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Are autonomous cars good for riders?

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chawes
756 Rider Guru
 Posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking about this after reading this morning's news that Google is aiming to launch an autonomous rideshare service in the next couple of years.

Are autonomous rideshare cars really what riders want or need?

I'm beginning to really question this. I look at it kind of like telephone operators. I don't think anyone prefers to have an automated machine answer the call when they call customer service. Rather, most people despise it. I myself have a habit of just button mashing the 0 button when calling customer service to try and get to a human as fast as possible. I find this ironic, when these automated systems were surely seen as a futuristic marvel when they first arrived on the scene. But it seems that their benefit is really only felt by the company, who is saved having to hire a room full of people to answer and direct calls.

I'm afraid driverless cars may suffer the same loathsome fate. We've already seen how autonomous cars are overly cautious when approaching seemingly simple situations that a human can navigate easily. Indeed, this problem may be compounded by the idea that shrewd human drivers can intentionally bully autonomous cars. I believe that once the novelty has worn off, the experience of riding in a driverless car is going to end up being more frustrating than impressive, and people will go out of their way to avoid them in favor of human-driven rides.
Don't get me wrong. I can see the appeal of owning one's own driverless car. It's like having a personal chauffeur on call at all hours of the day. You'll no longer have to worry about having that second (or third) glass of wine when out at dinner. Your travel time can be productive rather than a ti…

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I was thinking about this after reading this morning's news that Google is aiming to launch an autonomous rideshare service in the next couple of years.

Are autonomous rideshare cars really what riders want or need?

I'm beginning to really question this. I look at it kind of like telephone operators. I don't think anyone prefers to have an automated machine answer the call when they call customer service. Rather, most people despise it. I myself have a habit of just button mashing the 0 button when calling customer service to try and get to a human as fast as possible. I find this ironic, when these automated systems were surely seen as a futuristic marvel when they first arrived on the scene. But it seems that their benefit is really only felt by the company, who is saved having to hire a room full of people to answer and direct calls.

I'm afraid driverless cars may suffer the same loathsome fate. We've already seen how autonomous cars are overly cautious when approaching seemingly simple situations that a human can navigate easily. Indeed, this problem may be compounded by the idea that shrewd human drivers can intentionally bully autonomous cars. I believe that once the novelty has worn off, the experience of riding in a driverless car is going to end up being more frustrating than impressive, and people will go out of their way to avoid them in favor of human-driven rides.
Don't get me wrong. I can see the appeal of owning one's own driverless car. It's like having a personal chauffeur on call at all hours of the day. You'll no longer have to worry about having that second (or third) glass of wine when out at dinner. Your travel time can be productive rather than a time sink. But these are benefits that rideshare services already provide with their current human-driven services.What it comes down to for me is this: rideshares are part of the service industry, and good service is tough to pull off without a human involved.What do you all think?

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Comments

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    SmittenKitten
    2097 Rider
     6 years ago

    What are you talking about.  The world without Rosie ain't fun.

    Show Hide  1 Reply
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      RPaulson
      560 Driver
       6 years ago

      You do understand that anyone younger than 40 have no idea what you are talking about.

      BTW, when did Jetsons take place?  2016?  LOL.

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    ippei
    1202 Rider Driver Guru
     6 years ago  (edited 6 years ago)

    I see your point, but certain things you don't mind whether there are human interactions or not.  In fact, some people would rather not have any.  Let's see if I can come up with some:

    1) Depositing a check at an ATM

    2) Buying soda (movie tickets, candies, headsets, etc.) from a vending machine

    3) Ordering food through an iPad at the restaurant (yes, arguable)

    4) Paying for your parking fee at a machine

    5) Groceries self check-out

    6) Checking out websites instead of calling the store.

    7) Scheduling doctor's (or whatever) appointments or buying concert tickets...and pretty much everything to do with Internet.

    So as long as the AV can provide me with the basic services I expect, maybe I'd be ok?  So let's think:

    1) Get me from point A to B

    2) A fridge full of cold water

    3) A smartphone charging cable

    4) Controls for music and air conditioning

    Not to go againt my own point, but, when it comes to unordinary or emergency situation, the story is a bit di…

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    I see your point, but certain things you don't mind whether there are human interactions or not.  In fact, some people would rather not have any.  Let's see if I can come up with some:

    1) Depositing a check at an ATM

    2) Buying soda (movie tickets, candies, headsets, etc.) from a vending machine

    3) Ordering food through an iPad at the restaurant (yes, arguable)

    4) Paying for your parking fee at a machine

    5) Groceries self check-out

    6) Checking out websites instead of calling the store.

    7) Scheduling doctor's (or whatever) appointments or buying concert tickets...and pretty much everything to do with Internet.

    So as long as the AV can provide me with the basic services I expect, maybe I'd be ok?  So let's think:

    1) Get me from point A to B

    2) A fridge full of cold water

    3) A smartphone charging cable

    4) Controls for music and air conditioning

    Not to go againt my own point, but, when it comes to unordinary or emergency situation, the story is a bit different:

    1) Health concerns: You start to choke on a Skittle.  You start to feel nauseous.

    2) Accidents: The car plunges into a frozen lake. The AV car rams into another car, and the driver in the car starts shouting at you. (uncomfortable...)

    3) Movie-like sitautions: You need to pull a "Follow that car!!!" on another car who a) kidnapped your friend, b) took your purse, c) you suspect is a criminal.  There's no way you can do that with an AV, unless you got mad skills changing destinations on the fly.

    I feel like I completely digressed from the original point of having "good service", but this is a fun exercise.

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