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Free Minds & Free Markets

Self-Driving Cars Are Cool, but They're Not for Everyone

And neither is mass transit

"I expect human driving to become illegal in the next 25–35 years in developed countries," insisted Rice University's Moshe Vardi in the course of plugging self-driving cars during a 2016 Reddit question-and-answer session. Tesla CEO Elon Musk sounded a similar note at a 2015 developers' conference, saying, "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine." It's an interesting perspective from a man who runs a company that manufactures such devices.

Once upon a time, mass transit was the technocrat's preferred method for prying people out of their wasteful, dangerous cars. If only we could subsidize the right combination of buses, trolleys, jitneys, light rail, monorail, and bullet trains—the thinking went—all our problems would be solved. To save the planet, "public transportation should be favored over private automobiles, and the cars heavily taxed," wrote Hugh McDonald of New York City College of Technology in a 2014 book on environmental philosophy. That view is shared by a number of other scholars and policy makers who hope to eliminate traffic deaths, largely by getting rid of cars.

But now there's a new kid on the block: self-driving cars. The trouble is that neither of these approaches takes into account the reality that almost 20 percent of the population of the United States live in the low-population rural areas that make up the majority of the country's land mass, and they're not about to trade in the F-150 for a newfangled robot chariot.

Against my advice, a friend of mine once insisted on relying on GPS navigation to get to my old house in rural Arizona. Once we managed to locate him, we started his visit by digging his car out of the sand in which he'd mired himself. He had gone down an unmaintained road that didn't actually lead to my address, no matter how enthusiastically the robotic navigator claimed otherwise.

For reasons that are clear if you live in the boonies, self-driving cars look a little limited in their near-term potential. They don't seem especially well-suited to paved but poorly mapped byways, let alone delivering passengers down miles of dirt lanes to hunting camps or trailheads. Many of those routes require a fairly responsive hand on the wheel to deal with unexpected washouts, deep ruts, and uncooperative quadrupeds. I'm also not sure how much fun off-roading would be with a robot calling the shots.

Public transportation has its own challenges in much of the non-urban world. Around me, one bus service connects some local workers with their tourist-industry jobs in Sedona. Another circulates through the town's business areas, and seems to do a heavy trade in getting hobos back and forth between the public library and wherever they're sleeping.

Neither will take you to Target, which is 50 miles away. Or to Costco. Or to most residential areas, which are understandably spread out in this sparsely settled piece of the world. You're not riding the bus to dinner and a movie, either, since it shuts down after work hours.

So you can imagine that enthusiasts for public transit and/or a self-driving future are a little thin on the ground around here. The dispersed and sometimes uncharted nature of rural travel makes the former difficult—and while plenty of people view automated cars with gee-whiz interest, the odds are just a bit too high that on the way home from buying one, it'll take a nonexistent turn and dump the new owners into a ditch. They'll ultimately be excavated by future archeologists and displayed as "well-preserved examples of early adopters."

To address these problems, McDonald wants to "encourage settlement in cities," which he says "have much more to offer in the way of museums, performing arts, varied cuisines, and other amenities." It seems we'll get to ride the trolley and be civilized. No thanks.

Some oracles of the coming transportation revolution are less presumptuous. "Low population densities and long median travel distances mean ridesharing and carsharing are unlikely to ever take hold as they have in urban areas," concedes research manager Derek Pankratz of Deloitte, the mega-consulting firm. As a result, "personal vehicle ownership (and lower asset utilization) are likely to persist," and "human-controlled operation is likely to be essential" for the foreseeable future for people outside big cities.

Well, yes. Technology is cool, but nothing is one-size-fits-all. No matter what might (or might not) work in New York and Washington, D.C., people living, working, and playing in rural areas will continue to need human-controlled, personally owned vehicles for a long time to come.

Photo Credit: Wowanneta/Dreamstime.com

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  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    But having the ability to choose your own destination regardless of distance or difficulty could lead to other improper things, like thinking unapproved thoughts, or questioning the rightness of authority. Freedom must be suppressed whenever it rears it's ugly head!

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Do you have a license or have you paid the tax for not living in an unapproved urban center? No? Then you should welcome your overlords making the new law that states living outside of urban areas is illegal.

    We are happy to have served you.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Libertarian twits! Nothing's more romantic on date night than cramming into a city bus full of hobos who smell of piss and vomit while you're on your way to and from dinner and a movie.

  • Longtobefree||

    Only if it is an approved vegetarian dinner, and a blatantly left wing propaganda movie! Starring approved left-wing advocate actors.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    For reasons that are clear if you live in the boonies, self-driving cars look a little limited in their near-term potential.

    THANK YOU. And thank Reason for continuing to employ this most yokelest of yokeltarians. Although not letting you get to your hunting spot might be, as they say, a feature not a bug.

  • Longtobefree||

    Just for the record; they are not self driving cars.
    They are cars capable of control by a computer program.
    So think that through.
    Fascists can only dream of not just knowing where everyone goes, but actually being able to prevent them from going there. Future cars will not allow right wing fanatics to go to rallies of the opposition parties. They will not allow climate deniers to go to grocery stores or doctors, or in fact anywhere. They might even have valves to shut off the oxygen in cars carrying wrong thinkers. Since they will ignore instructions go outside of cities, planners can finally force enough people into high rise slums to 'make' mass transit work. Only approved individuals can get a car that will go to a polling place. etc etc etc
    Welcome to the revolution!

  • mtrueman||

    "Only approved individuals can get a car that will go to a polling place. etc etc etc
    Welcome to the revolution!"

    Ownership of these self-driving vehicles is not how they are envisioned by their promoters. They will be shared, and powered by electricity. The average car today spends 90% of the time parked. Sharing means less congestion, more efficient use of time and space, and less freedom.

    "They might even have valves to shut off the oxygen in cars carrying wrong thinkers."

    Eichmann and others have already tried this method. It was eventually rejected.

  • esteve7||

    you could make the same argument with washing matches and dishwashers, but most people went clamoring to go to the laundromat

  • mtrueman||

    "you could make the same argument with washing matches and dishwashers, but most people went clamoring to go to the laundromat"

    The important difference between a self driving car and a washing machine is that the car has wheels and is mobile. Google, Uber and the other promoters of this technology envision small electric powered vehicles which are shared. They point out that the driver driven cars of today typically spend 90% of their time parked, instead of being used to move people from one place to another. Washing machines also stand idle for most of their lives but to use them, you have to go to them. They can't come to you because they don't have wheels and weren't designed to drive themselves on roads.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    Next up: self-driving cars with washing machines (no dryers, because they aren't eco-friendly).

  • Cyto||

    But once the infrastructure is mature, not having your car will be much better and much cheaper, theoretically.

    In a fee for service, point-to-point delivery world, you could dial up "cheapest ride to downtown" for when you care about price- and get a seat in a 12 seat van, "heavy duty pickup" for when you want to haul a bunch of stuff from home depot and "luxury" for when you have a date.

    The only thing this world wouldn't be better at would be satisfying the thrill gene that makes driving a performance car so fun.

    This kind of autonomous vehicle will also make delivery services much more ubiquitous - without needing to pay labor for a driver, the cost of delivery drops precipitously.

  • mtrueman||

    "Sorry, bud, most people like having their own car. "

    Most people also like cars with steering wheels. Innovation changes things. Perhaps in the future, owning your own car will be as common as owning your own airplane. (Not very common.)

  • Freddie||

    During rush hour and other peak travel times, that shared fleet of cars will not be available to everyone who wants one. And that is what progressives have in mind as they eagerly await the end of private car ownership.

  • swampwiz||

    That is a good point. The current paradigm of buying (or financing) the purchase of a new car so that its depreciation spans a long time (e.g. 15 years) will be at a disadvantage to the driverless taxi companies who will buy a car and run through its depreciation in like 3 years, since it will be running non-stop and not sitting in the owner's driveway/garage or employer's parking lot. This will save about 6 years of financing.

  • zazoo||

    Eichmann and others have already tried this method. It was eventually rejected.

    Yes but what an 'eventually' that was....

    Lining up for the gas chambers. Don't worry folks, this too shall pass....

    My car isn't using any resources when it's parked and it's on my property.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    That might be true, if 'right wing fanatics' didn't tend to know orders of magnitude more about mechanical amd electrical engineering than Lefty intellectuals. The academic ineffectuals may THINK they have control of those cars....right up until the SECOND time they to use it.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I HATE HATE HATE automatic transmissions. And electronic junk and power seats. I'm not a total hater, I like carburetors, power windows, and AC.
    .

  • Longtobefree||

    Cruise control is nice.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Except when the assholes in front of you slow down.

  • Rebel Scum||

    OT: Clinton was the true victim of media bias

    REID: What do you say to reporters who say: "Well, the email scandal was not the media's fault, it was your fault."

    CLINTON: Oh, I made the original mistake, but, you know, people running for office make all kinds of mistakes. I mean, Trump had a million mistakes that he made before he ever ran and that he made once he declared to run. That didn't matter. You know, there was a little bit of coverage on whatever it might be, and then it faded away. The emails was a constant diet.

    And a delicious one at that.

    As I point out in the book, all of the crazy accusations were just not true.

    Yea, you definitely did not use a private communications server to avoid foia and in doing so traffic state secrets through a completely unsecured system committing thousands of counts of multiple felonies...

  • Rebel Scum||

    Now, I've talked to members of the press, because, look, I'm a huge proponent of the First Amendment, and we need a really smart, savvy press.

    Unless someone is critical of you.

  • Cy||

    "Yea, you definitely did not use a private communications server to avoid foia and in doing so traffic state secrets through a completely unsecured system committing thousands of counts of multiple felonies..."

    While taking in massive foreign 'donations' into your 'charity.' Yep, no conflict of interest... none.... NONE!

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    You know, there was a little bit of coverage on whatever it might be, and then it faded away.

    Right, remember when the media tried to call Trump a racist one time and then moved on? Or a misogynist that one time regarding Megyn Kelly and then nothing about his and how he treats women afterwards? Or how his 'grab them by the pussy' comment was regarded as of so little concern as Hillary's emails?

    Neither do I.

  • mtrueman||

    "Or how his 'grab them by the pussy' comment was regarded as of so little concern as Hillary's emails?"

    Those were the days.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine."

    That's why I don't drive a Tesla.

    "public transportation should be favored over private automobiles, and the cars heavily taxed," wrote Hugh McDonald

    "Is life so dear or peace so sweet..." IWO, fuck off.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    That's why I don't drive a Tesla.

    Precisely. That's why a Tesla drives you!

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Seems like "planners" have a consistent urbanist bias, whether by a true affinity for crowded hive living, or a politically motivated sense of efficiency for stacking untold millions in the smallest possible space (but never questioning the sensibility of those millions). Reminds me of the headlines about introvert vs. extrovert behavior a few years ago, which revealed a similar bias (since extroverts are louder, and tend to make more noise--and rules--then they got to define introverts as abnormal and in need of correction).

    My perspective: despite any efficiencies for cramming millions (or tens of millions) into mega-cities, by doing so we invite massive human catastrophies, both natural and man-made. Witness hurricane Harvey in Houston or imagine a deliberate and truly large event (bomb, infectious agent) in New York. Even if only a third of the local population is effected, that means millions.

    So the ultimate urbanist fantasy, where by choice or not, all the compliant citizens live in 100 story high rises, in a handful of American cities, just makes it easy not just to control but to eliminate (or at least threaten) a big portion of the population. Driving around will be the least of their concerns.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I keep dreaming of the opposite myself. As work becomes possibly more decentralized, particularly for people who work in Tech or other businesses that allow for remote work, I imagine people spreading out even more.

    Though, I don't know. I have friends who think it's weird that I want a house with acreage.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Are private autos worth the cost of over 10,000 lives a year due to drunk driving?

    I mean, George Washington managed to live without a car...

  • Cy||

    Horses killed a lot of people too.

  • gaoxiaen||

    They even managed to cripple Superman!

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Yes. Also note that auto related deaths have reduced drastically since about 1980.

    Is the government food pyramid worth the cost of millions of people suffering from type 2 diabetes as a direct result of eating the way the government suggests?

  • mtrueman||

    "I mean, George Washington managed to live without a car..."

    George Washington never aspired to drive for Uber.

  • Episteme||

    If Alexander Hamilton we're alive today, he'd totally drive for Uber in between his two side Internet startups.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    10,000 out of 300,000,000 isn't especially large. And if you think individual drunk drivers are bad, just wait until the virus (or simple bug) in the self-driving cars controlers turns up suddenly one rush hour.

    All the arguments I read in favor of self-driving cars boil down to some flavor of 'the common man is an idiot who needs to be guided by his betters'.

    Fuck 'em all.

  • mtrueman||

    The typical 'common man' you speak of could easily drive some kind of vehicle for a living. Maybe a taxi or a truck, or something more exotic, but driving is the largest employment for males and men in general. There are millions around the world who make their living driving vehicles.

    "All the arguments I read in favor of self-driving cars boil down to some flavor of 'the common man is an idiot who needs to be guided by his betters'."

    This is why GPS is such a monumental failure. Imagine red blooded American boys and girls being led around the noise by some government tracking system.

  • Cyto||

    Car accidents are one of the top causes of death in the US, despite the precipitous decline in auto fatalities over the last couple of decades.

    Self driving cars could take 35k deaths and turn it into 2k deaths pretty damn quick.

    That would be akin to curing kidney disease, or finding a cure for half of all diabetes cases. It is a pretty big deal.

    And of course that is just talking death. Injuries are many multiples of the number of deaths.

    It is a big enough deal that the nations trauma hospitals and ER doctors and nurses should be lobbying hard against self-driving vehicles. I would eliminate a major hunk of their business.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Call me when someone comes up with a self-pedaling bicycle...

    "Hey! Stop that bicycle! Hey... HEY! Come back here, bicycle!"

  • Episteme||

    "Help! My bicycle is stealing itself!"

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    People still drive Model Ts and still ride horses and buggies.

    It will come down to insurance too.

    Assume for argument's sake that self-driving cars will be as good as chauffeurs. Most people will choose that for commuting and long distances just for the relaxation and ability to talk, eat, play games, and other non-driving activities, including even work. Insurance will probably include bonuses for autonomous driving miles and penalties for human miles, encouraging more and more autonomous miles.

    Some cars will be sold without human controls, but will be incapable of going off-road, say. They will probably respond to voice commands, such as take the next right, u-turn here, etc, but no steering wheel or pedals or shifter.

    And some cars will still have full human controls. But I expect fewer and fewer, just as fewer and fewer cars have stick shift.

    Governments will treat human-driven cars just as they treat Model Ts now -- no freeways for you! Carpool lanes may be expanded legally to include all autonomous cars, and lanes may be designated as self-driving or human driving, with barriers between them.

    I doubt very much that governments will ever ban human driving except in such designated autonomous lanes, any more than they have banned Model Ts or Amish buggies. They will just be restricted in the same way.

  • mtrueman||

    "And some cars will still have full human controls. "

    They will be fitted out with even more electronic gadgetry than the cars of today. Those who write the software that run the vehicles are probably not going to cede control to the users. It's outfits like Google who are behind this effort and you only have to play around with Android to see how important user control is to them. (Not very important.)

  • SKR||

    And at some point the insurance on a fully human controlled, non-autonomous capable vehicles will be so burdensome as to make those vehicles niche novelties.

  • Lord_at_War||

    Isn't that a "pre-existing condition"?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    How much is insurance today on Model Ts? They could be built today dirt cheap; I'm sure insurance value as an antique is far more than reproduction value. Modern cars have lots more construction cost just because of all the modern doodads. How much of the insurance cost is for owners / drivers causing accidents, how much is other cars causing damage, how much is for theft?

    I don't see insurance premiums going up because drivers want to continue to drive, unless they only do so once a month or year, say at parades and such. Premiums today cover human drivers; why would that cost go up?

    More likely is for autonomous car premiums to go down once they cause fewer accidents.

  • Longtobefree||

    They could be built today dirt cheap; - - -

    But a model T would be illegal to build today. By the time all the required federal equipment mandates and regulations (AKA fascist demands) were met, it would be dirt cheap the way land in Manhattan is dirt cheap.

  • mtrueman||

    The Volkswagen, the Ferrari, the Lambourghini, the Mercedes Benz, the Bavarian Motor Works, Porsche. Say what you want about Fascists, but they've been pretty decent when it comes to cars.

  • zazoo||

    And that's before we even got to Mitsubishi !

  • Libertarian||

    I'm torn on this subject. Maybe I'll get a self driving car someday .... but only if it's a stick shift.

  • mtrueman||

    "Maybe I'll get a self driving car someday .... but only if it's a stick shift."

    Those who are promoting this technology see you sharing these vehicles with the 10s of millions of others who live in the same megalopolis.

  • yet another dave||

    Yea like I'm gonna want get in any of those things after a bunch of hobos used it to have a soup kitchen... at least a human cabbie will spray a little air freshener once in while.

  • mtrueman||

    You may not have a choice. On the positive side, you can rent out your unused parking space to a family of undocumented workers.

  • swampwiz||

    I could see a self-washing passenger compartment that could be at least as competent as that for a public toilet.

  • gaoxiaen||

  • SKR||

    Living in a metropolis and seeing the way the people around me drive, the era of the self-driving car can't come soon enough.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yet another reason for Flyover Country to secede from the US.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Well, if they fly over they have no reason to drive through.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Pickups and SUVs will simply have manual override as an option. Do I need the ability to go off-road? Sure. But that's about the only time I'd use it. You can be damn sure my rig will have a self-driving capability for the other 98% of the time.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    My fear is not that. I personally do want self driving cars so I can spend more of my commute masturbating. But I just want it to happen organically instead if it being forced down people's throats by laws designed to accelerate this process happening.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Self-masturbating cars?

  • Libertarian||

    Car salesman: "Now remember, the cigarette lighter is the port on the left. The honey hole is on the right."

    Homer: "Yeah, yeah, buddy. Don't bore me with all your technical mumbo jumbo."

    Homer, later: "AAAHHHHHHHHGGGGGGG!"

  • swampwiz||

    I want to see the guy who videos his driverless ride over the Red Mountain Pass near Durango, CO.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Agree. Was speaking to early generation models. There is no physical task a human can do that computers/robots won't eventually be able to do better.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Against my advice, a friend of mine once insisted on relying on GPS navigation to get to my old house in rural Arizona.

    Give it a few years. Phoenix will stretch out to reach you eventually

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    If they don't run out of water first.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Against my advice, a friend of mine once insisted on relying on GPS navigation to get to my old house in rural Arizona.

    Give it a few years. Phoenix will stretch out to reach you eventually

  • Lily Bulero||

    But, Tuccile, if you're way out in the sticks, how can you attend all the requisite cocktail parties?

  • SIV||

    Media sure is quiet about the Black gunman who shot a bunch of old white people at a church.

  • SIV||

    I hope he's BLM and that there's pics of him waving the pan-African flag.

  • SIV||

    Probably not BLM, he's African-African.

  • mtrueman||

    Would that make you feel even better than you do now?

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    That's all the media cares about anymore. If you're black, you are now a brahmin above criticism, and if you are white, you must constantly talk about your sinful privilege and racism or be labeled a deplorable untouchable.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Why would the media be anti-white?

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    Link, please, and not to Vdare or Stormfront.

  • SIV||

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    Thank you.

    No wonder the jackass only killed one if he had two pistols: dual-wielding barely works in CoD, it sure as hell don't work IRL, kids.

  • PlaystoomuchHALO||

    McDonald wants to "encourage settlement in cities," which he says "have much more to offer in the way of museums, performing arts, varied cuisines, and other amenities."

    The proper response to this type of thinking is "go fuck yourself" If that doesn't sink in, a heartfelt 'I WILL kill you if you persist"

  • John||

    You really can't overstate what a fucking douche bag McDonald and is ilk are.

  • LarryA||

    But those big-city amenities are why I want a self-driving car. I can live in a small town and enjoy taking ten minutes to get anywhere I usually need to go, including too and from work. Then when I want a culture fix I can zip down the interstate for an hour and get whatever big-city "amenities" McDonald thinks I'm missing.

    Although even my rural Texas county comes with two little theater companies, several museums, a variety of ethnic restaurants, a symphony, a "big-band" orchestra, smaller bands playing all kinds of music, a private university, a public university outreach program, a community education program, a library, three newspapers, a ten-screen theater, high school, college, and community sports teams from football to roller derby, two shooting ranges, and more artists, musicians, clubs, and writers than you can shake a stick at.

    Who has time to go to the big city?

  • John||

    I am amazed at how stupid some of these people. The "lower asset utilization" crap is laughable. You could say the exact same thing about any of your clothes or any of your possessions. You have these clothes that spend most of their lives taking up space in your closet. So, why don't we just have communal clothes that are delivered to your door every couple of days. That way the clothes are always being worn and are not just taking up space doing nothing in your closet. That is the same logic as saying we need "fleet owned cars" because apparently any asset that you don't use at all times is "being wasted".

    Is being retarded and completely lacking any understanding of human nature or how actual people behave required to get into the field of urban planning?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I have the terrible feeling that the Urban Planning field is filling up with people who played Sim City obsessively in the 1990's, amd took its parameters SERIOUSLY.

    No, sweetheart, building a light rail system won't improve neighborhoods. In fact, if you make it an elevated system, anything under it will be instant slum.

    No, sweetheart, nuclear power plants don't blow up....not even if you let the Russians run them, or get them hit by huge tsunamis.

    No, pumpkin, your citizens aren't going to love wind farms. In real life they aren't reliable, and make horrible infrasound.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    TBF wind farms sucked even in Sim City. At least in SC2000. Fusion baby.

  • lap83||

    I got that Sim City vibe from McDonald. It's like he is looking down on rural America thinking "I've got my museums, now what do I click to make them go?" Hey pal, other humans are not your playthings

  • Ariki||

    "Is being retarded and completely lacking any understanding of human nature or how actual people behave required to get into the field of urban planning?"

    No, only for the fields of politics & academia.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    You will soon not be able to afford to insure a human driver. ~10 years, per industry source.

  • Vernon Depner||

    There are already tens of millions of uninsured drivers on the road now.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    It'll be pretty obvious tho who is and isn't driving their car.

  • Vernon Depner||

    If you think Middle Americans get their hackles up when someone suggests taking away their guns, just wait until they're told they can't drive. It's not going to happen.

  • KDN||

    Clearly these people have no experience with taking Grandma's car keys away. Even though she lives in your basement, eats your food, and only puts in 400 miles a year she still gets pissed when you take away her option of visiting Staten Island on a lark.

  • KDN||

    You will soon not be able to afford to insure a human driver. ~10 years, per industry source.

    You forgot the second zero.

    There is no way that happens. At all. Even if the tech were up to the task, the liability issues still have to be settled and there is going to be generations' worth of political maneuvering due to the fallout from the economic displacement caused increases in self-drivers.

    I'm confident that manual driving will still be the norm for a wide swath of the country when I die a year before being eligible to make IRA withdrawals.

  • JeremyR||

    The problem with self driving cars is that basically you are giving up your freedom to go wherever you want to go the government and tech companies. You'll only be able to go to where they let you go. And they will know where you went.

  • mtrueman||

    They don't need a car for that.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The problem with self,drivng cars is that you are giving up control to a computer. Anyone who thinks that's a good idea hasn't done anything with a computer recently. Oh, they're better than they used to be. A little. But I really don't want to be in a self driving car on the morning commute when some snapperhead decides it's a good time to send out a software update.

  • John||

    Self driving cars are betting your safety on the stability and security of your desk top computer. These people have to be kidding.

  • Cyto||

    Then again, not self driving cars is betting your safety on the average fellow. Or actually the very below average fellow. The 10th percentile fellow. Since one in every 10 cars is going to be driven by a 10th percentile driver.

  • KDN||

    Since one in every 10 cars is going to be driven by a 10th percentile driver.

    I'd wager that your 10th-percentile motorist is far less likely to be on the road with you at any given time than your 95th-percentile motorist, since most people that are shitty drivers are aware of that reality and actively seek alternatives.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Our White Trash POTUS is trying to demonize the NFL and it is backfiring on his sorry ass.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    And the lowest level troll enters the arena. In what way is this possibly backfiring? It's working, beautifully.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Who the fuck are you?

    I've been here 10 years as a Reason donor.

    You're the fucking troll.

    Go back to wingnut.com or alex jones or stormfront/free republic.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    Yes, I am a troll. So are you. You may be a donor, but you are also a dumbass.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    And you don't defend your dumbassery: how is this possibly backfiring, as opposed to being exactly what he wanted to happen?

    Dunce

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I engage anyone here, you idiot.

    I will even debate a white trash conservative asshole.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.24.17 @ 8:39PM|#
    "I engage anyone here, you idiot."

    Turd's got enough lies to bury anyone!
    Go fuck your daddy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, and despite the fact the 'Sevo' is a moron I still engage him/her/it.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.24.17 @ 8:50PM|#
    Yes, and despite the fact the 'Sevo' is a moron"

    More lies,turd.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    So answer the original point, momo!

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    Come on, buttplug-for-brains, defend your false claim.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.24.17 @ 7:15PM|#
    "I've been here 10 years as a Reason donor."

    Don't beleive this pild of shit. He NEVER pays his debts so it's odds on that Reason never got a penny from turd.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    He's off-brand Tony.

  • Tankboy||

    This is an 80/20 model. Most of my driving could be handled by a computer controlled car. Highways, major roads, stop-and-go commuting - all ideal. Rough roads, bad weather, flooding - that's where I'll take over. I can see the camel getting his nose under the tent in incentives for drivers to switch to auto in HOV lanes or Express lanes, or, and this would get me to switch, higher speed limits. If the left lane was auto-only and the cars could do 100 mph, there wouldn't be a manual-drive car on the highway. Except for a few purist and Luddites and Model-Ts.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    If you can program a computer to drive, you can program a computer handle any and all road/weather conditions. It may simply take a bit longer to perfect the non-standard stuff.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Where do you live where it's possible to do 100 on the highways? I avoid the interstate highways around here as much as possible because the traffic congestion makes them so damned slow.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    A problem with letting people letting their car do the driving in "most of my driving" situations is that if the humans are letting their car handle all the driving when the driving is easy, when the driving gets hard, and the humans need to take over, the humans are going to lack the driving skills necessary to do so successfully.

  • mtrueman||

    "A problem with letting people letting their car do the driving in "most of my driving" situations is that if the humans are letting their car handle all the driving when the driving is easy, when the driving gets hard, and the humans need to take over, (OFTEN DURING THE WORST MOST PANIC INDUCING CIRCUMSTANCES) the humans are going to lack the driving skills necessary to do so successfully."

    There are those who say the same thing about computers in the cockpit of our passenger jets.

  • ||

    There are those who say the same thing about computers in the cockpit of our passenger jets.

    Not to rip the computers out of cockpits or anything, but the stats that support this (as well as the method of travel) are usually slanted in favor of subsidized public transportation airlines falsely credits or doesn't disagree with the over-arching point and also suffers a bit from 'last mile syndrome'.

    It's great that planes can get us from LA to NYC via Omaha relatively safely, but that's not where the majority of traffic accidents (or plane crashes) happen.

  • mtrueman||

    The overwhelming cause of plane crashes is pilot error.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The GOP has devolved into the White Trash Party.

    Unfortunate but true.

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    You've always thought we were white trash, dickcheese.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|9.24.17 @ 8:58PM|#
    "The GOP has devolved into the White Trash Party."

    Ever since they tossed your sorry ass out the door, right, turd?

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    A modest proposal: Palin's Buttplug, Tony, and Hihn get their own show. Though I am afraid it would just be variations on Lemon Party.

  • swampwiz||

    OK, so a driverless car might not be the wise choice for someone who lives on a dirt road in the mountains. But it will be great for the remaining 98% who live on normal roads. I think the main reason why a lot of folks will continue to drive even after the introduction of these cars is that they will necessarily be *new* cars, and folks who have *old* cars will be able to use them at cheaper cost. I really doubt that any car other than really sporty cars (however that is defined) and some trucks will be sold after a few years of that introduction.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Hmm, could be good fun to design pitfalls and other traps for the self-driving cars--or maybe just rely on the Russians/ISIS/Chinese/Koch Bros/Greenpeace/bore teenagers to hack into the guidance programs.

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    Yeah, anybody with a controversial political view had best stick to manually-operated for the foreseeable future. Hell of a lot easier to hack into a Danish cartoonist's car than plant a bomb under it.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    little lines are heaven cars
    and clouds are door steps to
    fury and one thousand ands
    also Mr.Rick's garage door
    on Planet 4 doesn't work and
    Mr.Rick doesn't realize it never will

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Mr.Rick is a dick
    who doesn't live a tool
    to make shit be
    cracking about the
    shit and stars
    Mr.Rick doesn't understand
    that his goddamn FUCKING
    garage door doesn't work
    on Planet 4 is because his
    fingers are dead and
    shit went wrong and all the crap
    is melted and fuck
    Mr.Rick will die soon

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Self driving cars will be fucked by lonely late night goddamn programmer human dick or vaginas for Bitcoin and I, as an Agile Cyborg, might be slightly jealous. Agile is an equal opp break freak open the fucking universe and I will FUCK fist your space queen or ball squeedjie your moon king.

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    You just raised the bar for anyone trying to think of a metal way to come out as bisexual.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Bitcoin Maestro
    Rainbow Bikinis
    Life Magicians
    Knee Bowls
    Neck Screams
    Type Orgasms
    Cheap Charlie
    Soi 6 Hand jobs
    Unity Tall Trees Waving
    Fucking Eight Bit Trapshit

  • Agile Cyborg||

    all the little guitars and shit are jacking up my brain, kind maid
    Did you order in the banjo team? Dear....

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Shit gets weird when your windows empty into infinity
    and the hallway of your parallel self always strides
    on a hacked reality... yeah... agile is outside this shit
    and someday they will understand I got past their
    shit
    outside and deep space

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Doors smooth sweep aside
    old digital jungles once enjoyed
    but to be fair even binary shit
    leaks on a long haul

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I knew a girl once that always wore tight jeans
    at a local bar filled with metallic swerves and fantasies
    but what i did not realize was when she pulled down
    my acid washed jeans to suck my fat cock head she
    would make me cum so expertly and she would never
    leave until she pulled down panties and ground her
    pussy into my goddamn face up on my nose and chin
    smashing all my fucking face into into her punchy pink
    animal and one hand would hold my neck until I
    practically passed out while she fucked my face
    she would cum and then piss so long into my mouth
    i sincerely thought I would drown in space girl urine
    after this she would kick me, punch my cock, stride off
    and then attack space.... super fucking cool... still on that ship

  • Telcontar the (Obama) Birther||

    Your cybernetic augmentation must not be very useful if you're still capable of drowning.

    Maybe time for an OS upgrade that includes a built-in rebreather?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    some have never fallen under the spell of their
    own hell or dysfunction
    Most pretend to go about the garden of their
    chosen pathways or so they pretend en masse'
    Personal closets are the trick mirrors of
    existential perusal while these billions of fools
    go about their screaming demand for conformity
    they ruin the random rainbows scratching
    across the horizon of their fucking boring after storm
    Anxiety is the old door in a long haunted alley to
    escape normie shit... just don't let it get all body general
    then Klonopinin is required for a shit time and then after
    I promise a certain oaken release, darlings.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Breathing between collisions and bouncing
    I can see the threads of reaching and turning
    truncated on the dynamics of microscopic adventures
    the falling cowls and bows of lunging ships striving
    to call and break the casting Armageddon of light songs
    collapsing and merging the escapes of space and time
    where goddamn sons and daughters created by deep
    space captains and queens tried to get light years right
    but mostly fucked shit up.... Try to raise a fucking family
    in deep space, motherfuckers

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I knew an old man that
    was once strong
    I knew an old man that
    demanded that i pull a fucking
    quill as straight and long as Keith
    I tried daddy and I did daddy
    Keith would be proud but
    no one uses quills anymore, daddy
    Fucking shit died like real life and
    long walks

  • Hateful Reactionary||

    acid poetry is the best

  • Magnitogorsk||

    Semi off-topic, I can't help but notice that in left wing circles everyone thinks Silicon Valley is ran by dastardly libertarians trying to replace the government so they can screw over workers as much as possible. But in libertarian and right wing circles everyone is convinced these same people are all Hillary-loving communists who want to help the government control everyone's lives

  • Lester224||

    Everyone hates the techies. They have poor social skills.

  • Episteme||

    I'm not getting any self-driving car unless it can transform into a giant robot and fight intergalactic wars.

  • ||

    "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine."

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and drive cars, shall not be infringed.

    Fuck off slaver.

  • Brandybuck||

    Self driving motorcycles. How come no one talks about self driving motorcycles? Are such things even possible? Will motor cycles be banned?

  • Curt||

    "I expect human driving to become illegal in the next 25–35 years in developed countries." "You can't have a person driving a two-ton death machine."

    !!!! Tech people make ridiculous Sci-Fi predictions with zero chance of actually occurring!!! News at 11.

  • Lester224||

    Some people like living in a city and not having to drive themselves places. For example, my 86 year old stepmother. I don't think the lefty facists and statists are forcing her not to drive. (Although, if there were regulations requiring her to take a driving test, she might not pass).

    If you own a car in a city, you have to pay for the parking and capitalism makes it expensive to own a car. If you live in a rural area you don't have to pay for parking and you'll need a car or truck you can drive yourself to. I think you'll have to pay for these self-driving cars. I don't think Google is going to give them away and force them on you.

  • uunderstand||

    Those of you who insist on a stick shift need to hold onto your British sports car and figure how to make parts for it. Fewer than 5% of US cars come with a manual transmission today today. Expect that number to fall if the EPA continues to set fuel economy standards. Automatics are simply far more efficient these days. Multiple speed automatics are also more common. The owner at an automatic shop told me recently that as automatics evolve with more gears, eventually all automatics will be continuously variable transmissions.

    Ferrari doesn't even sell a car with a manual transmission anymore.

  • uunderstand||

    That's fuel economy standards higher.

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