Self-driving cars and differences between mobility privilege

The Verge writes about the difference between US and EU policy and regulation concerning self-driving cars. It’s a well-known theme: new technologies both reflect and perpetuate existing socio-cultural practices. In the US the default is driving, in the EU walking is more common. One of the recurrent questions with all ‘smart tech’ therefore is: Who has the right to the city? Without any regulations, new ‘smart’ tech tend to further exacerbate the power and privilege differentials between pedestrians and car drivers.

“Unlike their European peers, American car regulators do not require — or even offer — any kind of safety preapproval for a new car model or technology. Instead, car companies “self-certify” that their vehicles comply with federal guidelines pertaining to everything from steering wheels to brake fluids. But no such rules address the driver assistance and autonomous technologies that are critical to the car’s future — and to the safety of everyone who walks, bikes, or drives.”

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