There is an interesting article today in the online FT by George Greenwood in which he suggests that the arrival of driverless cars might in cities scupper the growth in cycle use. Driverless cars will be fighting for space with cycles and come 2021 when they are expected to arrive in number, this could be a problem.
One rather amusing observation by a transport consultancy is that once people realise that an autonomous vehicle will stop automatically, will pedestrians and cyclists deliberately take advantage and step out or cycle in front of them?
As a very regular driver in London, pedestrians and cyclists are somewhat wary of cars because there is a high chance the driver will NOT stop. By contrast, myself included, many drivers are in a state of permanent anxiety for fear of knocking over an over aggressive cyclist.
The FT article concludes by suggesting innovative solutions are going to be needed to share the limited road space efficiently and keep the world’s commuters moving. (A friend of mine who sees conspiracy theories all around him is convinced that these new cycle lanes are in fact autonomous car lanes in disguise anyway.)
Food for thought.