Street wars 2035: can cyclists and driverless cars ever co-exist?

Driverless cars appear unstoppable – except of course you can simply walk in front of one and force it to brake. Could this conundrum eventually mean a return to a dystopian world of segregated urban highways?

Picture yourself cycling down a city street in the year 2035. You’re late for a meeting, but the road you must cross ahead has recently been designated an “Autonomous Vehicle-only” route, where platoons of driverless cars whizz past, mere centimetres apart. You can’t ride across it, as cyclists and pedestrians have been banned for fear they would slow the driverless traffic. You must find a way around.

The clock is ticking. Do you attempt to climb the barrier and make a dash through the traffic? As you wait, you see a group of kids on a side street which is open to all vehicles. They are darting between driverless pods and forcing them to a stop. It’s a popular game.

There’s a lot of interest and people tend to get distracted by this shiny new toy

Related: Two-wheel takeover: bikes outnumber cars for the first time in Copenhagen

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