If I use Safari private mode (each tab has its own cookie store) or Firefox with containers and cookie auto delete extension every tab I open, every page I visit gets a brand new Google session. Obviously, Google treats my like a bot.
If this recaptcha helps google, or for that matter, any company, accelerate their self driving capability, I'd fully support it.
I wrote an article about this before, and talk about how even if you had a four lane high way with nothing but self driving cars, all filled and traveling at 120kph bumper to bumper, you wouldn't even come close to approaching 10% of the capacity of a single track metro light rail line running with 2 minute headway (during rush hour headways can be less than 2min, and with automated systems like those in Singapore and the new ones coming to London's underground--DLR is already automated--you can get headways of less than a minute or even 30 seconds)
Sure self driving cars could help in Europe with the last leg where they have real transport infrastructure, but the US is so far behind that successful self driving cars would just add to grid-lock.
High-speed mid/long distance passenger rail just isn't viable given our population densities, and we already have metros/subways/light-rail in core metropolitan areas. Without major construction with hundreds of new lines and a shift in city planning, it's unlikely to ever change in the US.
Russia has high speed rail and it's less dense than the United States. China created their high speed system in less than a decade.
This argument comes up all the time and it's so poor. The United States use to have more passenger rail than Europe does now! You build light city rail and immediately, new housing and commercial stuff pops up around it. It can potentially reduce drunk driving as well.
The US/density argument is really tired and just doesn't hold up when you really look at it.
The issue of why we don't have more and faster rail is a multifactorial problem of city size, zoning, spread, and alternate transportation. The US only has 3 major population centers, and they're very wide. The rest of the population lives in thousands of small and midsize cities spread far apart.
This is the worst combination for expensive railways and stations, and requires solid last-mile coverage. This means cars, and if you have cars then they already provide similar speeds, better coverage, more freedom, and lower costs. The only feasible plan is high-speed long-haul that doesn't stop anywhere in the middle, but demand for that is weak because people do live in the middle, and air-travel is faster and cheaper at those distances.
Lower population with a few big cities like Australia is a much better fit. If the US just had 3-5 major cities all along a single coastline then we would also have a similar railway network.
But yes, if we built high speed rail linking Melbourne - Canberra - sydney - Brisbane we would have one hell of an east coast system
What is special about NYC to ATL? The distance is about 900 miles via road. The land costs alone would reach into the billions, and there are lots of cities in the middle that will require stops, which severely slows down travel time. And how many people are really commuting between both endpoints? And how many would choose a train over a plane?
NYC to ATL is special because the distance is short enough that people would take a high speed train over the plane - even if the train is slightly more expensive the overall travel time (including the hour advance arrival at the airport) is similar and the train gives you more space/comfort.
This is a non-stop train. Most of the cities in between would not get a stop! Not giving every tiny town along teh way greatly speeds things up and is critical to making it work. Other big cities along the way will get their own non-stop train. Little cities may have a low speed rail connection to the big city, but it cannot be on the same track.
This is not a commuter train. People who live in one city and work in the other should move. People who work in one city, but sometimes have face to face meetings in the other will take the train.
We already see the New York to Boston train having success using this model - the distance is smaller, but the trains are slower. We can use this as a model for how many people would take the train over the plane and why.
You are correct that it would cost billions. That is something that needs to be carefully considered. People have done the math and say it works out, but it is worth checking their assumptions. The construction costs are amortized over many years though, so the costs shouldn't be too bad.
We're a long ways away from self driving cars being really cheap. That self driving Uber network would need a lot of capital investment that they initially were able to avoid because they piggybacked on drivers already having to own cars anyway.
The problem as it stands is land easements. Acquiring land in the US for larger social benefit at the expense of the land owner is generally A BIG FUCKIN NO NO. This premise has essentially locked many well planned rail projects from the get go. This just isn't a problem for the promise of self-driving car technology. Further more the opportunity cost argument is really weak. Al la "had we not spent so much money trying invent self driving cars we could have improved our rail system X times over ect." Because we have developed so much other technology out of that quest.
I dream of a day where there is a high speed rail system that connects the entire west coast. It would be a GIGANTIC boon for trade and commerce IMO.