Why the hard-sell for self-driving cars?
Yesterday, Ford and Volvo announced they are forming a “coaliton” – along with Google – to push not only for the development of self-driving cars, but for federal “action” (their term) to force-feed them to us.
The reasons are obvious: There’s money – and control – in it.
To understand what’s going on, to grok the tub-thumping for these things, it is first of all necessary to deconstruct the terminology. The cars are not “self-driving.” This implies independence.
And “self-driving” cars are all about dependence.
The “self-driving” car does what it has been programmed to do by the people who control it. Which isn’t you or me. Instead of you controlling how fast you go, when to brake – and so on – such things will be programmed in by … programmers. Who will – inevitably- program in parameters they deem appropriate. What do you suppose those parameters will be?
“Safety” will be the byword, of course.
But the point being, you will no longer have any meaningful control over (ahem!) “your” car. You’ll pay for the privilege of “owning” it, of course. But your “ownership” will not come with the right to control what you “own.”
It will be a tag-team of the government and the car companies who control (and thereby, effectively own) “your” car.
And thereby, you.
Not only will how you drive (well, ride) be under their control, they will also know where and when you go. It will be easy to keep track of you in real time, all the time. And if they decide they don’t want you to go anywhere at all, that’s easy, too. Just transmit the code and the car is auto-immobilized.
You only get to go when you have their permission to go. It will be a very effective way of reducing those dangerous “greenhouse gas” emissions, for instance.
If this all sounds paranoid, consider the times we live in. Reflect upon what we know for a fact they are already doing.
For instance, making the case – in court – that we (the putative “owners” of “our” vehicles) ought to be legally forbidden from making any modifications to them. The argument being that such modifications could potentially affect various “safety” systems and they do not want to be held liable for any resultant problems that may occur.
This argument easily scales when applied to the self-driving car, which we will be forced to trust with our lives at 70 MPH.
For at least 30 years now – since the appearance of anti-lock brakes back in the ‘80s – the focus of the car industry has been to take drivers and driving out of the equation. To idiot-proof cars. Check Price Chopper Ad and Rite Aid Ad. This is easier – and more profitable – than merely building cars that are fun to actually drive.
How much profit margin has been added to a new car via (6-8) air bags? We pay more for the car, more to repair the car (and so, more to insure the car).
The technology that will be necessary to achieve the “self-driving” car is very elaborate and very expensive.
Thus, very profitable.
Which by itself would be fine… provided we could choose. But we will be told. Like we’re told we must have 6-8 air bags and all the rest of it.
This is the “action” Ford and Volvo and Google are seeking.
I personally have no doubt that, in time, they will make it illegal to own a car that is not “self-driving.” Well, to actually drive the thing. Static museum displays may still be permitted.
Tesla, the state-subsidized electric car – already has the necessary “self-driving” technology and Elon Musk is pushing it, hard. He says it’s a gotta-have because people cannot be trusted to drive themselves. There’s a clue for you as to the mindset of our masters.
But the current price of the least expensive Tesla is just under $70,000.
This is not economically viable when the average family’s income is in the neighborhood of $50,000. And keep in mind, that means half the people to the left of average make less than $50,000.
They cannot afford to buy $25,000 cars.
But maybe they can afford to rent them.
This appears to be where we are headed. The perpetual rental. It makes sense, too – from an economic point-of-view. Why buy that which you don’t really own because it’s not under your control? It would be absurd to buy the bus that you ride to work in. It is arguably just as absurd to buy the car you are driven to work in, too.
The object of this exercise appears to be perpetual debt-servitude as well as placing almost everyone fully and finally under the complete control of the powers that be. Who are no longer just the powers in government. The distinction between state power and corporate power is so blurry now as to be almost impossible to parse. The two are effectively the same thing, working hand in hand for their mutual benefit.
Remember Il Duce:
All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.
Sadly, there is no push back. Or doesn’t seem to be. The cattle appear to like the idea of being herded. It is depressing.
The passivity and acceptance of it all.
Must be something in the water.
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Excellent article! I think we’re on the same channel. See mine on the NMA Blog:
Keep up the good fight!
Well said, MJ. Thanks for sharing.
I enjoyed your article. I consider it well written and presents good reasons in favor of “dumb” cars.
The future is hard to predict but … Self driving cars seem to be more about software than hardware. Adding a few thousand dollars of sensors to a car, assuming no added maintenance cost, is not the hard part, it is the software. For the software to be cheap on a per vehicle basis it has to be on an enormous number of vehicles.
Prediction, self driving trucks will arrive before cars. Once the robot trucks rule the road they might even banish those pesky humans in their cars from getting in the way of commerce.
Peloton On-Highway Platooning Test to Take Place in Texas
Read more at: http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=39503
DM article about sorority girl highway deaths
This is the kind of tragic things the invisible hands of the marketplace must want to happen, is what one must conclude. It’s certainly not something that needs to happen, by any means.
People act like these things are preventable. Only the Lord (if you believe in such things) knows how many heartbeats you will have. We all live in the present making assumptions about our future. Our lives are still full of chaotic events. Things happen that we might have some control over, but still have no way to predict. That’s when the lawyers swoop in, happy to engage in hindsight.
The media is full of people who’s talent is to play on our empathy and trigger emotional responses to tragedy that has nothing to do with us. The recent death of a celebrity singer shows that people are easily manipulated into believing they actually know a person they have never met, nor will they ever meet, only because they identified with a song that is intended to trigger the so-called “collective unconscious” of the masses (intentionally or not). Stories such as the one linked feed on that collective unconscious and the lower-level brain response.
Sad when someone dies too soon. Ratings bonanza when pretty white girls die too soon.
Too soon……that’s the crux of any story such as this. It makes not a whit of sense but triggers something in the emotional “thinkers” to send them into a “whirl”. What about the baby who took a few breaths and no more? It had no facebook page or sorority pics so it was just a shame or c’est la vie.
Someone who’s crooned to decades of dolts dies and it was a case of “too soon’ and ‘so much more to do’. No doubt there were people who thought Bob Hope was “just getting started”.
You never see tens of thousands outpouring their grief for an infant in it’s bed the Po leez flung a flash bang into with them saying they thought it had a gun. You gotta watch them little wily ones in their Bo Peep outfits. No telling telling what they’re packing.
Swedish Vision Zero
Locations with possible conflicts between pedestrians and cars – 19 mph
Number of fatalities on Swedish roads
Accident Year Fatalities
Why Sweden has so few road deaths
The Swedish Approach to Road Safety: ‘The Accident Is Not the Major Problem’
The problem is the whole transport sector is quite influenced by the whole utilitarianist mindset. Now we’re bringing in the idea that it’s not acceptable to be killed or seriously injured when you’re transporting. It’s more a civil-rights thing that you bring into the policy.
If we can create a system where people are safe, why shouldn’t we? Why should we put the whole responsibility on the individual road user, when we know they will talk on their phones, they will do lots of things that we might not be happy about? So let’s try to build a more human-friendly system instead. And we have the knowledge to do that.
It has been a struggle to get our road engineers to understand that they are responsible, it starts with them. Then the individual road user also has a responsibility. But if something goes wrong it goes back to the designer of the system.
I see the problem as prioritizing the wrong things first and foremost.
To restate their goals, they want idiot-proof roads and traffic systems.
No taxpayer is ALLOWED to be negatively impacted – they ALL must be productively funding government activities.
Even more frightening is the linked article I saw:
“Why central banks are talking about throwing money from helicopters ”
Basically, the problem is that people don’t have money to spend fast enough to kick the can down the road, so we’re going to add more money by just throwing it to people so they’ll spend….
F_(K the inflation it’ll cause! (And the resulting damage to the economy…)
harry p. stated it well, but… UNDERstated it: “The 90% seem to be hopelessly in love with their slavery.” More like 95% or even 99%, as the demographics shift. (Islam starts with slavery; we’re making society idiot proof. Those are two selective pressures which are building those who love slavery much faster than those who love liberty. Those who love liberty are also penalized by being responsible, and trying to work their way up. Negative selector there. Put together, we’re skewing the human race to be idiots and slaves – and the Masters rejoice.)
If ever there was a supposedly free country that’s run as totalitarian as Sweden I”m unaware of it. The entire article reeks of so many cops you can’t sling a dead cat without hitting one.
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Hmmm. A whole fleet of driver-less trucks to deliver unneeded crap produced offshore in third-world sweatshops, to stores with automated warehousing and checkouts, to be bought by nobody, because nobody has any income as their jobs have been automated?
It would be interesting to see one of these trucks pull up to a construction site, have some person there who would show ‘it’ just where he wants the load dropped back in among high pressure gas lines that have to be snaked around and then take a different path out since the trailer coming up on top of the load in a turn makes it slide off to the inside of the turn and hitting that pipe or connection it avoided backing in.
Self driving cars will never happen. Every city, every state has different traffic rules. Speed limits aren’t posted everywhere. What about construction? Need to slow down for that.
you know the idiots who follow GPS and google maps into bodies of water, down logging roads, and so on? Guess what databases the automated cars will use?
Wait and see…
One could even see some nefarious group hacking into the controls and sending someone into the river.
While online directions are convenient at times, I still like having a paper map available.
Mith, I have GPS on my phone but one hiway I regularly use isn’t shown on it as an example. It’s been there for years too. I carry two maps……old ones. I wish I still had some maps from the 50’s and 60’s(need to look for them)as they have roads that are no longer there and towns that no longer exist(as do the maps I carry) that aren’t on GPS(Google).
Paper maps are the best. You can see the whole area at once, they never run out of battery, and you can write on them if you need to. (I was using one to record non-driver sightings, but got lazy).
When I went to work for the county, the new commissioner ran off a bunch of paper maps for us. It’s so easy to simply look and see where you need to go. I’m THE only one who uses his smart phone for more than anything except phone calls or texting. I had to write my number down and let them get someone to help them put it into their phone.
A universal 20mph speed limit will solve the problem.
All this talk of “safety” [The motto of the nanny state which employs armed goons to kill it’s residents…] -What happens in a self-driving car if you’re driving along on a clear road, and there is a patch of ice or unplowed section of road ahead? Human drivers see this, and can slow down and take appropriate actions before they reach the bad conditions. I’d imagine that a self-driving car would not have a clue, until such time as it sensed it’s wheels slipping, and by then, it would be too late.
As for the political and economic ramifications: I think what we are looking at in the near future, is the end of autonomous private transportation for the masses. The cars are too expensive to buy, and too expensive to repair or keep over the long-haul. Soon, driving will be solely government agents and their cronies, only.
I’m seriously checking out some Third-world countries, because the future, nay, the present, is looking pretty bleak in the 1st and 2nd world, as we lose more freedom daily and find ourselves living in an Orwellian nightmare. Drones, chemtrails, RFID chips, mandatory health “insurance”, licenses, taxes, no privacy, the out-lawing of normal life… The real “terrorists” have already won.
And I don’t need George Bush or the Mulatto telling me who hates my freedom. I know who hates it, and it’s not some turban-wearing carpet jockey half way around the world.
I’m actually not against self driving cars. At least half the time I really don’t want to drive. If I could afford to have a chauffeur I probably would.
That said, what we’re going to get is not the self-driving automobile I envision. Instead of an autonomous vehicle that can navigate its way through the world, we’ll have network-connected, fairly dumb devices that are just extensions of some centralized “cloud” service. You’ll be required to pay a monthly fee for this service, or have to agree to be presented with advertising, or ride along with a few other people, whatever business model they come up with it won’t be a stand-alone device.
I used to have a true smart phone. It was a Nokia N900. It ran Linux. There was open source software available. I could actually write and compile software on the thing. It didn’t require a network connection to function. These days I have an iPhone. It doesn’t do much without a network connection. Most of the software is closed source and constantly communicating back to a server where the real computing power is. It is basically a dressed up version of the “dumb terminals” of the 1970s. Self driving cars should be designed like my N900, but that would require a lot of computing power in the trunk, and cost a small fortune. So instead we’ll get a dumb terminal self driver, along with all the “benefits” of monthly service fees, software-as-service business models and tracking for marketing and whatever other nefarious/dubious reasons they come up with. Lots of tracking.
I blame the business schools of the 1980s and 90s. They churned out MBAs who were indoctrinated into the idea of the service economy. What they didn’t mention was that service industries are only as good as the people running them. Since there aren’t that many good people running things, we get a very limited choice that usually comes down to lowest price. Of course the masses have been brainwashed into thinking that low up-front costs and high monthly fees are preferable to saving and paying cash, so that’s what we get. Then, because the service is so terrible we turn to Uncle to “make things right” just because some politician says he’ll fix it.
That’s the meaning of “Bad money drives out good.”
Seems every generation needs to re-invent the wheel.
Unfortunately we’re allowing imbeciles to graduate and pretending the paper that’s been stamped to their @$$ has meaning – yet the brilliant person working as a janitor is ridiculed and considered useless because he doesn’t have a stamped piece of paper affixed to him – with the corresponding “faux Blue Blood” debt.
“But the point being, you will no longer have any meaningful control over (ahem!) “your” car. You’ll pay for the privilege of “owning” it, of course. But your “ownership” will not come with the right to control what you “own.””
This is, in fact, the way all things are owned by any and all who call themselves US Citizens, especially including your house. If feel you have to pay property tax, you have no control over your house. You or in actuality your strawman (a cestui vue trust created by the gov, YOUR NAME in all capitol letters) hold legal title, and the gov owns equitable title, which in their estimation, gives them control.
Here is addition information showing that you don’t really own anything. The language below is take from the Congressional Record and as you may know, the Banking Relief Act of March 9, 1933, authorizes the currency we know as Federal Reserve Notes and use as a medium of exchange today. This Congressional Record extraction is a response to a Congressman asking about the backing of the new currency.
“Under the new law the money is issued to the banks in return for Government obligations, bills of exchange, drafts, notes, trade acceptances, and banker’s acceptances. The money will be worth 100 cents on the dollar, because it is backed by the credit of the Nation. It will represent a mortgage on all the homes and other property of all the people in the Nation.” – Congressional record, March 9, 1933, House, Congressman Patman, 73rd Congress, Special Session, Volume 77, part 1, page 83.
As you can see for yourself, Congress has mortgaged all of your property to the creditor (bankers) of the United States, and he owns everything you think you own. Your house, your car, your boat, your hamburger, everything, is owned by the banking creditor of the United States. And while you probably weren’t alive when this occurred to contest or dispute this, the American’s that were alive didn’t contest or dispute this, probably because the main stream misleadia never reported it.
The best argument against self driving cars is made in the movie “I Robot.”
Traction control that cannot be defeated is a problem when going up a hill that is a little icy. Traction control will not allow the car to move forward, resulting in a really dicey situation. I would like to see lawsuits against the manufacturers for not being able to defeat traction control completely…
Perhaps I have already bought my last new car…..
I live near Google, and in the neighborhood where they test these cars. I’m also peripherally involved with some of their technology, and know a lot of people working on these cars.
First of all, those little dipshit electric golf-cart like things are just engineering prototypes, they’re not some hypothetical future self-driving car. Google’s engineers are intelligent enough to know that they don’t know how to build cars, they’re just working on the systems to drive them.
Also, for liability reasons, I doubt you will ever own one of these cars, and I also doubt you will ever have a long-term “rental” of one either. Think of automated services like Uber. You need to go somewhere, your fun “real” car is being used by your significant other, so you hail a ride and a self driving car takes you where you need to go.
The idea has a lot of promise from two standpoints. The first is that multi-car families can have fewer cars, because it’s not all that often when you need all of them at the same time. You can save money by owning the fewest number of cars you absolutely need and use these to fill in the shortfall. This can save money long run. The second huge potential is in dense cities where parking is at a huge premium. These things can run a 24/7 duty cycle eventually, not having to park, and just cruise around giving people rides. When not needed, they can park themselves outside of the congested zone.
I don’t think this is some attempt to control us. Google, Apple, and others smell profit in freeing people who hate to drive from the hassle of owning and maintaining a car. I think that market is huge.
Here’s the counterpoint to that: Already, almost all new cars have some elements of self-driving (that is, technology interfering with your actions as the driver). Automated braking, for instance – soon to be standard equipment in all new cars, even before there’s a mandate. It obnoxiously hits the brakes when the effing computer thinks you are “too close” to other cars, which (trust me) is all kinds of fun when you are trying to Frogger through the Clover patch.
Lane Keep Assist and Steering Assist peremptorily assault you with beeps and – yes – steering “correction.”
This stuff is becoming very common.
If I were asked to bet, I’d bet that within five years, our ability to control our cars will be greatly diminished.
Yeah, I agree, that the nanny safety features are going overboard, however I think that’s a separate issue from self-driving cars. My wife’s car is constantly beeping and nagging at me when I drive through the clover patch, so trust me, I know where this comes from. The only feature in my favorite car that helps drive is ABS, it’s got nothing else, not even cruise control or a cup holder.
Car companies don’t voluntarily put in complicated features just for the fun of it, there’s something behind this. This may be some kind of sneaky behind the scenes regulation, or they’ve decided not to compete on these features and may be engaging in some kind of market fixing. If it’s stealth regulation, it’s here to stay. If it’s a pricing cartel, the cool thing about cartels is that someone inevitably breaks the cartel since there’s a financial incentive to subvert it.
“Safety” is the new cult religion – and the more “safety,” the better… right? Who could argue against automated braking? It’s “safe.” And so it goes… the inevitability of this seems clear to me. Five years ago, virtually none of the new cars I test drove had these annoying interferences. Now, most do. Within a couple of years at the most they all will.
We can never be too “safe,” you see.
I am amazed they have not already made it illegal to operate cars without ABS and TCS and air bags most of all on “public” roads.
But give them time….
“I don’t think this is some attempt to control us. Google, Apple, and others smell profit in freeing people who hate to drive from the hassle of owning and maintaining a car. I think that market is huge”
Ahaha….you’re shitting me, right? That was funny as hell, son.
Could this be the final destination for many in “self driven” transport?
Several years ago I made the decision never to buy a new car again. Only used cars for me. Preferably before 2000 but certainly before 2010. Incidentally how “safe” are cars manufactured before 2000 from outside retrofitted control? 2010?
eric, long before you or I were born, the fedgov had programs designed to move people into towns, off the farm and not in the policing eye was becoming verboten. The move has existed since the late twenties and continues to grow by various means. This is just one more method.
Imagine living in a remote area as do I and only being able to rent…..and to rent a pickup at that. I might drive 750 miles in a day but more normally 600 or so….in a big rig. My wife doesn’t drive every day or even every other day, sometimes simply once a week for groceries.
Renting a vehicle for the occasional use, and for the most part, emergencies, would involve humans but not always so and that leaves the fast trip to the vet out of the question without a pickup. Ever rented a pickup? It makes those 84 year, uh, month, mortgages for one look good.
Self driving vehicles with other vehicles outlawed would result in our becoming what I would accurately term Amish. No more motor vehicles for us and since we wouldn’t move to town under any circumstances but the point of a gun….which we don’t rule out, we’d be making the trip with old Rusty or Betsy pulling our cart with hopefully a cover……for us and old Betsy or Rusty. When it’s 110 outside in the shade even a trip to the store in a vehicle with a good a/c is a drag.
All my life I’ve watched country dwellers giving in to the govt. or family or both to move into town so they can be taken care of properly. I’ve seen a lot of people that really didn’t care if they lived once in town. Well, that reduces the load on SS.
I haven’t retired and likely never will. We won’t give in to Obamacare so we pay our $650 a year to not be fleeced by it. They get you either way. Insurance is another way you’re forced into a town. Price you out of your land taxwise as they’re now doing.
We might end our lives in a van, down by the river or just out in a pasture hidden from view.
I went to see a fellow trucker and friend Monday in the hospital where he’s been for two months since a brain aneurysm and emergency surgery. He’s just a kid to me, only 60. There were warning monikers all over his room door. One said HIGH RISK in red. I asked if I could go in and they said “sure’. So I hauled my lupus, MS, MSRA carcass into see him and he couldn’t speak, moving only his left arm and leg. He never seemed to focus on me, said nothing to everything I said. I couldn’t even get a rise when I offered to bring him some cold beer. He won’t get better in there I can tell. He has tv and ostensibly some sort of food that’s mostly likely fed to him. I walked half a mile back to Step Child with tears in my eyes. Life is fleeting enough without indignities of our overlords in every aspect of said life. I’ve been depressed ever since. As if that weren’t enough of overlord abuse, I got stopped by the DOT yesterday a bit after 2 pm. Nothing was current in my pack of paper on Step Child and only the insurance papers on the trailer. After a great deal of research for the correct US DOT number on Step Child, it was determined that wasn’t the correct number. It was also determined the company owed some entity as the state or DOT $8210, the unpaid balance of some fine. I got to drive SC to the impound lot where it sits, warn everyone in a truck headed to me to take me home to stay on the backroads and call someone with a private vehicle since any vehicle with ++++ on the side would go into that lot too. I came home dodging tornadoes, hail and other severe weather. Sometimes……life really sucks.
…declare yourself a moslem and you will be exempt from the o’bamacare mandate…
Or how about Amish?
Or native American. I’ll declare anything to get out from under it, and have nothing against either group. Don’t know if I could pass for either though. It’s the beard thing.
“we will be forced to trust with our lives at 70 MPH”
Oh, come on Eric. Do you really think they will allow these POS’s to be programmed to go 70?
I posted this on another thread, but it fits well here also –
Walter Williams has a good explanation of ‘rights.’
Well, we know what ended up happening to Il Duce, but it took an external force to allow it. It’s really looking like the only way to get rid of these Rhodesian scumsucking parasites is to bleed them out.
Eric, the problem with making things idiot proof is they just come out with better idiots. This is yet another scheme about power, money and control by the sick, twisted, damaged psychopaths that rule over us.