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I don't think self driving cars will ever happen. Not because self driving will be impossible (which I think it is) but because self driving cars means more cars on our roads, which means more traffic jams, more energy wasted and more pollution and more global warming (please if you want to believe humans cannot affect where they live, can you take that view to the Global Warming thread).

If we are prepared for our driving to be regulated by Big Brother/Government then why not allow ourselves to be regulated into public transport ... which is effectively what a self driving car is.


All this money being spent on self driving cars should be diverted to answering the question on how to make effective and efficient public transport.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #142 (Edited)
I think the ultimate vision at least for cities and suburbs based on the informed discussion is indeed for mass public transit but in autonomous self-driven "pods", not personally owned cars. But perhaps personally owned self-driven cars could be plugged into the system. As explained, they can indeed fit many more commuting people in tighter spaces but deliver people to exact locations and do it quicker, just like vertical high density cities. All Agenda 2030 stuff. No need for carpool, bus depot or commuter-train parking lots as it picks you up and drops you off at your location, like an Uber. This is Jetson's stuff. You are talking about following distances in inches because these pods know what each other is doing, like rear-end crash avoidance but on steroids. Pods crossing intersections with inches between pods with no traffic lights to snarl traffic. Etc. There is no place in this scheme for human driven vehicles. Some yea-sayers are saying within 10 years in some urban places. I enjoy less and less driving into cities. Buses, bikes, pedestrians and gridlock make it a mess. Maybe this might work in the high density city. Not my cuppa in the countryside. I'm waiting to see the death hierarchy algorithms and subsequent governmental indemnity clauses.
 

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Perhaps we should blame the obsession with driverless cars on companies like Toyota for making cars and driving so boring that people would rather sit back and read a newspaper. An autonomous vehicle is the next level of boring from a Camry I think. Toyota will have achieved their ultimate purpose.
 

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I’m firmly in the camp that says we will see self-driving vehicles in widespread use the next 10-20 years. Perhaps in urban areas only, perhaps also on interstate and similar roads.

Why? Because the rate at which we can collect and process data continues to increase at a rapid rate, combine that with machine learning and your working mobile data centre on wheels is almost here.
 

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Discussion Starter #145 (Edited)
The point of this thread it that this is another of the many demographic, cultural, technological, and legislative/regulatory vectors pointing at, especially, old petrol-fueled cars, that will further restrict if not disallow our unfettered use of our old cars eventually limiting it to trailering our cars to rural driving tracks like most do to race courses nowadays. Urban milenials will not know how to drive cars. The government will take care of them, and us. Convert your old-timer to electric (above). Asking, "What is the future our cars, hobby, and passion?"
 

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With information processing becoming ever more sophisticated and invasive, it seems obvious that ideas like freedom and liberty along with individual expression will increasingly be seen as incompatible with political goals institutionalized within a surveillance state. This is something we're already seeing happen in China and, most recently, in Sacramento country which has recently ruled that working on your car in your home shop is unsustainable and therefore much be prohibited.

I like to think that, as with early music lute players (which number quite a number of 20 somethings), that the esthetic of old Alfas will continue to attract a fair number of new gearheads. But enjoyment of early music becomes impossible if lute makers are prohibited from working because to do so involves cutting down sacred trees. Similarly, if the surveillance state decides, as has already been suggested. that individual expression is "unsustainable" then Sacramento county's moral justification for stipulating the kinds and purposes of the tools you use to work on your car---which it has just done---is a entirely logical consequence. What the Sacramento county law just did, of course, is to make those cars like ours which we increasingly find must be serviced by us and us alone incompatible with the kind of society Sacramento politicians envision for their citizens. If there's nobody left we can trust to fix our cars and we're not allowed to fix them ourselves, then they'll just become dust covered ornaments in the forgotten corners of garages.
 

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Discussion Starter #147
Besides the constant drip-drip-drip of busybody encroaching legs and regs on "old polluting dangerous dino-fueled cars" , and technology looking for an application (when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail and when you have technology everything looks like an app, even your car), the demographic and cultural implications alone point to their being unsustainable IMO. Fuel availability among increasing electric cars, indeed even premium fuel, capable mechanics and garages (ever try to find a old radiator repair place in the time of plastic plug and play), parts houses as numbers and demand diminishes, reasonable insurance for "unsafe old cars" compounded by driving in self-driven vehicles, restrictions of places to drive (a la Paris, cities in Holland, London, et al). And on and on as mentioned earlier in this thread. The question is only where and when will it become too difficult to own, maintain and use an older car. Did I say millenials, millenials, millenials? They just want a BJ in the back seat while commuting (hmmm, that might sell some of us). Of course we can move to China where they don't give a crap about environmentalism or Cuba where they will always have old cars. Maybe south America or Mexico. But IMO the western world is doomed w/r/t to them in 20 years..
 

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But IMO the western world is doomed w/r/t to them in 20 years..
Well, change doesn't play favorites so it's entirely possible that we'll see a resurgence social liberalism (the 19th century kind) that is a rejection of the kinds of repressive social policies that are being enacted in the name of "sustainability". In the meantime, the Hill Country beckons, the roads are largely deserted of other cars, my Super is running better than ever, and it only takes me about 15min to get Out There.
 

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I have perfect Alfa driving hill country 15 minutes away too, along with some of Australia’s best wineries. We are indeed blessed Jim.
 

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Discussion Starter #150
Well, change doesn't play favorites so it's entirely possible that we'll see a resurgence social liberalism (the 19th century kind) that is a rejection of the kinds of repressive social policies that are being enacted in the name of "sustainability". In the meantime, the Hill Country beckons, the roads are largely deserted of other cars, my Super is running better than ever, and it only takes me about 15min to get Out There.
Indeed, and as you know it's right outside my back door. Got stuck behine this lot for quite a few miles on a narrow road the other day. See you for lunch in Blanco later today. Might as well enjoy them while we can. B
 

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If only the cyclists I get stuck behind looked like that. Ours are pretty much all men in Lycra.
 

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An outright ban on sale of diesel, petrol or hybrid cars proposed in the UK by 2035 - just 15 years away.

But I really don't think that presages the death of our hobby. Driving old cars will still be permitted and as mentioned elsewhere because old car use is already relatively small scale I see city bans actually being rolled back for them. When 98% of vehicles being driven for 99% of the miles covered are electric then a noisy old Alfa being driven for a few thousand miles a year really isn't going to affect the city environmental footprint.

There will still be interest in the aesthetics, sound and feel of an old car but I see the really desirable cars becoming even more desirable - most Alfa classics fall in that bracket.
 

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Cool a Tesla battery pack in my Alfa Romeo spider,250 miles range,and eyeballs flatting acceleration. --- big time cool and cost less than 5$ to change
Even more cool
 

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I will drive my Alfas until I have to give up my driver's license and will probably live long enough to see the end of the gasoline powered cars. I believe that electric cars will replace the gas cars in the future just like the gas cars replaced the horse and buggy. I see that 2040 as a possible ban for gas and diesel powered cars in many countries.
 

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Discussion Starter #155
While a more short-to-mid-term impact, corona is here and markets, fuel, loans, the economy and jobs will be roiled for a while. Who knows what the long-term impacts will be on things like globalism and enegy and the willingness to buy luxury items in an aging populaiton. Hagerty discusses this here: What the coronavirus outbreak means for the collector car market
 
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