Autonomous Vehicles: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out?

Autonomous Vehicles: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out?

In the 1960s, countercultural icon Timothy Leary popularized the phrase, "turn on, tune in, drop out," to describe the idea of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs to detach from society and achieve a higher level of thinking. Later in his life, he argued that the personal computer was the "LSD of the 1990s"—at that time having no inkling how much automation and augmented reality would play in our society, or how autonomous vehicles might change the way we connect with others. Might automated vehicles (AVs) be one of the ways that humans "tune in, turn on" and disconnect for the next few decades?

Key findings

Plan for the diffusion of AVs by designing, financing, and instituting vibrant social spaces that are equitably distributed in terms of residents' socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, gender, and age.

Facilitate  and promote social interactions and encounters with plazas, parks, playgrounds, pedestrian zones, consistent with the large body of literature  that shows a mix of older and younger residents, medium population density, and well-designed walkable public spaces enhance the social cohesion of communities.

Design nature-rich spaces, with high tree densities to facilitate feelings of safety and security.

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