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Phoenix will no longer be Phoenix if Waymo’s driverless-car experiment succeeds [Technology Review]

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SmittenKitten
2097 Rider
 Posted 4 years, 4 months ago

At first I didn't get this title, but I got it, it made me thiiiink.

Shared autonomous vehicles could transform American cities built around car ownership.

"Phoenicians might refuse to abandon their vehicles because they’ve invested too much already: the cars, the garages, not to mention the defining choices they’ve made about neighborhoods, school districts, commuting, friendships, and relationships—the whole fabric of work and life, dictated by cars."

"Pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands"

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611420/phoenix-will-no-longer-be-phoenix-if-waymos-driverless-car-experiment-succeeds/

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    DanHennison
    20
     4 years ago

    I still don't get this post. Driverless or not, people still have to commute, the cars still need somewhere to park, etc. What does it change exactly?

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      FuegoJuno
      128
       4 years ago

      For one, with Uber and Auto Cars, they won't need parking lots anymore. 

      Phoenix has huge roads and huge parking lots. It's pretty much door to door driving and there are no ways to walk even to the next store over.  People drive super short distances. 

      This is not ideal for when people start taking rideshares because people can't take it to certain destinations and walk from there. It changes the game 

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        RedANT
        1072 Rider Driver
         4 years ago

        Do you envision these cars driving 24/7/365?  I work 25-30 hrs a week, and put approx 45k miles a year on my car.  If that car ran 24/7/365, we're probably looking at 200k miles per year on vehicles, effectively making each obsolete and in need of replacement every year.  If you spend $50k for that vehicle and need to pay it off in 1 year, your vehicle purchase cost is approx $1,000 PER WEEK, and that's not even considering gas expenses and maintenance costs.  How much do rideshare drivers make right now?  All things considered, prices would need to increase exponentially in order to even come close to being a viable primary form of transportation for cities containing millions of people. 

        As a driver, in 6 hrs of driving I have passengers trash the inside of my car, stashing trash in every crevice, sticking gum on seats and oozing disgusting bodily fluids on the upholstery.  And that's with me sitting in the car!  How much worse will things ge…

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        Do you envision these cars driving 24/7/365?  I work 25-30 hrs a week, and put approx 45k miles a year on my car.  If that car ran 24/7/365, we're probably looking at 200k miles per year on vehicles, effectively making each obsolete and in need of replacement every year.  If you spend $50k for that vehicle and need to pay it off in 1 year, your vehicle purchase cost is approx $1,000 PER WEEK, and that's not even considering gas expenses and maintenance costs.  How much do rideshare drivers make right now?  All things considered, prices would need to increase exponentially in order to even come close to being a viable primary form of transportation for cities containing millions of people. 

        As a driver, in 6 hrs of driving I have passengers trash the inside of my car, stashing trash in every crevice, sticking gum on seats and oozing disgusting bodily fluids on the upholstery.  And that's with me sitting in the car!  How much worse will things get when there is no driver to monitor things inside the car cabin?  Who will discover and clean messes left by sick drunkards after last call, and who will know when mechanical problems arise causing dangerous operating conditions?  As I drive through a major metropolitan area, I have to dodge numerous distracted pedestrians crossing streets while playing with their phones, and I often have to improvise when roads are closed, when driveways are blocked, and when traffic accidents happen.  Technology can't do that.  EVERY DAY I lose cellular signal when driving through tunnels, etc, losing navigation and dealing with "Google Maps gone wild."  I can work around that, but a car relying on dynamic internet based maps can't.  What happens then?

        Autonomous vehicles may seem cool, but they'd pose many challenges that just don't make them viable without totally turning our world upside down.  The future isn't letting technology drive, the future is allowing technology to help us improve how we drive. 

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          DanHennison
          20
           4 years ago

          Yes. Thank you! Great points.

          "Do you envision these cars driving 24/7/365" this was my exact point. If this all does happen, there is going to be downtime for cars, I mean less people need transportation in the middle of the night than during the day, is the OP just envisioning those cars driving around aimlessly and never going to a parking lot?

          The trash aspect is really interesting, I have never thought of that impact before.