“Autonomous” Cars . . . and Social Security “Contributions”

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Within 12 years, only 5 percent of the driving done in this country will be done by “autonomous” drivers – according to a study that is getting huge play all over the mediascape.

That is to say, only 5 percent of the driving will be done by people like you and me – ordinary people going where we like, when we like and controlling the car ourselves.

That is autonomy.

Sans the air quotes.

Not this Orwellian doublespeak about cars programmed by others and so controlled by others and which drive themselves without our input and which are subject to outside intervention contrary to our own wishes being characterized by the media as – ahem – “autonomous.”

That’s an inversion right up there with the “patriot” act – and Social Security “contributions.”

Anyhow, we are assured by an outfit called RethinkX – which styles itself a “think tank” but which I’ve never heard of (and I’ve been a working journalist covering policy issues for more than 25 years now) that the stampede to turn over our keys and give up our driving autonomy is both organic and inevitable. That within a dozen years, only a tiny minority of desperadoes will still operate their cars themselves – assuming of course they are still allowed to do so.

I am not buying it. The organic and inevitable part.

I smell a rat.

The shove – much more than the loathsome “progressive” egghead authoritarian Cass Sunstein’s infamous nudge – toward cars driven by others-than-us is too obviously artificial. This study smacks of propaganda. It appears intended to create the aura of inevitability and the impression that to “cling” to our old truly self-driving (by ourselves) ways is sad and pathetic, like the Amish and their horse-drawn buggies.

It also mentions not a word about the real reasons why people are becoming disillusioned with both driving and owning cars – the expense and hassle. Both creations of government – its endless rules, fees and mandates. The first creeping and now galloping nannyism, always in the name of saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

Which of course, so-called “autonomous” cars will enshrine – much as the GOP has cemented the “role” of government in the micromanagement of our health by replacing rather than repealing Obamacare.

I’ve seen this Mexican donkey show before.

I am betting the RethinkX study is funded by interests interested in pushing us into cars that drive us most un-autonomously. This has been the goal – explicitly stated – of certain interests since at least the time of Ralph Nader’s ascendance and gaining traction inexorably.  It is the dream of those who would trample what may be the last truly free thing left to us – even if only intermittently.

Our cars.

Which is to say, our mobility.

Controllers loathe the random coming and going of people free of their control.

Most especially in a car owned by them – and not rented by the hour (the other shove/nudge behind all this; there is huge money to be made by shove/nudging people to pay by the hour – via Lyft and Maven and so on – rather than to buy and own a car).

In a driven-by-us car, we can drive as fast as we wish – assuming no armed government workers in the vicinity. The joy of acceleration – as much as we like, as fast as we dare. To not be part of a collective, a herd. To go our own way.

From a certain point-of-view, this is as outrageous as the pre-income tax days.

What is wanted is an income tax version of transportation.

Just as we are allowed to earn money – but only under certain conditions, and required to report every detail of every transaction to the government, which thus controls both our earnings and how we are allowed to earn them.

Control. That is the thing here – and the dupes affirming the desirability of “autonomous” (sic) cars are exactly that because they are basing their eye-batting affirmations on the delusional belief that the cars will, in fact, be autonomous – that is, still under their control.

But they will find – perhaps to their dismay – that in fact they have become like customers of the IRS.

Their autonomous car may take them where they ask it to take them – but it will take them there as it sees fit. That is to say, as those who program and control them see fit. It will not accelerate faster than they see fit. It will not take a corner at a speed you might find entertaining.There will be no flooring it – and getting around the four-wheeled-herd.

It will maintain a “safe” posture at all times – and you will have no say whatever in the matter.

To believe that it will be otherwise is a risible as the belief, 100 years ago, that the income tax would only be levied upon the rich.

Once they have the means to control us – and have established the principle that they ought to have the authority to control us –  expecting them not to avail themselves of those means and to use that authority is far more pathetic than the Amish and their horse-drawn buggies.

Which, by the way, actually are autonomous.

Imagine that.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. I knew a person who had no car. She lived in the city and strongly disapproved of cars. What she did do though was cadge lifts from everyone she knew. She was always asking for help to get from this place to that. Help, help. And what was amazing was that so many people helped her out at cost of time and money to themselves for no return whatsoever. Oh yes, and she did not have a regular job either. She sure had a lot of opinions about how other people ought to live though. Then one day it happened. She asked for a lift from a guy who worked as a taxi driver. Boy was she pissed when he started the car AND started the meter….

    By the way, do not ever enter a relationship with a liberal. OK for a one night stand, or even for a week or two if you really have to, but beyond that, just pay a professional. It just is never worth the trouble to have any of these people in your life for anything longer than the briefest of time. Use ’em, have your fun with them and then toss ’em over the side immediately when done. Do not hesitate. They are of uniformly low intellectual quality and the lowest of integrity. You cannot expect honest love let alone decent companionship from one of these critters. Be on the look-out for someone better. You owe it to yourself.

    Si

    • Si, a perfect example of why liberals have to support collectivism. In bigger cities, instead of bumming rides from individuals, they pay a nominal fee for rides bummed at great cost to all taxpayers, and they call that “mass transit”, and actually think that using it makes them “responsible” and “independent”- LOL.

      They thus have to support an authoritarian state which essentially foces others to pay for their transportation. And so it is in many other aspects of their lives. They can not pay their own way nor provide the things that they need, themselves. They can only exist in the artificial realm created by the state.

      • Nunzio

        Yes. You are dead right on that. I’d not thought of it in that way before, but it is the truth. They are bums extracting wealth, time, attention and life from everyone else.

        BTW, this propensity that liberals have to steal, manipulate and deceive is exactly the reason why one ought to have as little to do with them as possible. I always wonder why any normal person would deign to have one in the house. Unfortunately there are a great number who have relationships with liberals and live with them. This is a dangerous thing to do. It just never works out well……. for the normal person. The liberal will pollute everything. They are users and takers. They contribute littel or nothing. They just take and take and take. They beg, manipulate, lie, steal, emote and then finally try to destroy. They are not capable of normal behaviour over the long run. That is because they are completely irrational and unreasonable. It is because they are abnormal.

        Again to everyone I say, have fun with liberals if you must, but ditch ’em quickly. Relationships with them just do not work out. They are toxic personalities and not good to have around for any duration of time. Ideally keep ’em out and have nothing to do with any of them. Find someone better. You owe it to yourself.

        • Haha, tell me about it, Si!

          Or how about how they want to leech off of productive society, and then call their victims “selfish” for not wanting hand over even more of the fruit of their labor to support the state which creates the wonderland-for-liberals?

          It’s absurd. I mean, “they” can take a huge chunk of the fruit of your labor, and even make you pay a fee to them just to live in your own home which you may own, and if you don’t pay, you are a “criminal” and as such, they will cage you and take away your property, but yet, if someone else chooses to be a bum, and has a bunch of kids whom they can’t support, and watches TV all day, THAT is perfectly fine, and YOUR money is taken and given to them so they can be provided with a free place to live; free food; free healthcare; free “education”; etc. -but you are called “greedy” for wanting to keep what is yours, and use it to support yourself and or your own family; while those who do little or nothing, and act irresponsibly, are called “needy” and are rewarded at your expense.

          And yeah…liberal women. Women are the majority of liberals. They claim to be “equal” and all that crap, but in reality, they are not, and they either need a man, or a surrogate man to take care of them. Many of them today don’t want a man- or don’t want a real man (they want a girly man, who can’t protect and take care of them, because he can’t even stand up to her!)- so they band together and vote for a big all-encompassing government who will protect and care for them, and play the role of husband/daddy in their lives.

          Wise men saw this coming 100 years ago when women were given the right to vote. It was inevitable.

          Me? I grew up in the NYC area…nothing but idiot liberal chicks- so I washed my hads of women quite early. You just have to learn to do without. It’s no big deal really, seeing as what most women are these days…and they’re not even much to look at lately. It’s nice being alone and happy and having no drama.

          I’ve never gone for the pay-to-play or the pump & dump for free…. I’m not giving a part of myself to any woman unless it’s for keeps….and I’ve decided that I don’t want to keep any, even if there were still any keepers out there.

          Now I live in nice very rural area, where there are some conservative women. They’re not much better. “Conservative” means just a little less liberal than the liberals- just like Republican means a little less socialist than the Democrats.

          Romance is better strictly in the mind than it can ever be in reality. (OPr better yet, don’t even think about it, and stay away from the media, with all of it’s enticements of the sexualization of EVERYTHING, and it becomes not so much of an issue)

  2. So lemme see: If only 5% of the driving will be done by people actually driving their own cars 12 years from now, that means that 12 years from now, 95% of the cars as we know them will have to be obsolete (I mean, it’s not as though people are just going walk away from perfectly good cars just because they don’t drive themselves….).

    And here I’ve been saying for how long now, that the various EPA fartwars forcing the car companies to make fragile and ludicrously Rube-Goldberg-esque complex electronics-reliant cars seems to be a blueprint for planned obsolescence and elimination of used/privately-owned cars…

    Wonder if there’s a connection there??? 😮

    The future’s getting scarier by the minute… I want out! Luckily, their system is being propped up by baling wire and duct tape, and will likely collapse before such nonsense as this comes about- or they will institute nuclear war. The interesting things is: Since the good cars we have now are already getting old; and the new cars will not last very long, thanks to the planned obsolescence…..there’s going to be nothing left to drive when the system implodes….

    • Notice that Eric has again spoken truth to “power” regarding the issues surrounding the forced extermination of the internal combustion engine and the method of transport most closely equated with individual freedom and liberty, the automobile.

      Leave it to government technocrats to “regulate” the joy out of all aspects of life, to micromanage the comings and goings of all, for any number of reasons, including the much scoffed, conspiracy laden accusations of a “New World Order”…

      The Oligarchs and their Minions desire to create a dystopia, molded in their own image, replete with flowery sounding language where true freedom is defined by if you are “Above” or below the reach of the Regulatory State, or have enough largesse to purchase an exemption…

      Made my stomach hurt looking at the 2030 Agenda document on the UN website….regarding which behaviors are “Sustainable” or not! Mostly Agenda 21, the previous document on Steriods…and is it a interesting coincidence that the time that affordable freedom(as defined by an automobile) coincides with the decade referenced in the article.

      For your viewing “dis”pleasure….

      https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf

      StuckinSoCal

  3. I’m waiting for the autonomous car that warns us that “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” whenever we misbehave.

  4. Self driving cars could be great, if it was the free market that was introducing them. In a free market, large amount of people would continue to drive themselves. Self driving cars would be merely another option. An optional option.

    Self driving cars could be great for the disabled and people too old to drive. Also for people who rarely use or need cars, people too incompetent to drive, people living in overcrowded urban areas and kids and parents (for convenience), or for when your too tired or drunk to drive.

    But it won’t be the free market introducing them, sorry to say. It will be a close partnership with the remaining car makers and the government. A very close relationship, with the government clearly in charge.

    I can tell you right now, self driving cars will not be allowed to speed, you won’t be able to send an empty to pick up minor (even teens) children without an adult, you won’t be allowed to ride drunk, they will likely be too expensive for most disabled or old people (since many are very low income). AKA, they will mostly make what would be convenient about self driving unlawful.

    Also on days with pollution or other “problems”, they likely won’t let you go anywhere (that’s how they will introduce needing permission to even go anywhere). And yes, they will have that control over the vehicle, even if you “own” it and make payments on it.

    The fact that they wouldn’t let them speed, is what will make them very problematic. You won’t be able to tell the clovers from the self driving vehicles. They won’t keep up with the natural (speeding) flow of traffic. Nobody and I mean nobody is doing 55 on 294 outside Chicago. If they don’t do 70 they will impede traffic even if they stay to the right. And it will be used to ban human drivers, since the speeders will be blamed like always.

    • I can’t go along with the libertarian view that because a majority of people choose something or that the free market has put its seal on it that it’s necessarily a good thing. People choose to do short-sighted, stupid things all the time, and their choices often constrict my choices and freedom.

      Example: air bags. Initially resisted, then accepted and their use made mandatory, then their endless proliferation (I suspect that some cars have so many bags they would float). My choice to not have bags or to drive a car with a deployed air bag? Completely destroyed. Analogously, autonomous cars: first, greeted with caution; then found acceptable which leads to overwhelmingly enthusiastic approval; soon certain roads will be off-limits to everything but autonomous vehicles for reasons of safety, technological incompatibility, or “security.” And then what? The gradual outlawing of manually-driven cars?

      Ditto with all the electronic crap in newer cars, much of which is not legally mandated but demanded by the consumer (oops, customer) anyway. I have no choice but to buy into that, so the free market leaves me high and dry.

      Of course the standard reply to air bag use is that it’s the government forcing its use. Well, welcome to the world, which is not built on a libertarian fantasy. The truth is that even if mandatory air bag use were suddenly erased, the mass consumer would still continue to buy cars so equipped and the rest of us would be SOL.

      As one of the last of the paleocons, I don’t put much faith or confidence into majoritarian decisions, even those not forced by government. The free market is almost certainly the best option we have, but I don’t worship it as any kind of panacea. On almost every hand I find myself constrained by the (to me) half-witted decisions of a majority of my peers.

      • Hi Ross,

        I strongly suspect that, if it were legal to sell them, there would be a huge market for simple, much less expensive cars without air bags. Imagine being able to buy a new car for $8,000 or less. And this would not be a primitive, unpleasant, under-powered car like the economy cars of the ’70s. It would have a fuel-injected engine that equaled the drivability of any modern car and might even be better in that regard because it wouldn’t have overkill tech such as drive by wire and direct injection; it would meet sane emissions standards, too.

        It would have AC and a nice stereo and while it might not be capable of 150 MPH or do zero to 60 in 6 seconds or less, it would be just fine for A to B transport.

        Better than fine, actually.

        There is a two wheeled analog. While you can buy a $30,000 full dress cruiser, you can also buy a $5,000 commuter bike that get the basic job of getting you there and back done just as well.

        They sell plenty of those, too, incidentally! 🙂

        • Good morning eric. I have a good bike story for you.

          A friend told me he had a friend in his late 50’s who had a blinged out Harley. He got stopped by a cop. Turns out the cop stopped him to look his bike over. I’ve been through this before with cars and while it’s never fun to see red and blues behind you, it quickly becomes a non-issue for the most part when the occifer just wants to check it out and bs’s with you about what it is, all that stuff.

          So the guys standing there talking to this cop who’s checking out his bike when another cop pulls up. He’s wondering what’s going on with his fellow porker since he didn’t call in anything about the stop. He proceeds to do the check himself and finds the guy has a warrant for his arrest. The guy on the bike is saying “This is surely a mistake. If there was a warrant for my arrest I’d know about it.” Arresting occifer replies “right here is the arrest warrant for failure to pay child support”. Biker guy responds “Hell, my kids are 38 and 40 years old”.

          So he goes to jail and finds out the warrant is ancient. His ex is saying it’s gotta be a misunderstanding, she never filed on him and it’s long water under the bridge anyway, a non-issue for her and the kids.

          It may be a non-issue for everyone who’s human but the state can’t be satisfied by no foul and demands its blood money. The AG doesn’t care what the circumstances are, just wants his money. And that is how that works. I’ve been down this road so many times it’s not funny.

          I had two brothers doing a roof for me. One owes some back money, not much actually, on his child support. He’s going to split something like $2,000 at the end of the week, about 3 days away for doing this job. I tell the judge who ordered him arrested this very thing. He doesn’t care. He really, truly doesn’t care. He doesn’t want the guy to finish the job, have the money to pay off the few hundred he owed and have some to live off. This is an elected a-hole judge. Plenty of them to be found. He could have waited 3 days before issuing the warrant to see if this guy would pay. The homeowner, the brothers and myself would all have been in fine shape in 3 more friggin days. That wasn’t my first experience nor my last like that.

        • I’ve just had yet another clovertastic debate in another forum where someone was trying to correct me and tell me that without government cars were and would be death traps again. One of many ways I reduced this person to name calling was to stress the fact that automakers attempted to sell safety many times before government mandates and people failed to buy it. That he wasn’t forcing automakers to make cars safer he was forcing his neighbors to pay for them.

          If people had purchased safety features instead of walking across the street to buy the cheaper car without them the government and Nader would have never had their leverage. Ford’s 1956 lifeguard package would have automakers one upping each other on safety. Could go as far back as the 1920s. It just didn’t stick until 80s when people started to be willing to pay for it.

          • I recall my daddy buying a 64 Chevy with seat belts as standard. We wore them thangs religiously….once a year going to church after mama had locks put on them with her having the only key. If you flipped the seat back over you could find the anchor end and then pull till something appeared with a buckle.

            I do recall back in the early 80’s, GM putting airbags in a luxury model on 2000 units or so and then not being able to sell them. People were so impressed NHTSA made them mandatory.

            Then earlier, there were those countless millions of cars with bumpers from hell that made the cars look like something you would design to use at the fair so people couldn’t tear them up.

            I recall a buddy having a Monte Carlo with the first ones. He got rear-ended really hard by nearly an identical car. They worked well enough the car behind backed up, tore off around him and left him stuck in traffic. You can still see them now occasionally with a big gap between bumper and body and see how they were made from the top. That sure is a good look.

      • Ross what you are missing in your post is that this is not the free market. This is the mandate market. Cars with start stop, they do it not for the consumer but to meet gov’t mandate. All the air bags are mandate. Same too as Eric points out, mandate prevents us from buying the cars sold all over the world for less money.

        We do not have free market, or choice. They make us think we have choice because there is 50 types of cereal and 50 types of car sold. The reality is you get to choose from their choice, not to simply make your own choice.

        You do support the free market and libertarian principle. Because that is the opposite of what we have now.

      • “People choose to do short-sighted, stupid things all the time”

        Yes they do, but that is the leverage for the managerial state. See we need regulation, managers, etc because people are stupid and short sighted creatures. Never mind that the regulators are the same human beings.

        “, and their choices often constrict my choices and freedom.”

        This generally only happens when there is not a free market. A free market lives and thrives with niches. Look at your choice in toilet paper. The reason the majority can have such market leverage is because the number of players is limited. The state restrictions make it difficult/impossible/expensive to serve niches. Thus the niche markets get ignored. Since statists and clovers want fungible people this is of no issue to them.

        • You make good points, but the problem in the case of cars is that so many people voluntarily choose luxo-glop-ridden cars that the handful like me is simply written out of the market. Making cars is an expensive proposition. I understand that a niche might not be profitable in such a case (but who knows? Eric might have a point there). The upshot is the free market has eliminated most everything but what the masses desire.

          Maybe part of the problem is that I’m simply out of step with the times.

          • Nah, Ross, there are a lot of us who would buy cars if they were made like they used to be. True, the luxury/bells & whistles/latest gizmo/state-of-the-fart crowd would still be a force, and that is no problem- make whatever they want- but if they were allowed to make what WE wanted (Me? I wanted large, simple, sturdy durable vehicles), there’d be a big market for them. We just don’t see that market, because the product doesn’t exist. Also, without the insane financing deals, which are largely made possible through Uncle, a lot of people wouldn’t be buying these expensive cars which they can’t afford.

            Even entitlements enter into it. I have relatives who work at low-paying jobs, because by doing so, they can get more in entitlements than they could earn otherwise. They recently bought a brand new car. A cheap one (GM product, no less, one that is known for blowing up well before 100K miles), but none-the-less, if it weren’t for the food stamps and heating assistance and free Obozocare/Medicaid, etc. these people would be driving a $1500 hooptie, and ditto their tennage son, for whom they bought a late-model used car.

            All I’m saying is that things would look a lot different without Uncle in the picture, because he has perverted all markets.

          • You wouldn’t have wanted an early 1970s luxury car either but it was sold alongside many choices in simple affordable cars.

            Where in we have the other issue, the central bank. Without cheap credit, many more people would want simple cars. The problem is the lack of a free market on every level. The gizmos don’t cost much on a monthly basis with a sub 1% loan. But if they had to fork over an extra grand right now, like they did in the olden days, they couldn’t.

            • Not only that, but because Uncle takes our money and uses it to erect a gigantic infrastructure which in most cases dictates that the only mode of transportation available to us is motorized vehicles, we are basically forced to buy cars, because that infrastructure renders all other forms of transportation [ [horse; bicycle; motorized cart; moped; etc.] dangerous, impractical and or illegal. And that infrastructure even affects the very make-up of towns and communities- i.e. years ago, before the smallest towns used to have grocery stores and other retail shops which all the locals would use…but now since they’ve made high-speed easy access available, the majority of people in the small towns go to larger towns for work and other errands every day, so the local towns have dried up.

              In the little town closest to where I live,[pop. 300] just 30-40 years ago, there used to be a grocery store; a general merchandise store; a hardware store; a skating rink; several restaurants; a couple of gas stations; auto & truck & farm equipment repair; even a florist and an undertaker…..

              Today? There’s a Post Office, a gas station with a kwiki-mart and a greasy restaurant that looks like a museum of early 70’s luncheonette fixtures….. And soon, as a continuing part of the highway modernizing and widening project they’ve been doing, the road that goes through the town will be bypassing the town. (Fine with me, as the more obscure and quiet, the better- but I’ll bet those business owners who’ve been paying taxes all these years aren’t too happy- including the new Indian owners of the gas station….)

          • Mexicans, asians, muslims, blacks, etc. All races have Mom & Pop businesses they own and visit.

            It is only the white man who loads on debt to shop at faceless international big boxes.

            You’re destroying your own culture in pursuit of getting a good price and easy terms.

            You’re a ghost howling in a holocaust.

      • Many people believe that since Uncle is regulating a market or industry it must be OK. They’re lured into a false sense of security by flowery promises and heroic talk. In this environment the first thing to go away is common sense.

        If government regulation were so wonderful, I’d be all for it. But the reality is even though we’re told the economy requires a heavy handed bunch of regulators or it will collapse, I’ve seen it collapse at least 3 times in my life. If requirements for safety weren’t in place, automobile deaths would be 100X more than they are today, and that manufacturers would go out of their way to make driving even more hazardous than it is (maybe they did with the Tanaka airbags that still haven’t been fixed). Or that a private network of roads would be too expensive and in terrible condition (while ignoring the million dollar per mile roads Uncle builds then lets fall apart).

        How can you tell if a politician is lying? His mouth is open. Who hires the regulators? That’s right the politicians. What makes anyone think they aren’t full of s*** too?

  5. Many questions come to mind regarding autonomous vehicles.

    If the vehicle is fully autonomous (i.e. no manual control allowed at any time):

    How would one park the vehicle in a garage, to load/unload goods, or any other exact spot to be worked on?

    How would one drive off-road, through deep snow, or any other condition where the computer/gps doesn’t know the correct path? This would especially be an issue on farms/ranches.

    What is one to do if he/she needs to stop suddenly if something went out the window, or needs to throw up or something like that? How would one stop to pick up a loved one if they are walking by the road and need a ride?

    How could a situation be averted where a mob decides to surround the car for nefarious purposes (such as to rob the occupants)? In a normal vehicle, the driver could just plow through the mob forward or reverse. An autonomous vehicle would just sit there as a sitting duck.

    If we are all forced into autonomous vehicle sharing:

    What is one to do if he/she is a parent, trade worker, or other person who normally keeps heavy items in the vehicle for regular use? Load/unload every single time (imagine hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of items)?

    How would the vehicle owner prevent the occupants from doing or leaving disgusting things in the vehicle? Unlike a normal taxi, there would be no one to “supervise”.

  6. This is an authoritarian’s wet dream – it’s an absolute fantasy that will never happen. I have four cars and two motorcycles – two thirds of those vehicles could easily still be going in twelve years. They will have to pry control of them out of my cold dead hands.

    • “This is an authoritarian’s wet dream – it’s an absolute fantasy that will never happen.”

      If only. Fly somewhere, and find yourself with a 100% certainty of being subject to a search without probable cause. Put unapproved chemicals in your body, and find yourself locked up in a cage. And so on.

      I’m in a relationship with a liberal – I can assure you that many good hearted, well meaning people will reflexively shred the bill of rights because of TEAM RED BLUE promises that ceding control over our lives to control freaks is not only necessary but moral.

    • “They will have to pry control of them out of my cold dead hands.”

      GovCo will willingly accept your challenge…bet on it.

  7. This is an authoritarian’s wet dream – it’s an absolute fantasy that will never happen. I have four cars and two motorcycles – two thirds of those vehicles could easily still be going in twelve years. They will have to pry control of them out of my cold dead hands.

    • And it will be our cold dead hands.

      Once the majority has been told by teacher that government controlled transportation is best we will soon be voted off the roads. Because there are no rights now, just what you can politically protect. They will simply prohibit our cars from being registered. Or maybe registration continuous with the same owner only. That is the cars can only be sold to the scrap yard. Much like a pre E911 cell phone. Either they make it so they can come and kill us or our use dies with us. Cold dead hands either way.

      • Brent, I got my lesson on that this last time in the patch working with crackheads, one of whom was 46 and his 35 year old wife had been his foster sister in his parent’s house where they had sex for years before leaving. Ca. parents making a living off the state.

        He was a veteran of the military and thought he deserved something special. The worst hands by a long shot were ex-military. Why anyone might believe getting one is a plus escapes me.

        The really young ones had the same screwed up view they learned in school. Trying to speak with them had me adopting different language. I’d almost say a word and then realize I was about to get dirty looks. Another thing they had in common was explosive temper. Even the ones who had decent schooling were mired in that state worship…..even when it worked against them which was fairly much the entire time.

  8. So what would happen if automated vehicles were introduced in a libertarian world? I would imagine the result might be a little better, given that the technology would be widely copied. The first time your vehicle didn’t want to take you were you wanted you could drop it and go with another service.

    The technology isn’t the problem, it’s the lack of choice.

    • There is nothing wrong with a self driving car. The problems come in mandates, incentives and forced obsolesce of current cars.

      If a company can make a self driving car that works, and people choose to buy it, that is great. Understand if your car crashes into someone, you are responsible. In order for people to want to buy it, it has to do something cars are not already able to do. Driving it’s self is great but I don’t mind driving 3 miles to the grocery store. Nor 6 miles to work. It would have to work on any road condition, including rain and snow. If it can do all the things my car can do now, including going to get mulch, or firewood or pick up lumber, or whatever. Then next it needs to compete on cost. Is it going to be the same price or cheaper than my manual drive car?

      Maybe areas with high congestion would find that traffic was smoother with self driving cars? Or your long commute might allow you to work while commuting.

      In a libertarian world all of this would be based on market demand, not gov’t demand.

  9. I think autonomous may fill a niche in cities where roadways tend to be highly controlled already. Lots of traffic lights, stripes painted everywhere, crosswalks, etc. Even then, it’s only a practical replacement for something like a quick driver-less Uber ride. For 99% of the rest of us, it makes no sense, and the tech. is doubtful to work well, if at all, in places like where I live. Narrow crumbling roads, twisty, rural, no shoulders. Fogetaboutit.

    • Exactly. Barring some sort of mandate. These might work well for people with very long highway commutes. They will sort of be like electric cars. They have a very specific niche.

      Now unless of coarse they are suggesting that all but 5% of cars will have self driving capabilities. I can see that happening. Not cars with no steering wheel or gas or brake pedals.

      Maybe we will drive with an Xbox remote?

      • We’re pretty close to self-driving on modern roads with high-end cars on the market now. Automatic transmissions. Cruise control that brakes automatically. GPS that plots the optimal route, and knows what the speed limit is. Sensors that keep the vehicle in the center of the lane. Cameras that can plot the position and velocity of surrounding cars. Weak AI can integrate all that into something that consistently drives safer than, say, a male teenaged driver.

        At some point in the near future, we’ll have medium or strong AI that can drive better than any human driver, the way we now have chess and go computers that can whup the best human players on the planet.

        The problem is, who or what is going to be able to make decisions about how and where to drive? The people that foisted the TSA on us? Or the AI itself?

        Watch the TV series Person Of Interest to see how that could turn out.

  10. “It also mentions not a word about the real reasons why people are becoming disillusioned with both driving and owning cars ”

    Who says this is happening? I still see everyone driving to work. The kids who I know that don’t have cars also don’t have jobs. If they want job they need car. They certainly are not going to be out buying a new self driving car.
    People seem to have plenty of money. Cars are not going away by choice.

    Perhaps people in large cities do not want cars. Why would they? I hate to drive in the cities too, can’t imagine living there and driving everyday and dealing with parking.

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