Gridlock Sam on Brooklyn Paper Radio: Driverless cars are our terrifying future!

“Gridlock” Sam Schwartz

The Schwartz is with us!

This week, during a very special episode of Brooklyn Paper Radio, traffic guru and consultant “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz made the bold prediction that the soon-to-come onslaught of driverless cars and trucks will be the biggest disruption to the United States economy in more than a century — affecting all aspects of not only how our country moves people, but how we pay to keep them moving.

“We’ve never seen anything quite like it since the advent of the car 120 years ago,” Schwartz, who joined Gersh Kuntzman and Vince DiMiceli in-studio for scintillating discussion on the history and future of transportation in Brooklyn, said.

Schwartz said that truck drivers will become obsolete, and the 20 states that list that occupation as their No. 1 job.

“Those jobs are going to be gone in 20 years,” he said.

Schwartz, DiMiceli, and Kuntzman then discussed a cornucopia what-ifs regarding autonomous and electric cars, including how the city would be affected by a fall in traffic, red-light, and parking ticket income; how the federal government will pay for the interstate highway system when fewer people are paying the gas tax that funds them; and how new and used-car salesmen could become obsolete.

Schwartz also noted that a world where cars drive us around could lead to a “Wall-E” like existence, where tubby humans are carried around by devices that will keep us off our feet for so long, we won’t be able to walk. And he pointed out that driving instead of taking public transportation makes commuters put on weight.

“You burn about 20 percent more calories taking public transportation,” he said.

It’s all part of a great show that is, without question, a must-listen. So take some time and listen now!

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