US Transportation Infrastructure

The poor quality of roads in the United States will be a major impediment to the launch of self-driving cars, according to Reuters.

The article quotes sources from Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo bemoaning the state of US roads, and the lack of lane markers, in particular.

Volvo’s North American CEO, Lex Kerssemakers, lost his cool as the automaker’s semi-autonomous prototype sporadically refused to drive itself during a press event at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“It can’t find the lane markings!” Kerssemakers griped to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was at the wheel. “You need to paint the bloody roads here!”

I guess the roads in Sweden are better?

Actually, the Transportation Infrastructure Rankings, published by the World Economic Forum, place the US in the 9th spot worldwide and Sweden in 25th.

Top marks go to the UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Japan.

Perhaps the best thing the US government could do to boost self-driving cars wouldn’t actually be subsidies or competitions or even regulatory streamlining. Maybe they could just repaint the roads.

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