... [a] valuable primer on self-driving cars ... [Schwartz] knows everything about how cars and people don’t get along, having been on the front lines. This book — written in an earnest, conversational style — is his attempt to grapple with a fresh threat that’s appeared after decades of progress ... If we heed [Schwartz] and this valuable, humane book as we move toward a future in which we largely surrender the wheel, we can avoid messing up again. From his perspective, we don’t have a choice.
Picking up Sam Schwartz’ No One at the Wheel one expects to learn how autonomous vehicles (AVs) actually work, what companies were developing them, and when we are likely to see them. Unfortunately, this is not the case, because No One at the Wheel is not so much a book about AVs but a critique of them, particularly how they will purportedly degrade urban living—at least the kind of urban living Schwartz values ... To start with, Schwartz can’t seem to make up his mind about the impacts of AV, regularly contradicting himself ... Schwartz also seems to have limited understanding of the actual technology ... Surprisingly Swartz gives almost no attention to the vast safety benefits of AVs ... it dismisses the important questions society needs to face as AVs emerge ... No One at the Wheel is not the book that serves as the guide to this promising and challenging future.
The bold opening prediction that autonomous vehicles, or AVs, will be the 'most disruptive technology... since the advent of the motorcar' is amply and insightfully supported by Schwartz ... He clearly illuminates both the promise and the peril of driverless vehicles ... This is an essential treatise on a technology whose development and regulation will have an impact on 'the future health of people, economies, cities, and more.'
It’s safe to say that few people on the planet know more about guiding vehicles from place to place than Schwartz ... the author emerges as a not-entirely-uncritical advocate of autonomous vehicles ... An invigorating bit of future-trend prognosticating, generally positive, if warning direly of global gridlock if trends continue. Urban planners, architects, and transportation activists will definitely want to take note.