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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Day 82/365: Friday's Unscientific Poll: Self-driving cars [20180323|11:47]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Poll #2079715 Self-driving cars

When self-driving cars become available to the general public for use, my preferred option will be

To purchase one for my own personal use
To have shared ownership in a fleet of local cars
To be a member of a self-driving car-providing service
To use self-driving taxis
Not to use them

I will miss controlling my own vehicle.


Public transport

Is awesome.

I loathe driving. I do it because I have to, mostly to get the kids to nursery and preschool in a timely fashion and still be able to work a full day. And to get the kids to their various activities, playdates and parties. I am going to absolutely love it when self-driving cars become the norm.

I will also probably want to own one myself, because I live in the countryside. I suspect shared use of fleets of self-driving cars will work well in cities, but in the countryside, it will probably be exactly like current taxi services: you have to be willing to wait an hour during busy time for a car to be available, in which case you're going to be late for school/work or miss your train. (This is often true even if you have allegedly booked in advance.) So we'll probably find rural ownership of self-driving cars is more common, just because people want the degree of freedom that affords.

I will miss controlling my own vehicle not at all. I'll feel a tiny pang of regret that a skill I worked very hard to acquire, driving a manual vehicle on English country roads, is rendered useless. But humans are terrible drivers. I will be pleased when our roads are full of silent, efficient, traffic-law-obeying fleets of self-driving vehicles. Bring on the robot revolution.

In closing, have a Dinosaur Comic that accurately sums up my feelings about driving.

Transcription below.
T-rex: I've heard of a cool new game! It's dull and repetitive and uninteresting, and each game can take HOURS to get through! I believe it's called..."DRIVING"??
T-rex: Driving is a cool game to play because it requires you to focus on it LITERALLY EVERY SECOND YOU'RE PLAYING, and even though a tiny mistake can kill you instantly, the game is so incredibly boring it can ACTUALLY LULL YOU INTO SLEEP.

Dromecimomimus: Do I have time to correct my mistakes?

T-rex: Oh sure! SOMETIMES??

Utahraptor: If I die in the game, do I die in real life?

T-rex: Hah! YOU WISH. That's just the start!
T-rex: If you're lucky, only you die in real life. But you can also kill your loved ones, complete strangers, rando dudes: the possibilities are endless!

Utahraptor: I don't want to play your game. It sounds monstrous.

T-rex: You know how in scifi stroies they'll discover sinister time-travelling aliens have been manipulating Earth's events for centuries?

Utahraptor: Yeah?

T-rex: ...I wonder if we'll ever know who we cheesed off in 1886.

[User Picture]From: hamsterwoman
2018-03-23 17:05 (UTC)
I cannot WAIT for self-driving cars to become the norm! I actually don't drive day-to-day, which is a luxury afforded me by decent public transit (for the US, anyway), a supportive employer who provides shuttle service linkage to said public transit, and my husband being the one with the relatively more flexible schedule so he could drop off/pick up the kids when they were small and it was necessary, and is continuing to do so now to be nice, even though they can walk/bus to everywhere they really need to go.

I loathe driving, but I also just dislike cars, because I can't read in them the way I can on a train/tram, and also the start/stop of traffic in the Bay Area is AWFUL, and I hate the unpredictability of it, which self-driving cars may help a little bit with, but won't fix fully, I expect, so I'd rather still do public transit whenever I can. Thus I probably wouldn't need a full-time self-driving car, but would happily sign up for a service of some kind and/or take a self-driving taxi (honestly, I use taxis quite a bit, and those drivers are on average pretty terrible! Robots could only be an improvement!)

(We would likely still need to own a car, but I don't see my husband giving up control to self-driving cars, so it'll likely continue to be a manual control.)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2018-03-27 20:18 (UTC)
It's so nice not having to drive every day. I loved living in London for that.

I think the implementation of self-driving capabilities will be slow for privately owned vehicles. Newer models have things like the self-parking options, for instance. But for things like taxis and heavy goods vehicles, I think the takeover of self-driving will be pretty swift. I imagine there'll still be a requirement for a human to be on board on HGVs and taxis/fleet vehicles, mostly for security purposes to prevent vandalism and theft.
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[User Picture]From: daphnep
2018-03-23 17:08 (UTC)
Dinosaur Comic nails it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2018-03-27 20:18 (UTC)
Yep. Worst game ever.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2018-03-27 20:19 (UTC)
I think that's probably one of the options that will become available the earliest, in urban areas.
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[User Picture]From: melissa_maples
2018-03-24 07:08 (UTC)
Going car-free for me was much like the stages of a traumatic romantic breakup. The day I sold the car and it rolled away with some other owner, I sat down on the pavement and cried because HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT YOU I WILL NEVER HAVE A LIFE EVER AGAIN. Six months later and it was like, why did I ever think a car was a good idea? I thought it equalled freedom, but there's so much more freedom without it. Now, on the rare occasions when I have to hire a car for some reason, it's just me counting down the minutes until I can hand this burden back over again, because it's such a frickin pain to find parking, and you have to deal with traffic and terrible drivers, and you have to worry about getting petrol and driving in bad weather and blah blah blah the list goes on. Everywhere you go, you have to take the damned car with you, and I'm always so glad to get rid of it so I can just move about freely and not have to take the car into consideration.

That said, at this very moment I'm out in the middle of nowhere and kind of stranded for the next week, but I don't have a job and there's a pretty beach here so whatevs, stranded is fine. Worst case scenario I could ring for a taxi, but I get why that wouldn't be a workable everyday solution. If I lived rural and had to be somewhere every day, yeah, I'd probably spring for a driverless service of some sort.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2018-03-27 20:22 (UTC)
They're so expensive, and if you buy one they depreciate the instant you get behind the wheel and start the ignition. And maintenance is so tedious (petrol, MOTs, tyre checks). And parking is such a pain. It puts me off going places I haven't been before, not knowing where I'm going to park.
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[User Picture]From: meathiel
2018-03-25 15:25 (UTC)
I really love driving ... well, more or less. I don't want to give that up and I'm not all that sure that the self-driving cars are all that safe? I don't know ... I don't even use the self-parking thing on my car!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2018-03-27 20:25 (UTC)
Self-driving cars aren't as safe as they could be yet, and probably can't be trusted with many "edge case" decisions that could result in an accident. But even now, a self-driving car won't drive when drunk, tired or otherwise impaired, it won't exceed the speed limit in school zones, it won't run red lights, etc. It won't do a lot of the stupid things that cause human drivers to kill thousands of their fellow humans and themselves every week.
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