New Book: Road Vehicle Automation

Road Vehicle Automation, which was inspired by the Transportation Research Board's eponymous 2013 workshop at Stanford, collects a variety of public, private, and academic perspectives on this nascent transportation revolution.

My substantive chapter, A Legal Perspective on Three Misconceptions in Vehicle Automation, expands on a talk I've been giving since 2013:

I address three commonly misunderstood aspects of vehicle automation: capability, deployment, and connectivity. For each, I identify a myth pervading public discussion, provide a contradictory view common among experts, explain why that expert view is itself incomplete, and finally discuss the legal implications of this nuance. Although there are many more aspects that merit clarification, these three are linked because they suggest a shift in transportation from a product model to a service model, a point with which I conclude.

My analysis is nicely confirmed by Google's recent announcement that it plans a pilot project featuring adorable little bubble bumper buggies that are low-speed, low-mass, geographically restricted, and truly driverless. As I argued last year, driverless carts are indeed coming before driverless cars. (Memo to Japan.)

UPDATE: For an author copy of this chapter, please visit

Photo credit: Sam Churchill

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