Poor people won't be able to afford self driving cars for quite some time. The US is a country where it's very difficult to live without a car, except in certain major cities.
I'm not excusing this woman's behaviour. She lacks major responsibility. But the world is full of irresponsible people, and building good public infrastructure helps in so many ways that there's no excuse not to build it.
This is by design. As I mentioned in another comment, there was this 1950s utopian ideal amongst American planners that we'd all own cars, we could live tens of miles away from the city where we worked, modern planning would ensure traffic was amazing, and we could avoid all that nasty density business and all the 'others' that come with it.
No longer would white men have to live near black men. We could all just drive away to the suburbs where restrictive covenants meant we couldn't even sell to black people and restrictive zoning forcing large lot single family homes would ensure that, even if we could legally sell to them, they wouldn't be able to afford to live there anyways.
Racially motivated covenants can't be enforced any longer, but the land use control mechanisms put in place to ensure no poor people move to the pristine suburb still exist.
It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court upheld these laws, even sharing in their legal opinions that apartments are evil and a drain on society, so of course we should ban them.
If they had not upheld these laws, or these laws did not exist in the first place, I'm sure the US would have maintained its public transit friendly character to a great extent. Even LA had one of the largest, if not the largest, rail systems in the world. Imagine that.
It's interesting to note that these people were the techno-optimists of their time.
The thing is, people knew in this time period how inefficient cars were for moving people. Cars take up way more space than equivalent public transit and this was used in advertisements for streetcar companies (who were getting killed by congestion caused by cars).
Sure is. I'm totally OK with people living this lifestyle.
What I don't appreciate is when these people take over land use policies in all of America and make this lifestyle required, outside of handful of pockets that had the fortune to be born before this lifestyle existed. I don't like that these policies have tremendous effects on house prices, the cost of transportation, and economic growth nationwide (to the point that economists from various viewpoints oppose them).
I would likewise be opposed to policies that legally mandated all people live in environments that look like Manhattan. Not everyone enjoys that lifestyle, and it would have massive ramifications on all aspects of society.
What I support is a relaxing of zoning and land use policies so that they become about the efficient movement of people and goods and public safety, which is how they started out.
I do not support land use policies that are meant to force me to live a certain way. Let the me decide how I want to live. Don't tell me what I like or should like.
Today's youth think the suburbs was about race now? It was about a lot of people don't actually like living in a concrete jungle, that was what it was about.
Race was a huge motivator. Why else would we have racial covenants? Funny how the growth of suburbs came at roughly the same time that schools started integrating and integration accelerated suburban growth. We had Federal suburban housing subsidies available almost exclusively for whites.
We have a name for this phenomenon: White Flight.
Pre-1950s we had racial covenants, but we didn't social engineer lifestyles in suburbs to build them around cars. Streetcar suburbs for instance looked similar to the cities they were connected to. Smaller and less dense, but walkable urban places in their own right. Look at places like Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia for an example.
In cities themselves we tended to build highways in poor, mostly minority, neighborhoods. The white neighborhoods wouldn't be leveled nearly as often.
Racism was an early motivator behind minimum wage laws ,. It was also the origin of gun control . Funny how the passage of time can turn our perspective in different ways.
Sure, fear of crime was one of the mechanisms of white flight, but American fear of crime has a big racial component to it. Historically, America has kept black people poor, confined them to poor neighborhoods, and then blamed blackness for the high crime rates that go with poverty and desperation.
This game continues today. Donald Trump recently tweeted something with totally made up statistics blaming black people for murders of whites:
It wasn't just wrong and it wasn't just racist. It was literally neo-nazi propaganda.
> My narrative isn't white, black, brown, red, yellow, green, purple, or rainbow; it's just mine.
If you narrative is American, race is an inescapable part of that. Saying your narrative has no race is basically to say that it's white. We white people can talk as if race doesn't exist because we have made whiteness the default, the perspective, the unmarked case. But non-white people in America don't talk like that.
If you're looking for an expanded version of how this works, search for critiques of "I don't see race", which has been thoroughly examined and found wanting.
If White Man's Burden motivates you to make the world better then so be it, but I find the idea incredibly divisive and at the height of hubris.
That's why, e.g., people on the autism spectrum recently came up with the term "neurotypical", so that they could try to create an equal footing in the discourse. In that construction, aspies and neurotypicals are just different kinds of people, both equally "normal".
Casting what I'm saying as "White Man's Burden" is either incredibly ignorant or a dick move, and I can't tell which. But to be clear, I'm up to the opposite.
The whole "White Man's Burden"  shtick rests upon the notion that white people are better, and therefore should help the benighted dark peoples. I, on the other hand, think races are fundamentally equal, and it's only an accident of history that leaves me with more privilege. I'm thus using it here to educate white people ignorant of the US's long history of ingrained racial prejudice.
Non-white people need no education on the topic. In the same way that nerds are forced to understand what nerdiness means to non-nerds, non-white people are forced to understand white notions of race, even as most white people see themselves as typical, average, default, "normal" and so never think about the topic in any depth.
Late to the party but I think Jews were also usually excluded.
It's not that he's lying, because he doesn't even know what the truth is. I also think he doesn't know that he doesn't know that. In this regard, I think of him as like a sophisticated bot: he doesn't track input in terms of true or false facts, but in terms of word-strings to say that are useful for his particular purposes. Any belief necessary to sound convincing is generated from the word strings.
My grandfather was a master salesman and as best I can tell, this was his basic approach to managing reality.
This happens on the other side of the fence, and no one bats an eye about it. In fact, they call it democracy, or something like that.
Snarkiness aside, if these people agree with him, then that is their vote. Really, we can't have democracy if we don't call it democracy when people vote the way we don't like them to. It's the same as free-speech: we can't suddenly abandon it if we don't like what's being said.
There's also a particularly ugly history of populists stirring up racial hatred as a means to power, which I think is especially dangerous.
People who think it was only about wanting to live with a little more greenery around are mainly white suburbanites who haven't looked at the history.
mainly white suburbanites who haven't looked at the history.
Perfectly understandable, of course.
> In the United States, redlining is the practice of denying services, either directly or through selectively raising prices, to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic makeups of those areas. While some of the most famous examples of redlining regard denying financial services such as banking or insurance, other services such as health care  or even supermarkets, can be denied to residents to carry out redlining.
Further to your point, another practice that re-distributed whites to the suburbs, to the benefit of shady property developers, is blockbusting. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockbusting) It also had nothing to do with green lawns and everything to do with racism.
Some places have imported the American car centric suburb, but they will learn over time the lesson America has started to learn.
More power to them.
Suburbs have extreme central planning. Go peruse your local town's zoning and land use ordinances. You'll see exactly the number of parking spaces you must provide, exactly how big your lawn must be at a minimum, how many apartments you can have in an apartment building (or if it's even allowed to build an apartment building), whether or not you can charge for parking, and even where it's legal to walk.
No, cars didn't free you from central planning. They enslaved you to it and tricked you into thinking cars are free market transportation.
Your last line of enslavement is quite amusing when logic is applied: Telling the rat that it is in a clear jar that it is not free is demeaning, but who is telling the rat this; a fellow rat who is also enslaved in a clear jar.
If you're not trying to visibly live the suburban upper middle class lifestyle personal freedom of movement can be had relatively cheaply.
If you can bike to work, a cheap crappy bike can be acquired off Craigslist for at most a couple hundred.
If you're in a place like NYC, a monthly subway pass is roughly $120 and can handle all of your travel needs for the whole month, not just travel to and from work. No need to shell out $2K - $3K up front; that much money could pay for travel for over a year on the NYC subway and buses. You won't have to worry about your car getting stolen, getting in an accident, break downs, traffic, etc.
>If you're not trying to visibly live the suburban upper middle class lifestyle personal freedom of movement can be had relatively cheaply.
If you're not trying to force everyone into an autocentric lifestyle, then freedom of moment can be had for lower prices, or even free if walking to work is possible.
So, 560$/year without gas? 522.26$ a year is public transit for me.
So I’d save 40$ a year, plus all the gas.
And my commute times are lower, I’m never stuck in traffic, and even if the commute might be long on some days, I can continue working or browsing the web during it.
And if I want to buy furniture – these are a thing: https://yeswecandoalmostanythingbybike.files.wordpress.com/2... (Or I can just rent a car).
I’ve been doing this for over a year now, no issues.
On the uni campus is a small mall, too, or I can take 2 bus stations to the downtown area where I can literally buy anything, and it’s easy to transport, too.
Hell, I’ve seen 2 students who bought one of these https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/91/Handtruc... and transported 3 boxes of beer with them in the bus.
Lots of old people use normal hand trolleys for transporting groceries via transit or by foot.
There are trailers for bikes.
It’s really not an issue. (Also, while still living with my parents, we all buy our own stuff ourselves – even my 12yo sister does so. That reduces the amounts one person has to buy, too)
Ugh. You realize that people can do things for more than one reason?
The result was "redlining," where banks and lenders would draw lines on a map to delineate where blacks were allowed to live and who could get home loans in the white neighborhoods. 
This is still something that happens now. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution won a Pulitzer in the '80s for a series demonstrating how banks would rather give money to a poor white family to buy a home in a "white" neighborhood than a middle- or even upper-class black family. 
You're partially right in the sense that race and income are strongly correlated, but keeping black people out of the suburbs across the country was no accident.
If you're interested in a long but fantastic read on the effects of discriminatory policies on minorities over the years, Ta-Nehisi Coates' "The Case for Reparations" is a good place to begin. 
They wouldn't have set up command and control economy experimental land use policies and subsidies that had never been done before if they just wanted breathing room or to be away from the city. That sort of life could already be had, but that wasn't enough.
Those other people could flee crime too since they could afford a train ticket, and you wouldn't want one of those others in your neighborhood, would you? Of course not. We've got to set things up so they don't follow us. What don't they have? Cars. If we build a new society that forces everyone to have cars, 'they' can't follow us.
The subways there went bankrupt from the fare cap as the city had some obsessive need to take over the subway systems.
Cars didn't pay anything for road wear, and they didn't (and still don't) pay anything towards congestion. They clogged the streets, made streetcars slower, and essentially freeloaded.
Utilities were forced to divest from streetcar ownership, which forced the streetcar companies to pay retail electricity prices instead of wholesale ones.
At the time GM came around, public transit was already hurting. GM was able to do what they did because the companies were hurting and could be bought cheaply.
There's a difference between designing streets wide enough to accommodate cars--no windy medieval footpaths that eventually got paved in Phoenix--and forcing businesses and all new housing to provide free parking spaces to drivers. One is taking cars into account, another is forcing them on everyone.
It should be noted, however, that Phoenix is old enough it predates cars and its wide streets and grid layout are for other reasons. Grids are efficient, allowing someone on foot to cover a larger area in a given time period than would otherwise be the case. They also allow for efficient navigation; if you name your streets like DC's or Manhattan's, it's easy to get between any two corners. They also minimize property disputes. Streets were wide to allow wagons and the like to turn around easily and for aesthetic reasons.
That this happened to be useful for cars is an accident.
>> ... The US is a country where it's very difficult to live without a car, except in certain major cities.
In order to do this, we need to rethink how we design cities. Right now, unless, as you point out, you live in a major city, it just isn't well laid out for public transportation. No amount of retrofitting is going to help. City planners need to take public transportation into account when they issue new building permits, etc. They need to encourage business to build closer so people can use public transport. Here in the south, thought needs to be put into thunderstorms. We can have afternoon thunderstorms with 50MPH winds and deadly lightning pop up very quickly. You can't have people out waiting on public transport in that mess.
For the old sort of public transit, I think that's true. But our current notion of public transit is based on fixed schedules, fixed routes, and the high cost of human driver labor.
But think what a new public transit would mean. If everybody has a smartphone and vehicles are automated, then public transit could mean vans and small buses that dynamically route to come near you.
Yes, insufficient concentration is a problem, which means that living in the suburbs would still be more expensive in transport costs. I still expect (or perhaps hope) that we'd see a contraction back to more dense urban cores. But automated transportation could provide a bridge between the suburban model and whatever comes after.
There already is an excise tax on fuel in a lot of places. I can't say what that revenue is specifically allocated towards, but the tax exists nonetheless.
The system we have makes drivers feel as though they are paying their fair share while transit riders are not. They don't see the share of their local taxes going to roads.
That's effectively been a huge subsidy to drivers.
Or you're playing Monopoly wrong and wondering why it takes 3 hours to finish...
In order to have mass transit work, we need to be able to build housing and businesses that have very little to no parking allocated. Minimum parking (along with level of service for roads) makes every business and house foot print larger, decreases density, and decreases pedestrian accessibility.
It wouldn't even be that hard to naturally enforce/encourage this. All we would have to do is eliminate minimum parking requirements for developments within a quarter mile radius of a mass transit station.
One would argue that would do essentially nothing. For example a wealthy condo owner would naturally want a parking space and thus pressure the developer to build a space. But I argue there is demand and will be more demand for this parking-less space today in very crowded cities (think SF) or in the future when younger generations or immigrants decide to live in high density areas.
I actually think we have things backwards with minimum parking compared to other cities like Tokyo. Minimum parking acts as a hidden subsidy that increases the price of the property. In Tokyo, houses can be sold without parking. But in order to own a car in Tokyo, you have to prove you also own a parking space. So many housing communities will have parking lots or shared parking garages where nearby residents can rent a space. (There also exist houses that are sold with attached parking as well, but it isn't a requirement.) This is essentially a free market solution to the problem where as the American minimum parking solution is a government regulated solution.
In New York, there's free street parking practically everywhere except Midtown and FiDi: https://smoothparking.com/
If all street parking were metered or for commercial use only, I think it would improve the city a lot.
The problem we have today is too much planning, from the smallest rural town to the biggest metropolis. Planning has gone from the simple but noble goals of ensuring public safety and efficient flow of goods and services to dictating lifestyle and trying to preserve things exactly as they are.
The typical suburb or sprawling city, for instance, doesn't merely not take into account public transit in zoning and approval processes, it actively allows only sprawling designs. Minimum setbacks, floor area ratio limits, side, front, and back yard requirements, minimum parking requirements, and height limits all act to make it so nothing but sprawl is even legally possible.
I can point to numerous examples of these sorts of regulation from all over the United States in cities big and small, from New York to Nome. Yes, this includes places like Houston where it is claimed that there is no zoning but land use control is still Stalnist.
This is all based on a 1950s utopian vision where all people everywhere would have cars, cars would just be extensions of people, and we'd all be able to live in a comfortable middle class suburb the next state over because modern planning would ensure no traffic could ever happen.
It would also ensure those pesky apartments full of those 'others' would have limited density, so they'd be packed away in some ungodly corner of the world where everyone else wouldn't have to see them.
This power is still used today as a de facto tool of modern segregationists who are concerned not merely with race, but also class and even taste and lifestyle.
Reducing the power of these local regulators so that urban planning once again becomes a boring profession concerned with public safety and the movement of people, goods, and services and not a way to enforce a very specific 1950s utopian lifestyle would go a huge way to fixing sprawl in America.
>You can't have people out waiting on public transport in that mess.
Until about the 1950s, people in the South did wait on public transportation. Look up the timetables and maps of the old railroads, interurbans, and streetcars. You'd be amazed how far reaching public transportation in the US was. Many of the cities of consequence in the South sprung up around the railroads.
Atlanta, for instance, used to be known as 'Terminus' as it was the end of the line for a railroad with nothing else nearby. The city was built around it, grew rapidly, and eventually the state capital was moved there. Streetcars further fueled growth. This is a story repeated all throughout the South and the rest of the US.
If these are what people want, this regulation wouldn't be required, now would it? Anyone who built anything else would go bankrupt.
Unfortunately for the theory that this is what people want, cities are still full of people and have the most expensive real estate. Walkable areas generally command a premium over car only areas. Locations near transit tend to be more expensive than those not near transit.
Funny how in places where we stop mandating sprawl, the sprawl goes away. Compare Arlington, VA in the 1970s vs. 2010s; it had all of these regulations near the Metro lines before it was built (and kept them not near Metro) but relaxed them after the Metro was built. It's night and day. I can point to dozens of places where once these rules go away, the sprawl goes away.
>> >You can't have people out waiting on public transport in that mess.
>>Until about the 1950s, people in the South did wait on public transportation. Look up the timetables and maps of the old railroads, interurbans, and streetcars. You'd be amazed how far reaching public transportation in the US was. Many of the cities of consequence in the South sprung up around the railroads.
Fair enough, but surely we can do better 60 years later.
It's not just the right kind; there is no right kind of parking minimum. We are good at things like ensuring we don't build toxic waste dumps next to schools or that maybe coal firing power plants should be away from people. These are the kinds of things we should keep doing.
What we need to do is to stop dictating lifestyle. I might want to drive everywhere, but that shouldn't mean that I use the law to force everyone to provide free parking for me (as is the case in much of America). I might want a large yard, but I shouldn't be able to use the law to force everyone else to have a large yard because that's just what I like.
There are rational restrictions you can come up with, such as regarding shadows, but there are rational laws you can come up with in response to those beyond 'ban all things over X height'.
I wish I could go find the article but a few months back I read that in LA lawyers specializing in defending drink driving cases have been decimated by Uber usage. Their case load is halving meaning the number of lawyers needed is halving. And that of course is a good thing in general.
I'm a big big believer in public infrastructure. But I would never support another penny going into public transport now. Any sort of meaningful project started today would take 5 - 15 years to come to market. Small,medium and large electric vehicles summoned by a mobile device and wired to the network will be mainstream by then and much more efficient. They'll crash less (never) and always choose the optimum route. Private networks for the win here. The economics have changed.
Additionally, the low-income individuals will have access to Uber for self-driving cars. [iUber] Better advocacy would be spent finding out how Uber will get low-income individuals without a smartphone access to it.
1. Cash for Clunkers destroyed vehicles that would have gone to lower-income individuals and upset the used vehicle market driving prices up to new vehicle prices.
2. Assuming a 2020 release date, and following a similar curve of ABS brake adoption of ten years, then by 2030 low-income individuals will start to have access to self-driving vehicles. Maybe earlier as the software rolls out or at-home implementations of the technology can be adapted.
Private business is good at solving problems with out the need for government intervention and higher taxes. If you are going to get drunk and you need to get from point A to point B, use Uber or call a taxi.
I will make my own mind up about which mode of transport to take ;)
Govt intervention results in certain downsides, private business implementation others, I don't even have a great thought as to which is better or worse (yes, it's a cop out, but I'll defend that cop out as that it's the "great question of most governments" that I'm dodging), but it seems shortsighted to state "A does it better" (for either side)
(I hope this doesn't read as shutting down any rebuttal, not my intention. Feel free to challenge any of the above)
There are certainly times when a moral argument is attractive (and which I would pragmatically chose, especially in the many cases when there are material impacts against which a certain moral stance would oppose) but if we're having a conceptual discussion, I generally avoid that, and even in the cases when I would support a moral argument, I often seek other justifications of more utilitarian nature to try and support the moral suggestion.
There are an infinite number of possible moral perspectives; utilitarianism is one of them.
It does make me wonder though, why? Because UberX is cheaper, so more people opt in that wouldn't even pay for a cab?
A) Storing cash: I hate having to carry cash around just to pay for a ride home.
B) I'm drunk. I don't want to have to tell a driver how to get there. I can just tap the home button, it gives him the GPS coordinates, and then I fall into the back of his cab.
C) Quality: Uber cars are clean and feel safe. I've never felt like I'm sitting in 10-year old vomit-stains in an uber.
I don't understand. Honest question: why is that necessary in the first place? I don't remember time when I needed to use cash for paying for a cab ride in any western country.
The cost of taking transit generally makes any wait worth it for me. If I'm out in the city and trying to get home around 3-4am, the most I have to wait for a bus is 1 hour and it costs $4.25 for the 30 minute trip home. My other options are Uber, which has no wait, but costs $70, or finding a cabbie planning on going home to jersey and convincing them to make the trip for $30.
I'm a software engineer in the UK and I've known plenty of people who've driven home after a few.
What's acceptable changes over very long time frames.
The difference in demographics on public transit in Seattle was striking compared to Toronto where car insurance runs $3,000 a year and gas costs 50% more.
Public transportation is just not going to happen in the US unless driving gets way more expensive.
Note that you chose the top two of the cities in the US in terms of locations accessible by public transit. Of course people won't use it if it can't get them where they need to go, and they'll probably just drive if there are only a few locations it services. This tends to compound itself because the low usage means trains/buses run less often, making it even less useful (e.g. LA).
The price of car ownership definitely factors in, as it results in a lack of necessity for public transportation, but it doesn't mean people wouldn't prefer it if it's available. The price difference between an unlimited metro pass ($116/month in NY, $83/month in SF) and owning a car is still very wide.
We see that in SF and NYC where the traffic and parking situations make driving very expensive in time and money. But elsewhere in the country? Even if it had great coverage, it wouldn't be worth the time and discomfort to take it just to save ~$200 a month (or less, if you routinely drive family members around).
This is a self-amplifying problem. A large fraction of the times I've ridden the bus in the San Jose area, there have been shouting matches between passengers, people with severe mental health problems riding around because they don't have a better way to get in out of the elements.
If your choice is between slow, chaotic, and sometimes frightening bus, and your quiet private car, not too many will choose the bus. When everyone who has a choice avoids the bus, the bus ends up being a rough way to get around.
A decade after you solve your problem of how to get home when drunk, some poor fellow may still hit your because there are also irresponsible people that can not afford a self driven car.
We aren't going to get good mass transit in "small" cities.
plus many cities have bus routes that shut down over night and may not serve all areas in need. then to top it off, will they get you where you need to be. So cab, uber, and similar, are a good solution and could proactively be called by bars and restaurants who notice visibly impaired patrons; though I would not put a legal burden for them to do so as people ultimately need to be responsible for self
I've got the answer to this: Mandate that car manufacturers have to weld a 10 inch steel spike to the centre of the steering wheel. The number of people are willing to take unnecessary risks would fall considerably.
The spike itself would be strategically relocated to the sidewall of a tire belonging to a person who wrote the bill mandating them.
This is pretty unconvincing. I've only driven after drinking alcohol twice, and both of these occasions were in the US (just for the record, I drank only a drink or two). In my home country I've always driven 100% sober, every single time.
Uh, no it's not.
It must be sample bias, but literally nobody in my (quite diverse, both culturally/ethnically as well as geographically) circle of social contacts would consider somebody who drank two beers before driving anything but a hillbilly Cletus (or their countries' local equivalent). The notion that 'virtually every alcohol consuming adult does this' is nonsense.
As software is so cheap to duplicate, why can't all cars be self-driving? Given the magnitude of traffic deaths, why can't all cars just be self-driving immediately? Why make it a premium thing that only the rich can afford?
Then within a few years, even poor people who buy second-hand cars will have self-driving models.
I'm still feeling surprised by the number of intelligent people who are quite capable of thinking critically, quite uncritically deciding that self-driving cars are ready for the market now. The only thing which comes remotely close is Tesla's recent software upgrade, and Elon Musk was very careful to emphasise that it in no way replaces the driver. Yet still, the hype-train is running so fast that people decided what he really said was "self-driving cars are here now."
A moderately successful prototype from Google or anyone else does not mean the problems are solved. These innovations could still go the way of 90s-era virtual reality goggles, flying cars or the personal jet-pack. Don't get me wrong, it's exciting stuff but there are still significant technical issues, not to mention the legislative and social problems which will inevitably arise.
These links from a Google search for "Google self-driving car problems":
There's much more, I can't dig out the links now. But don't be one of those guys in 10 or 15 years time being tedious about "Dude, where's my self-driving car?" It might not happen, and it's certainly not here yet.
There are behavioural issues as well: people deliberately cutting in on autonomous vehicles because (rather than aggressive tail-gating) the AV will just back safely away, so that dangerous behaviour will become more commonplace. Before we get onto pedestrians just stepping into the road in the serene assurance that the AV will shudder to a halt for them, to the discomfort (possibly injury) of the vehicle's occupants. I can see people doing that kind of thing just for a lark, which would encourage drivers to go for the "aggressive" firmware upgrade to put those jaywalkers back in their place.
Personally I think (a) we'll get these vehicles sooner or later, but (b) they won't be a panacea, and (c) it's going to be an absolute minefield in technical, social and legal areas.
I'm not. Not at all. Sadly.
This also brings up one of my concerns with self driving cars. A vehicles (or and mechanical device) age, they become less reliable. The brake booster on my truck went out today (20 years old). I could still brake, but it took significant effort. I wonder what the failure modes look like on the self driving apparatus, and wether they fail gracefully and safely. I think it will be important that when we have 10 or 15 year old self driving vehicles on the road that they have engineered in safe failure processes.
Now the rust is showing up again, and I don't think its the weather. Its the economy, and the general slide of the middle class.
Maybe we need a 'rust index' to measure mean spending/affluence?
Let's say an expensive self-driving car is around $100,000 new, even buying that car used 3 years later would be out of the budget for many people.
Self-driving cars will be expensive because they will be marketed as a premium product to maximize profit.
Sometimes public service must trump? Disclaimer: I live in Sweden, so my perspective may offend you ;)
You have this backward. The reason entrepreneurs often start with premium products is because you can extract more money from rich people and use that to pay product development costs. Developing self-driving cars is extremely expensive, and it will be for quite a while. The costs will eventually fall, but as with personal computers, it will take a while to figure out how to do that.
If you really had cars that could self-drive and the technology was effectively free, then the profit-maximization strategy wouldn't be to sell Teslas, it would be to sell them to everybody. Tesla is selling maybe 10k cars per year. Even a $20k premium for self driving is only $200m. But the total US car market is 7 million or so. If you could get just an extra $1000, that would be $7,000m dollars in profit.
Practically speaking you could government subsidize the software which is a respectable policy in Europe, and that would foster competition and drive the prices down.
When the automobile was first invented it would have seemed implausible for it to be accessible and (relatively) affordable to everyone. Look at where we are now.
Yes, but there is an expected near-to-medium-term price floor on the sorts of good sensing equipment that such cars will require, not to mention certified (and patent-encumbered) software to fuse that data and turn it into useful and safe action.
This is stuff that you don't want to cheap out on; it's how the car sees and operates safely!
My point is the BoM of self-driving sensors and cpus for a car is not actually that great. The new Teslas and Volvos don't have fancy lidar scanners like the Google cars have.
The other day I was passenger in a automatic-breaking-at-intersections Volvo. We did not put that to the test. But its 'just' higher-precision parking sensors that are cheap and ubiquitous now.
Think of it as a fleet of autonomous taxis operating at very low cost.
Imagine this: where you pay per the minute or hour for location to location driving, at a rate that is a multiple of owning it yourself. And for the poverty, low, and middle income classes, car ownership is unattainable.
Or if you are late on your car payment and the car drives back to the lot.
It turns out I paid appreciably less than the self-owned car model by getting an unlimited public transportation pass and using self-driving cars when I didn't feel like riding a bus or tram. Something like 40% less, I don't remember exactly now. I'd previously been driving a 7 year old Ford, so it's not like I'm comparing it to something lux.
Also, you won't have traditional car payments to be late on if it's all Just in Time provisioning and service.
It's all about overlapping layers of service though. Private ownership will make sense for some. Never owning will as well. Robust bus networks, trams/trains in very dense established areas, self-driving (or at least shared economy) cars, and lastly private-owned vehicles all converge to provide a more accessible means of public transportation.
If automated repossession were effective, that would drive down car ownership costs (specifically, finance charges) in a competitive market, since it would reduce the risk of loss which is part of the cost of financing, particularly for people with the worst credit condition (for whom the risk of loss for the financing firm poses a higher portion of the financing costs than other borrowers.)
Now, it may be of the opinion that these people don't matter. And effectively, they have roughly a 0% economic impact.
Now, prices will be driven down. But so will wages and job losses due to more automation. These people in the lowest segments will be separated their transportation via the ways I mentioned.
Now, are less vehicles on the road good? Possibly. However if the public transportation isn't able to handle it, and these auto-Ubers are too expensive, then it's like having no transportation.
Given that adaptive cruise control is still an expensive luxury, I can't see fully self-driving cars coming to the poor any time soon.
That said, if we ever do get totally autonomous cars, you'll probably be able to get a driverless taxi for very little cost without owning a car yourself.
You're not considering the cost of development.
Excuse my sarcasm. It's caused by how I think you're ignoring the actual problem: alcohol. You're suggesting a workaround that doesn't even make sense. Alcohol abuse causes behavioural problems that go much further than public transportation can ever solve. We should address the core of the issue ranher than fighting its symptoms. I'm not for a ban on alcohol, I am however for ending the taboo around talking about it.
Social stigma will change people's habits? How do we make lack of control with alcohol a social no-no?
I think you and I have different definitions of drunk.
Whenever I visit my family in Italy, we all get drunk. Not falling down drunk—we still carry on conversations and navigate the city with ease, but I also wouldn't trust us to drive in that state.
An arsehole-driver is a dangerous driver when sober, but everyone is a dangerous driver when drunk.
Then there are people like Michael Schumacher or whatever who I'm sure drive better 'drunk' than 99% of sober people.
I wish the police focussed more on the generally shitty soccer mom sub drivers and taxis that try to kill me every day instead of some guy who had two glasses of wine and crossed some arbitrary threshold which may or may not have made him a dangerous driver.
Now that I live in NYC it is infinitely easier and safer to go out for a night of drinking, knowing there's busses, subways, taxis or Uber to take me home, far safer than if I were back in the 'burbs with almost no good options.
> It was later discovered that Bernstein had been involved in another accident prior to the one with Preston and was fleeing from that incident.
So this hit and run was just the result of fleeing from a different hit and run.
> She said she had not been drinking and didn't know why her vehicle had called for help.
It's definitely better than the new EU regulation where every new car is required to "phone home" the car position every few minutes, so that in the case of an emergency they can locate you. Typical inversion of control for no benefit (for the consumer).
There is eCall, but it is "only" required to trigger on crash, exactly as the system described in the article.
Listened to the whole 911 and the patience of the operator was just great.
"Sorry Mr. Peters, I cannot allow you take control of the car at this time, continued attempts to do so will result in total shutdown or notification of the authorities"
Apart from that it's probably not a good idea to let someone drive who doesn't have any recent-ish experience driving, especially in dangerous situations.
There is no reason why just sampling the air for particular elements would not also be possible and improvement is always going to happen.
I can imagine not only having cars watch eye movement to eventually tell you to quit looking at your cell phone to having cars detect smoking and sensing children in the car and notifying you to stop. So alcohol present in a car should be a flag the car can at least suggest to you that it is concerned
> There are numerous companies working on artificial noses that car manufacturers have been looking to integrate in order to have an equivalent of white noise generators but of course for smell.
These are completely different things. To detect intoxication for drunk driving, you need to accurately estimate the concentration of alcohol in the driver's blood. Detecting the "smell" of alcohol in the car does not do that.
It's also likely impossible to detect blood alcohol concentration in real-life conditions by sampling ambient air (what if they're the DD driving home a bunch of drunks? what if the window's open? what if they had liquor spilled on them?).
Oh, it seems like it already exists: http://alcolockusa.com/compliance/index.php?route=common/hom...
It was in my local paper that the local district nurses were having trouble with them because they had to wash their hands in alcohol after each visit, and this was enough to make the car lock up sometimes, leaving them stranded waiting 30 minutes until they could try again and start the car and proceed to their next house call.
In theory they would be great. In practice, well, we will have automatic cars before we have those.
Smoothness of ride is probably a very good indicator of impairment too.
I'm guessing it looks for sudden adjustments to stay in lane after micro-sleeps.
In Sweden you can make long journeys on fairly straight roads through forest meeting only the occasional other vehicle, very rarely seeing a pedestrian, and mostly keeping an eye out for movement between the trees that may be a deer or elk or boar about to run out in front of you.
Deer make small dents, badgers are like hitting stones, wild pigs can write off the car and elk are absolutely lethal. You actually get taught that, if a collision is inevitable, to aim for the hind legs to maximize your chances of survival.
Must be much the same in much of the USA, Canada, Russia etc.
Then there is the "Brake for Moose". It's not a choice, it's a warning.
I think most people wouldn't be allowed to drive first thing in the morning commute to work and after 10 hours working on the drive home if this was enforced!
You do have to connect your phone yourself, but it's unclear if the 911 assist is on by default, or if there are any prompts the user must accept.
In the end, increasingly many technologies are likely to act like this. I give my wife the password to "find my phone" service so she can locate me if I go missing on my commute or on a hiking trip; unless I execute more fine-grained control than I care to, the same authorization lets her snoop and determine if being late home from work correlates with my phone reporting I'm at a strip joint. People will, ultimately, be responsible for choosing the level of access they allow and for reasoning through the consequences.
Traction control and ABS through to cruise control or the assisted steering (terminology?) we're seeing more frequently today?
Mechanic: "Why won't you answer me?"
Terrorist appears next to him: "Because it's just a car, you freak."
It's a lovely reminder of how publishers will do anything to sell more copies. (and how there's really hardly any harm in that!) (except that it's an ugly cover)