Tech in the News: Driverless Cars Will Change the Way Cities Feel

Ian Bogost

Posted November 15, 2017

External Article: CityLab

Ian Bogost, professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote the CityLab, November 15, article, “Driverless Cars Will Change the Way Cities Feel.” The School of Literature, Media, and Communication is part of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.


It’s 6 p.m. in Tempe, Arizona and pitch-black outside. I’m standing in the middle of a five-lane thoroughfare, among a group of people too numerous for the narrow median. We got trapped here after a brigade of left-turning cars preempted our passage—that’s a thing that happens in cities like this one, designed for automobiles over pedestrians. An SUV pulls up as we cower inches away, waiting for the next traffic-light cycle. The driver’s window is rolled down to allow some of the cool night air in. The man behind the wheel looks bored like most drivers do. But he isn’t a driver, not exactly. The vehicle he controls is an autonomous Volvo operated by Uber, which is conducting an ongoing test of its self-driving fleet here. With his hands idle in his lap, the driver is more like us pedestrians—waiting for the cars around him to move. Whether in five years or 25, eventually cars like this one will probably convey most people to their destinations.  Bogost is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in media studies and a professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

For the full article, visit CityLab’s website.