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  1. #1
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    Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    It is time to face the reality that self driving cars are coming soon. Like within the next 20 years soon. Here I will lay out some social side effects I think will occur, and we can discuss others possibilities, and discuss their reasonableness and challenges.

    It's only a matter of time. The technology is beyond the concept point and the kinks are being worked out. This is going to be our new reality. My prediction of timing could be off by 10-20 years in any direction, but there should be no question that from a technical standpoint, there is no problem that can't be solved. Computers will be able to be more aware of their surroundings, more precise in it's reactions, and ultimately superior in every way at doing the job of driving a vehicle.


    Who it will effect first to last.
    To the loud objection to truckers, they will be first hit. Some of their routs are the easiest to control, and they represent a hug inefficiency in the market. The routs of warehouse to warehouse are the most controllable. The inefficiency they represent is all the miles of empty cargo, as well as time down because of human necessity to sleep. The truckers major objection is that it takes a person to hook and unhook the loads, and that person is typically the driver. Another inefficient is found in the complication of all the competing trucking companies. This is partly due to not having precis information on where the truck actually is, in relation to other loads. How far the trucker (and thus the truck) has to drive to get back home. etc. Basically there were many unknowns that will now be tracked and measured by computers, creating the opportunity to stream line.

    Second hit, will be the individuals who own and operate a second vehicle. This is the first effect that I don't think people have really considered. Next time you drive around your neighborhood, look at all the driveways that contain one or even two cars, when the main source of income has already driven to work. Self driving cars will enable people to share vehicles. I can drive to work, then the car can go back home, and one car can serve the purpose that 2 cars currently do. On top of that, people will be able to share cars across the city. Instead of buying a second car, I could buy into a club that will give me access to a second vehicle. Rental cars will take on a whole new roll in our lives.

    Last it will be individuals who drive at all. You driving on the public roads will become illegal. Because you will represent an uncontrolled wild card danger. At first, you will simply be economically punished for driving at all. It won't take insurance companies long to realize that the self driving cars are rarely in the wrong for accidents. Driving is all about playing by the rules, and people simply can't precisely play by the rules. Your in a 45mph zone, you are involved in an accident with a self driving car. It has recorded you going 46mph, while it was doing the speed limit. You were speeding, breaking the rules.. so you will tend to be at fault. You thought you had the right of way..... nope the self driving car recording shows that it got to the stop sign a second before you, and that you didn't actually come to a full stop, while it did. Point is, there will be clarity on what happened, because it will be captured in an indisputable way, and those little fudges that humans make that computers won't .. will make the difference in liability. Making self driving cars cheaper to insure. Also, they will by nature have to play by the rules, and new rules will be provided for them. Like we saw the example where a self driving car hit a woman trying to cross the street. In the future that distinction will be made clearer by the law, namely... you can't get on the street if your not a car in provided areas. Just like trains are never in the wrong for accidents the law will see self driving cars more like trains. Their every action ultimately per-approved by the state.

    Let that last one sink in a bit, because it represents the largest social change that I can imagine. basically illegal to drive...
    When I presented this idea to a good friend of mine, they actually became angry at the idea. Likened it to communism, and objected to the notion that people would allow it to happen. For me, I just see some very powerful economic forces that look like they lead in that direction one way or another.


    Efficiency the market will long for.
    -A road full of self driving cars will be able to give gov and service vehicles basically an open road, as vehicles out of sight will anticipate their arrival and be able to provide clear lanes.
    -Traffic in general will become more regular, with all those milliseconds of human reaction delays taken out of the equation.. a light that lets 4 cars through.. will actually get all 4 cars through, instead of just the one old lady who was busy figuring out if her foot was still on the break.
    -It will take few vehicles to accomplish the task of servicing the needs of families. Making for billions of dollars in savings.
    - more efficient traffic is going to make the tree huggers' orgasm with excitement on saving the planet.
    - Families will be able to afford flexibility on the kind of vehicle they need for that day. Need to move some stuff and want a truck... bam a truck shows up at your door. Is it just you today, bam small sports car shows up. Got your kids and the neighbors for a party... bam! A small bus shows up at your door. All for the low price of 19.99 per month... but wait their more!! Upgrade your service now, and you will get the Jaguar package free!!


    Edit-- One last effect. Your taxes are going to go up. Right now there are many places that pay for their police services through tickets. Speed traps, seat-belt violations etc. Self driving cars are going to eliminate speeding fines. So your taxes are going to go up.


    Who this is going to hurt.
    Truckers, taxi drivers (not companies), car sales, individuals longing for freedom on the open roads. People who break the law.

    Who this is going to help.
    Police, Bikers, everyone in traffic.



    ----
    Discuss!!!
    Am I just way off? What am I missing? Who else will be effected? How will it ultimately effect you?
    Last edited by MindTrap028; September 21st, 2018 at 07:45 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    That's a great break down.

    I think there will be a fair bit of political pushback on driving being illegal, but I agree that the market forces will punish it so much, that it will be close to that, much like smoking. The real detail will be mainstream cars not having the ability to be manually piloted.

    The hardest push back on full adoption are all the vehicles already on the road that are manually driven. That will be a big drag on full adoption in the private consumer world. The more folks that switch, the cheaper manual cars will be in the market until they are all decommissioned.

    Some additional thoughts

    -Recreational driving courses and roads will become a "thing."

    -Elderly and disabled people will have much greater mobility and independence

    -Kids can travel alone in more situations - there may end up being new laws covering how old you can be and be unattended in a car.

    -Insurance will shift from consumers to manufacturers and software developers.

    -Hacked cars will become a common thriller movie trope

    -We will see "container cars" like container ships but small scale for point to point delivery networks

    -This will shake up the delivery and mail industries considerably.

    -That will further erode the idea of traditional stores and further strengthen online retailers.

    -Car features will be more about comfort, style, and entertainment than performance for normal vehicles. Specialized recreation vehicles will still exist though.

    -Poor people will get shafted because they can't afford to upgrade as the rules and regs for driving crackdown. (But being poor pretty well always sucks that way.)

    ---------- Post added at 01:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:26 PM ----------

    And it might make busses make less sense in more situations. Low capacity routes will be replaced by cheaper automated vehicles.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    @ sig.. all good points.
    The big variable is really the time frame. Like, I don't think driving a car will become illegal in the first 5 years, but after 50 years of self driving cars, I think it becomes very likely. As you perceived, the market will naturally naturally tend to decrease the non self driving cars. The last hold outs will be car enthusiasts, and one day we will wake up, and it will only be the "enthusiasts" responsible for 90% of all deaths on the road. Which will create political pressure.. especially when that "traffic jam" that set you back an hour, was due to some crazy old guy, or some rich kid driving a 2010 not "street Legal" hot rod. The ability to "spin" it will be ripe for crazy absurdities to turn public opinion.

    So that really will be the end of the political pressure issue, it is just a matter of time and saturation. Which will lead directly to your point about recreational driving courses being a thing. .. which I am sure will be really cool.


    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    -Poor people will get shafted because they can't afford to upgrade as the rules and regs for driving crackdown. (But being poor pretty well always sucks that way.)
    I think that you will see some push for a "right to a ride". Because transportation will become cheaper overall.
    There will be some calculation done for how many gov cars are required to service the poors need to move around, and it may be found to be affordable in some areas. Like your point about busses. The gov would have an interests in getting the poor to jobs, and DR visits and things, and we already have services to address that. The reality will depend on the economy. There will probably be some stream lining involved, the same gov car that is currently provided for gov positions, could be out doing work for the gov all day, while the legislator is doing his job. .. heck business would probably be able to have huge write offs by using their company cars for the same purpose. I gotta think taking little old ladies to their DR appointment is good PR.

    Basically a car in a parking lot will have a value, or wrather a lost value. And when you think about all those cars in various places.. just sitting there, that can be converted to some kind of income? ..
    I mean, if I was at my job all day, and I could make my car work for me by doing uber or some such.... I would probably do it.

    Over all, I think the poor will see the most improvement on their lives, because the poorest person in a family , will have the opportunity for greater access to their family members cars.
    While it may be a great inconvenience now to lend your car to your dead beat second cousin, if you can send your car to pick him up at 10:00 and be back at your work for 12:00, you may be more inclined to send it on that errand.. especially if you know it is helping him not be poor anymore.
    --
    "Family car" will take on a whole new meaning.

    @ sig, as you are engaged in this discussion.. let me ask you .. In your own immediate family, how much could be saved if you eliminated half of all the second vehicles, and shared them?
    In my immediate family, we have 7 vehicles. Only counting 4 families or house holds.
    I think we could get by with 2 family trucks, and 2 family vans, and one family car. My brother runs a business that requires a truck, dad runs a business that requires a truck, and we have 2 families with kids...
    with 3 less vehicles we could have an increased mobility overall. Which would be several thousand a year in insurance, and that would probably be 80k worth of cars (that is a wild guess).
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  4. #4
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    My immediate family is pretty small. My wife and I only had two cars when we first married since we each had one. Once mine died (she had a Honda so it was inevitable she'd win) we just had one ever since. I think my folks do have two cars, and my sister often borrows one of them. They could probably go down to one car if they were self driving and could return home.

    The biggest personal impact would be (if the tech went back in time) my grandparents. Two of them destroyed cars on a regular basis as they became senile until the government finally took their licenses away and they couldn't afford to get their cars fixed anymore. I know that is an incredibly common story.

    Personally, I really don't like driving much, but I do it all the time because my wife gets really nervous driving. So I'd be super happy to just play games or have conversations while the car takes me where I want to go.

    Come to think of it, I'd probably go places more often, so it may actually increase the time any individual spends on the roads. I have a Prius at the moment and its so darn cheap to drive I hardly think about the cost of going anywhere, just the time and energy committed to driving.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It is time to face the reality that self driving cars are coming soon. Like within the next 20 years soon. Here I will lay out some social side effects I think will occur, and we can discuss others possibilities, and discuss their reasonableness and challenges.
    Agreed, it appears inevitable, but I think that is because of all the positives and seemingly few negatives. I hadn't thought about people not being allowed to drive at some point, but that seems quite likely as well.

    ---------- Post added at 03:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Who it will effect first to last....

    Who this is going to help.
    Police, Bikers, everyone in traffic.
    Though I generally agree with you and Sig on this one, I see this affecting things in all kinds of ways not readily thought about .

    Police (in my state for instance, WA)Wa St Patrol (patrol cars, officers, mgnt and other support staff) may not need to exist at all or at least fewer in numbers.
    Traffic court (judges, bailiffs and all the other support staff, traffic court rooms/bldg.'s) would all be curtailed.

    When marijuana was legalized in WA, our county jail lost over 20% of their yearly revenue. There was talk of not being able to operate it anymore unless they housed more out of town prisoners.
    No more DWI's (& other felony traffic infractions) would also have a profound effect on local as well as statewide police (including emphasis patrols etc).
    Lawyers and their support staff would no longer be needed to defend drug and alcohol related driving offenses. Parole officers and their staff as well. Lawyers also would not be needed for damage claim lawsuits for driving related accidents.

    Hospitals would also notice far fewer emergency room visits (and the accompanying stay, during recovery). This would profoundly affect staffing.
    Huge amounts of emergency, as well as reconstructive surgeries would no longer need be performed. With fewer accidents, physical therapists (and their support staff) and the often months/yrs long therapy can be avoided.

    Tow trucks would still be needed for breakdowns, but no longer for accidents, etc (that being the larger part of their business).
    Auto body shops would dwindle rapidly. Wrecking yards, already disappearing, would have little source for wrecked cars, nor market for used parts.
    Car parts stores would see a dramatic drop in sales due to fewer wrecks and also fewer people customizing cars since likely fewer cars will be owned.
    UPS, Fed Ex, etc, would see a drop in shipments to all of the above business' (from parts to office supplies).

    Insurance co's will take a big hit. No longer able to jack up rates due to a speeding ticket, DWI, etc. With considerably less accidents, rates will have to drop, so revenue would likely drop. Amazon (or some mega co) will pay far less per car for fleets of vehicles than individuals pay per car.

    Govt's will see a drop in tax revenue due to the less revenue each of the above business' will be doing.


    Now, if you are one of the many, many people that will lose your job because of this, it might be hard to get you to agree this is mostly good.
    I believe most of the current jobs are going to disappear soon (waaaay less than 50ys!) due to similar factors (safety, economics, saving needless loss of life, etc) so I don't really look at it as good/bad, but more like acknowledging the obvious and trying to adapt. I personally look forward to self diving cars

  6. #6
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    @ Belthazor.. Those are all very good points. I stopped at the speeding ticket income loss. So taxes will have to go up, but you have added a lot more depth to that line and I think all accurate.

    One thing you hit on, but I really didn't think about, was the effect on our healthcare system. I would think it would help bring the price of care down, as fewer people would have to use services that can't and don't pay for.


    For the world
    http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sh...affic-injuries
    For america
    https://www.statista.com/topics/3708...nts-in-the-us/

    Over all, the less people spend on things that represent losses (broken glass) the more they will have to spend on constructive things. Money not spent on life saving face reconstruction from an accident.. will go to buy a house... or self driving car
    The jobs lost, I guess will go somewhere else. Maybe one less dr will turn into one more engineer?
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  7. #7
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The jobs lost, I guess will go somewhere else. Maybe one less dr will turn into one more engineer?

    Perhaps, though I feel that the "engineer" (most) jobs will be lost to technology as well. This is going to create massive cultural change and how people are going to "earn" a living in the future. Since most tasks are better and cheaper performed by AI and/or robots what are humans to do?

    My altruism says maybe "Star Trek" values, where one just tries to better themselves takes hold, but history leans another direction....

  8. #8
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by BELTHAZOR
    Perhaps, though I feel that the "engineer" (most) jobs will be lost to technology as well. This is going to create massive cultural change and how people are going to "earn" a living in the future. Since most tasks are better and cheaper performed by AI and/or robots what are humans to do?

    My altruism says maybe "Star Trek" values, where one just tries to better themselves takes hold, but history leans another direction....
    I have addressed this issue in the past. I took it from the food production perspective.
    Like, what kind of world do we live in, when no or very, very few humans are involved with the vast majority of food production, from farm to your table.
    As it is, the tractors that plant and collect the grain don't need humans.. or are reaching that point soon.
    There is an economic term for it .. the something something of labor. Squatch had good insights into it.

    I know it isn't the point of the thread, but let me give you opportunity for hope.
    The sewing machine freed up the labor of basically half the human population, by freeing women from the labor intense job of sewing. Before that time, every stitch of fabric in the home was created by the family. So sheets, drapes, cloths. (think about all that you have).
    The same thing happened when tractors replaced mules. Our population went from being majority farmers.. to now a small, small minority of farmers. Because tractors and oil have freed people from that labor.

    That has lead to a vast increase in human quality of life. We shouldn't expect anything different from this new technology. Basically, over and over again, when you free humans from certain labors, they go on to create other labors and the end result is better quality of life for the world.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Mind Trapped by: Self driving Cars, it's social effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I have addressed this issue in the past. I took it from the food production perspective.
    Like, what kind of world do we live in, when no or very, very few humans are involved with the vast majority of food production, from farm to your table.
    As it is, the tractors that plant and collect the grain don't need humans.. or are reaching that point soon.
    There is an economic term for it .. the something something of labor. Squatch had good insights into it.

    I know it isn't the point of the thread, but let me give you opportunity for hope.
    The sewing machine freed up the labor of basically half the human population, by freeing women from the labor intense job of sewing. Before that time, every stitch of fabric in the home was created by the family. So sheets, drapes, cloths. (think about all that you have).
    The same thing happened when tractors replaced mules. Our population went from being majority farmers.. to now a small, small minority of farmers. Because tractors and oil have freed people from that labor.

    That has lead to a vast increase in human quality of life. We shouldn't expect anything different from this new technology. Basically, over and over again, when you free humans from certain labors, they go on to create other labors and the end result is better quality of life for the world.
    Indeed, quality of life in the US took off like a rocket as technology has advanced in the past and as Squatch and I were discussing in another thread, the difference this time is, AI/robots are going to be capable of doing nearly all common jobs. Sure we will probably (though who knows...) always want a human president/leader for instance but most jobs will be performed better/cheaper by AI/robots.
    Agriculture, teaching, medicine, manufacturing, sales, wait staff/checkers, etc, actually I am having difficulty looking for something where humans will still excel compared to AI/robots.
    Perhaps art or entertainment though I much doubt AI/robots will not be acting/producing/camera "man"/etc tv shows and movies, creating paintings, writing poetry, etc.

    If the vast majority of jobs are gone, unless new opportunities open up (and no one has been able to give me any ideas what that might be) that AI/robots can't do better than humans, gov't will be left to take care of people and though I hope for Star Trek, given the growing popularity of "everyone gets a basic income so they would only have to work if they so chose and the sloth of the average American, I can see this going another direction real easily....

    On the other hand, if machines are doing the vast majority of work, all people should be able to enjoy a very high standard of living.

 

 

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