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Help me understand---Why Autonomous Cars?

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posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:33 AM
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Good Morning deep thinkers!

About the only MSM TV Cable News I watch is CNBC. Yea, boring, right? Stock Markets, Financial Markets, Bond Markets and all the news and commentary that goes along with them. But....that's pretty much my hobby and has been since, dare I say it, 1970!

Big story today is about Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford being canned. They interviewed an analyst, CEO of www.recode.net... Sara Swisher and she made some really shocking statements to the effect that the reason he was fired was because he couldn't articulate a meaningful strategy for Ford going forward with the Autonomous Vehicle technology. The then went on to say that many car companies, like Tesla, Mercedes and BMW are TODAY knee deep in developing AV Technology whereas Ford and GM have barely dipped their toes in the water on that development. She then stunned the interviewer by saying, in essence, that AV Technology is the future and any car company NOT already knee deep in it won't be part of that future. (a painting fell off the wall at the Ford HQ Board Room).

I did a double take on that one! And then I started asking myself............WHY?!? To me, the casual observer, its weird and stupid and really weird........I mean, really? Is anyone really going to shell out money for a totally autonomous driving vehicle? I mean....they're talking here about cars without steering wheels! A "good", (not great) Toyota automobile today can be had for around about $15,000.00 (Corolla). I've owned one, they're great on gas, quick, easy to drive AND HAVE A STEERING WHEEL! At first issue, an Autonomous Tesla is going to cost at minimum $30,000.00! Why this horrible push for this AV technology? It honestly makes no sense to me.

So..........I did a Google search on "why autonomous vehicles" and there were a smattering of offerings of articles somewhat addressing the issue. The main case for this tech is 1) safety and 2) enhanced mobility in city driving. BUT, big caveat here, they're talking mostly about autonomous Uber and Lyft vehicles with the ride share thing.....not about Joe Blow in his autonomous capable BMW or Tesla. AND, they're talking the point that the AV cars will come into their own when that is married with all Electric vehicles, i.e. range limit of about 200 miles at best.

Again I ask.........who's gonna buy this stuff? Taxi companies like Uber and Lyft?

I did find this article, which I hesitate to post because it might out me as a curmudgeon, but it was written by something of a youngster. See:
www.thrillist.com...

His six reasons why this will be awful as a development include: 1) "Autonomous cars will make driving yourself illegal", (its all about the children); 2) "Autonomous cars will cripple small-town Americana", possibly, but of course, that's probably every Leftists wet dream anyway; 3) "Your privacy? Forget about it"' and my favorite, 4) "They will determine your ethics for you"! What this means, really, is that the AV cars will all heel to the speed limits and safe distances, which means that merging out of a lane to the exit lane will be near impossible, or will cause all the AV cars you merge with to automatically slow down to add distance. (Actually I can see a lot of funnly havoc with this one).

So I ask..............ATS, You chomping at the bit to get an Autonomous Driving Vehicle? If so..........WHY!




posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: TonyS

What? No METV? joking...

I think Automomous is fine if you don't drive. Otherwise... nah.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: TonyS

Just a few (not connected) thoughts....

1) Every piece of electronic equipment fails at some point. Trying "reboot" while hurdling 60 miles per hour down the freeway is not something I'm looking forward to.

2) There have been times that I'm so exhausted in the morning I wouldn't mind hitting an auto-pilot to get an extra hours sleep.

3) Who is responsible when someone gets run over? The car owner? The "wireless" people?

4) When not exhausted or in traffic, I find driving very therapeutic. I don't want a machine telling me how to get to where I'm going.

5) One sad day, it will be illegal to drive yourself on public roads.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:44 AM
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Why?

I get to sleep an extra 30 minutes in the morning and take a nap for 30 mins going home.

Reason enough.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:46 AM
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a reply to: TonyS

For the same reason software went from purchasing a disc to software as a service. Once travel becomes a service you can raise pricing without people able to protest by no longer purchasing. You lose the free market and replace it with the price controls of a cartel or monopoly. The short answer is: money.

And don't forget government subsidizes. Oooh, chills, corporations run this government. Don't forget it!!!
edit on 22-5-2017 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:49 AM
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Efficiency, for one.
Merging onto and off of a highway when all the cars are aware of your presence, and planned for it a mile ago?

Never have to worry about grandma who stops at the top of the onramp again... causing a lineup of 15 cars that now need to go from 0-70 in a few seconds rather than merging into traffic harmlessly.

Cars that know that there's a long line of stopped cars just over the crest, so they start slowing down at a reasonable distance rather than trying to slam on the brakes at the last moment...


Lots of reasons for it.
Me, though, I'm not giving up my antique car if I don't have to. I like having control over my brakes, and steering.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: TonyS

Oh yeah, the most important reason: safety



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 11:53 AM
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Since I've got no road sense, inclination to learn to drive or much knowledge of geography, this could suit me.

On the other hand if I was prepared to repair my failings I could go out and drive like a grown-up with nobody holding my hand or limiting where I could go.

Hmm... tough choice.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:02 PM
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I'm amazed nobody is talking about insurance for these things, or even being a major factor in pushing this tech. Insurance will still be mandatory, and they'll still be raising your rates.

If this autonomous driving tech gets to the point where accidents are of little concern, car insurance will be making insane profits.

Just you wait and see.
edit on 22-5-2017 by Aldakoopa because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:03 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

Yea, I considered the money option.

But here's a question I can't wrap my mind around.......Ford, GM v. Uber, Lyft, with AV cars.

Sounds to me like Ford and GM are going to be "selling" a lot fewer vehicles going forward, especially to the urbanites who will use Uber or Lyft? That sounds like Ford and GM are in a failing business model, not unlike....BUGGY WHIPS!



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

In the link I referenced, he did mention insurance and said that when, in most cities, etc., AV cars will be mandatory, and he's talking predominantly ride share hear so most people won't even buy cars, the insurance cost will be carried by the Uber corporation, kinda like we do rent-a-car today, (of course the cost is actually born by the consumer), and that because of the dramatic increase in safety, Insurance for the AV fleet will be pretty low.

BUT, there will be ever fewer people actually DRIVING their vehicles, i.e. a smaller and smaller pool, so their insurance rates will GO THROUGH THE ROOF, making car "driving" prohibitively expensive except for the Ultra Rich!



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:12 PM
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It's the future and it will be coming sooner rather than later and I'm looking forward to it.

I'm a petrol head and my heart doesn't want it to happen but it could be the biggest thing to happen to the transport sector in history.

Most accidents are caused by humans. If all cars were automated, reaction times would be almost instant compared to the delay humans have during hand/eye coordination and decision making.

You could also have a TCAS type system so if a car has to take evasive maneuvers, it notifies other cars around them to stop or slow down if necessary. Make human life the No.1 priority in the system and bingo problem solved.

Imagine going down the pub with mates and instead of getting a taxi home, you just get your car to drive you home.

The 1st autonomous cars will all have manual backup controls until the technology has been proven safe enough.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:12 PM
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I would be interested in autonomous quad copter transportation. That would be fun.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: lordcomac

Yea, I've thought a lot about that. My thinking is.....its not going to work terribly well until ONLY AV cars are allowed on certain roads or jurisdictions. Here's why!

Grandma gets on the Interstate through Bumpy City, she's doing 35 in the fast lane.....oblivious! All the AV cars behind her will slow to 35. Driven cars in the next lane will speed by at the posted 65, making getting out from behind Grandma impossible. But someone tries it anyway, and jumps in front of another AV car, whose computer slams on the brakes to avoid a collision and the "driven" car behind it can't react fast enough.

A "mix" of these vehicles sharing the road is the pathway to doom and torment!



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

No autonomous cars for me.
I can see why some people would want them but it's another piece of technology to dumb us down and keep tabs on where we are and where we're going.

If you can't be bothered to drive catch a bus.

edit on 22-5-2017 by gortex because: Spelling



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

It makes way more sense if you think of it as "autonomous vehicles" and not just "autonomous cars".

The shipping industry will probably be the first and the most effected industry. Just think about all of the truck & train drivers who would be replaced. Then public transportation in major cities would likely be next, seeing as some major cities already have autonomous forms of public transportation. By the time average citizens start purchasing them in large numbers, the technology would've already paid for itself many times over.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: gortex

That's a great answer! You're right........if you can't or don't want to drive.....take the damned bus!



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: lordcomac
Efficiency, for one.
Merging onto and off of a highway when all the cars are aware of your presence, and planned for it a mile ago?

Never have to worry about grandma who stops at the top of the onramp again... causing a lineup of 15 cars that now need to go from 0-70 in a few seconds rather than merging into traffic harmlessly.

Cars that know that there's a long line of stopped cars just over the crest, so they start slowing down at a reasonable distance rather than trying to slam on the brakes at the last moment...


Lots of reasons for it.
Me, though, I'm not giving up my antique car if I don't have to. I like having control over my brakes, and steering.


Accidents would go down dramatically and traffic flow would increase a lot once you take the human factor out of it. The problem though is that you really need all cars to be autonomous.

I enjoy driving, but I can see the benefit for mundane commutes and road trips. My car has a fancy cruise control that starts and stops automatically. I still need to steer, but it is nice on road trips. I just set it at like 70-75 on highway and it will automatically maintain distance with a car in front of me and even slow down/stop and start again on it's own when traffic slows down.

initially, the biggest opportunity is going to be for trucking, taxis, limos, and other basic commuting functions. People will gradually start giving up their cars, but there will always be few of us who want to drive on our own. Quite frankly (and as a motorcycle rider) 75% of people driving shouldn't be behind a wheel of a car. I look forward to these idiots getting off the road.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: TonyS

I didn't actually read your link. Just what you posted. But I can imagine anyone not using a self-driving car will see their rates increase... generously. That will be the beginning of the end. They don't even have to make cars as we know them illegal to drive yourself, they just have to make it unaffordable for most of the population, and it will only work to take more freedom away from the average person.



posted on May, 22 2017 @ 12:18 PM
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Why resist the future?

Do you really think in a 100 years people will still be driving cars?

It's going to happen eventually.



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