NATURE | Driverless cars: researchers have made a wrong turn


Published: 9May2019

Uber Technologies is set to go public this week, an event that has been described as the most anticipated technology filing since Facebook in 2012. Some forecasters expect that the ride-hailing giant could sell up to US$10-billion worth of stock.

By merely rehashing the talking points of the self-driving industry, well-meaning academics draw attention away from the most important question that we should be asking about this technology: who stands to gain from its life-saving potential? Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and his colleagues found that although road fatalities in the United States fell between 1995 and 2010, this benefit was not spread evenly across the socio-economic spectrum.

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