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Ghost Road

Beyond the Driverless Car

Anthony M. Townsend


List Price: 27.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (8/11/2020)


A penetrating look at near-future disruption as truly autonomous vehicles arrive.

For decades we have dreamed of building an automobile that can drive itself. But as that dream of autonomy draws close, we are discovering that the driverless car is a red herring. When self-driving technology infects buses, bikes, delivery vans, and even buildings…a wild, woollier, future awaits.

Technology will transform life behind the wheel into a high-def video game that makes our ride safer, smoother, and more efficient. Meanwhile, autonomous vehicles will turbocharge our appetite for the instant delivery of goods, making the future as much about moving things as it is about moving people. Giant corporations will link the automated machines that move us to the cloud, raising concerns about mobility monopolies and privatization of streets and sidewalks. The pace of our daily lives and the fabric of our cities and towns will change dramatically as automated vehicles reprogram the way we work, shop, and play.

Ghost Road is both a beacon and a warning; it explains where we might be headed together in driverless vehicles, and the choices we must make as societies and individuals to shape that future.

Praise For Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car

[An] erudite analysis… [Ghost Road is] an astute and cautiously encouraging overview of the driverless technology revolution.

Well-researched, and at times deeply disturbing… This fascinating and complex book will strike a chord with technophiles.

W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324001522, 336pp.

Publication Date: June 16, 2020

About the Author

Anthony M. Townsend is the author of Ghost Road and Smart Cities, and the president and founder of Star City Group, a strategic foresight and urban planning studio. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.