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. Maps

    An Incredibly Detailed Map of Europe's Population Shifts

    The map provides a level of detail previously unavailable. It is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities.

  2. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

  3. Design

    Why Copenhagen Is Building Parks That Can Turn Into Ponds

    Instead of massive sewer expansion to prepare for climate change, the city chose something cheaper—and more fun.

  4. POV

    Why the Future Looks Like Pittsburgh

    The city’s rise as a global innovation city reflects decades of investment in emerging technology, a new Brookings report says.

  5. Maps

    How Human Activity Is Changing Animal Migration Patterns

    A new book maps how animals navigate a world heavily altered by urban development and climate change.