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Why you have (probably) already bought your last car

Discussion in 'Motoring Related Discussion' started by Srdl, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Srdl

    Srdl Senior Member

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  2. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Senior Member

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    Not a particularly well thought out article IMO. The article brushes over a lot of potential issues.
     
  3. Yugguy

    Yugguy Senior Member

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    This summer we holidayed in a beautiful but tiny Cornish village, very narrow, convoluted streets.

    I'd love to see a fleet of driverless cars trying to get round there.

    As to Uber etc., unless there is always one 5 seconds away from wherever I am 24 hours a day, I'll stick to owning my own car thanks.

    As per usual, great for cities where all the people who think these things up live, not so good elsewhere.

    I could happily have an electric car for my commute though, with a charging point at home.

    As to the article, MASSIVE logic flaw in those pictures. Yes the horse has gone, but it has simple been replaced with another form of self-driven transport.
     
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  4. dry run

    dry run Senior Member

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    Having just sold my last car and bought another, I was amazed at the amount of "essential items" I was carrying around with me. The thought of having to take all that with me everytime I wanted to hop in a driverless car is horrendous.

    Anyway, I LIKE driving. I don't much want to be driven. :)
     
  5. davemercedes

    davemercedes Senior Member

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    As srdl said, the comparison photographs from 1900 to 1908 which showed the almost overnight disappearance of the horse and carriage really focus one's attention. flowrider99 is also correct that the article brushes over a lot if issues but taken in conjunction with the move away from car ownership (i.e.: to lease plans) and technical developments such as electric vehicles, the next ten years or so will shape the following fifty. For vehicle manufacturers as we know them today it's a forthcoming period of immense risk - get it right and there are fortunes to be made, get it wrong and everything will go down the tubes.

    btw: like dryrun I used to like driving but between congestion, speed camera-tills and road "calming!" schemes that infuriate more than they help, I'm afraid that sadly, driving for pleasure is a dying pastime. And I didn't even mention rip-off insurance costs!
     
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  6. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    1. The rate of increase of driverless technology vs. human driver is massively smaller than the difference to the driver between horse-and-buggy and Ford Model A (NOT Model T). The technological and legal challenges that driverless cars must overcome make the comparison with 1908-1913 meaningless. Both horses and drivers can recognise the environment around them. Driverless cars really struggle to, like it's the major issue for AI in general is the perception of the physical world.

    2. Uber have huge problems already with their business model. Ask TfL or the Singaporean Parliament. In the long term it is quite likely to be unsustainable, as soon as various governments force them to recognise Uber drivers as employees, and pay them holiday & sick pay. This has another aspect by the way which is the push to make cars rentable by the hour/ day/ journey rather than be owned.

    3. EVs have problems other than actually building them and having them adopted widestream. Not least of which is the mains electricity generating plant capacity & distribution infrastructure of the nations in question. Swapping the global vehicle fleet over to pure electric will require an increase in generating capacity of slightly more than a new USA's worth of plant. That's saying nothing of distribution capacity down to domestic property level. Making the cars range-extended hybrids will reduce this somewhat but will still put reliance

    In the 1880s there was huge pressure for new housing to be built in terms of what we would today call "pods", that is rentable by the day/ week/ month, self-contained and fully furnished/ equipped so that people could quickly move from one area to the other and be able to quickly move into a clean, hygienic and safe living area to do whatever they wanted for however long they wanted to do it. It would be cheaper to rent because the housing would be built by governments and subsidised. Only, it didn't work in any way. People wanted more and more to own their homes and that trend increased over time, not decreased.
     
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  7. davemercedes

    davemercedes Senior Member

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    I think that (quote from your post above, Craig) 'the push to make cars rentable by the hour/ day/ journey rather than be owned.'... is probably the most significant part of this.

    As a cash-driven example, I struggle each year to justify keeping SWMBOs car as the usage and mileage is still dropping but she maintains she wants independence while on the other hand wanting me to drive everywhere... mainly because she doesn't actually like driving. I gave up trying to work out the mechanics of that mind 40 years ago! As it is, I've just coughed up £315 in road tax and it's in for MOT and a "check all levels" service today.

    I'm sure this is a situation a lot of other people have as well and I'm seriously questioning the drain of this low usage vehicle ownership when a few taxi rides during the year would be a massive reduction. It follows that there may be a time when I feel the same way about owning any car when taxi rides and the odd car hire or train journey may well work out cheaper and less bother. There must be many who fall into a similar usage category and are effectively wasting their hard-earned by owning a car.

    Your point about Uber is very valid too.
     
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  8. Taffy7hfa

    Taffy7hfa Senior Member

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    Back in the mid 70s the coming IT revolution promised us a "paperless office", well we've had the IT revolution...still no sign of the paperless office though. (Substitute "paperless office" for "driverless car" ;))
     
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  9. Westheath

    Westheath Senior Member

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    I think the combustion engine will remain,
    just the fuel type will change to Hydrogen.
     
  10. GLK

    GLK Senior Member

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    Because I'm broke, and can't afford a new one? o_O
     
  11. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

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    I work from home now and a lot of the cars around me seem to be barely used - the cost per mile of owning and operating those vehicles must be ridiculous.

    One thing I'll be glad to get away from when/if the time comes is damage done by others while parked. My wife's Tiguan now has 5 quite significant areas of damage, and that's even with rubber bumpers stuck on the sides, which judging by the chunks taken out of them have certainly saved it a few times.
     
  12. OP
    Srdl

    Srdl Senior Member

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    Presumably a fleet of small driverless pods to ferry you from your front door to the Uner station outside the village would work!

    I wonder what the horse breeders were saying when the first cars hit the road?

    We all know Henry Ford's quote about market research “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would just have said faster horses”



    The idea that really startled me was “The logical next step will be for human beings to be banned from driving cars at all because they pose such a risk to other road users.”
     
  13. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    They're trying that, it's not proving to be viable due to the fuel density required. What seems to be more viable is an EV using a fuel cell; Nissan are spearheading that but they cannot make a fuel cell of viable power output for <$12k at the moment, which is limiting it to a development project only...
     
  14. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    The difference between a drivered (?) car and a driverless car is not the same as between a horse and a car. Those two paradigms are just not compatible. A car (any car) allows you to, at no notice and for no great cost per journey, jump in and drive anywhere you want to go, to the tune of hundreds of miles. You can stay warm and safe, you can drive at night and you can cover dozens of miles per hour all while arriving without feeling too knacked (unless you have an Audi :D ). It needs feeding every journey and a trip to the garage every so often, and a wash whenever one can be bothered. A horse, in contrast, can reliably walk 25 miles per day while carrying you and some small luggage stored in saddlebags, exposed to the elements. It needs frequent feeding of very carefully selected fodder, it needs close supervision quite often, visits to or from the vets and medication, it can;t be worked too hard lest it lay down and die. It's subject to attack by all sorts of things from flies to equine encephalitis.

    Cost of horse (USD, 1908): $200
    Cost of carriage: $400

    Cost of Ford Model T (1908 introduction): $950
    Cost of Ford Model A (1924): $300

    So while the Model T on its introduction in 1908 was 1/3 more than the cost of acquisition of a new horse and buggy, by 1924 it was almost half (by 1919 the Model A had actually fallen below $200, but the Great Depression saw its cost rise before stabilising). That alone explains why the photo in question shows such marked contrast. In addition the Model A was just far more usable than a horse and buggy for the reasons I've already outlined.

    (By the way, I'd also like to see a similar comparison of a British street from those two periods. I strongly suspect you'd see few cars and many trams... does that mean that the future is buses?)

    The next question is, what does a driverless car allow us to do that a drivered car does not? Work? Eat breakfast? Have a really good rummage up one's schnozz? What I keep getting told is, it allows us to become more efficient. The assumption is that the majorioty of people currently sat behind the wheel will be able to fit more work into their day. But that makes significant assumptions about one's job..............

    The other thing that the BBC- the not at all liberal leftie BBC, mark you- article makes is of next steps. Well, those steps are controlled by governments and governments are controlled by voters. And really, all it will take is the next Trump (or even THIS Trump) to step in and stop all the driverless nonsense. It will only happen if people want it to, ultimately.
     
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  15. ajlsl600

    ajlsl600 Senior Member

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    fairly sure yr right... tech that aint simple dont last... just about everything i have ,and my mates have with OTT tech fails in many cases its just another ,different mouth in the food chain that has to be paid for thus keeping us all consumers ,like it or not !.. frankly thats how I see MOST tech.
     
  16. Westheath

    Westheath Senior Member

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    Toyota Honda and Hyundai have them in limited production for the last 4 years so they are out there already.

    Finding somewhere to refuel is probably going to be the bigger problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  17. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Refuelling is easy, you have a mains tap, just need an account with BOC! :D

    Toyota have sold 3,000.
    Honda have sold 2,500 (including PHEV and EV variants).
    Hyundai won’t release figures on the IX35 FCEV sales.

    I know for a solid fact that Toyota are making a dead loss on each sale. Yes, the cars are out there but until a certain research facility in Spain makes some cost breakthroughs that they’re frankly not expecting any time soon, they’ll remain not business viable to build no matter what volume effect comes into play.
     
  18. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    It allows for the concept of on demand vehicles. Extending the concept of leasing into driverless cars allows the idea of pools of driverless vehicles available on demand to subscribers. The amount paid could reflect the class of vehicle or you could subscribe to multiple classes of vehicle as your requirements dictate. This could mean that on the weekend you have access to an estate car for tip runs. Week days a small commuter car and for long distance a large S Class style vehicle. These could be charged by the mile/hour/day as required. As the vehicle is driverless you just call up the required vehicle using an app on your phone.
    Far fetched? Well cost of ownership should be dramatically reduced as you would no longer have a vehicle sitting doing nothing 90% of the time - you only pay what you use. The car becomes a utility charge. Think it won't happen? For those in IT look at AWS and the whole infrastructure as a service model where you can add or remove IT capacity at the click of a mouse (for those not in IT trust me - it's happening and this year I was made redundant as the company I worked for moved everything to AWS and no longer had need of IT staff). The move to AWS style cloud based systems has happened extremely quickly - in just 5 years there is an estimated 80% of businesses now operating at least part of their IT in the cloud from virtually none 5 years ago.
    Are car manufacturers looking at this? Too tight they are. JLR (I have a contact there) is looking at exactly this idea that no-one will own a car and that driverless cars are the enabler for this. They are pouring development into the technology and anyone spending time in the Midlands will sooner or later encounter one of their test vehicles (they've been conducting live trials on UK roads since November and have made huge progress). I would expect them to have full retail driverless tech available inside 10 years if not less.

    The automotive world is about to change dramatically.
     
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  19. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    So in conclusion single yoof living in city, no kids gets ill thought article past editor (another yoof)

    Those living in the sticks with three kids and fag habit need not get past the headline.

    We will be buying them one way or the other for some time.

    Uber is a big fail waiting to happen its far too easy to copy and Mr Google et al are already on their tail.
    Why should anyone pay them a cut ?
     
  20. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    I'm not much of a one for gambling, but I'm not so sure.

    I know what the automotive world is upto (I know you know I know ;) ). I also know the inherent difficulties that driverless cars have. Roads are identified via solid white lines and/ or kerbs. THe whole system falls apart where the white lines are dirty and there are no kerbs. Not too long ago I was working with a lighting manufacturer trying to build LIDAR into their headlamps to solve this problem- they couldn't, because the difference in return between a soft verge and a broken kerb is minimal. It turns out that the human ability to perceive the world far surpasses a machine's ability to perceive it.

    What the engineers have managed so far are to get cars that work on around 85% of the typical (Western) roads. It's the Pareto principle at work, the remaining 15% of roads are proving very challenging. And those are only for roads in (supposedly) developed countries <coughNORTHANTScough>. Go to Africa, India, hell drive 100 miles out of Moscow and you'll come to unmetalled roads where driverless cars have no current design solution to be able to perceive a road.

    So, that addresses the drivered/ driverless issue. Ownership..?

    Now, a car is as much a status symbol as it is a means of transportation. Getting one up on the Joneses- Carl, if you're around, that's entirely different to going two's up on the Joneses. Having one parked outside demonstrates to the world, to some degree, one's level of wealth. That's not something that people are willing to give up once attained; a car is as much if not more an emotive purchase than it is a cold hard cash equation. So, I have a big issue with the concept of ride-hailing taking over from owning (or leasing, or PCP'ing, or whatever financial instrument you wish to name) a car. Now, one can plot this- where has ride-hailing (or robohailing) taken off? Densely-populated urban centres, where the ability to distribute pools of vehicles around a fairly small land area allows for the hailing service to reach a customer in the order of minutes. Translate that to suburban- the time stretches out (I saw this happen in Amsterdam. City centre depot to city centre, 5 minutes wait. City centre depot to suburbs, 25 minutes.) Increased journey-to-client duration requires increased vehicle fleet sizes to maintain service levels for any given level of demand. So the question then comes, how much will fleet handling companies be willing to invest to maintain a service (and what will they charge) versus what the client will be willing to pay as a tradeoff with the client taking on the cost of owning and/ or maintaining his/her own car, dependent on the financial instrument in play (see what I did there?) and service/ maintenance package offered. Then throw in the emotion of having a "something" and the convenience of having that "something" available on your driveway as opposed to having to order one, even if it is by an app. This really isn't an easy equation at all.
     
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