The good and bad effects of driverless cars on society.

Nebuchadnezzar

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Driverless vehicles are becoming a reality...people are already recklessly using semi autonomous cars beyond their design limits and small driverless buses are being brought into limited use in several cities. I hope to start a discussion here beyond the specific to consider how this new technology will affect how we live.

The main factor I think will be whether private vehicle ownership remains the norm or if we adopt a shared or an "Uber" style service where a car can be summoned conveniently and cheaply for individual trips.

Continued private ownership may well see an increase in congestion ....driverless electric vehicles would probably be cheaper to keep moving on the roads rather than paying for parking. Numerous empty "zombie" cars would clog up the roads whilst their owners are otherwise engaged in towns and cities. However, the adoption of a driverless taxi model would see a far smaller number of vehicles able to serve the transportational needs of most people, with little need for any urban parking. An FT article of the 22Oct claims that urban car numbers could be reduced by up to 90%. A private car on average only has utilised rate of about 5%~10%, the vast majority of the time it sits inactive. A driverless taxi is expected(according to Robin Chase, co founder of Zipcar) to achieve a rate of approx 65%. Large amounts of current road space, parking areas and multi stories, service stations etc could all be used for other purposes, making our urban spaces more pleasant places to live and work in.

Furthermore, getting rid of their car will save most people a significant amount of money(average annual cost of owning a car in Europe is €6000, probably more in Ireland), and time and hassle...no NCTs, no servicing, no lost time looking for parking, no speeding/parking fines, breathaliser checks etc. Indeed, beyond the urban areas the driverless car may see the rural pub undergoing a revival.

Traffic accidents are forecast to reduce by 90%(French Insurer MAIF), beyond the obvious reduction in death and suffering, insurance costs will be radically reduced. However, one probable problem is how human cyclists, pedestrians and motorists will interact with these vehicles....the humans may well attempt to 'bully' these autonomous vehicles, barging out in front of them if they believe that such vehicles will always avoid collision.

However, these vehicles will also result in huge numbers of mostly low skilled men losing their jobs. What are they to do?

I think the widespread use of these vehicles is unavoidable but national and local governments need to try to shape how they are used, to make the best of their benefits and reduce the negatives.

https://backchannel.com/self-driving-cars-will-improve-our-cities-if-they-dont-ruin-them-2dc920345618#.5n0hai3oj
 
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gerhard dengler

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In the event of two cars colliding, with the driver less car being responsible for the collision, who would the victim sue? With whom would culpability lie?
The car owner?
The car manufacturer?
 

wexfordman

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It will bring an end to suicide car bombings.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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It will bring an end to suicide car bombings.
Maybe not such a good thing? A driverless car is potentially a more reliable and destructive weapon than a manned one.
 

wexfordman

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Maybe not such a good thing? A driverless car is potentially a more reliable and destructive weapon than a manned one.
I was joking. Your right of course, a jihadists dream
 

wombat

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Why bother with driverless cars? Half the fun of owning a car is driving it.
 

wexfordman

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Why bother with driverless cars? Half the fun of owning a car is driving it.
Nah, I hate driving, but I do a lot if it. Would free up a huge amount of time, be like having a chauffeur from that perspective
 

nakatomi

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No more ignorant unskilled workers plying their trade as taxi drivers.

Happy days.
 

SamsonS

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Interesting thread. 30 years ago in economics you'd be given a problem, say the end of car accidents and identify the positive and negative economic impacts.

Driverlss cars are that today, positive implications for say people with disabilities, rural pubs, to take two unusual sectors that could benefit. On the other side, a lot of those forecourt garages could become surplus to requirements.
 

wexfordman

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I was at a roadshow a few weeks back, and a lot of the presentation was around the smart city, including smart parking, smart bins etc, some very interesting stuff coming down the line, but not good for jobs (unless your in the public sector of course :) )
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Interesting thread. 30 years ago in economics you'd be given a problem, say the end of car accidents and identify the positive and negative economic impacts.

Driverlss cars are that today, positive implications for say people with disabilities, rural pubs, to take two unusual sectors that could benefit. On the other side, a lot of those forecourt garages could become surplus to requirements.
That Topaz on Usher's Quay would be gone...good riddance.

As well as the disabled it would also enhance the independent mobility of the elderly and the young.
 

Lúidín

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A car chase where the bank robbers and the Gardai are both in driverless cars could go on forever.
 

SamsonS

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A car chase where the bank robbers and the Gardai are both in driverless cars could go on forever.
Another economic benefit, well spotted, albeit in the black economy, where the labour required for your average armed robbery will be reduced, increasing the productivity of the remaining armed robbers.
However, due to health and safety, that saving will not be replicated by the state as it will be required to have at least 2 staff to partake in the car chase. !
 

wexfordman

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A car chase where the bank robbers and the Gardai are both in driverless cars could go on forever.
Nope, that's decades away, it will take that long for the Garda to sign up to using new technology, there will still be a Garda sitting behind the non-existant steering wheel getting some form of allowance
 

ON THE ONE ROAD

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Are there issues about ownership of a driver less car network in terms of state versus private companies?

Sanitation in the cars if they have multiple users in a day would also be an issue. Some people are filthy, ask a taxi driver.
 

wexfordman

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Are there issues about ownership of a driver less car network in terms of state versus private companies?

Sanitation in the cars if they have multiple users in a day would also be an issue. Some people are filthy, ask a taxi driver.
That's being very mean to taxi drivers
 

Devil Eire

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All of the issues in the OP are good points. However, there is a problem. A huge part of the modern, capitalist, corporatist society is bound up in the promotion of private motoring, and all the revenue that attains from it, particularly towards the oil companies who fuel the cars, and the banks that fund the debt that buys them.

It is hard to imagine these enormous, globalist concerns sanctioning anything that reduces the number of cars on the road, or the spending that it entails.
 

wexfordman

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All of the issues in the OP are good points. However, there is a problem. A huge part of the modern, capitalist, corporatist society is bound up in the promotion of private motoring, and all the revenue that attains from it, particularly towards the oil companies who fuel the cars, and the banks that fund the debt that buys them.

It is hard to imagine these enormous, globalist concerns sanctioning anything that reduces the number of cars on the road, or the spending that it entails.
It's just a different model that's all
 

riven

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In the event of two cars colliding, with the driver less car being responsible for the collision, who would the victim sue? With whom would culpability lie?
The car owner?
The car manufacturer?
The same as they do with say a lift.
 


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