1559: "Driving"

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:05 pm UTC

With unoccupied self-driving cars, would there still be any legal difference between parking and standing? My understanding is that the legal difference now is that a standing vehicle, while at a stop, is occupied by a driver and able to drive away at a moment's notice, while a parked vehicle is unattended. If the car is self-driving, would it then never be "parked", legally speaking, and always be either driving or merely standing?

I'm not certain if double-"standing" (like double parking but with the second, "illegally parked" vehicle occupied and able to drive away at a moment's notice) is even currently illegal. If it's not, then a self-driving car could just, if there's nowhere to stop permanently, stop temporarily, legally standing places for a while, moving again when needed to not impede the movement of other vehicles. I don't thinks standing requires the engine to be running, so this wouldn't mean your car's just out there idling for hours, wasting fuel and wearing the engine down.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:07 pm UTC

ctdonath wrote:
Whizbang wrote:If a car gets a signal to pick someone up, but is blocked by other self driving cars, it could transmit a "I need to leave now" signal to nearby cars, which would then move out of the way, then shuffle back into the available parking space.


The image of a parking lot stuffed full of self-driving cars, no discernible aisles, with waves of vehicles shifting in their minuscule given spaces as they shuffle out of each other's way as individual vehicles come & go.
Woah.



Well, yeah, there'd need to be something to limit it, like "no more than two deep" or something. They have pretty good sensors, so this should be doable.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Heimhenge » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:52 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Parking routines would definitely be limited by driving time. Staight-line distances would be meaningless. There would likely be a formula used that preferred closer parking spaces and had a hard limit at certain distances away, after which it turns around and re-searches the same area for a valid parking space. It would never be more than a few minutes' drive time away from you (assuming a default behavior of "park nearby". You could potentially give it different instructions). Of course, it could spend the entire 9 hours just circling around looking for a parking space, but I imagine the algorithm produced after field testing would be robust enough to find at least one valid spot within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, I am sure current self driving cars are capable of this, or very close if not.

An SDC would also benefit from a travel route algorithm that uses only right turns. This has been shown to reduce overall gas & time consumption significantly ... at least to the point where UPS is now using it on all their routes. I guess it's mainly about avoiding idle time at traffic lights, which apparently trumps the increased distance. I gotta start trying that. Traffic in Phoenix sucks.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby dimochka » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:04 pm UTC

There are already numerous discussions about how different laws would work when there is no driver in the car (whose fault would infractions be - software provider, vehicle manufacturer, vehicle owner, etc). Same goes for insurance.

As far as knowing where parking spots are, we're nearly there. Concepts of smart cities are being developed as we speak. Like in Barcelona.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Coyoty » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:17 pm UTC

Never mind self-driving cars. How long before On-star hackers provide remote chauffeuring and upset Uber and Lyft drivers as well as cabbies?

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:24 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Whizbang wrote:
petz wrote:
Diadem wrote:I'd love to be able to get out in the middle of a city and tell my car "Find some place to park and pick me up again at 6". That would be awesome.


And at 6 you find out, that it drove 200km to another city and back to find a parking spot.


You're right. There is no way that the programmers of a self-driving car could prevent this.


The question is not whether they could, but how long it'll take them to figure out that they should...

Less time than before Randall posted this comic.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby BlitzGirl » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:40 pm UTC

ctdonath wrote:
Whizbang wrote:If a car gets a signal to pick someone up, but is blocked by other self driving cars, it could transmit a "I need to leave now" signal to nearby cars, which would then move out of the way, then shuffle back into the available parking space.


The image of a parking lot stuffed full of self-driving cars, no discernible aisles, with waves of vehicles shifting in their minuscule given spaces as they shuffle out of each other's way as individual vehicles come & go.
Woah.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby ucim » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:31 pm UTC

Self-driving-friendly parking lots could broadcast the availability (and forecast availability) of parking spaces, and self-driving cars could bid for them before driving to them.

This could actually be done right now - a garage could have spaces that you'd pre-pay the parking fee for, and the space would be available for you when you get there and swipe your CC to prove it's the same person as the one that reserved it. People might overstay (making the space actually unavailable for the next renter or calling for a tow), but robots could be programmed to simply exit when time's up.

Self driving cars would know where that space is and how to get there, something people are not very good at.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby gimmespamnow » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:08 am UTC

keithl wrote:
gimmespamnow wrote:So why do I own a car? Simple answer: Girls. If you say "I don't own a car" to most middle class woman in my city, they assume you have too many drunk driving arrests, (nope, they won't let you rent those cars if you have any,) or are really poor, or something else is "wrong" with you. (It is only slightly better than saying "I live with my mom.")
Ah, an entrepreneurial opportunity! Howzabout I buy a luxury car, and sell gentlemen like you $50 shares in it? I keep it in the garage of a fancy apartment building, and nobody gets to drive it. "Owners" can truthfully claim "I prefer to use shared cars for environmental reasons, so I keep my Mercedes parked in my reserved spot at 101 RitzyDigs Place." Eco-points AND wealth points!

The "girls" will find out eventually, but if they are impressed by such status symbols, they aren't keepers. You should only give your heart to intelligent women who read XKCD, and value your witty postings.


The ones I date aren't looking for "status symbols" exactly, they are looking for a guy that can go the 100km to the mountains or the beach, without them having to drive all the time, (since they themselves own cars.) The question comes up because I generally ride my bicycle, so I have a helmet and bag with a flat repair kit on me and I show up for a drink after work with that: being a bike commuter is fine with the women I want to go on a second date with, but they know a certain number of bicyclists don't own cars, so they ask the question... I say yes, we move on: they never ask what kind, (a 17 year old one to be exact,) and they probably should ask that question because I could easily own an electric car that doesn't have the range to go to the beach, (so big eco-points, but actually totally useless.) They generally don't know much about the shared cars, (why would they need to know? They own cars themselves.) If I have to explain all the details on depreciation/insurance/parking/etc (and that since I know about the shared cars I sometimes drive a shared one to a bar and then take a taxi home,) for 10 minutes, that is kind of a mood killer for the first date, and that drives a certain number of people away, (not just the gold diggers.)

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby dg61 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:10 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:
gimmespamnow wrote:
Spoiler:
Whizbang wrote:Also, before long, community vehicles will become a wide-spread thing, at least for city dwellers. Why buy a car when a simple call/text can have one come pick you up and deliver you to your destination at any time? More rural communities will likely continue to see car owners, however, as needing a car quickly for short trips will often make calling and waiting for a car a hassle.


I live in a city where it is possible to rent cars, one way, by the minute, with a smartphone app. Sometimes you have to walk a few blocks to pick one up since they don't drive themselves, (if you want a taxi I have an app for that too,) but that time is already here... So why do I own a car? Simple answer: Girls. If you say "I don't own a car" to most middle class woman in my city, they assume you have too many drunk driving arrests, (nope, they won't let you rent those cars if you have any,) or are really poor, or something else is "wrong" with you. (It is only slightly better than saying "I live with my mom.") Of course, I don't want to date "most" women, but still, it is just easier to be able to say "yes, I own a car" then explain why that isn't actually a big deal, on the first date.


Well, sure, there is a social element to it. Right now, NOT owning a car is unusual. But as more and more people see the economical advantages of foregoing ownership, it will become less of a Big Deal. There is also an element of "I need my independence" or "I don't want the government tracking my moves" or "I don't trust these robot cars" or any number of other objections. My feeling is that these objections will be slowly overridden for the majority as the convenience of it wins them over.


Also, a lot of these arguments for a carless future apply really only to dense urban areas where you have a lot of people who need a car for short distances somewhat irregularly but don't need a car for everything. If you're dealing with most suburbs, it can be very, very hard at best to get by without owning a car because basically nothing is walkable. A "one-way car rental" service is rather harder to sustain when you need that car for basically anything.

Also re: bike commuting-that is its own kind of status symbol itself soo.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby ucim » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:20 am UTC

gimmespamnow wrote:but they know a certain number of bicyclists don't own cars, so they ask the question...
"No, but I have my finger on 693 cars that do my bidding. Where would you like to go?"

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:23 am UTC

dg61 wrote:Also, a lot of these arguments for a carless future apply really only to dense urban areas where you have a lot of people who need a car for short distances somewhat irregularly but don't need a car for everything. If you're dealing with most suburbs, it can be very, very hard at best to get by without owning a car because basically nothing is walkable. A "one-way car rental" service is rather harder to sustain when you need that car for basically anything.


That's largely an artifact of US zoning laws and cultural history - here in the UK, the phrase "residential suburb" is pretty much meaningless - any gathering of houses large enough to support one has a shop within 20 minutes walk - more often than not, within 10. The idea of having sprawling areas of nothing but houses is (literally!) completely foreign here.

When your standard pattern of urban development involves distributed services, with schools and shops within walking distance of everyone, it becomes a lot less crazy-sounding to have a car be something you rent/borrow from time to time rather than something you use twice a day (or more) just to do your daily activities...

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby addams » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:58 am UTC

crypto engineer wrote: I might also want to leave my stuff in the car over periods longer than one ride.

ce

This.

In the US, a car often vacillates between being a rolling purse and a rolling garbage can.
I doubt that will change.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby KarenRei » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:03 am UTC

Am I the only one who found Anchorage a rather tame destination? At least send the car to Bahia Lapataia, Argentina - preferably after it learns to fuel itself. If the car would learn to take ferries, that might open up some interesting possibilities (though unfortunately there's no car ferries to *really* fun places like Antarctica, Svalbard, Heard Island, etc ;) ). Other possibilities would be to send it to an exceedingly dangerous location for the car, such as a Caracas ghetto, the Yungas Death Road, an address deep inside a sensitive US military facility, or maybe simply "backlot of the nearest car compactor".

Ooh, thought: you could send the car to a shipping facility and reserve a container for it to be shipped overseas - then you can get it to really fun locations ;) Having sent a car overseas before, I didn't have to pay anything upfront (much to my surprise), I was just billed after the car got there.

(Owner opens up cell app and pages car) "I'm sorry, but I can't find a route from Longyearbyen to your current location." (Wha...?)

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby RogueCynic » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:03 am UTC

dimochka wrote:
Whizbang wrote:
petz wrote:
Diadem wrote:I'd love to be able to get out in the middle of a city and tell my car "Find some place to park and pick me up again at 6". That would be awesome.


And at 6 you find out, that it drove 200km to another city and back to find a parking spot.


You're right. There is no way that the programmers of a self-driving car could prevent this.

Not necessarily true. With technology that essentially exists today, a sensor in your car keys or phone would guide the car to park within an X mile radius from where the passenger is. Sure, we can't have the car roam the streets by itself yet (partially due to legality / safety), but in order to set this radius all you need is a GPS locator and measure the distance between the phone and the car.


I used to work for a bank which tried telling customers where the nearest atm was from the atm they were currently at. If you asked for the closest atm while in Provincetown, Ma, it would send you to Boston.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:14 am UTC

ctdonath wrote:
Whizbang wrote:If a car gets a signal to pick someone up, but is blocked by other self driving cars, it could transmit a "I need to leave now" signal to nearby cars, which would then move out of the way, then shuffle back into the available parking space.


The image of a parking lot stuffed full of self-driving cars, no discernible aisles, with waves of vehicles shifting in their minuscule given spaces as they shuffle out of each other's way as individual vehicles come & go.
Woah.

If the cars can move sideways, you could pack them in 15-puzzle style, but I guess shuffling the cars around like that is a bit wasteful of fuel.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby KarenRei » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:47 pm UTC

Hmm, two new ones:

(In mid to late May, if the vehicle can refuel itself): "Point Thomson, Alaska" (it's connected by an ice road across Prudhoe Bay, which generally melts around the end of May and doesn't reopen until late in the year). An even worse one might be "Jericho Diamond Mine"; it's on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road which is only open for about 8 weeks starting at the end of January, and is arguably even more middle-of-nowhere (despite being closer to the continental US).

(Any time of year, if the owner of the vehicle is going to be gone for a while and the vehicle can refuel itself): "Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina...."

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby brandbarth » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:33 pm UTC

And then this ninity-foot high half-car-half-sentient-boulder creature weighing 600 tons came out of the blinding fog, and we fought and fought with it, using our spears, and finally killed it.

Take me to Boulder, Colorado. :roll:

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:05 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Parking routines would definitely be limited by driving time. Staight-line distances would be meaningless. There would likely be a formula used that preferred closer parking spaces and had a hard limit at certain distances away, after which it turns around and re-searches the same area for a valid parking space. It would never be more than a few minutes' drive time away from you (assuming a default behavior of "park nearby". You could potentially give it different instructions). Of course, it could spend the entire 9 hours just circling around looking for a parking space, but I imagine the algorithm produced after field testing would be robust enough to find at least one valid spot within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, I am sure current self driving cars are capable of this, or very close if not.

An SDC would also benefit from a travel route algorithm that uses only right turns. This has been shown to reduce overall gas & time consumption significantly ... at least to the point where UPS is now using it on all their routes. I guess it's mainly about avoiding idle time at traffic lights, which apparently trumps the increased distance. I gotta start trying that. Traffic in Phoenix sucks.

Most modern cars here in Europe shut their engine down when idling. Restarting the engine has become reliable and fast enough.
UPS drives ancient tech trucks, barely more modern than a T-ford, so they probably save a lot.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Eshru » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:18 pm UTC

After watching a special about these little robots moving heavy shelf units about in a warehouse I think parking is the easiest problem facing the self driving autos. As long as you keep people out of the parking areas, that is.

Addams, you continue to be my favorite poster in these forums.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby keithl » Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:56 pm UTC

addams wrote:In the US, a car often vacillates between being a rolling purse and a rolling garbage can.
... The squirrel inside will be the same old monkey.
The self-driving car universe (which we may not live in, monkeys have better kinesthetic and social recognition skills than the engineers who design robots) offers new ways to carve up the transportation task.

My favorite is to disintermediate the rolling garbage can from the mover. Imagine a motorless, minimal weight box that resembles the passenger compartment of an automobile. It connects to devices that look like fat motorcycles that act like horses - electric motors and big battery packs and computers.

Your motorless carriage (A.K.A. rolling garbage can) sits in your driveway. When your smart house detects that you are preparing to go somewhere, the herd of slowly roving autonomous electric horses nudges one or two in your direction, of the breeds (Chevron, BP?) you've chosen in the past. As you emerge from your house, obviously intent on using your "car", an electric horse veers of the street, approaches your carriage, and offers to pull you where you want to go. After you are pulled to your destination and you emerge, your carriage (much lighter and smaller than a full automobile) is forklifted up into an empty nest box in a garage. The horse heads off to a nearby barn for recharging, diagnosis, and repair if necessary. The barn gets megawatt service from the power company - your home or office do not need that.

Long distance trips - change horses in midstream! Herds of electric horses travel their special lane beside the engaged horses and carriages, and a fresh horse takes the place of depleted one. Because the horses are narrow like motorcycles, their "lane" can be a meter wide, and segregated from the carriage traffic. They can even travel the sewer and storm drain tunnels under a city.

In accidents, the horses peel off from the carriages and dodge, while the occupied carriages, vectored away from each other, deploy airbags, then drop to the ground and skid on their bellies to a stop. Attentive humans are probably necessary for maximal multifactor avoidance of accidents, but when the fit hits the shan, it would be nice to engage a LOT of supercomputing to calculate vectors and figure out how to sort out all the hurtling metal and meat into optimally decellerating, non-intersecting trajectories.

I am disturbed by the "full autonomous" fantasy of electric cars; evolution does not work by jumps. People evolved for dynamic prediction and social negotiation, a big part of safe driving. Our roadways and vehicles evolved adaptively to human strengths and frailties. Computers can compensate for many of those frailties, but they cannot duplicate all the strengths, yet. We know hardly anything about the brain, but we do know that the tiny bits called consciousness and logic are small epiphenomena on a vastly larger collection of highly parallel and redundant kinesthetic reaction hardware, evolved for almost a billion years to survive. Our best bet is to learn what each computation domain is good at, and optimally combine them.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Quercus » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:08 pm UTC

keithl wrote:My favorite is to disintermediate the rolling garbage can from the mover. Imagine a motorless, minimal weight box that resembles the passenger compartment of an automobile. It connects to devices that look like fat motorcycles that act like horses - electric motors and big battery packs and computers.


What happens if I spend a lot of my time walking around the city where I live (I'm in Europe where this is actually practical), so don't always want to travel from my home where my motorless carriage is? Can I ride an electric horse like an actual horse? If so I'm fully in favour.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:09 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
dg61 wrote:Also, a lot of these arguments for a carless future apply really only to dense urban areas where you have a lot of people who need a car for short distances somewhat irregularly but don't need a car for everything. If you're dealing with most suburbs, it can be very, very hard at best to get by without owning a car because basically nothing is walkable. A "one-way car rental" service is rather harder to sustain when you need that car for basically anything.


That's largely an artifact of US zoning laws and cultural history - here in the UK, the phrase "residential suburb" is pretty much meaningless - any gathering of houses large enough to support one has a shop within 20 minutes walk - more often than not, within 10. The idea of having sprawling areas of nothing but houses is (literally!) completely foreign here.

When your standard pattern of urban development involves distributed services, with schools and shops within walking distance of everyone, it becomes a lot less crazy-sounding to have a car be something you rent/borrow from time to time rather than something you use twice a day (or more) just to do your daily activities...


Zoning laws are still wild. You can have lots next door to each other that are functionally identical, but zoned differently, and worth differing amounts of money as a result. It's crazy.

But, from a transportation perspective, there's also just a simple scale issue. The US is *big*. Rural UK life looks pretty dense compared to a lot of rural US areas. Things like popping over to the next major town, or driving in to town if you live in the country, are not necessarily bike-friendly or whatever. Sure, if you live in a city, you can get by without a car, but...even that carries heavy limitations. They're always the folks bumming rides for office luncheons or the like. You've got to have *someone* to bum the rides from, so universal carlessness isn't really on the table. Even if cities in the US were built more like UK cities, you still have just a lot more space in between 'em.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby ps.02 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:28 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I don't thinks standing requires the engine to be running, so this wouldn't mean your car's just out there idling for hours, wasting fuel and wearing the engine down.

What is the meaning of these strange words "idling", "fuel" and "engine"? It is odd to think the self-parking car may become common before the electric car does. Indeed, I figure half the point of self-parking will be to let the car find a place to charge its battery pack while waiting.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:40 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
dg61 wrote:Also, a lot of these arguments for a carless future apply really only to dense urban areas where you have a lot of people who need a car for short distances somewhat irregularly but don't need a car for everything. If you're dealing with most suburbs, it can be very, very hard at best to get by without owning a car because basically nothing is walkable. A "one-way car rental" service is rather harder to sustain when you need that car for basically anything.


That's largely an artifact of US zoning laws and cultural history - here in the UK, the phrase "residential suburb" is pretty much meaningless - any gathering of houses large enough to support one has a shop within 20 minutes walk - more often than not, within 10. The idea of having sprawling areas of nothing but houses is (literally!) completely foreign here.

When your standard pattern of urban development involves distributed services, with schools and shops within walking distance of everyone, it becomes a lot less crazy-sounding to have a car be something you rent/borrow from time to time rather than something you use twice a day (or more) just to do your daily activities...


Zoning laws are still wild. You can have lots next door to each other that are functionally identical, but zoned differently, and worth differing amounts of money as a result. It's crazy.

But, from a transportation perspective, there's also just a simple scale issue. The US is *big*. Rural UK life looks pretty dense compared to a lot of rural US areas. Things like popping over to the next major town, or driving in to town if you live in the country, are not necessarily bike-friendly or whatever. Sure, if you live in a city, you can get by without a car, but...even that carries heavy limitations. They're always the folks bumming rides for office luncheons or the like. You've got to have *someone* to bum the rides from, so universal carlessness isn't really on the table. Even if cities in the US were built more like UK cities, you still have just a lot more space in between 'em.


Rural UK has vehicles as part of the farm machinery - they're not about to go carless.

If you're living in the middle of nowhere, then, sure, owning a car is sensible. It's when you've got a hundred other families living within 15 minutes on foot that it's silly that you need a car in order to access basic amenities like groceries rather than having a shop in easy walking distance...

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:30 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:It's when you've got a hundred other families living within 15 minutes on foot that it's silly that you need a car...
Fifteen minutes on foot in a cold driving rain is miserable. But two minutes by car in that same rain is fine.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:15 am UTC

And "shopping in a car" means "I can buy far more than I can carry". Sure, I can't walk to my usual grocery store unless the weather is perfect. But I only go there about once every 10-14 days.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby ijuin » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:45 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
That's largely an artifact of US zoning laws and cultural history - here in the UK, the phrase "residential suburb" is pretty much meaningless - any gathering of houses large enough to support one has a shop within 20 minutes walk - more often than not, within 10. The idea of having sprawling areas of nothing but houses is (literally!) completely foreign here.

When your standard pattern of urban development involves distributed services, with schools and shops within walking distance of everyone, it becomes a lot less crazy-sounding to have a car be something you rent/borrow from time to time rather than something you use twice a day (or more) just to do your daily activities...


Tell me about it! I live in Silicon Valley, where there are literally about one million jobs all packed together, and any housing that is closer than twenty minutes' driving away from this mass concentration of white-collar jobs tend to cost in excess of one million dollars. It is simply impossible to work here and also have a short commute unless you have the kind of income that only managers tend to get. Meanwhile, there is virtually no bus system--the nearest bus of ANY line stops more than a mile away from my house, and to get to most of the non-retail jobs requires switching buses at least twice--so i can forget having a commute time shorter than two hours each way unless I am in an automobile or move out of the region.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby HES » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:54 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:And "shopping in a car" means "I can buy far more than I can carry". Sure, I can't walk to my usual grocery store unless the weather is perfect. But I only go there about once every 10-14 days.

You'd be surprised how much you can get on a push bike if loaded properly.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby addams » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:10 am UTC

HES wrote:
Mikeski wrote:And "shopping in a car" means "I can buy far more than I can carry". Sure, I can't walk to my usual grocery store unless the weather is perfect. But I only go there about once every 10-14 days.

You'd be surprised how much you can get on a push bike if loaded properly.

Says the young, the strong and the healthy.

Yes. young, strong, healthy Americans will drive 300 feet to shop.
So will the old and the frail.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:41 am UTC

HES wrote:
Mikeski wrote:And "shopping in a car" means "I can buy far more than I can carry". Sure, I can't walk to my usual grocery store unless the weather is perfect. But I only go there about once every 10-14 days.

You'd be surprised how much you can get on a push bike if loaded properly.


Let's see you bring home a queen-size futon.

Did that once in the back seat of my Chevy Cavalier. The only hard part was getting it out of the car when I got home (I had the salesperson to help me get it in).

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby AndrewGPaul » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:28 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
dg61 wrote:Also, a lot of these arguments for a carless future apply really only to dense urban areas where you have a lot of people who need a car for short distances somewhat irregularly but don't need a car for everything. If you're dealing with most suburbs, it can be very, very hard at best to get by without owning a car because basically nothing is walkable. A "one-way car rental" service is rather harder to sustain when you need that car for basically anything.


That's largely an artifact of US zoning laws and cultural history - here in the UK, the phrase "residential suburb" is pretty much meaningless - any gathering of houses large enough to support one has a shop within 20 minutes walk - more often than not, within 10. The idea of having sprawling areas of nothing but houses is (literally!) completely foreign here.


Not entirely - the high-density tower block schemes built in the 60s tended to have nothing but tower blocks - which is one reason why they quickly became run-down hellholes. :)

If there's plenty of shops within walking distance, then the need to do a big bulk shop is reduced anyway - small supermarkets are growing in popularity here because more and more people are picking up the night's dinner on the way home from work. If you really need a big shop, then you can get it delivered for a few quid.

As for items of furniture, this guy has a three-piece suite on his trike (although I think it's got an engine, too):

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/overloa ... =1.1397456

(as an aside, that Chevrolet Calvalier is a bit of a false cognate; at first glance, it looks like it could have been the same as the Vauxhall Cavalier, but on a closer look, they've got nothing to do with each other)

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby gcgcgcgc » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:36 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:Hmm, two new ones:

(In mid to late May, if the vehicle can refuel itself): "Point Thomson, Alaska" (it's connected by an ice road across Prudhoe Bay, which generally melts around the end of May and doesn't reopen until late in the year). An even worse one might be "Jericho Diamond Mine"; it's on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road which is only open for about 8 weeks starting at the end of January, and is arguably even more middle-of-nowhere (despite being closer to the continental US).

(Any time of year, if the owner of the vehicle is going to be gone for a while and the vehicle can refuel itself): "Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina via Deadhorse, Alaska via Bahia Lapataia, Argentina...."


I expect it would sit there for a while trying to plan a route across the Darien Gap from Panama to Colombia, then give up. There's no road connection between the two Americas yet.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby HES » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:39 pm UTC

AndrewGPaul wrote:small supermarkets are growing in popularity here because more and more people are picking up the night's dinner on the way home from work.

As an aside, the smaller supermarkets also benefit from relaxed trading laws meaning they can be open longer.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

You know... With self-driving technology... You could order groceries/items online from your local store, send your car to a pick-up bay/drive-thru of some kind to be loaded by store personnel (there'd have to be some kind of identification process, but that'd be pretty straightforward, maybe just using license plates), and then have the car drive back to your home.

"Crap. We're out of milk. Hold on while I send the car out to pick some up."

"What do you want for dinner? I'm sending the car for take-out."

I know that grocery delivery services exist, but self driving cars would really open up the world of automated shopping.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby HES » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:29 pm UTC

Why not just have the milk delivered by drone?
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

Milk is heavy?

Drones would work for small stuff, but a car would hold many more items. 'Sides, isn't a SDC pretty much a drone?

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby HES » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

The distinction I was going for is why send your car to them, when they can send their appropriately-sized-delivery-device™ to you and your various neighbours who also need something.
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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

I am sure there will be plenty of stores that will provide that service. Yet a fleet of cars/devices costs money, especially the maintenance and fuel and storage. Small businesses will not be able to afford this. Also, delivery fees will be added on. Delivery fees are fine if it means a greater convenience (not having to drive to pick it up), but if you own a SDC, then you don't need to personally go and pick the item(s) up anyway, so there would be no gain in convenience, only a comparison in cost of sending your own vehicle vs them sending theirs.

Anyway, I am sure both will be common.

[Edit]
Also delivery schedules. If the store is sending out items to multiple recipients, then likely there will be a greater delay between when you order an item vs when you receive it. Making sending your SDC to pick it up a greater convenience.

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Re: 1559: "Driving"

Postby Dthen » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:37 pm UTC

HES wrote:
AndrewGPaul wrote:small supermarkets are growing in popularity here because more and more people are picking up the night's dinner on the way home from work.

As an aside, the smaller supermarkets also benefit from relaxed trading laws meaning they can be open longer.

How can that be the case when all the large supermarkets are 24hrs?
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