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What The Past Can Tell us About The Future Of Transportation in America




Illustration of a driverless car.
Illustration of a driverless car.

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Over the last few years, tech companies have been foreshadowing a future in which autonomous vehicles revolutionize the transportation landscape.

Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless
Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless

We’ve been told that they hold the promise of reducing the number of injurious and fatal accidents, drastically decreasing emissions, and eliminating traffic.

Yet the testing of the first autonomous vehicles, and the first death of a human resulting from an autonomous vehicle, have reinforced the distrust humans have in robots.

In “Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless” (WW. Norton & Company, 2019), author Dan Albert raises the question of whether society is ready to become “a nation of passengers.”

Albert takes readers through the history of the automobile, and combines it with personal narrative to illuminate the significance of cars in the shaping of American culture.

Larry sits down with Albert to talk about what the history of automobiles can tell us about the potential near future of self-driving cars.

Guest:

Dan Albert, car critic, historian, and author of “Are We There Yet?: The American Automobile Past, Present, and Driverless” (WW. Norton & Company, June 2019); he tweets @exchaoordo