A comment from Geof on Autonomous Vehicles and City Building:


Silicon Valley is just about the worst place to invent the future city. Because it isn’t one.

Where zoning limits houses to a single storey; where the sidewalks that exist are sunbaked deserts; where the only way to get around is by car; where public space is lacking; where there are no streets in Jacobs’ sense, only freeways and roads resembling country lanes; where the goal of travel is to move from gated private space to Utopian private space (e.g. the Google campus, with its fleets of free-to-use bikes for internal trips only): there, autonomous cars look like the solution.

I can easily imagine automated cars navigating Mountain View. The chaos and unpredictability of Vancouver is another matter. I think Mr Price’s question is right on the money: when cars succeed there and fail elsewhere, the engineers will think it is the city at fault, not the imaginary islands where the cars were invented.


Sand Hill Road

Sand Hill Road, often shortened to just “Sand Hill“, is an arterial road in Menlo Park, California, notable for its concentration of venture capital companies. The road has become ametonym for that industry; nearly every top Silicon Valley company has been the beneficiary of early funding from firms on Sand Hill Road.