Driving Sideways

In 1973, in “The Ideology of the Motor Car,” the French (of course) philosopher André Gorz wrote that “The more widespread fast vehicles are within a society, the more time — beyond a certain point — people will spend and lose on travel. It’s a mathematical fact.”
Why? “Ultimately people can’t get around conveniently because they are far away from everything.” And it is this observation that for me epitomizes the problem of the driverless car — it’s the worst kind of solutionism. By becoming so enamored with how technology might transform the car, we’ve neglected to adequately explore how getting rid of cars might transform how and where we live. We’d do well to heed Gorz’s exhortation to “never make transportation an issue by itself.”