Are our cities ready for the age of the driverless car? New RIBA title Automatic for the City sets the course

How will automated vehicles change our lives? What opportunities and challenges will they offer? How can we make our cities safe and coherent for this new technology?

As we approach a new stage in our urban transformation, Automatic for the City: Designing for the Age of the Driverless Car prepares urban designers and city planners for the introduction of connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs), to our streets

Driverless cars are set to become a common feature in the wealthiest urban environments as early as within the next 10 years, authors Riccardo Bobisse and Andrea Pavia predict.

“With the revolution that was the private automobile after World War One, for example, our cites underwent an unprecedented transformation,” says urban designer Riccardo Bobisse. “We are now approaching a similar revolution, for which we must be prepared.”
As a result of this prognosis, practical guidance on transformative city-wide design principles are illustrated in the book via two in-depth case studies focusing on two sprawling metropolises: London and Los Angeles.

Andrea Pavia explains more about the choice of case studies: “The two exemplified cities were chosen as emblematic urban examples within Western society, but, while the effect of cars on urban form is radical, each displays a very different outcome when faced with the car paradigm.”

Using the analogy of the city as a human body, with its mutation and revolution throughout time and history, this timely book envisions ways in which cars and CAVs can coexist, providing an imaginative and engaging insight into the future of our urban environments. It is a reflection on the relationship between new technologies and urbanism, as well as an agile urban design manual, highly illustrated with images and masterplans of spatial arrangements enabled by new technologies.

Essential reading for architects, urban designers, city planners, transport planners and policy makers who are looking to the future, Automatic for the city informs, inspires and encourages industry professionals to design for what could be just around the corner.