From Buzzfeed via Gruber:

Cars are giant, inefficient, planet-and-people-killing death machines. Self-driving cars — especially if they are operated as fleets and you only use one when you need it, summoning it Uber-style — would mean we could have fewer vehicles per person, less traffic congestion, less pollution, far fewer vehicles produced per year (thus lowering the environmental impact of production), and, best of all, safer streets. The blind, people with epilepsy, quadriplegics, and all manner of others who today have difficulty ferrying themselves around as they go through the mundanities of an average day will be liberated. Eliminating the automobile’s need for a human pilot will be a positive thing for society.

I can't quite figure out why the tech media thinks self-driving cars are quite as inevitable as they make out. Even if I pretend that the engineering hurdles for self-driving cars are all solved, I can still think of a fair number of reasons they wouldn't catch on.

  • You're going to have a hard time "convincing" each state legislature that they should be legal.
    • Why? Because driverless means fewer, and car companies are going to lobby like crazy against them. From the article:
    • Self-driving cars — especially if they are operated as fleets and you only use one when you need it, summoning it Uber-style — would mean we could have fewer vehicles per person...
  • At the start, they'll be new, higher-end vehicles.
    • Folks that buy used cars will be waiting... a long time.
  • Not everyone lives in an urban area, and the more rural, the longer you're waiting for Uber et al to show up.
  • How long before we're brave enough for cars to take our kids to school for us while we stay at home or work?

I can't tell how big a deal folks liking to drive will be. I mean, I love to drive, but I also love the time riding the train buys me back to get some work done. I've got to guess the first several generations will have steering wheels in most models as well, just like the one in Demolition Man -- and don't forget that Stallone exhibits ye olde machismo by driving manually later.

Doesn't the movie end with him in a '70 442 W-30? (Why yes, yes it does.)

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