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 Message Boards » » Automation, electrification...future of driving Page [1]  
theDuke866
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As this technology matures and proliferates in the coming decade or two (or more), what do you think the effects will be?

What will this mean for performance marques? Will this ultimately spell doom for automakers like Porsche, or at least a shift to focus on luxury instead of performance?

Is BMW taking the long view on this already, shifting away a main focus on building the Ultimate Driving Machine into pushing boundaries on efficiency and technology? (or it that strictly a shorter-term play for mass-market appeal?)

What about motorcycles? Cars from before self-driving capability? I can't imagine motorcycles will go away, but will insurance on anything not self-driving carry onerous costs (relative to automated vehicles, anyway)? Will onerous regulation in the name of public safety, or rampant lawsuits if you cause a wreck in your '66 pickup or 2015 Corvette make it difficult to drive older stuff?

Will this be a boon for super-focused "toy" cars (think Elise/Exige, Alfa 4C, rarified exotics, or even hardcore track day cars like KTM/Ariel or even Radical or Stohr)?

What the hell will happen to gasoline and its distribution network and infrastructure? I think we're a long, long way from it going away, but how long until it becomes something like what kerosene is today? i.e., available, but not super-readily everywhere.

9/3/2016 3:33:48 PM

Kurtis636
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Once automation is reliable and practical it will become ethically untenable to drive except for sport and leisure.

I suspect many of the petroleum companies will be major players in things like batteries or hydrogen depending on what non-gasoline power source wins out. If it's hydrogen (which i think it will be, it's so much more efficient and clean than electric) I can see them transitioning existing fuel stations to hydrogen, getting involved in manufacture and distribution.

9/3/2016 5:19:20 PM

sarijoul
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i'm curious how the efficiencies of hydrogen work out when factoring in its processing / production when compared with straight electric or even some sort of biofuel that is renewable (and cleaner than corn-based)

[Edited on September 4, 2016 at 10:32 AM. Reason : .]

9/4/2016 10:30:18 AM

justinh524
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I just hope I'm dead before all this shit happens. I love driving. If it weren't for driving, I'd be dead.

9/4/2016 4:46:56 PM

arghx
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It will be interesting to see how many end consumers will purchase vehicles with autonomous capability vs fleets of Ubers running around. In theory the autonomous taxis should drop the price of a ride even more, to the point where it doesn't make sense to own a car for basic transportation, at least for a lot of people. Take an Uberpool every day. Traffice would decrease and available parking would increase, if most commuters just hop into an autonomous vehicle that runs most of the day and takes multiple passengers like Uberpool.

9/5/2016 10:34:32 AM

justinh524
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would you shit on an autonomous car?

9/5/2016 10:35:22 AM

Kurtis636
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^^yup. Private car ownership may well become a thing of the past. The advantages of autonomous cars vs public transport are fairly obvious and the cost of car ownership vs Uber or something similar could well make it unwise to own your own. I hope to hell they don't become a public operation though.

I think ultimately hydrogen will win the efficiency battle vs electric. The grid isn't going to be able to support wide spread electric vehicle use without some significant upgrades and changes. Electric cars may not even be desirable due to the damage of mining for the materials needed in battery manufacture. Coal fired plants are going to be a thing of the past in the not distant future and eventually someone is going to figure out a cheap, reliable way to extract hydrogen from water and then there will be no reason to use electric. That breakthrough may not be far off.

I'm a bit of an energy optimist, if the anti-nuke folks stop having so much pull I'll be even more optimistic. Hopefully a combination of nuclear and renewable like solar will power most of the grid (combined with long distance transmission and something like flow batteries solar is actually very promising and not far from being usable) and we'll see cars running on clean, efficient hydrogen. If I had to bet on car companies if the future my money is on Toyota and BMW.

9/5/2016 11:35:35 AM

smoothcrim
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I think what you're going to see is a gov't hive mind type system (dedicated wireless spectrum and protocols for the highway) that directs traffic and personal cars will just merge and then the driver will input their destination and join the herd. speed, drafting, lane spacing will all be determined and controlled on the fly by the herd forming a quorum and a gov't side system giving a secondary check. the last mile problem will likely be semi-autonomous for a long time. this would let america repurpose all the giant highway networks more efficiently than building highspeed rail networks on metro trains. i think since everyone pays for the highway, there will be a set of "express" lanes for people to drive their manual cars. I see cars going back to being luxury items

9/5/2016 3:15:21 PM

Kurtis636
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Yeah, I think the actual automation will likely be gov. directed, and that will likely be OK. I don't want to see automated cars turn into gov. owned items. Competition between Uber, Google, Toyota, etc. would be much better.

I think something like you said, a centrally directed program to manage traffic efficiently will be necessary. High speed rail isn't and shouldn't be a thing once autonomous vehicles become feasible. The infrastructure costs and lack of flexibility make rail an unwise investment for the future except possibly as a city to city option say between like a Boston to NYC route or something similar where interstate congestion could be a concern.

Personal automobile ownership would probably be something that could be abandoned my many many people and would likely be a luxury or fun thing for the upper class.

9/5/2016 4:30:11 PM

Doss2k
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I think you are all crazy things like this wont be happening in our lives. Look how hard it is to get any sort of gun regulation you really think people are gonna give up being able to drive? This may make sense in the future in downtown areas but autonomous cars are not going to become the norm anytime soon.

9/6/2016 9:10:25 AM

Kurtis636
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Ok.

I mean, I feel confident that you're wrong, but ok. One major and clear difference is that there is no 2nd amendment for cars. We love our cars here, probably more than anywhere else in the world, but we hate a lot of the outcomes and would certainly make the trade off once a tipping point is reached. If you could reduce congestion, increase throughput, decrease commute time, and still keep the flexibility a car affords vs. a train or other public transit who wouldn't want that?

I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but it's going to happen. Once autonomous cars are up and running and are proven to be exponentially safer than human drivers it's going to happen. America may even end up being a very late adopter simply due to our car culture and the size of the country, but I feel almost certain that it's an inevitability. Probably Japan first, then big chunks of Europe, and then us about 5 years after the UK does it.

"In our lifetime" is a pretty big chunk of time. If you don't think autonomous vehicles, which already exist and have been successfully tested and are being actively developed by several extremely large companies, aren't coming in the next 20-50 years I think you're incredibly short sighted.

We're in the early stages of the next "revolution" in human history. We had the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and we're not in the midst of the next one whether you call that the computer revolution or you view that as separate, lasting from the late 70s to the early 00s, and this is the very early stage of a second wave computer revolution or even narrow AI revolution. Large scale automation and the first truly labor saving devices are here now and are only going to proliferate. You're already seeing the effects on the low wage economy but it's impacting everything and society is shifting in a real way.

9/6/2016 10:43:38 AM

smoothcrim
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^^ what I suggested is what we will get in america, exactly because of the mindset you outlined.

you still own your own car, you still have the ability to drive it yourself (likely at the cost of considerably higher insurance), and there aren't any real law changes, just dollars spent in building an automation network and standard for cars. america being the largest consumer market, as soon as car makers are forced to implement it in the US, the same will happen in other countries.

eventually you will see questionable autonomous routes, stemming from payoffs to the powers that be to drive traffic through their establishments. you see a microcosm of this in pokemon go today.

9/6/2016 10:52:13 AM

TKE-Teg
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What I find humorous to no end is that most of the benefits of autonomous driving could be reaped by the gov'ts of the US making it more difficult to obtain a driver's license. More rigorous training is all that's required. But instead we'll spend trillions figuring this out since people can't be bothered with it.

9/6/2016 12:09:50 PM

Ahmet
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While I do think it needs to be harder to get a license (and require more, er, some... ANY training!), “autonomous” personal transportation vehicles would be a huge convenience regardless...

9/6/2016 12:14:30 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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i'd love to be able to just sit in the car, punch in the destination, and read or nap or something while it drives itself. i'm sure the government will make is suck, though.

9/6/2016 10:29:08 PM

theDuke866
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Automation will be worth it just to rid ourselves of these motherfuckers driving in the left lane and being totally lost on negotiating 4-way stops.

9/7/2016 12:49:12 AM

TKE-Teg
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Well that's something that would be eradicated if licensing standards were raised.

Quote :
"While I do think it needs to be harder to get a license (and require more, er, some... ANY training!), “autonomous” personal transportation vehicles would be a huge convenience regardless..."


agreed

9/7/2016 8:20:43 AM

smoothcrim
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I don't care what degree of driving training you require to get a license, the amount of information input a brain can process and evaluate on is far less than that of a computer. An automated vehicle fleet could safely navigate highways in packs at 100+ mph with <48" margins for optimum drafting, optimizing road use, reducing spending on expanding roads, reducing emissions, keeping people safer, all while getting you places faster. THAT is the reason for autonomous vehicles at scale.

[Edited on September 7, 2016 at 9:36 AM. Reason : <]

9/7/2016 9:35:22 AM

Doss2k
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The biggest obstacle to things like this in this country is the shear size as with most issues. A large portion of the country barely has reasonable internet and you think they are gonna be able to roll out the infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles? As I said sure this may work in highly urban areas where you just eliminate taxis but as the standard it just doesn't seem feasible. Also are they going to force cars to be only autonomous? Personally, I would never buy a vehicle that I didn't at least have the option to drive manually.

The scary thing about something like this and really society as a whole today is all it is gonna take is one really bad solar flare to hit the earth and poof... its all gone. I am not arguing that the technology isnt coming and cant be very useful in some applications but on a large scale I just don't see it.

9/7/2016 10:05:38 AM

Hiro
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eliminate taxis? You eliminate jobs! That doesn't sound American!!!1

9/7/2016 11:33:09 AM

theDuke866
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^^^ yep


also: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/08/16/ford-promises-driverless-transport-2021/88826072/

9/7/2016 7:34:20 PM

TKE-Teg
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^^^^I'm not arguing those facts. Merely stating that we could greatly improve the system we already have without the use of technology at all!

Fucking bad drivers - hell just last night I got hit while driving home

9/8/2016 9:08:18 AM

Doss2k
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Yeah I mean it makes sense at some point in urban areas to have driverless cars to carry people a few miles in an area that is worth the infrastructure investment. However, making cars that have no option to be actually driven still seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Seems like any sort of malfunction or unforeseen event would make these cars a huge problem. For instance lets say you end up in some type of mob situation or even just a few people looking to rob you. Basically one dude stands in front of your car and there isnt anything you can do the car is not going anywhere. At least if the option is available to override the automatic driving features you could get yourself out of that situation either by acting like you were gonna run the guy over or if all else fails actually doing it. I know these are not common scenarios obviously but something to consider before jumping into a car with no steering wheel or pedals.

9/8/2016 10:09:11 AM

synapse
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Quote :
"At least if the option is available to override the automatic driving features"


I can't imagine they'd build cars without that option anytime soon.

9/8/2016 11:58:19 AM

Ahmet
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This thread right here is the reason I <3 TWW so much. <3 <3 <3 xoxo

9/8/2016 1:41:45 PM

Doss2k
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If you read the article Duke posted you would see thats exactly what Ford plans to build haha

Quote :
"Notably, Ford is echoing Google with autonomous vehicles that humans simply can't drive — they have no steering wheels."


[Edited on September 8, 2016 at 3:17 PM. Reason : .]

9/8/2016 3:12:47 PM

theDuke866
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bttt

Tesla to test full-automation this year, release for public use in 2019. Previous Teslas will be forward-compatible; they have the requisite hardware and will just need a software update. Oh, and they'll be coming to market in meaningful numbers with the Model 3. Oh, and their solar roof isn't quite commoditizing solar, but it's probably a real step in pushing it over the hump from "rapidly increased acceptance" to "commonplace" (although that isn't gonna happen overnight).

Look at Uber's proposed valuations--they are valued higher than Target. General Motors. Up there with Lockheed-fucking-Martin. The expectation is that they are in a foundational stage analogous to NFLX, back when they were mailing DVDs back and forth.



I think this shift is gonna start fairly soon, and I think it's going to be faster than most people currently have any concept of, and I think it's going to have far-reaching implications that most people couldn't dream of. Broad economic/policy/diplomatic shifts, changes in logistics and distribution, etc.

5/23/2017 12:44:23 AM

TKE-Teg
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Neither Tesla or Uber are profitable. Until that happens consider me a skeptic.

5/23/2017 10:32:12 AM

theDuke866
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Ehh.

https://www.wired.com/2015/07/hey-look-amazon-actually-turned-profit/

5/23/2017 12:34:53 PM

TKE-Teg
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Tesla hasn't profited yet from selling cars. And that's likely not to change for several years at best, as they've already spent all the potential profits from Model 3 sales. And once Toyota Honda and Porsche have EV competitors on the market, that won't be doing them any favors.

5/23/2017 1:28:24 PM

theDuke866
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I'm not defending Tesla's valuation; I think that is debatable.

I'm talking about the broader trend towards automation and EVs, which you said you're skeptical of until TSLA and Uber turn profits. I think that's a borderline useless barometer.

5/23/2017 1:51:26 PM

TKE-Teg
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Eh, I just wouldn't be so sure Tesla will be at the forefront of it. And that Uber will even be around at all. Not skeptical of the technology ever happening, though I highly HIGHLY doubt Tesla's announced timeline is practical or even possible.

5/23/2017 3:30:55 PM

smoothcrim
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tesla is singlehandedly responsible for people having an interest in an EV, so much so that volvo has stopped all diesel development to move to EVs. I think tesla has the potential to either be apple or xerox parc when it comes to EVs and only time will tell. they aren't quite the first mover but they're arguably the first real investor.

5/23/2017 10:20:14 PM

Doss2k
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I still dont believe this is feasible on a large scale any time even remotely soon without a shit ton of money being spent. There are too many what if scenarios and random ass shit that can happen on the road for this not to be lawsuit city waiting to happen. If you could simply ban all non automated cars from the road it would be more reasonable but we know that will never happen. It definitely has some applications that would be very useful but I still think wide scale deployment is a really long ways off.

5/31/2017 11:13:33 AM

theDuke866
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Google is already driving millions of miles in California, largely in urban conditions, with human intervention only necessary something like once every 5,000 miles.

5/31/2017 6:15:15 PM

Doss2k
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I am not saying the technology wont work under certain circumstances but just seems there are way too many random scenarios on the road for people to be able to just buy a car that drives itself while you sit back reading a book anywhere you want to go. It is definitely going to be useful in certain areas and for certain applications but my argument is that on a wide scale it just doesn't seem feasible. I mean unless they have something pop up every time you get into the car that says you agree to our ToS that says we arent liable for anything that happens to you in our car please sign here before the car will start.

6/2/2017 8:45:37 AM

darkone
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I think you underestimate how good these cars are already are. They already handle drivers and pedestrians doing stupid things better than human drivers.

6/2/2017 3:51:53 PM

theDuke866
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^^ Ummmmm...Google is already driving millions of miles in California, largely in urban conditions, with human intervention only necessary something like once every 5,000 miles.

[Edited on June 2, 2017 at 5:21 PM. Reason : ]

6/2/2017 5:21:18 PM

Doss2k
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Again i don't doubt the technology and it being safer than your average driver. What I doubt is the feasibility for large scale application and companies not going bankrupt. If some laws are passed that make companies not liable for their cars then I will change my mind. I just foresee too much randomness on roads and a way too lawsuit happy society as the barriers here. Right now if you get in a wreck the driver that is at fault is held liable. In that case people will go after the car company not the driver and for way more money. Again if the laws are changed to limit liability and put it on the person who owns the car then maybe but I imagine the lawsuits would still pile up.

6/3/2017 7:58:59 AM

darkone
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Consider that self-driving cars are very good and likely to not be at fault in most wrecks. Also consider that they carry enough instrumentation to prove that they weren't at fault.

6/6/2017 3:12:22 PM

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