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  #1  
Old 11-29-2017, 11:05 AM
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Default The End Of The Car?


There is circulating a "note" making the claim that we are basically at the end of the car era, much like we wound up at the end of the horse era.

That of course doesn't mean there are no horses. There are; the moderately (and more-so) wealthy still own them for sport and pleasure, but other than the Amish nobody owns them for basic personal transportation whereas they were essentially the only means of same decades ago.

The argument is that driverless "cars" (really a box that moves people and can be called on demand) will appear and basically take over. First slowly, like cars did, and then more-or-less all at once.

In other words not long from now (months, really, if you're in parts of Arizona!) you will start to be able to hail what amounts to a robotic taxi -- with no driver in it at all. As the technology improves and expands people will start to voluntarily eschew owning a car in favor of hailing rides in driverless vehicles; arguably mostly for economic reasons.

Oh by the way, if you're one of the half-million or so who currently drive for Uber, Lyft, or a conventional "taxi" or "black car" service -- you're all out of a job the that transition really starts to accelerate. Keep that in mind as you continue to read onward....

At some point the accident rate disparity between the choice of car ownership and driverless "hail and get in" vehicles will cause the government to either ban driving or it will get so prohibitively expensive, either by insurance regulations or outright government taxation in some form, that only the very wealthy will retain the option (as is the case now for horses.)

You may see benefits here.

I see grave danger.

The freedom to travel has always been one that has centered around some form of personal transportation. For roughly 100 years after this nation was formed it was mostly from horses. Now it's mostly from personal motor vehicles. There is in fact an actual court case that says that driver licensing is illegal for personal transportation as personal transport of one's body and personal effects using the common means of the day is a fundamental liberty secured by the US Constitution.

That all disappears like a fart in a Church if transportation as a service becomes not only a dominant theme but actually required to be used either by sky-high costs or government dictate. With transportation becoming centered around a handful of large and in many cases government sponsored and regulated companies the ability to effectively bar someone from traveling where they wish, when they wish will become trivial and, you can be assured, wildly abused.

You will be able to be trivially prevented from going where you want, when you want or even going anywhere at all. You will have no recourse if it happens to you or if your travels are "redirected" or prohibited outright on the whim of said firms or, for that matter, at the whim of the government.

Don't get me wrong -- as I get older and more-frail there will come a point where the ability to hail such a device will look pretty darned attractive to me. Perhaps I personally, at that point, won't care because the alternative is that I will be unable to operate a personal motor vehicle using my eyes, hands and feet.

But to those who believe this will be some great societal advance, let me issue a warning that I hope doesn't become prescient: You're going to all rue the day this happens and the majority of the persons in this nation at the time will be rendered effective slaves as a consequence and you will be imprisoned or killed if you resist.

There are ways around this outcome, of course. If self-driving technology is used to make possible the purchase and ownership of truly autonomous vehicles that are owned by individuals and which do not require external control be enabled and available to other than the owner the problem can be largely mitigated. But make no mistake -- there are plenty of individuals in government and corporations who will work mightily behind the scenes in an attempt to make damn sure that the ordinary, non-wealthy individual will never be able to buy such a device, and that there will be no such thing as an autonomous vehicle that will be solely under the individual owner's control -- ever. Even the current Tesla models are not under your control as an alleged "owner"; the company can in fact brick them remotely, temporarily or permanently and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

I see the technology of driverless cars to be beneficial when I am too old to drive on my own given the possibility I live that long. I will then have the robot car take me to the doctors, supermarket whatever. I can see this technology to be beneficial for older folks to maintain a level of independence and go where they please when they please.

However, I see the promise of 100% driverless cars in the same light as I see the promise of flying cars. We all remember that promise voiced a million times in Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines. Two of my favorites back in the day. It never happened and I do not see 100% driverless cars happening in our lifetime. For one thing, how are they going to make them hack proof? Some douche bag hacker decides to make all the cars speed up to max speed or change to the oncoming lane. Not pleasant.

How are these going to work at -30F in two feet of snow here? Will these cars swerve to miss a dog in the road only to hit a woman walking with a stroller?

Driverless 18 wheelers barrel assing down the road in a freezing rain event during rush hour on the interstate. That sounds like fun.

I think the brainiacs got a lot to work out before these things become more then just a novelty. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

I see the various glitches in the electronics of newer vehicles and I stop and think of what "little glitches" in autonomous vehicles could do. Scares me unless enough redundancy is built in and would make the vehicle cost a million bucks. And like TR mentioned, the hacking.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

I sure am going to have fun testing the logic of these cars with my "requires-driver" car.
Think about all the fun you can have.
i.e If a slow driverless is to the left of you, if you just slowly creep left, will it avoid a hit and go into the ditch? Drive up real fast on one - does it speed up, move over, avoid an accident at all costs? How about a piece of metalized tape over one of the external sensors?
What about logic - say you are in the mountains on Rte 33 and deer jumps out in front of you - does the car hit the deer (how does it know it's a deer and just not a fat person?), or, does the car veer right, right off the 500 foot cliff?
I could think of all sorts of wild scenarios - just watch the Farmers commercials.
This whole thing is a bad idea.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

I could envision mass transit in big cities making use of this type of technology, but for over the road in all the rural areas of America highly unlikely. I suppose it could happen but I'm guessing it would be 100+ years away. So, I don't have to worry about it much.

I do not doubt some bozo's sit in their board room dreaming of controling the masses like that, but they cannot see the forest for the trees.

If things do not change our way of life is doomed. Not because of auto driving vehicles. Fertility rates tell the story. Abortions will help hand over our nation to people who realize the importance of reproducing.

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Old 11-29-2017, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

I see our idiot Governor of Arizona involved in a boondoggle with that crap.
It would be great for me since I can't drive but I think there is a long way to go before that junk is perfected.

I can't see it saving energy, because the car would have to use gas (or some other type of fuel/energy) to go from someplace to pick up the person and then use gas to take him somewhere.

The only way that I can think it would work at all is if all vehicles were driverless and could communicate so they didn't hit each other.
I could say that I would worry about some government entity controlling that and thus controlling our movements. However face it all the new vehicles have so much junk built in them that it would probably be real easy to track them anyway.
And if you use a cellphone you are being tracked anyway and yes every keystroke here can probably be tracked.
So say "Hi" to the NSA!
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by waybomb View Post
I sure am going to have fun testing the logic of these cars with my "requires-driver" car.
Think about all the fun you can have.
i.e If a slow driverless is to the left of you, if you just slowly creep left, will it avoid a hit and go into the ditch? Drive up real fast on one - does it speed up, move over, avoid an accident at all costs? How about a piece of metalized tape over one of the external sensors?
What about logic - say you are in the mountains on Rte 33 and deer jumps out in front of you - does the car hit the deer (how does it know it's a deer and just not a fat person?), or, does the car veer right, right off the 500 foot cliff?
I could think of all sorts of wild scenarios - just watch the Farmers commercials.
This whole thing is a bad idea.
You are spot on with the limitations of an autonomous automobile. One thing they cannot do is read the "body language" of another vehicle and it's driver in order to anticipate how to handle the relationship between them and you on the road.

Good drivers do this all the time without even thinking about it and yet they manage to simultaneously perform the relatively simple task of operating the vehicle, autonomously. Said another way, keeping the car on the road, between the trees and other cars, is rather simple compared to the fine art of driving in variable traffic and weather conditions.

I do see some practicality of the autonomous vehicle on open interstates as a super "cruise control" system. But not in close quarter traffic. IMHO Commuting should not be a contact sport.


Computers are admittedly much faster than the human brain, but not yet smarter. This evolution of technology will be interesting to watch develop. Meanwhile, I'm jamming gears in my six speed, two seat roadster through the twisties.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

Driver-less cars could put the roadhouse bars back in business.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: The End Of The Car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leadarrows View Post
Driver-less cars could put the roadhouse bars back in business.
Now that's a thought.
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