It's easy to understand why the media is fascinated with autonomous vehicles. Scarcely a day goes by without another company's announcement of new driverless technology. The latest is Apple, which just received permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test self-driving cars on the state's roadways. This brings the tally to 30 companies, not only the likes of Google and Tesla but also a long list of traditional automakers including BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen and Subaru.
However intriguing driverless cars may be conceptually, their integration into our transportation system will demand well-informed and insightful planning. In response to this challenge, the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis last year launched its 3 Revolutions Policy Initiative to explore the impacts and synergies of vehicle automation along with two other disruptive technologies -- electrification and vehicle sharing.