Future cars / Driverless cars

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Anondson
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » July 2nd, 2016, 1:41 pm

Are electric cars are a fad that will fade?

http://www.newsweek.com/quora-question- ... sla-476122

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby DanPatchToget » July 2nd, 2016, 5:59 pm

And the first fatal accident in an autonomous car:
http://www.startribune.com/tesla-driver ... 385122501/

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Mdcastle
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » July 2nd, 2016, 7:10 pm

While watching a Harry Potter movie in a car that wasn't meant to be fully autonomous.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby VacantLuxuries » July 5th, 2016, 8:57 am

Anondson wrote:Are electric cars are a fad that will fade?

http://www.newsweek.com/quora-question- ... sla-476122

The 'electric cars are coal powered and therefore worse than gas' argument is always presented as a one sentence statement, two if they want to throw in a reference to how bad China is.

If they were forced to write a full article about that statement, they'd have to explore the carbon footprint of the dirty logistical system involved in the extraction, transportation, refining, and transportation again of gasoline before we can even burn it, versus a power grid of varying methods of generation sending power directly to the car through carbon free power lines.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » July 5th, 2016, 9:16 am

I keep hearing different opinions on whether battery technology will get good enough for an electric car to be an only car for the average person. Of course if the rental model of driverless cars comes to pass, and I'm not at all sure it will, that point would be moot because you could order up a gasoline car for weekend trips to Chicago.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby dingo » July 5th, 2016, 9:21 am

Anondson wrote:Are electric cars are a fad that will fade?

http://www.newsweek.com/quora-question- ... sla-476122
My first reaction is this sounds alot like the articles and press releases put out by auto makers that killed the street cars.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Silophant » July 5th, 2016, 9:24 am

It's a prime example of why it's dangerous to assume that someone who's an expert in one area (cosmology and particle physics, according to his bio), is an authority in other unrelated areas.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mattaudio » July 5th, 2016, 9:44 am

Electric motors are fuel agnostic. They don't care if the electricity powering them is generated by a bunch of tiny diesel generators, a coal plant, a renewable, or a yet-to-be-invented source of power. There's value in having that flexibility. Our current system of ICEs and thousands of fuel dispensaries around the country is not flexible in that regard.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Tiller » July 5th, 2016, 11:36 am

I like how his premise is that battery technology won't improve. Ha. Funny joke. Not even elaborated upon.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 5th, 2016, 12:59 pm

Mdcastle wrote:I keep hearing different opinions on whether battery technology will get good enough for an electric car to be an only car for the average person. Of course if the rental model of driverless cars comes to pass, and I'm not at all sure it will, that point would be moot because you could order up a gasoline car for weekend trips to Chicago.
I'd say the average person drives short enough distances and parks their car in a place (during the day and overnight) where charging infrastructure will be easy enough to install that batteries won't have to be too great to meet their daily needs. Doubly so if cars become driverless around the time they're electrified. Sure, your example of wanting to drive 400+ miles on a tank/charge is a requirement some people have some of the time right now. And people are notoriously bad at picking a vehicle for the extreme circumstances. I'll lump myself in that category - my family could easily have made due with a smaller crossover SUV that could hold our two dogs and one (expected) kid when we bought it back in fall of 2013, with room to spare for a second kid. But I knew that 4-6 times a year we drive down to Iowa City to visit my in-laws, we buy lumber and plywood and drywall from Home Depot maybe once a year, and might have a third kid during the lifetime of the car, so we got a minivan to handle all those random, infrequent events. Even though it cost more and got worse gas mileage.

I think, if both electric and self-driving vehicles come to be a thing, we won't need to rely on a daily rental model for most people. People will buy a smaller vehicle with 1-3 days worth of driving on a charge. And for the times they need a bigger car and/or with longer range, they can rent one for a week with 3x the batteries in it for longer distances. Heck, the subscription people will likely pay for in driverless cars (think OnStar, but required) may even come with that perk as an option on their service tiers. "Large vehicle rental 2x yearly, 1,000 maximum miles included" for the "Gold level" plan. I dunno. Or dealerships, or U-Haul businesses, or anyone else who currently hold on to expensive vehicles for rent, will shift their business model slightly.

Self-driving cars would also be uniquely good at determining where to fill up on gasoline if we imagine a world with fewer gas stations (because less demand consolidates them or at least replaces pumps with charging stations) that serve long-haul trips, including road-trip vehicles for rent (but also self-driving diesel big rigs)

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » July 5th, 2016, 6:25 pm

Or else just rely on self-driving gasoline cars for long trips if battery technology doesn't get any better. The existing gasoline supply should last a long time if all the intra-city driving was converted to electric. I'm personally a skeptic on whether the rental model in general will come to pass, but I can see it being popular for people needing more specialized vehicles. Imagine one showing up at your door instead of having to make your way down to the airport and putting up with a high pressured sales tactics for all sorts of add-ons and insurance.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby FISHMANPET » July 5th, 2016, 6:33 pm

Yes I'm sure that in a world where specialized vehicles are frequently rented by consumers, all vehicle rental agencies will still be at the airport.
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mattaudio » July 6th, 2016, 9:09 am

I already know plenty of people who rent cars for long trips rather than use their own car. I also know plenty of people at work who rent cars to drive to other midwestern cities, and who rent a car rather than get mileage to drive their own car. I also know of and have used plenty of car rental places inside the city. I'm also fully capable of refusing not-really-high-pressured sales tactics.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 6th, 2016, 9:28 am

http://www.vox.com/2016/7/5/12077002/se ... ove-cities

A good overview of how cities need to proactively shape transportation infrastructure and regulations for SDCs.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Silophant » July 6th, 2016, 9:30 am

mattaudio wrote:I already know plenty of people who rent cars for long trips rather than use their own car. I also know plenty of people at work who rent cars to drive to other midwestern cities, and who rent a car rather than get mileage to drive their own car. I also know of and have used plenty of car rental places inside the city. I'm also fully capable of refusing not-really-high-pressured sales tactics.
Yeah, Enterprise alone has 23 non-airport locations in the metro. In a "most people own personal electric cars and rent gas cars for long trips" future (most likely, imo), I'd imagine you'd see them get even more common. Or not, if you can take your electric self-driving car to a rental place 20mi away and have it drive itself home.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » July 6th, 2016, 10:25 am

I've rented cars for multi-state road trips many times.

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Mdcastle
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » July 6th, 2016, 10:43 am

FISHMANPET wrote:Yes I'm sure that in a world where specialized vehicles are frequently rented by consumers, all vehicle rental agencies will still be at the airport.
I don't think so, but they'll be no need to locate them in the neighborhood either, because no neighborhood location would be as convenient as one showing up at your door. More likely to the extent vehicle that they need vehicle storage at all they'll be in cheaper, out of the way locations. Even the airport storage will probably go away and cars will drive themselves to the airport to pick up renters.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » July 6th, 2016, 10:48 am

mattaudio wrote:I already know plenty of people who rent cars for long trips rather than use their own car. I also know plenty of people at work who rent cars to drive to other midwestern cities, and who rent a car rather than get mileage to drive their own car. I also know of and have used plenty of car rental places inside the city. I'm also fully capable of refusing not-really-high-pressured sales tactics.
Well, I don't know any. Even if you live somewhere where Enterprise will pick you up, Under the current model it's just to massively inconvenient for most people to rent a specialized vehicle, whether a pickup to haul home wood chips or a minivan to transport the soccer team for a few hours, or a gasoline car for road trips. If you can subscribe to service that makes it a lot easier you'd see fewer pickup trucks being driven empty to work, more electric cars in the city, and such.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Mdcastle » July 6th, 2016, 10:52 am

Another idea is if when you've been picked up in a self-driving gasoline rental car to head to Chicago for the weekend, if you'd be able to rent the electric car you own to the same agency rather than have it sit in the garage for the weekend.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby talindsay » July 6th, 2016, 11:13 am

We got by with one small car for years and rented a car whenever we went on trips. It's not an unreasonable approach, but it's certainly not currently the norm. Just as people tend to buy huge, sprawly houses with open floor plans because "it's great for entertaining", even though they rarely if ever host big house parties, people tend to buy cars for the myriad things they imagine themselves using them for rather than practically considering what they *actually* use it for 95% of the time. Understanding that it's cheaper and better to own a small car that's easier to park and costs less to purchase, use, and insure, and then rent a big vehicle when you need it, requires not only advanced math skills but also restraint in the face of a constant consumerist society that says bigger is better, and that feeds our innate sense that having something that does everything is better than something that doesn't. Electric cars have all the same issues but they *add* the severe range issue, and the mitigating factor right now is the (currently debatable) premise that they're somehow better for the environment. I suppose there's also the techie cool factor, and there's also the killer line speed, though most consumers won't be swayed by either of those.

I think a reliable range of ~300 miles before a long-wait charge is necessary is probably about the minimum before mainstream acceptance in the midwest US. On the coasts, where a larger proportion of the population travels shorter distances regularly, that's probably less important, but the midwest has very little infrastructure to help people get between mid-size cities.


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