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Do you crave / Desire Self Driving cars and if so - what value do you place on it?

  • Yes, I can't wait, and would pay anything it costs for it

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes it sounds great and would pay a considerable sum (Perhaps £200 a month or £10,000 up front)

    Votes: 2 2.3%
  • Yes, it sounds great, I might seek out a car that has it or pay a bit more for it, but not too much

    Votes: 20 23.3%
  • It sounds good, but I wouldn't really pay much extra for it, it might swing a decision

    Votes: 14 16.3%
  • Pretty neutral on it and certainly wouldn't pay more, wouldn't be a decider in what car

    Votes: 20 23.3%
  • Not liking the idea, wouldn't pay more for it, and wouldn't have a car it couldn't be switched off

    Votes: 25 29.1%
  • Hate the idea - would avoid cars with it, if fitted and can't turn off, wouldn't buy the car.

    Votes: 15 17.4%
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assuming level 5 turns up. They’ll be expensive. And if they’re that good why not club together with your street to buy one and share it as you don’t have to leave it where you drive it. Or they’ll just end up the equivalent of taxis, only without drivers.

So functionally for many of us, we already have level 5 AI - its called a taxi. They won’t be cheaper because although they’ll get rid of drivers, the cars are more expensive and anyway rates will likely be regulated.

I guess the only gap is for longer trips, which you can rent for. Woudl be curious to see a cost breakdown for replacing eg a second car with walking/cycling/taxi/rentals for short/medium/long trips, vs the cost of owning a car, paying for parking etc.
Longer trips surely equals fly and hire, or train and hire depending on country. Or even train and taxi if destination is metropolitan.
 

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Earlier this year Honda had an autonomous system certified as Level 3 and they will be limiting sales (sorry lease; they dont want to sell it yet!) of this tech. This is the first Level 3 system approved.
Ignoring the production limited to 100 leased models :rolleyes: , the system is very limited only working in slow traffic on well defined multilane roads such as Motorways. The bigger issue is what happens when the road or traffic jam ends:

A traffic jam system is one that can handle everything in a traffic jam. Such products normally only work on freeways, and only at slow speeds. Most importantly, they allow you to take all attention off the road — you can do e-mail or read a book, and do not have to watch the road. When traffic opens up again, they alert you and you start driving. While Honda doesn’t say, most plans for such systems don’t want you to fall asleep, but since people do that, typically when traffic opens up they will just slow to a stop — hardly desirable activity, but a safe thing to do when at the end of a traffic jam.
Apparently Audi developed something similar in 2019 for their A8 but never released it as they were unable to resolve the still outstanding issue of who is responsible for an accident in these circumstances.

I can see a new form or "road rage" emerging when a car with one of these systems with a sleeping person in the drivers seat fails to take the opportunity of a clear road ahead but instead stops holding up the traffic stuck behind who may not take kindly to it. We already have similar in this country where certain people just sit in their car without moving out of the lane when it breaks down holding up the traffic behind them, instead abdicating the responsibility to some third party service such as the AA who (not unreasonably) take time to arrive.
 

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LEAF N-TEC 62KW
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Now consider also, that this will add (and this is a figure pulled out of the air!) £10000 to the cost of the car.

other useful reading...
How will the insurance industry react to level 3 and above? They cannot be looking forward it.

What is the law's position on culpability if a L5 car causes an accident, that would otherwise result in the driver given a disqual and big fine for careless or damgerous driving?

Is the driver still to be held responsible? I can forsee many High Court cases to come...
 

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You forget that (particularly the current) Government is beholdent to big business, and law changes are "imminent" "to protect UK jobs and prosperity". :mad: Expect the liability to move to a dedicated fund subsidised by a levy on all UK road insurance, i.e. you and I will subsidise the rich man's play thing in the vague hope that this will create jobs in the UK.
 

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I still have no idea why manufacturers are pushing this. It seems to have no upside, but lots of downsides for them. Less cars sold, insurance nightmare, less profit etc etc, what do they as manufacturers get out of it ? it's not even as if we need them since going electric gets rid of the pollution aspect and essentially allows more of us to own cars without a downside. I really really don't understand - anyone able to shed some light on it ? but from the manufacturers POV remember !!
it will onlly take a few fatal accidents blamed on the technology for manufacturers to quickly drop it and once one does so, the rest will follow.
So I understand the perception you both have and I will start with an example from a different industry,
in the early 2000s microsoft was working on mobile devices with windows CE. They even created phones (Orange SPV and O2 XDA might be remembered) however the development came out of the Nordics and not the USA. In fact at the time the US were heavily into their pagers and the mobile phone network was very expensive and limited. To put it bluntly, the US didnt think it was important.
Within 5 years, apple produce the iphone and the rest is history. Apple dominated the market. Microsoft stopped developing phone software. To giants Nokia and Blackberry disappeared from the market. So its simple, you either move or you die. Manufactures cannot sit still and assume they will own the market, they have to invest and they have to drive those market changes.
Nokia and Blackberry didnt change with the times. Microsoft failed to capitalise on the market opportunity and disrupt the pager market.

Now we dont expect everything at once. If you compare the ios 1.0 woth ios 15.0 (b3), the difference is like Level 1 to Level 4 autonomous driving.
it will take time, but we will get there.

So now to some points above...

Why is it needed and what are the benefits... easier tranportation to your destination, safer roads, more lives saved.
The sad truth that we dont want to admid, is many people are bad drivers. (ok bad is a strong word, but maybe people are not perfect drivers)... if there were great, we wouldnt have road accidents, people injured, pedestrians/pets/ animals hit on roads. Automated driving will just be better than the majority of people, in normal driving situations. (there will be situations where people will currently still be better)

Communting would be easier, people would arrive at destinations less stressed.
Issurance would actually go down, as we see the consequence of autonomous driving. Profits for manufactueres actually increases (I'll explain at the end).

So why is this?
with communting, stress is partly about driving in the congestion which is harder than driving in clear roads. Congestion is to do with traffic flow. People who drive dont consider the bigger picture, they are thinking of themselves when the want to get to a destination quickly and out of the congestion as soon as possible. The badly parked car blocking the lane, the jumping the amber light and sitting in the junction blocking the traffic etc. all cause the congestion and it is people who do this; they make bad choices which impact other road users for their own "gain"(???)
Automation also means cars talk to eachother, they will be able to plan lane choice and speeds in microseconds based upon what other cars say they are doing. Traffic will just flow more easily (yes slower in peak times, but it will flow more easiliy) Congestion and travel time will be reduced.
In theory (though this in not for a very long time) you could do without traffic lights, road signs etc (reducing infrastrucuture costs for councils and reducing taxation)
Whilst this sounds like a vision of a science fiction movie, this is actually the consequence of autonomous driving. BUT it is a very simplistic way to think about it just to illustrate the posibilities.

Why does in mean insurance goes down? well the simple truth is insurance is based upon risk.
With autonomous driving there are two consequences.
1. cars (in theory) are less likely to crash! less likely to hit things! so this means you have less payout to repair things. you also have less 'personal injury' claims. because of the less accidents. So risk goes down and insurance goes down.
2. cars (again in theory) will be harder to steal... If you cant drive a car and it is autonomous, it basically becomes easier to put in more security and make it harder to steal. Theft becomes more complex (ie steal to order) and less joy rider theft. As such risk is lower and insurance goes down.

The last point is the profits go up. So I;ve worked in the IT industry both hardware and software, for most of my career life. I have worked in multiple industry creations within IT; the birth of the PC, the creation of the X86 based server, (move from mainframes); the creation of mobile devices. And around that the software changes. Centralised computing, decentralised computing, cloud computing etc. Companies still make money, they just change their model in how they sell stuff! Maybe they move to a lease based model; maybe they have a recycling model where you change skin (or parts of the skin) and keep the chassis and motor and battery. (many people do this with bike - cycles - where they upgrade components)...and it becomes like the broom you've had for 20 years.

Trigger: And that’s what I’ve done. Maintained it for 20 years. This old brooms’ had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time.
Sid: How the hell can it be the same bl**dy broom then?

Telsla build one car and sell you the features in software as a software license. You can by a Tesla today and add autopilot later as a software upgrade!
As long as there is a need for people to drive a car, the manufacturers will make money! They control the product, so they can control how you pay for it.

The second point to address is the point about it will only take an accident.... (sadly accidents are a fact of life, so I dont want to dwell on accidents)
Well two points to this.
1. people have crashed with tesla autopilot, yet people still buy tesla autopilot. Oh and most accidents are because people are trying to fool the car to drive and not taking control as expected. People problem not an automation problem most of the time.
2. planes, trains and automoblies crash, but it doesnt stop people flying, getting on a train, or driving a car. for a short time people are hesitant, but most people go back to travel quickly,

lets look at an example, the boeing 737 max had issues, it was recalled, they worked on it for a couple of year, and then it was back in the air.
  • Did people stop flying in that time... no! So no impact on overal use of planes (and as such the automation systems in planes)
  • Are airlines, now using the 737max... yes. despite the two crashes which caused it to be grounded. They have started using the plane in the fleets again.

A big accident wont actually change much in the mid term. It will just change things for a short while... maybe!

Now on all this Im happy to be wrong... but I really dont think my predictions here are far off the mark.
And specifcially for jeffrey... When you only think about today, its understandable why your comment is correct. BUT when you think about the changes caused by autonomous driving, then you will see the answers to why.
 

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How will the insurance industry react to level 3 and above? They cannot be looking forward it.

What is the law's position on culpability if a L5 car causes an accident, that would otherwise result in the driver given a disqual and big fine for careless or damgerous driving?

Is the driver still to be held responsible? I can forsee many High Court cases to come...
yes you are correct today... but things will change. These are issues which will be tested and resolved over time.
But you are thinking about a model where you have mixed partial automation with people. and it is people who do the silly things and crash, (most of the time), not the cars decide to drive into something.

Already there are cars with automation to reduce the likelihood of crashing with automation, and the insurance on these cars is lower. (cant remember where I read that, but it was documented somewhere and I might be able to find it)

So yes in todays model you are right, but think a little forward and recognise that these industries... legal, insurance and automotive, will all be out of sync but will get themselves aligned.
 

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I can see a new form or "road rage" emerging when a car with one of these systems with a sleeping person in the drivers seat fails to take the opportunity of a clear road ahead but instead stops holding up the traffic stuck behind who may not take kindly to it. We already have similar in this country where certain people just sit in their car without moving out of the lane when it breaks down holding up the traffic behind them, instead abdicating the responsibility to some third party service such as the AA who (not unreasonably) take time to arrive.
agree... in todays world when you have mixed technology. BUT level 4 where you can relax more is a little further away... we still need to get over the level 3 hurdle. as @dk6780 said, we Level 3 has its own set of problems and is only limited 'sales' at the moment.
By the time we are at level 4 people will think of Level 3 as the norm and autonomous driving will be more readily accepted.

I think you guys are right in todays world... but think about the future.
The OP was asking something about in todays world, but the question can be extrapolated to say about the future in general.
And yes those hurdles of legal, those hurdles of perception are valid today. BUT dont you think they will also change over time.


One last thought for you...

Should you aspire to build a house on the moon, or should you say because we cant get to the moon, we shouldnt bother!

Limiting beliefs tend to have a negative impact stifle progression stopping things moving forward and developing.
If you didnt believe it was possible, you would be thinking a BEV would be like a milkfloat from the 70's. Instead we have supercars being out performed by normal road BEVs
 

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Should you aspire to build a house on the moon, or should you say because we cant get to the moon, we shouldnt bother!
House on the moon or end world poverty and overcome the climate crisis? Priorities, priorities.
 

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@Tigga The problem which your very explanatory posts neatly avoids, is that anyone with half a brain can see that if FSD arrives, there will be a massive reduction in the number of cars needed and bought, because the public will jump on the sharing bandwagon straight away. So there is a situation where one manufacturer completely and utterly dominates the supply, ie there is literally no-one else, and puts every other supplier out of business - now is that the plan ? - is it normal, dominate/conquer/massacre/increase prices economics again ?
 

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and everyone who lives outside these towns/cities does what exactly ?
Drives a horse and cart!

Being serious, there is no perfect solution, but the vast majority of small market towns, villages and hamlets are made up of "townies" who've made a deliberate decision to live there, yet quite often drive far further than the average person to reach work. Such is life, however their lifestyle choice impacts their emissions, certainly from transport.

Perhaps with more people intending to WFH in the future these emissions might reduce, but when most of them think they need a chelsea tractor to survive in the wilds I can't see emissions in rural areas decreasing anytime soon.
 

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@Tigga The problem which your very explanatory posts neatly avoids, is that anyone with half a brain can see that if FSD arrives, there will be a massive reduction in the number of cars needed and bought, because the public will jump on the sharing bandwagon straight away. So there is a situation where one manufacturer completely and utterly dominates the supply, ie there is literally no-one else, and puts every other supplier out of business - now is that the plan ? - is it normal, dominate/conquer/massacre/increase prices economics again ?
agree... i've been simplistic.

i havent touched on other impacts as you rightly say. When it arrives... we will might need less cars on the road as all transportation models change. But maybe we wont.

I think the nub of your point (which is a really interesting one), is really nothing to do with autonomous cars but more about how the automotive industry will change over the next few decades.
  • Is the growth of new car sales sustainable, or will we see a flattening or even a decline in new car sales, and as such a reduction in car manufacturing?
  • Will new tranportation models, such as car sharing, contribute to the changes?
  • How do car manufacturers make money if they dont produce as many cars? Will we see a decline in Brands if they cannot produce enough cars to justify the existance?

To answer this Im going to just point to an interesting video for you to watch. I think will help give a perspective on the question above.

Next I will remind you that the car share model has been talked about and tried for decades... yes in urban areas it might work, sort of works! With autonomous cars it is more likely to work. But people still havent adopted and embrassed it fully yet.

Now you say the public will jump on the sharing bandwagon... but why... if I live a rural area... where will the car come from and how long will it take to get to me.
my sister lives in a village where she has 5 houses in a 1 mile circle and less than a 500people (200 houses) people in a small estate off the main village highstreet about 1.5 miles away. How many cars are needed to support the hub for that village?... everyone needs to drive to get anywhere so you would be needing one per house... ie everyone has a car. (actually in the village most people have 2 cars because both adults or older children need to drive to get anywhere) So the concept of car share is one for urban areas not rural areas.

actually a car share for my second car would be a good model for me... I have a cheap car on the drive which cost under 2K and it doesnt about 3000 miles per year. when we need it we need it urgently, but when we dont, it sits on the drive getting dirty!

Im assuming you live in an urban area. So people tend to use public transport more, you tend to have a high population density... yes car share is much more appropriate there. In fact I know a few people who have used this model. BUT the manufactures still make money, they have just changed their sales model and make profit in a different way.

Which leads to your second point where one supplier pushes out the others...
Sadly there are always victims and survivors in business... many car brands are owned by one company... infact there are 100s of brands but only a few parent companies in the automotice world.
I forgot VW group doesnt just own VW, Seat, Skoda, audi and porsche... it also owns brands like bentley, bugatti and lamborghini.

Actually, 14 comanies own more than 70 of the top brands of cars around the world and cover over 90% of the market. I dont think we will ever see one manufacturer or even one brand. People like different things and have different requirements, so brands will always exist. We might see a consolidation of brands and maybe some brands will move out of certain geographies... eg Opel dont sell in UK (we sell Vaxhall), Mitsubishi are moving out of Europe etc. Even some brands moving to other parent companies. BUT I will repeat I dont see I having one brand.

I will say, your question is a really interesting one, and is continually debated and discussed in the automotive industry. (a journalist friend of mine introduced me to the topic a very long time ago!)
 

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Apparently Audi developed something similar in 2019 for their A8 but never released it as they were unable to resolve the still outstanding issue of who is responsible for an accident in these circumstances.
Interesting read -- thanks for posting it.

I doubt Audi were 'unable to resolve' this issue: the answer is obvious. They just didn't like it.
 

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the vast majority of small market towns, villages and hamlets are made up of "townies" who've made a deliberate decision to live there, yet quite often drive far further than the average person to reach work. Such is life, however their lifestyle choice impacts their emissions, certainly from transport.
Some of us have chosen to move to avoid the hoi-polloi that inhabit the metropolises. A lot are however retired so it is questionable whether the commuting issue is valid.
 

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Some of us have chosen to move to avoid the hoi-polloi that inhabit the metropolises. A lot are however retired so it is questionable whether the commuting issue is valid.
I was one of the "townies" in various locations for several decades.

Yes, there are a large number of retirees, but the vast majority are of later working age, certainlyi n the Midlands and South-West where I lived.

Anyway, I'd far rather put up with the hoi-polloi than those who consider themselves the illuminati ;)
 

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House on the moon or end world poverty and overcome the climate crisis? Priorities, priorities.
it was an analogy... yes other things are greater priorities, but this isnt a discussion on the priorities the population of the world should be tackling.

Oh what about oceans, plastics, extinction crisis, pandemics, crime, education, population growth, food shortages, etc.
I am in agreement on we have greater priorities across the world to solve urgently.

Wonderful section in Bill Bryson's a short history of everything... he talks about science and the impact to the environment.
.

Thomas midgley discovered a compound called tetraethyl lead significantly reduced the juddering condition known as engine knock. And so killed people with lead poisoning!
He then went on to invented chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs in an effort to address problems with refrigeration.

(source wikipedia)
Midgley's legacy has been scarred by the negative environmental impact of leaded gasoline and Freon. Environmental historian J. R. McNeill opined that Midgley "had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth's history", and Bill Bryson remarked that Midgley possessed "an instinct for the regrettable that was almost uncanny". Use of leaded gasoline, which he invented, released large quantities of lead into the atmosphere all over the world. High atmospheric lead levels have been linked with serious long-term health problems from childhood, including neurological impairment, and with increased levels of violence and criminality in cities. Time magazine included both leaded gasoline and CFCs on its list of "The 50 Worst Inventions".

Midgley died three decades before the ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas effects of CFCs in the atmosphere became widely known. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol phased out the use of CFCs like Freon.
 

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I still just can’t see it happening outside a controlled environment. It’s not just that technically, it’s stupidly difficult to do (Uber self driving car ploughed down a female cyclist and killed her when she was walking her bike across the road and the car didn’t even register the object, this led to them stopping the programme) but equally the ethical and legal issues are huge. I know it’s an old argument but what if an accident does occur where the vehicle has to chose to potentially kill the driver in order to save a pedestrian? Does it extrapolate the ages of the individuals, the probability of survival? What if that pedestrian turns out to be a compost bag and the car crashes because it couldn’t identify the object? Who’s going to take ownership of writing that code? What’s the ethics of deciding someone’s worth? I know to some degree insurance companies do this anyway but it’s very different when deciding how much to pay out in the event of someone’s death but very different when making a machine decide who may live and who may not.
 

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I still just can’t see it happening outside a controlled environment. It’s not just that technically, it’s stupidly difficult to do (Uber self driving car ploughed down a female cyclist and killed her when she was walking her bike across the road and the car didn’t even register the object, this led to them stopping the programme) but equally the ethical and legal issues are huge. I know it’s an old argument but what if an accident does occur where the vehicle has to chose to potentially kill the driver in order to save a pedestrian? Does it extrapolate the ages of the individuals, the probability of survival? What if that pedestrian turns out to be a compost bag and the car crashes because it couldn’t identify the object? Who’s going to take ownership of writing that code? What’s the ethics of deciding someone’s worth? I know to some degree insurance companies do this anyway but it’s very different when deciding how much to pay out in the event of someone’s death but very different when making a machine decide who may live and who may not.
Another ethical question: once the machine is better than the average human driver, should humans be allowed to drive?
 

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A little over 100 years ago people walked in front of a horseless carriage waving a flag… things change over time
 
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