of cities from Thomas J. Bamonte, the general counsel for the North Texas Tollway Authority. Bamonte thinks cities will start competing to create infrastructure and policy that are friendly to driverless cars:

"Metropolitan areas will start using this technology to distinguish themselves. If you want to be a forward-looking metropolitan region, you want to support this kind of technology because it puts you in the forefront of public consciousness as a forward-looking metropolitan area, as opposed to being stuck in the 20th century."

For example, making them legal. Or, more technically, creating stoplights that can communicate with oncoming drivers. Will cities battle for driverless cars like they fight for corporate headquarters? Let's hope so -- sounds like a productive competition.

Top image: Steve Jurvetson via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  2. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  3. Amazon HQ2

    Amazon’s HQ2 Fiasco Will Cost the Company More Than It Costs New York

    The mega-company has bucked dealing reasonably with New York City, Seattle, and any community that asks them to pay for its freight.

  4. Amazon HQ2

    New York’s Ejection of Amazon Is the Start of a Movement

    NYC lawmakers who led a resistance campaign against HQ2 are declaring victory. And already, they have plans to escalate their opposition to tax incentives.

  5. a photo of high-speed rail tracks under construction in Fresno, California.
    Transportation

    Think of California High-Speed Rail as an $11 Billion Streetcar

    California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to complete only a Central Valley segment of the rail link risks turning the transportation project into an economic development tool.