A lot of recent coverage makes autonomous vehicles sound like the solution to all transportation issues. The safety of autonomous control is supposed to eliminate all accidents. In a recent video with futurist Dr. Jennifer Healey, she makes the statement, "You could let your children play on the streets of New York."
I find a deep problem in her statement. Google's driver-less cars are known to be very polite and cautious, avoiding other vehicles and pedestrians. When all vehicles behave with such predictability, pedestrians will have no compunction about walking anywhere anytime. Today, Darwinism tends to minimize pedestrian traffic on public streets. In the autonomous future, vehicle traffic in cities will be untenable because vehicles will always yield to pedestrians.
Does anyone agree/disagree, or see other flaws in the "automation will fix everything" theory?