Put People Before Autonomous Vehicles, Says Urbanist Who Removed Cars From San Francisco’s Market Street

An increasing number of cities are closing their central streets to today’s cars, never mind the driverless ones of tomorrow.

On January 29, San Francisco’s Market Street was the latest major thoroughfare to go car-free, and, according to one of the prime movers behind the transformation, it’s a trend that’s only likely to accelerate.

By the time robot cars can always avoid pedestrians and cyclists—today’s “connected cars” are not yet that clever, so the industry is pinning its hopes on vehicle-to-everything (V2X) sensor technology where people and objects signal their whereabouts with RFID chips and similar—pedestrians and cyclists will have taken over city streets.