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

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Brooklyn Paper Radio

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!

Updated 2:48 pm, September 29, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Talia B from Brooklyn says:
I can't imagine cars, albeit driverless ones, could be the solution to our already car-choked streets here in NYC. And "tubby humans carried around by devices" is already how I describe the rest of the country.
Sept. 30, 2016, 10:08 am
Silly Sam from NYC says:
That's what his name should be changed to as he's sunken to an all time low with his fear of the future.

The roads were not made to provide truck drivers with jobs and nor were tickets intended to produce revenue for government.

The primary function of roads is for movement of people and goods. And the secondary purpose is to keep people safe and move goods efficiently which is exactly what autonomous vehicles will do.

I just got my first EV (electric vehicle) with autonomous capability and I couldn't be happier with it or what it means for a future of safer driving for the next generation and the reduction in traffic as goods can be moved more efficiently.

Silly Sam, imagine if we still had telephone switch board operators or all manual toll takers. Humans will continue to progress and those nay sayers like Silly same will sit back and wish for the days of the Pony Express to return.

Perhaps Sam had hit retirement age, but for those of us who haven't, we want to excel into the future as Sam had the opportunity to do when he was the man.

So long Silly Sam and thanks for your prior contribution to progress.
Sept. 30, 2016, 1:48 pm
Silly Sam from NYC says:
And I for got to mention to NYC, we need priority parking for ev's with wind & solar street chargers stations that can charge our ev's while parked and feed the grid when we're not.

Next: Public smoking should be next to be axed!

Carbon Free NYC!
Sept. 30, 2016, 1:57 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
When they come for your self-driver automobile, you will know it is all over.

First your gun, then your car.
Sept. 30, 2016, 6:34 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Seriously, though, taking away control of your vehicle will be a hard sell.
If you ask most people what "freedom" (HaHa) in American means, many would list driving around (Ha Ha)
Sept. 30, 2016, 7:29 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
What you're talking about is Singapore, an authoritarian state, not NYC.

There are as yet no autonomous vehicles in general use yet many are already counting their universal blessings.

First, they must be bought by users in great numbers. Remember hybrids haven't exactly "arrived" as yet. They won't be mandated or cheap.

Then they must integrate with the existing fleet of vehicles. The "new" will move only at the speed limit and brake often; unlike the current operators. A long and rough learning curve among drivers ahead.

The average car on the road is eleven years old; trucks, maybe twenty to twenty-five. That means it will be the better part of a generation before even a near full fleet replacement.

Stick around this should be fun.
Oct. 4, 2016, 3:44 pm

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