Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

Self-Driving Cars Are Still Years Away

All the city news you can use.

By - Oct 4th, 2020 02:38 pm
A Google Self-Driving Car. Photo by Grendelkhan

A Google Self-Driving Car. Photo by Grendelkhan

Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national (or international) links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

We are years away from self driving cars: Even though automobile companies presented big promises to have fully autonomous cars by 2021, there are multiple planning and technological barriers that will need to be overcome before these vehicles become an everyday reality. Edge cases such as weather and the differences between inanimate objects such as leaves or bricks in the road need to be conquered though some believe it’s unlikely to ever happen. (Eric Adams | Recode)

Designing for a bleak future: Both urban design and architecture involve planning for the future. But with climate change, racial injustice, pandemic geographies all part of our current reality, it will be a tough to determine what the future holds. The key however, is to design in harmony with the environment and equity in mind, while also developing systems that allow us to survive. (Nikil Saval | New York Times)

An e-bike rebate program could support boom: During the pandemic more and more people have used bicycles to get around. And it proves that promoting bike share programs and cycling infrastructure can encourage the use of sustainable mobility. To further this, the next logical step is to extend e-bike rebates and subsidies to support the growth of this sustainable mode, which 65% of purchases were made to replace auto trips. (Andy Olin | Kinder Institute)

Challenging large lot single family zoning: Civil rights lawyers in Connecticut are taking on exclusionary zoning in the town of Woodbridge by asking the city to build a four unit building on a lot that only allows one home on one and a half acres. If the project is rejected, the lawyers are prepared to take the city to court and believe the case could have statewide implications for zoning and the provision of affordable housing. (Jacqueline Rabe Thomas | CT Mirror)

Utah wants to incentivize remote work: Before the pandemic, it was hard for Utah state officials to get business leaders on board with remote work. But this summer during the pandemic Utah saw lower numbers of bad air days and people could see the efficacy of potential behavior changes. Because of that realization, the state is now considering what businesses need to make more remote work possible to reduce air pollution. (Emma Penrod  | Utah Business)

Vanya Srivastava contributed to these summaries.

Quote of the Week

A local firm is going to be much less likely to do something that makes a lot of people in Durham angry, because that directly affects their standing in their community and therefore their bottom line. If you don’t pay the rent, there’s nobody to appeal to, nobody to protest.

-Durham Council Member Jillian Johnson in Indy Week discussing how out of state landlords own a greater share of property than they did in previous years.

This week on the podcast, Dani Simons of Waze joins the show to talk about carpooling.

Want more links to read? Visit The Overhead Wire and signup. (

Categories: Urban Reads

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