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I have to imagine that one of the perhaps unintended side effects of lots of driverless vehicles buzzing around is that they'll act as a kind of traffic calming mechanism. I assume these things will have to obey speed limits and traffic laws to the letter.



The biggest reason I support self-driving cars is because on a bicycle you really see how often drivers roll through stops signs, don't use blinkers, and break traffic laws.

100% selfish reasoning, but less human drivers makes the road safer for cyclists (assuming robots use their blinkers).


I would like to see self driving bicycles, for the same reason ;)

Not trying to get into a bike vs car debate, they're all fine with me... but man some bikers I come across are just flying through intersections / stop signs too. Scares the hell out of me when I'm driving.


No disagreement here, plenty of idiots on bikes too!


Yeah, there are absolutely assholes in every mode.

It's just that assholes in cars are a lot more dangerous than assholes who are biking or walking.


Also roads are primarily designed for cars. You have to adapt the rules for bikes.


Maybe where you live. Roads can easily be designed or redesigned for other modes of transport, like bicycles. We've been doing that in the Netherlands for decades, with great results for road safety.


I'm sure you are aware that the Netherlands is more or less unique in having good cycling infrastructure.


It took us decades though. Any country can do it.


Yes, although I'd argue it's less about "rules", per se, and more about just having different infrastructure (protected bike lanes and separated bike paths).


They are equally dangerous in the sense of creating a potentially fatal incident.


No, not exactly. It's cars that generate the danger. When cyclists are on separated bike paths, the chance of a fatality is almost zero. When cars are in their own separate system (freeways), the chances of a fatality are still fairly high.

This is a relevant distinction, since it informs how you handle reducing the danger (e.g. road diets and traffic calming, at least for urban areas).


No, it's cyclists that typically die in a collision with other vehicles. But the behaviour of both contributes to the risk of accident.

I've seen cyclists drive the opposite way of the roundabout (at night), not using the lights. Breezing through crossings on red or where they had to yield. Seen them cutting into a traffic despite a broad, elevated, well maintained bike path along the same motorway. Taking pedestrian crossings without unmounting, and on and on.

So sure if the cyclist is not on the motorway the risk of fatality is indeed reduced - but not eliminated, as they still have to cross traffic. Pretending there is no responsibility on cyclists side is not solving anything.


> No, it's cyclists that typically die in a collision with other vehicles.

Yes, but it's cars that are generating the danger.

Suggesting otherwise is like saying that if a bulldozer is in a park and runs over some toddlers, the toddlers were the real source of the danger for being so darn vulnerable.

Besides, cyclists themselves are not really any different from pedestrians in this regard. It's just that there are physically protected walk lanes -- aka sidewalks/pavement -- nearly everywhere you go, whereas physically protected bike lanes are a rarity. Imagine if, for walking around, you only had "painted walk lanes" on the road, right next to cars going 40 mph. That's what it's like being on a bike.

> So sure if the cyclist is not on the motorway the risk of fatality is indeed reduced - but not eliminated, as they still have to cross traffic.

That's what protected intersections are for, and they help pedestrians too!

> Pretending there is no responsibility on cyclists side is not solving anything.

Of course, like all road and street users, cyclists ought to be responsible. But the primary problem here is extremely poor infrastructure that is both inherently dangerous and encourages bad behavior (and to a lesser extent, poor enforcement that lets off drivers easy when they seriously injure or kill other people).

On another message board, there was a Dutch dude who moved to California. He said that at first, he was horrified by the behavior of cyclists in his new home. Then two weeks later, "I was one of them". He didn't suddenly become an irresponsible jerk, it's just that in America, the road system encourages, if not outright requires an aggressive attitude from cyclists.

I have personal experience with this since I went the opposite direction, from California to Munich, which is much more bike-friendly than any major city in America. Here, the system is reasonably respectful of cyclists, and so cyclists generally respect the system in turn. There's no need to bike around like an aggressive asshole, because you can get around just fine like a normal person.

Contrast that with the SF bay area, where I got hit by cars twice the last year before I left. One time was with my son on my bike too, and the cop that came out didn't even give the driver a ticket for t-boning me as I crossed the intersection. And keep in mind, the SF bay area is actually a very bike-friendly area by US standards.


We should just make walking automated only, never have to bump into somebody or be stuck walking behind them ever again.


I always love the "but we have to maintain momentum" argument. A car also has momentum. In fact, it has quantitatively more momentum.


> I always love the "but we have to maintain momentum" argument. A car also has momentum. In fact, it has quantitatively more momentum.

But it's easier (in the sense of human effort expended) for a car than a bike to regain its lost momentum, right?


But that’s more of a personal problem isn’t it? No one forced that mode of transit, and you don’t hear joggers or skateboarders complain.

One can’t yell, “We are traffic!”, but then cry about how you want to be excempted from traffic laws you don’t like. I hate red light too, but I stop at them.


I always felt worse about stopping and accelerating again in a car because the cost didn't go to my muscles but to the environment in the form of lots of extra pollution.


I support self driving cars because I'm not arrogant enough a driver to believe I'm better than all the other idiots on the road and I see all the mistakes the other guy it making. Most people, when someone else cuts them off think that other guy is an idiot, when they cut someone off it is a minor mistake. In reality most people make about the same number of mistakes: every driver is a bad driver even when sober.

A self driving car is the only hope we have of making the situation better.


The reason why is because cops do not enforce those laws. How many times are people given tickets for not using blinkers in the USA vs Europe or Canada for example. It's a typical complaint for expats from those countries going to the USA.


Making the road safer for cyclists makes it safer for everyone. It's not that selfish.


I'm not sure that will actually calm traffic in the short run. Till every car is self driving I anticipate the mix to let to a lot more reckless overtaking abd weaving back and forth between slow autonomous vehicles.

My hope is that with autonomous vehicles having known reaction times we can actually get rid of fixed speed limits entirely.


Well, if you add enough slow autonomous vehicles to traffic, you won't have to worry about traffic obeying the speed limited because it will be much more slowly than that.


I'm really hoping for that.




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