Roadshow readers share questions, stories

Q: As my wife was taking a video of a driverless car cruising down the street in San Francisco, I wondered about driverless cars and 2+ HOV lanes. Are these cars aware of the lane limitations?

When there are no passengers, I would think that they cannot use 2+ HOV lanes. What if they only have one passenger? Do they get credit for the “driver” who is not a person, or do they need 2 passengers?

Also, I recently referenced your column about school traffic during drop-off in response to a friend’s Facebook post about what a mess school drop-off had been.

Rick Goldman

A: I do not know but checked with John-the-MTC-spokesman. He didn’t know, either, but presumed autonomous vehicles would be programmed not to use a 2+ HOV lane at any time. If that’s incorrect, he thought AVs would be programmed not to use a 2+ HOV lane unless they were carrying two or more passengers. A missing driver certainly shouldn’t be counted as a vehicle occupant, he said. I agree.

Does anyone know how AVs are programmed for HOV lanes?

Q: I think you should write about robotaxis since they seem to be a coming thing. How do I know, as a pedestrian or driver, that there is a robotaxi nearby? Any tips for pedestrians or drivers in the vicinity of a robotaxi?

Robert McGriff

A: And…

Q: Since this subject is being debated by city officials and discussed widely, maybe we could offer examples of our experience in interacting with these devices, when driving or as passengers.


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