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Traffic Headaches

Traffic studies of driverless cars point to something at first counterintuitive: they may lead to more traffic congestion, not less. Once we're no longer behind the wheel—and we give over travel time to diversions and to work, as the auto-pod envisioned by Mercedes shows above—we'll expect our rides to be as smooth as train travel. That means cars will have to accelerate and decelerate more slowly, compounding delays at traffic lights and effectively clogging the roads with mini-Muni buses. [CityLab/Photo via Mercedes]