"University of South Carolina law Professor Bryant Walker Smith, who studies autonomous vehicles, said lanes dedicated to autonomous traffic could accommodate “high-speed platoons of closely spaced vehicles” more easily than ordinary travel lanes, which likely will see autonomous traffic before autonomous-specific lanes open.
But despite the benefits of these lanes, “comparisons with rail are speculative,” he wrote in an email. “The technologies, applications, and business cases of automated driving are still uncertain, and indeed the same might be said for rail. There may also be important differences between freight and passenger uses. I'd be wary of abandoning rail projects on the expectation that automated vehicles will be a suitable substitute.”"