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The level of change to the highway/road infrastructure to consider any type of autonomous future is unfathomable when the government spends it all on the military. I'm sure other countries will get there first.
 

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The level of change to the highway/road infrastructure to consider any type of autonomous future is unfathomable when the government spends it all on the military. I'm sure other countries will get there first.
Too bad American (and Canadian) don't like trains like Japanese do. Lvl 5 auto trains made more sense than cars.
 

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So ... a lease (which is a glorified long-term rental). You can do that today; lots of people do. What happens at the end of the lease period? Shredding the car after three years isn't a wonderfully environmentally friendly choice. (GM did that because the EV1 was totally an experimental test-fleet product.) Refurbish it and lease/rent it out again? Up to a point ... I am thinking that eventually the owner (vehicle manufacturer or leasing branch) isn't going to want to do that any more (who wants to lease/rent an 8 year old car?) and at that point they either prematurely junk it (not environmentally friendly, and they recover minimal cash for doing so) or they do what they do today: sell it on the open market!

Right now, today, you can:
  • Take a taxi, paying someone else to drive their car ($$$).
  • Go to a rental agency and rent one for any length of time you care to do so, and drive it yourself. They buy the car, they sell it off at the end of their ownership period, they clean it after each renter (the cost of the labour to do so is built into the rental price), they do the maintenance, you indirectly pay the insurance via the agency. You have to find a place to put it when you're not using it.
  • Lease a car for your own use. Use it whenever you want wherever you want. You have to find a place to put it when you're not using it.
  • Buy one.

Is there a niche somewhere between the taxi and a plain ordinary rental car, in which you drive the car (or, in some people's views, it drives itself) but it's only one trip at a time? Perhaps there is, and if it is totally self-driving, you aren't paying for someone to drive you around; I suppose that's the motivation for the self-driving taxi model.

Self-driving taxi or not, there's still this obstacle to get around.
I don't want to smell the previous renter's farts.
I don't want to deal with the previous renter's McDonald's wrappers (and the leftover smell of it).
I don't want to find out what that stain on the seats is.
I don't want to smell cigarette smoke.
I don't want to pay for damage that someone else caused.

In most urban places, the niche below a short-term rental car that doesn't incur the cost of a taxi is fulfilled by buses and trains.

In rural places, if I realise that I need a lift a few minutes from now, it's going to take an hour for a taxi (self-driving or not) to get there.
thats why part of the 2030 plan is to force everyone into small cities.
 

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Too bad American (and Canadian) don't like trains like Japanese do. Lvl 5 auto trains made more sense than cars.
Trains do not give you the convenience of door-to-door service and time is money in this country. If it were otherwise, investment in partial autonomy would be plausible.

I see HOV lanes which could be altered to carry the first wave of autonomous transportation. In some states I have seen bus terminals located right in between opposing traffic on a highway, with overhead walk-bridges to reach the local streets. With that type of infrastructure already in existence, it would be easy to convert them and less people would need to drive all the way into the city as opposed to a parking lot in an (autonomous) transportation terminal.

Have you ever been to the airport recently?
.. not to mention Japanese trains are on another level of technological superiority with next to no co2 emissions. Those trains are fast enough.
 

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Right the only place totally autonomous could happen is inside a large shopping mall (personal pods) or at an airport. Or at a theme park, to shuttle guests from their self driven cars to the front entrance LOL. Everything else seems like an insurance nightmare which nobody has addressed.

If the insurance companies got behind it we would have autonomous cars tomorrow, they're not behind it because they know they will be put out of business over the claims.

all this self driving car crap is bluster written by journalists who quite frankly weren't good enough to be actually useful economists. so now we read their brain farts and think it's important. If their thoughts were important they wouldn't be in the economist, they would be at a think tank..lol - minimum a lecturer at a prestigious economics school...
Today’s auto liability insurance companies have no say in the matter. They will pivot to cyber security/ identify theft/ terrorism/ business interruption insurance or die. Once we see Level 4 then there will be no need for personal liability insurance because the manufacturer will have assumed all liability for crash avoidance and comprehensive stuff will be rolled into the subscription cost.

Also, there are wonderful automotive journalists working today. Just as there are bad economists. Two different disciplines. Apples and oranges. I hope you’re not one of those people who malign all journalists just because you disagree with them. Auto journalists convey information in an accessible and entertaining fashion to an audience of mostly lay people. And they generally do a good job covering where we’re at today and what the near future will probably look like. Of course no one can predict the future with great accuracy. But they can offer educated guesses. Don’t dismiss expertise just because you hold a different opinion.
 

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thats why part of the 2030 plan is to force everyone into small cities.
To be clear - you are unaware of the world economic forum?

and you think a train moving slower than a plane can somehow travel faster?
Clearly, you have a misunderstanding of what the World Economic Forum does, and the scope of its recommendations.

No one is moving all of the people out of the countryside into small cities until someone figures out how to make food magically appear with no human effort being put into it. (Farmers. And all the people that they employ.)

No one is uprooting everyone that lives in all of the small towns dotting the world that are too small to facilitate public transit, and consolidating them into cities that are big enough for public transit to function reasonably. (Those small towns are necessary to support the farmers and all that they do.)

And the opposite ... no one is uprooting everyone that lives in apartment buildings in huge cities and spreading them out into smaller cities because it's impossible for the city to generate enough energy and resources on its own without relying on what's being done outside it: power, heat, water, food, etc.

I am quite aware that various international bodies recommend that countries implement policies that discourage rampant spread of suburbs around existing cities, eating up farmland and green space. Note those words, "policies that discourage". No one is proposing that if you already live in such a place, that it be ripped down and replaced with either skyscrapers or farmland. But they recommend that we preserve the green spaces, farmland, and wilderness that we have - and I don't disagree with that. If we don't do that, and instead allow suburbia to expand rampantly ... we end up with a huge population that is hungry, sick, and unhappy.

That's why the UN recommends that course of action.

But they can't come kick you out of your house.

edit to add link: Take Action for the Sustainable Development Goals
 

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From what I remember, the ID3's software issues were things like the infotainment system crashing. Obviously if that's more integrated with all the other systems in the car, there's added complexity and opportunity for faults. But it sounded like the problems were isolated to infotainment interface type issues, thankfully. Unfortunately we already see that people will conflate the two through false causation, which will undermine the public's faith in EVs.

There were a couple problems with the ID.3 roll out.

The company produced and branded the “1st” group or club which were the beta testers without being told that they were the beta testers. There was a bunch of fan-fair around them and they got special socks etc..

Everything was going to plan, there would be enough time to deal with the 1st group, get their input and improve the digital interface... then the epidemic hit. Suddenly everything stopped and VW didn’t have the luxury of synthesizing all the beta info before the General roll out.

they had to start selling en masse because VW was required to move a lot of EVs as a terms of the punishment dished out by the EU for Dieselgate. Ultimately they did make the quota by buying up EV credits from other car companies.

The UK was really badly hit by the faulty software, VW didn’t fully integrate miles/kilometer conversion, the windshield wiper orientation for the right hand drive and an assortment of other right hand drive issues. Because of these issues a lot of the 1st group were seeing ID.3 models for sale at 10,000£ less a week after they had their own delivered. This never goes over well.

The main European issues have been warning lights that come on for no reason and the 12v battery issue. Because of COVID, the 1st cars were not delivered once they were constructed and the sat around for a few months without being driven at all and the 12v batteries weakened.

people would pick up their new cars and a week later the 12v was dead and they had to send it back and have the dealerships deal with it. I had heard of some cars being at the dealer for weeks at a time for software patches etc.

And this gets to the dealerships. They were seemingly given very little training or information about the car. The training to the sales staff was canceled due to COVID and VW HQ didn’t work out a viable alternative for equipping the sales force with dealing with this brand new flagship and philosophy to their automotive design.

These were major growing pains.

Where is the ID.3 now? I took position of mine on the 23rd of December and am very happy with the car. My infotainment system has crashed twice and restarted on its own right away, and twice I have had a dashboard full of warning lights, but I stoped the car, got out, locked the doors and the got back in and all the warnings disappeared. I drive a combination of long haul and in town and I couldn’t be happier.

The car was conceived to be the ideal first EV for a lot of people, and it was mine (I came from 2.3 Golf IV V5 and a 1.2 Polo IV TSI). I think it has achieved this goal.
 
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