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Why self-driving cars will kill cities, not save them Add to ...

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In my mind, the model city of the 21st century is Venice. It is a city on a human scale, where you walk without fear of being flattened by a truck, talk on the streets without raising your voice and breathe without ingesting fumes from gasoline or diesel, because there are no cars.

Venice is still such an anomaly that it is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet—far more so than copycat versions in Las Vegas and China. But don’t give up hope, because big tech companies are promising an urban revolution that’s the next best thing to a modern-day Venice: cities where privately owned cars with internal-combustion engines give way to fleets of self-driving electric cars that will greatly reduce urban congestion, pollution and noise, and free up parking lots for housing or green space.

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