Metaphor #10: Robot Car / Cigarette Filters

I'm just finishing up Peter Norton's excellent book, Autonorama, and came across this lovely metaphor: 

The worst news about AVs (automated vehicles) is not that they can't deliver on their promises. In two ways, AVs are not just disappointments by their own standards but actual threats. First, to the extent that they are indeed developed and deployed -- that is, to some fraction of the extent that promoters promise -- AVs are likely to worsen the very aspects of passenger transportation they are supposed to improve. Second, AVs are an attractive but expensive distraction from things we can do today at far less cost that yield affordable, sustainable, equitable, healthful, and efficient mobility. Much as elaborate but ineffectual cigarette filters were an attempt to perpetuate cigaret smoking when it was clear that smoking itself was the problem, AVs are, more than anything else, an attempt to perpetuate car dependency when car dependency itself is the problem. 

[See also my Cars are the new Tobacco post, or my post on why robot cars will fail.]