Th Future of Our Cars and Hobby/Passion - Page 5 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #61 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 07:47 AM
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By the time autonomous cars come around, we won't be able to even change the oil or do any sort of minor repairs. I swapped out the alternator on my 2002 Jetta before I sold it. It was a nightmare. I had to remove the front bumper cover and slide the radiator support forward. After buying my Audi, I thought it would be a good idea to install an new serpentine belt. Had the engineers designed just another half inch between the front of the engine and the radiator, it would have been a slam dunk. Another nightmare pulling the front bumper cover and sliding the radiator support forward.
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post #62 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 08:38 AM
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One thing we can be certain about is that prediction is inversely porportionate to time. The further out your prediction the less reliable it is. The most interesting thing about technological innovation is that it creates a dynamism where one innovation can introduce other, completely unanticipated, innovations. Time introduces an exponential factor into social change which can be reliably counted on to defeat the kinds of predictions Bruce just mentioned. Governments often convince themselves that they can control technological innovation through planning and regulation but those efforts often produce spectacular failures (Chair Mao's "Great Leap Forward" comes to mind) at worst and then morph into the stultifying drabness of state socialism at best.

Wind turbines and solar collectors are devastating bird populations, the 55mph speed limit experiment spawned the Escort radar detector which allowed us to drive as fast as we wanted with virtual impunity, automobile emission controls, at first sharply limited horsepower outputs but with sophisticated engine management electronics we now have 500hp Cadillacs. The list goes on and on and, I think, underscores that inescapable fact that human inventiveness is a natural enemy of the state. I am, of course, predicating my comments on the libertarian/conservative position that humans by nature are ill-served by government control. That said, I note that the Mercedes perspective appears to be widely accepted in Europe and elsewhere. It tends to reflect a fact---disturbing to me---that the kind of government control necessary to produce the kind of programmatic changes discussed sort of implies that there doesn't appear to be much room in that kind of society for the concepts of freedom and liberty we now take for granted. Somehow, I have a feeling that we will not go gentle into that good night.
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post #63 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 09:29 AM
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post #64 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 09:33 AM
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post #66 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mygtveloce View Post
I heard just yesterday that CA will begin increasing the width of the dashed white lines separating lanes - from 4 to 6 inches in width - for the purpose of making it easier to develop self driving cars. Apparently the narrow and faded lane markers are a problem for self driving cars.

As a bicycle rider, this news makes me VERY uncomfortable !!

Crazy....just crazy
Don't sweat it. You just need one of those fat tire bikes!

I haven't researched how self driving reacts to snow, especially off a plow at highway speed.

Or people just j walking and grid locking traffic!

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post #67 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Transportation in appliances versus recreational driving. More frequently, my drives are about the drive and not the destination so much. Sometimes no destination or planed route just a "recreational" drive with a hope for a lunch in some roadhouse or taqueria, turning onto county roads just to explore with a vague notion of a route. Sooner or later you pop out in a creekbed, pasture or major road. The whole Texas Hill Country is out my back door and my playground. Even on errands, finding new hidden back roads. The "Sunday" drive; the road trip? Loaded with with camping, beach or skiing gear? In autonomous self-driving cars? With Uber?? Hmmm. Folks in favor of this clearly live in or near cities and do not worry much about such mundane things. Same with driving a small recreational boat. It is rarely about the destination. Tubing/skiing and progressive lunches/dinners with a self-driven boat? Maybe next up is robotic horses. Me and my sex doll on a robotic horse or in an autonomous car . . . . What fun. We are a dying breed. Will our cars die with us, except for the museum-quality cars? As far as engineering, I spent 35 years around and doing that. Engineering produced penicillin and the A-bomb/Fukashima at opposite ends of the spectrum. I once asked a Chinese girl looking for a US husband why communism failed in China; she said, "because it was incompatible with the human spirit". Too often engineers and technocrats forget that truth - the human spirit. Just riffing here . . . .

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post #68 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mygtveloce View Post
I heard just yesterday that CA will begin increasing the width of the dashed white lines separating lanes - from 4 to 6 inches in width - for the purpose of making it easier to develop self driving cars. Apparently the narrow and faded lane markers are a problem for self driving cars.

As a bicycle rider, this news makes me VERY uncomfortable !!

Crazy....just crazy
As I understand it, it's ok for motorcyclist to split lanes in CA. And if you hit some poor soul on a motortcycle while he/she is splitting lanes, it's your fault.

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post #69 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 12:51 PM
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By the time autonomous cars come around, we won't be able to even change the oil or do any sort of minor repairs. I swapped out the alternator on my 2002 Jetta before I sold it. It was a nightmare. I had to remove the front bumper cover and slide the radiator support forward. After buying my Audi, I thought it would be a good idea to install an new serpentine belt. Had the engineers designed just another half inch between the front of the engine and the radiator, it would have been a slam dunk. Another nightmare pulling the front bumper cover and sliding the radiator support forward.
I used to own a 2002 GTI that had the same design. By the time I was done with it, I could get that font clip into the "service position" in 15 minutes flat. Really not bad at all once you get used to it. It is actually a neat design if you need a lot of front-end access. If you are willing to train the coolant, you can have the entire front end off, which gives you all the space in the world.

Of course, I wager most autonomous cars will be electric, which means there will be no oil to change. The only maintenance will be brakes and suspension, but even brake maintenance will be rare with regenerative braking.

As to the thread title itself, I'm less worried. The kinds of people who work on old Alfas are the kinds of people who do cars as a hobby. It's the appliance driving folk that will abandon DIY driving, and those types were never working on their cars in the first place. I'm a millennial who got his driver's license on his 16th birthday.
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post #70 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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As to the thread title itself, I'm less worried. The kinds of people who work on old Alfas are the kinds of people who do cars as a hobby. It's the appliance driving folk that will abandon DIY driving, and those types were never working on their cars in the first place. I'm a millennial who got his driver's license on his 16th birthday.
While gearheads will be around in some fashion but no doubt in significantly diminishing numbers, the concern is what impact all these aforementioned forces (regulatory/legislative, social, technical and economic) will have on their ability to practice the craft: parts, gasoline, road access, insurance, etc. Most seem sanguine about how long it will take to actually play out due to alternate new technologies, rural areas, social uptake, etc..
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post #71 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 10:25 PM
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As I understand it, it's ok for motorcyclist to split lanes in CA. And if you hit some poor soul on a motortcycle while he/she is splitting lanes, it's your fault.
Hence one of the thousands of reasons why I'd never live in California. LOL
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post #72 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 10:58 AM
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This just in recently (as in 7 min ago on Jalopnik).
http://jalopnik.com/moist-warm-human...lot-1797303641
Another fault identified with the autonomous cars is anticipation. Human drivers can tell when someone MAY slip out of a line of cars. They can also tell when there is a likelihood based on one lane backing up and the other one open etc for a lane jumper. Apparently the Tesla did not see the sudden change and the human taking control is what saved the day. Machines are very good at looking at current conditions, but significantly impaired at making predictions, especially for human behavior.

Another thing I was just thinking about is how ANNOYING self-driving cars will be. No reasonable company will engineer their cars to exceed the speed limit, speed up when approaching a light that will go red soon, make risky and fast turns etc. This will be INCREDIBLY MADDENING for those of us who already have issues waiting for the usual conservative slow drivers and long to stretch the legs of our Italian cars when we can. I also predict long lines of evenly spaced cars, making passing a complete impossibility on rural roads.
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post #73 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 12:34 PM
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post #74 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Please see long list of benefits of self-driving cars cited above, posted by others - LINK and LINK2. Many of them make sense, but it depends on WHAT you WANT - total safety(??) or fun/freedom/risk. (It's funny that there are more involuntary deaths due to medical malpractice than "voluntary" by auto accidents. We drove the Furka Pass in an old Giulia recently and one would not do that for low risk.)

This is the future that the usual "progressive" control freak suspects want it for themselves and therefore want for us regardless of what "us" wants. It's for our own good Comrade, for the collective. Like the old 55 mph speed limit and so many other nostrums. I am not trying to make this political but it is inseparable - the "politics" does affect the regulatory and social vectors acting against dino fueled self-driven cars together with technological and economic factors.

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post #75 of 151 (permalink) Old 07-27-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Elsewhere Shell said they anticipate getting out of the fossil fuel business by a date certain, can't find the article, like 2030. When will auto fuel become a boutique item like non-ethanol fuel is now? Fuel for recreational boats or electric also; not happening IMO? I just can't see electric aircraft but who knows.

Oil giant Shell warns public faith in fossil fuel industry is 'disappearing' and calls for carbon taxes | The Independent
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