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  #61  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 9:17 AM
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It's funny that some politicians insist on doing something to save the planet but they prefer to invest in cars, still? Have we not learned how cars have been hurting our planet for the past 80 years? Some people just don't get it.

Is the climate changing not screaming right in their face? Whatever! I just hope these people won't get upset when a person doesn't conserve energy/recycle/or reduce waste. Good grief.

One last thing, they should also forget the "humans will colonize Mars" garbage. It will NEVER happen.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 9:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mikemike View Post
That's assuming that those autonomous cars have somewhere to park or that their reverse trips don't take up road space(thy do, doubling the total vehicle mileage), that autonomous vehicles can efficiently and safely operate in areas with high pedestrian density (probably never will - pedestrians are as unpredictable as those human -driven cars), that everyone currently taking public transit can afford a auto-automobile (they can't), and as the article above points out, that even if everything else is worked out and things work smoothly, fast,east autonomous cars will encourage longer an longer commutes, more and more driving until we're back in the same congested situation.
When a city reaches the stage when their street grid is fully autonomous (that's when things will really start to get interesting), if every car is a shared car, the number of vehicles required to service all residents of a particular city will be far less than what is on the roads of our cities now, so parking would not be a problem.

Cost would not be an issue either. Since every car will be shared, no one person is required to own a vehicle. Most likely a transit authority would operate such a network. A city of 1 million people could certainly function with 150 000 or so shared vehicles (likely less than that). Even if each vehicle cost 20 000$, that would be 3 billion to set up a transit system for an entire region. Very cheap considering 3 billion buys you around 20 km's of rapid transit. And with very little labour costs, so cost to the consumer would easily be at the same level as a bus fare.

Safety for pedestrians would certainly increase. The autonomous car would sense or see a pedestrian far faster than any human, and be able to break far quicker.

I think it's only a matter of how willing society is to accept this kind of change. My guess would be Chinese cities will be the first to see a fully autonomous network, and with that example, the rest will follow.

Hatman - Observing how inefficiently people use city streets, especially intersections, I tend to think the capacity improvement will be closer to 10x, which would render all other forms of transit obsolete, even in the densest cities.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 9:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Eveningsong View Post
It's funny that some politicians insist on doing something to save the planet but they prefer to invest in cars, still? Have we not learned how cars have been hurting our planet for the past 80 years? Some people just don't get it.

Is the climate changing not screaming right in their face? Whatever! I just hope these people won't get upset when a person doesn't conserve energy/recycle/or reduce waste. Good grief.

One last thing, they should also forget the "humans will colonize Mars" garbage. It will NEVER happen.
An autonomous network will most assuredly be run by electric vehicles, and because you would need far fewer vehicles, less energy would be required. All that is needed is an open mind because the technology is here right now.

Last edited by logan5; Jul 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 2:10 PM
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That is very good news. I hope they get started right away then.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
An autonomous network will most assuredly be run by electric vehicles, and because you would need far fewer vehicles, less energy would be required. All that is needed is an open mind because the technology is here right now.
Electric vehicles are a different topic than autonomous vehicles, so leaving that aside,

Autonomous shared vehicles would require MORE energy than standard driven vehicles, even assuming the same number of miles travelled (and as noted earlier, that would most likely increase).

Why?

Because after dropping you off at work that shared car will drive all the way back out to the residential neighbourhoods for a new fare, instead of waiting for you and not burning fuel or draining the batteries.

It won't be double because there are some reverse trips, but generally, instead of your commute being responsible for the energy to move a 3000lb steel box from home to work, your trip is also responsible for the energy required to get it back where it's needed.

Like a cabby cruising for fares.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 4:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemike View Post
Electric vehicles are a different topic than autonomous vehicles, so leaving that aside,

Autonomous shared vehicles would require MORE energy than standard driven vehicles, even assuming the same number of miles travelled (and as noted earlier, that would most likely increase).

Why?

Because after dropping you off at work that shared car will drive all the way back out to the residential neighbourhoods for a new fare, instead of waiting for you and not burning fuel or draining the batteries.

It won't be double because there are some reverse trips, but generally, instead of your commute being responsible for the energy to move a 3000lb steel box from home to work, your trip is also responsible for the energy required to get it back where it's needed.

Like a cabby cruising for fares.
That's assuming just as many will be making that trip into town later. Congested streets during rush hours exist because everyone wants to get to work just in time, and leave work as quickly as possible. No one likes reporting to work a half hour early or waiting to go home after work a half hour later.
While many autonomous shared vehicles might make several trips, there will be many that will just make one trip and will have to be parked waiting on demand to pick up again.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 4:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikemike View Post
Electric vehicles are a different topic than autonomous vehicles, so leaving that aside,

Autonomous shared vehicles would require MORE energy than standard driven vehicles, even assuming the same number of miles travelled (and as noted earlier, that would most likely increase).

Why?

Because after dropping you off at work that shared car will drive all the way back out to the residential neighbourhoods for a new fare, instead of waiting for you and not burning fuel or draining the batteries.

It won't be double because there are some reverse trips, but generally, instead of your commute being responsible for the energy to move a 3000lb steel box from home to work, your trip is also responsible for the energy required to get it back where it's needed.

Like a cabby cruising for fares.
If there are 1/6 the number of cars on the road, the energy required to manufacture them is a lot lower. In a fully autonomous network where accidents are reduced to near zero, the weight of the vehicle can be greatly reduced. That will save a significant amount of energy. And as you said, some return trips won't be wasted.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 4:24 PM
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Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
When a city reaches the stage when their street grid is fully autonomous (that's when things will really start to get interesting), if every car is a shared car, the number of vehicles required to service all residents of a particular city will be far less than what is on the roads of our cities now, so parking would not be a problem.

Cost would not be an issue either. Since every car will be shared, no one person is required to own a vehicle. Most likely a transit authority would operate such a network. A city of 1 million people could certainly function with 150 000 or so shared vehicles (likely less than that). Even if each vehicle cost 20 000$, that would be 3 billion to set up a transit system for an entire region. Very cheap considering 3 billion buys you around 20 km's of rapid transit. And with very little labour costs, so cost to the consumer would easily be at the same level as a bus fare.

Safety for pedestrians would certainly increase. The autonomous car would sense or see a pedestrian far faster than any human, and be able to break far quicker.

I think it's only a matter of how willing society is to accept this kind of change. My guess would be Chinese cities will be the first to see a fully autonomous network, and with that example, the rest will follow.

Hatman - Observing how inefficiently people use city streets, especially intersections, I tend to think the capacity improvement will be closer to 10x, which would render all other forms of transit obsolete, even in the densest cities.
1. Parking might be less of a problem, but street space would be more of a problem. All those cars would have to make return trips.

2. Shared cars are not part of the bundle with autonomous cars. Cars are a major vanity possession, the wealthiest 1/4 of the population, at the very least, will keep their private vehicles, self-driven or not. Parents, too, like to keep their carseats, strollers, etc. in the vehicle. Work vehicles are full of tools. Farmers, outdoorsmen, campers, have special needs - bike, canoe and kayak racks, trailer hitches, off-road capability. What about holiday long weekends, when everybody and his uncle wants to get out to the lake/ grandparent's small town/ farm/mountains and wants to take a cooler/boat/whatever. Shared cars will increase but will always be a niche.

3. Safety would be great, but it doesnt' stand alone. If all cars are autonomous, perfect at predicting unpredictable behaviour and always stop, what happens?
Pedestrians and cyclists are no longer bullied onto narrow sidewalks, that's what happens. Car speeds drop massively (other than freeways) as auto-cars drive at actual safe speeds, not 10 over the already high speed limit.

And cars would be super safe, and would be controlled extremely conservatively, because a wrongful death lawsuit against GM/Google would get a lot more traction than one against John Smith who was just in a hurry to get home to his family.

4. Estimates of 10X capacity require using all streets as thoroughfares, including residential side streets (maybe unpopular?) and ignore that there will still be non-networked users on the streets.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 4:40 PM
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Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
If there are 1/6 the number of cars on the road, the energy required to manufacture them is a lot lower. In a fully autonomous network where accidents are reduced to near zero, the weight of the vehicle can be greatly reduced. That will save a significant amount of energy. And as you said, some return trips won't be wasted.
The average vehicles requires far more energy to run in it's lifetime than it takes to manufacture. While that may change with electric vehicles, vehicle lifetime is just a related to mileage as to age - if these auto-vehicles are driving more miles they could actually provide less actual transportation over a lifespan. And if they're shared, users may take less care than they do with their own vehicles.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 9:16 AM
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Originally Posted by logan5 View Post

Hatman - Observing how inefficiently people use city streets, especially intersections, I tend to think the capacity improvement will be closer to 10x, which would render all other forms of transit obsolete, even in the densest cities.
With our current cities, you may be right.

Looking at the economics of it, an autonomous car by Google's calculations (see earlier in this thread) can turn a profit for its owner by charging its rider 50 cents per mile.
I live in Salt Lake City, where Utah Transit Authority is the transit provider, and I'm most familiar with them. According to them, they can run their busses - when full - for about 35 cents per passenger mile. They can also run their light rail trains for about 5 cents per passenger mile - again, when the vehicle is full.

But will economics be enough to sway people towards transit over riding in autonomous cars?
Right now, no - not for the (vast) majority. And in the future, probably less so:

(imagine commuting in that!)

In the USA we seem to go by the general assumption that all people will travel by car if given a choice. Cars take you anywhere you want on your schedule. Even more so for autonomous cars. But if there are many cars going to the same place at the same time, it becomes more efficient to combine all those individual trips into one. Hence, transit. Transit is not for everyday living and mobility as it is about consolidating trips that otherwise would be redundant.

This is why I think that no matter how efficient autonomous cars are - and I agree with you that 10x the current efficiency is perfectly feasable - there will always be a need for transit. Maybe less than there is now, but maybe more.
Without a need for wide streets, without the need for surface parking lots, without the need for an easily navigable system of car-roads, perhaps the cities of tomorrow, the ones built up around the premise of autonomous cars, will be denser than they are now. Perhaps in the future when roads are not viewed as places people to drive, but rather a place for robots to transport people, perhaps then people will consider roads an irritation, a hindrance to their dense pedestrian cities and want roads moved out of sight, the way most people want train tracks out of sight right now. Perhaps in the future, with autonomous cars more easily tracked and charged for miles traveled (and at which peak hours and over which congested and pricier roads), maybe then autonomous cars will be much more expensive than 50 cents per mile, and people will more readily switch to transit for economic reasons.

Or maybe transit agencies will use autonomous cars as first-mile/last-mile modes for their rail transit passengers, combining the efficiency and economy of rail transit with the door-to-door convenience of autonomous cars.

All just ideas. I like pouring over the possibilities.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2014, 9:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikemike View Post
The average vehicles requires far more energy to run in it's lifetime than it takes to manufacture. While that may change with electric vehicles, vehicle lifetime is just a related to mileage as to age - if these auto-vehicles are driving more miles they could actually provide less actual transportation over a lifespan. And if they're shared, users may take less care than they do with their own vehicles.
It should also be noted that autonomous cars use energy more efficiently than a human driver does to go the same distance. Not enough to compensate for a return trip, but more efficiently nonetheless.
This is why Tesla is working so hard on its autopilot feature. It isn't a luxury feature, it's a range issue. In autopilot, the electric car's range will be significantly farther than if a human were driving, and range is the selling point for Teslas.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2014, 8:31 AM
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I found this graph in this article:
http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...ld-of-sel.aspx

Company-------R&D Spend in 2013------R&D Spend in 2012------Estimated Target Date

Google__________$7.91 billion_____________$6.59 billion________2016-2018
General Motors___$7.2 billion______________$7.4 billion_________2020
Ford____________$6.4 billion______________$5.5 billion_________2025
Toyota Motors___$8.97 billion _____________$7.96 billion________2016
Tesla___________$231.98 million___________$273.98 million_____2015

It is interesting that Tesla has spent the least in R&D and yet still plans to be the first to offer an 'Autopilot' feature.
It should be noted that not all of these companies are working for the same goal. Google's definition of autonomous car is by far the most ambitious, while Tesla's is the least revolutionary. But I think any feature that is made available to the public is extremely important. The sooner the better, even if it isn't total autonomy. Wet the public's appetite and build their trust in technology. Autonomous cars won't happen all at once.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2014, 8:02 AM
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Steering wheels? They'll be gone by 2035, study says
http://www.auto123.com/en/news/steer...s?artid=169322

Quote:
In a recent survey of more than 200 researchers in the field of autonomous vehicles, the majority of respondents believed rearview mirrors, horns, and emergency brakes will be removed from cars by 2030, while steering wheels and gas/brake pedals will follow by 2035.

Over 75% of respondents also indicated that all 50 U.S. states would pass legislation permitting use of driverless vehicles within this time period.

"We've seen incredible growth in the driverless vehicle industry over the past few years, both in technological advancement and manufacturer acceptance, that has dramatically affected the consumer adoption timetable," stated IEEE Fellow Alberto Broggi, professor of computer engineering at the University of Parma in Italy and founder of VisLab. "The scientific community and car manufacturers have been working together to incrementally include autonomous features in modern day cars, with the intention of producing driverless vehicles in the near future. For mass adoption, it's important that we begin trusting this technology."

Advancements in technology will be the most instrumental in the continued development of driverless vehicles, with more than half (56%) of respondents believing that sensor technology is most essential, followed by software (48%), advanced driver assistance systems (47%), and GPS (31%).

Roughly three out of four predict that a complete digital map of the world will exist within the next 15 years.

Back To The Future II may have been way off the mark, but clearly the future is already here.

Source: IEEE
_____________________________________________________

2030: No drivers, no traffic jams
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=11294060

Quote:
Hours stuck on our car-clogged city motorways could be just a memory by 2030, says a visiting Stanford University energy expert.

Clean energy entrepreneur Tony Seba has predicted that 16 years from now up to 80 per cent of parking spaces and highways will be redundant, and the concept of car ownership and taxis as we know them will be obsolete.


Quote:
By then, not only would all mass market cars be electric, but self-driving and handily hailed using your smartphone.

Mr Seba, who gave a presentation at Auckland's Viaduct Event Centre last night, told the Herald that while his predictions were controversial, he was convinced that what sounded like the kind of science fiction of movie Minority Report would soon become reality.

"Within the next 10 to 15 years, everything is going to change in transportation," he said.


"It's going to be the biggest transformation of transport in a century - since the gasoline engine disrupted horses."

This global transition, an example of industry "disruption", would come as Silicon Valley made oil, nuclear, natural gas, coal, electric utilities - and conventional cars - obsolete, he said.

"It will be over by 2030 - maybe before.

"Oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium will simply become obsolete for the purposes of generating significant amounts of electricity and powering the automobile."

Driving this change would be the innovations in electric and driverless vehicle technology, the internet and big data, and a shift away from fossil-based fuels.

"Nissan last week announced that by 2018, they could have a market-ready autonomous car, and the only thing holding it back is regulation."

Huge highways would no longer be needed as populations began sharing vehicles that were constantly in motion.

"Today, cars are parked 96 per cent of the time, more or less, yet we pay $14,000 for these vehicles and use them maybe only an hour or two every day," he said.

"So driverless cars are going to flip that equation because they are going to be running all the time."

Instead of walking to their garage or driveway, he said, commuters would simply use their phones to call self-driving cars that would pick them up anywhere, at any time.

"Indications are that it's going to cost 90 per cent less than the gasoline car, so it's going to be more economical and more flexible.

"If you put all of the factors together, you realise gasoline is largely not going to be needed for cars - it's not that we are going to run out, we are not going to use it anymore."

Mr Seba believed regulation would play a large part in weaning us off fossil-based vehicle fuels.

"Energy companies do have much power, and they are pushing back, so regulation will be very important. But look, it's a tech disruption, and like any tech disruption, it's going to happen."

Dr Nirmal Nair, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, doubted a clean energy transport utopia could be achieved here within two decades.

While Dr Nair believed the energy business model would indeed change, and this would be disruptive for transport, he considered Mr Seba's prediction as "more aspirational".

"From an Auckland perspective, I don't agree with any of those statements around the point of it happening by 2030."

Simon Terry, executive director of the Sustainability Council, however, believed electric vehicles could dominate the new car market by 2030 if petrol prices increased enough through some combination of oil price rises and higher carbon charges on emissions.

"Electric vehicles cost more upfront but that cost will continue to fall over time, so it is just a question of when the savings from using electricity instead of petrol will justify the switch."

Vision of the future

* In 2030, according to Tony Seba:
* All new mass-market vehicles will be electric.
* All of these vehicles will be autonomous (self-driving).
* Up to 80% of parking spaces and highways will be redundant.
* All new energy will be provided by solar and wind.

On the web: Watch a lecture on the future of transportation by Stanford University lecturer Tony Seba at http://goo.gl/kNMUfA

- NZ Herald
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  #74  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 7:36 AM
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Ah, studies on future technology... It's nice when everyone agrees on things:

A Car That Is Smarter Than Its Driver Can Cut Pollution
http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...cut-pollution/

Automated Cars May Boost Fuel Use, Toyota Scientist Says
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-0...tist-says.html

FBI Is Worried Bad Guys Will Use Self Driving Cars As 'Lethal Weapons'
http://hothardware.com/News/FBI-Is-W...apons/#!bgDlSd

But my favorite article from today is this one:
The day your car becomes smarter than you are is coming
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060002945

An excerpt:
Quote:
To ensure that V2V [vehicle-to-vehicle communications] and V2I [vehicle-to-infrastructure] technologies deliver on their potential road safety benefits, automakers are urging Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect the 5.9-gigahertz spectrum reserved for connected vehicles.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced legislation (S. 2505) last month that would open the wireless spectrum to other devices like cell phones and laptops. Technology and car companies have said they're working with the senators and the FCC to find a technical solution for spectrum sharing that won't compromise on safety.

Making connected cars a reality will also make for cleaner cars, according to Matthew Stepp, executive director of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation's (ITIF) Center for Clean Energy Innovation.

For instance, real-time transportation data allow drivers to navigate around congested routes or reschedule their trip, avoiding unnecessary fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions. On-board equipment can also advise drivers and their dealers on how to improve vehicle maintenance for improved fuel efficiency.

"Connected car fixes like that, being able to connect dealerships, manufacturers, consumers and cars altogether, provide some modest fuel savings," said Stepp, in the 5 to 15 percent range.

Self-driving vehicles -- often included with V2V and V2I under the heading of "smart transportation systems" -- have the potential to offer even greater fuel savings, he said. If all Americans used self-driving cars, studies show it would reduce U.S. gasoline consumption 20 to 30 percent.

"That mainly comes from reducing congestion, reducing accidents, which feeds into the congestion problem, and reducing the amount of miles traveled per car," Stepp said. "That's because the cars are driving directly to where they need to go versus getting lost and driving around looking for parking spots and things like that."

The Internet giant Google has been testing autonomous cars since 2010. Rather than rely on V2V communications, Google's novel technology uses light radar and mapping software to guide the vehicle as a completely independent unit.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 11:30 AM
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It's starting to sound like a bus in a way.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jul 17, 2014, 1:06 PM
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Honestly, all this talk about how everything is going to change in the next 10-15 years is pretty damn utopian and shows that the authors might be more than a little optimistic in their timetables. We are talking about a 30 year transformation at the very least with regards to achieving widespread autonomous cars due to the fact that people and companies won't just throw out all their non-robotic vehicles because they have a lifespan of +20 years with regards to things like trucks. Also, much of the stuff the authors of those articles claim (powering everything with renewables for example) is flat out unachievable due to the need to spend trillions revamping the existing power grid infrastructure, not to mention that there will be massive opposition from fossil fuel interests (including literally dozens of countries that function as petro-states) and their trillions, nuclear power interests and their promoters and so on.

It might sound nice, but any claims that some technology will "change everything," and do it soon, needs to be taken with a fistfull of salt and a healthy dose of skepticism.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2014, 8:30 AM
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^^^^^
That's your opinion, and I won't challenge it. But let me share mine; I think the change will come much faster than most people expect.
Why?
Finances. Auto insurance for one. Have you heard of car tracking devices used for auto insurance? Basically, you install a device in your car like a black box that tracks your every move (distance, speed, acceleration, everything). From the data gathered, the insurance company is able to determine how dangerous a driver you are, and charges you accordingly:
Do car tracking devices infringe on your privacy?
http://www.angieslist.com/articles/d...ur-privacy.htm

Right now, you can get an insurance discount for participating. But in the near future, most analysts agree that you will be charged substantially more if you don't agree to being tracked.
And that's just one way insurance is going to get much more expensive. Currently auto insurance, along with nearly every other cost of driving, is kept artificially low because driving a car is the most basic and universal form of personal mobility. But once autonomous cars, taxis, and shared vehicles become an option, the act of driving will no longer be about personal mobility, but about recreation.
Based on the report a few posts back that says individual things like pedals, mirrors, and steering wheels will disappear one by one, I imagine new insurance rates coming out at the same time stating that if you have a car with pedals, mirrors, or a steering wheel, then you will be charged substantially more than if you owned a car that didn't have one.

Oh, and did I mention that riding in an autonomous taxi at 50 cents per mile is cheaper than actually owning a car, even under current artificially low insurance rates?
newsroom.aaa.com/tag/driving-cost-per-mile/

And believe me, insurance rates will rise. Driving is the most dangerous thing people do in their daily routines. Car wrecks are the leading cause of death for people younger than 30. 30,000 Americans die every year in car accidents; that's over twice the total number of people killed world wide last year from terrorist attacks. That is a lot of insurance claims that the insurance companies would rather not deal with. You can bet that the first chance they get, they are going to hike the rates on human-driven cars.

So, will new cars being sold in 10 years lack certain controls in order to avoid extra insurance costs? I would say yes, I find that more than feasible, I think that is highly probable.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2014, 8:34 AM
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Also, in the news for today:
Google gets ex-Ford CEO Alan Mulally on board
http://www.livemint.com/Companies/lD...-on-board.html


Quote:
New York/Detroit: Google Inc., operator of the world’s biggest search engine, named former Ford Motor Co. chief executive officer Alan Mulally to its board, gaining auto expertise in its quest to develop self-driving cars.

His appointment to the Google board is less than two months after the technology company unveiled the latest prototype of its self-driving car, a move which General Motors Co. said could become a serious competitive threat to the auto industry. Mulally stepped down from Ford on 1 July, six months earlier than expected to make way for successor Mark Fields. He was also considered for the top job at Microsoft Corp., a role that went to Satya Nadella after Steve Ballmer’s retirement.

“This is really an inspired move,” Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean of the Yale University School of Management, said in an interview. “Mulally has a great deal to bring to Google. He’s an engineer’s engineer who has a great feel for consumer product innovation. This is a way to let us know that there’s no limit to the scope and scale of where Google is going.”
Perhaps this signals that Google will be developing more than just software to run autonomous vehicles. It's too soon to tell.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jul 18, 2014, 8:58 AM
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That is really a good news.
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Used cars for sale in Canada
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  #80  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2014, 7:14 AM
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Two interesting reads for a Sunday afternoon.

Planning for the Unpredictable
http://www.cato.org/blog/planning-unpredictable

Self-driving cars are right around the corner; then what?
http://www.statesman.com/news/news/o...er-then/nggHg/
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