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Cars are such an emotive topic because they are a powerful democratizing force. Any ordinary citizen can have at their disposal a machine that can transport them, their family/friends and their stuff, anywhere they want to go at any time, can be packed in advance and unpacked at leisure when you get back, can act as a base or a shelter at the destination, can extend a bubble of personal space on long or stressful journeys that no other means of transport can, and so on and so on. The self-driving car utopia breaks all of this. You can experience it right now, we have voice-activated self-driving on-demand cars right now, running on artificial-artificial-intelligence: they're called taxis. Taxis have not supplanted personal vehicle ownership by a long shot, therefore neither will self-driving cars, unless personal vehicles are banned by government edict - and a government would love to determine where and when you are allowed to go. Will it be worth it?

Taxis have not supplanted personal vehicle ownership by a long shot, therefore neither will self-driving cars, unless personal vehicles are banned by government edict

Yeah, that's why washing machines have never become popular; after all, we could already hire maids to wash clothes for us, yet most people washed their own clothes.

Apples haven't supplanted oranges either, what's your point?

My point is that price matters; you can't simply assume that behaviors won't change when the price does so dramatically.

If that were true in this market noone would ever buy a Mercedes when a Nissan would be a fraction of the price. Turns out the real world isn't so simple as you think.

If what was true? All I said is that you can't assume one way or the other.

The equivalent of the ultimate promise of the self-driving car that we have right now isn’t a taxi; it’s a limousine driven by someone you have permanently on your personal retainer, like a landed noble’s man-at-arms.

Such a person might favour the law over you, but they won’t like doing it, because they try to hold your beliefs as their own.

Or, for a simpler comparison: a horse. Your horse, from your personal stable.

Another thing to consider is, if you're just calling a magic box on wheels to take you from A to B then disappear again, why would you can who it was made by, what style it was, and so on?I wonder if the manufacturers have fully thought this through from their own perspective... I mean I can't imagine ticking a box for "... and it must be a Volvo" when I summon one, I simply wouldn't care!

I'd care. for a long trip > 15 minutes I'd want a quiet and comfortable car. Quiet so I can relax and/or listen to audio without having to crank up the volume over the noise of the car. comfortable might include seats big enough I can put my notebook on my lap and work. comfortable might also mean a luxury style suspension so the ride is not hard.

Electric autonomous vehicles will already be quiet without much effort compared to today's predominant ICE cars. And comfort, well... the absence of a steering wheel, the center console and all that will free up space for some nicer seats.

And today a lot of cars waste a lot of space on cargo space in situations where you're not carrying any cargo. With hailable fleets they could have a mix of vehicles with and without trunks, the trunkless ones offering more interior space for the passengers.

I don't see those general feature changes to be specific to manufacturer brands, they are more a feature set optimized for sale towards ride hailing services because they might not work as well for individually-owned cars.

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