Beth Osborne, Director of Transportation for America, was asked: Can you paint a vivid picture of your nightmare scenario of what our cities look like when AVs are all over the roads?

“My nightmare scenario, which I can visualize perfectly,” she responded, “is sitting in the middle of stand-still traffic in which I am the only human being there.  And all the other cars are clogging up the roads but there are no people in any of them.”

The full response can be found here:

It’s a podcast with Slateand this episode is the best exploration I’ve heard of the context for autonomous vehicles (and what the history of Motordom can tell us).


  1. Why is it somehow better – or at least not nightmarish – in the current scenario that the cars sitting in stand-still traffic have people in them? Is it really the status of the volume within the trillions of cars on our roads that is the problem? To Ms. Osborne, apparently so.

    This reminds me of rewatching Fantasy Island as an adult and thinking with annoyance, “these people have the damned stupidest fantasies.” What a stupid nightmare.

  2. ZOV = Zero Occupancy Vehicle .. or Zombie Vehicle

    Is this type of vehicle category mentioned in the soon to be released MetroVan mobility pricing schemes ?

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