D.A. Ridgely wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 15:02
Jennifer wrote: ↑
02 Mar 2018, 00:25
I'm curious about how certain market forces will play out, before official legal mandates. Like -- after true driverless cars are legal in all 50 states, I expect it won't take long before we see the first apartment or condo building built where the parking garage will only accept driverless cars, no self-driven. That first such building will be a very upscale development, of course.
The very rich will want to keep driving or being personally chauffeured. Insurance rates will be the primary non-technological factor pushing against self-driving. Whether insurance companies also lobby for legal prohibitions is more of an open question.
Meanwhile, there will be huge pressure against self-driving trucks from certain unions and their organized criminal controllers. Same with any unionized public transportation employees, but they won't pose nearly as strong a threat.
During or after the last summer's discussion I linked to above, I remember doing a little research to determine when, exactly, car rather than horse transportation became mandatory. Of course there was not a single bright line you can point to for this; there WAS (somewhere in the Northeast, IIRC) a highway built which was newsworthy at the time because it was ONLY open to cars, not horses or other animal-based transport. Naturally, this highway wasn't built until cars were ALREADY commonplace enough for such a road to be economically viable. Still, to this day, it's not that horse-drawn transportation is "illegal," it's just that as a practical matter, it is not possible for you to live an ordinary mainstream American life, only using a horse rather than car (or mass transit) as your primary form of personal transportation and everyday cargo hauling. Businesses routinely provide car-parking options for their customers and employees, but no hitching posts or animal stables. Most housing takes for granted that tenants/homebuyers have a car and need a place to keep it, whereas a "horse property" is a specialized luxury.
But long before we reached that status quo, we first had to reach and surpass the point where the cost and availability of horseless carriages stopped being "rich-person toys," surpassed "okay, now most middle-class folks can afford one too, IF they save their money and budget very carefully" and reached the point where "if you need transportation and hauling, a car is as affordable if not more affordable than a horse." IOW, by the time things reached the point where "You MUST have a car rather than a horse, if you want a 'mainstream' job and lifestyle and etc.," I doubt there were many remaining poor folks with the specific problem "I only have a horse and cannot AFFORD a car" -- I suspect by then, horses had already become something which "poor folks" (except those out in the very rural outskirt areas) couldn't afford anyway.
So I am wondering when and if driverless will replace person-driven cars in the same way -- there are and always will be poor people who keep cars past their best-by date because they can't afford to replace them. There are even poor folks who end up in an automotive Vimes' boots scenario: "the repairs and maintenance costs to keep this POS running are actually MORE than a new car would cost -- except I lack the large upfront sum to buy that new car (and part of the reason I can't save up enough money is because I gotta spend so much on repairs and maintenance to keep this POS running)."
When truly driverless cars come out and are readily available -- driverless meaning "Nobody with a driver's license or driving skill is required to be in this car" -- at first they'll be MUCH more expensive than person-driven. Then the price will drop after awhile, until a new driverless car is comparable in cost, if not cheaper than, a P-D car. So, there will come a time where it's mostly poorer people who have person-driven cars -- the Vimes' boots people who'd be better off discarding their current car and buying a new one, except they can't afford it.
HOWEVER, where driverless cars are concerned, the one thing which might disrupt the scenario I laid out last paragraph is: I think it very likely those driverless cars will very quickly become available as on-demand mass transit. Right now, those Vimes boots po'folks with their shitty cars are kinda screwed because they no-shit NEED a car to get to their job, buy their food and other mandatory life tasks, and if you're too poor to replace your POS car you are DEFINITELY too poor to take taxis wherever you go. (Uber and Lyft can help in some urban areas, but not all, and even then, the cost for rides can still be too much for the very poor to afford.)
When people and society were transitioning from animals to machines as the primary transportation device, there never was any affordable
and convenient option for horse owners too poor to buy a car to instead rent a car on demand whenever they needed one. But with driverless cars, I think it very likely there will be this option, maybe even one good enough to resolve the personal-transportation Vimes'-boots paradox.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b