Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 09-24-2018, 02:37 PM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
I would say that? Maybe you would. I wouldn't. I have all kinds of things that I could potentially hire out to make money, including myself. Some people do these things, but most don't. Why would a self-driving car suddenly incite a tsunami of entrepreneurialism among people who'd never think of doing any such things today? If I pay good money for a valued new car, the last thing I want is random strangers bouncing in and out of it all day, teenagers spilling drinks and fast food all over it, and somebody's kid throwing up in it.
I dunno about you, but if I could hypothetically lend my car out at minimum wage for 21 hours a day ($5500/month), and I had it take itself twice a day to an automotive cleaning service (maybe $20 each time, so -$1200/month), and get fueled (~$60/day, -$1800/month), that still leaves $2500 a month, which is several times more than the car payment. Combine that with some sort of reasonable passenger rating & camera system that disincentives people from smearing peanut butter all over the seats, I think lots of people would strongly consider it.

Sure, expectations of "21 hours/day at minimum wage" is going to drop off catastrophically as more 'drivers' enter the system, but that is only going to encourage more ridership as prices flatline.
  #52  
Old 09-24-2018, 02:53 PM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Using idle cars: While it's true that most cars spend most of the day doing nothing, they tend to be required around the same hours. If 24 people need a car 1 hour/day, theoretically they could make do with 1 car/24 people but if most of them want to use it at 8AM and 5PM, they'll need a car each. Unless that changes, the reduction in the number of cars may be existent but underwhelming.
I think facing things like "surge" pricing for the 8AM and 5PM rides would cause people to start shifting work schedules accordingly until supply/demand settles. If the system is smart enough, it could allow for carpools to be intelligently routed for people going in the same commute direction and are willing to share a ride in exchange for a discounted fare.
  #53  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:13 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
Honest question, how many cars are currently parked within a 10 minute driving radius (let's just say 4 miles) of your home and work locations? Even if only 20% of those are available to hail a ride, how many total cars is that?

I'm not saying everyone is going to switch overnight, people are still going to have personal cars for all sorts of reasons. But the financial and convenience factor (unless in *really* rural locations), just isn't going to factor in that decision.
I obviously have no way of knowing even a ballpark number, and in any case I live in my state's capital, in an area that mixes suburbs and commercial area. There are probably more cars in the four miles around me than in any four mile radius region in the state - so me answering that question would only make you more confident than you should be.

I would guess that at least 80% of this state would be what you consider "*really* rural".
  #54  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:21 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
I think facing things like "surge" pricing for the 8AM and 5PM rides would cause people to start shifting work schedules accordingly until supply/demand settles. If the system is smart enough, it could allow for carpools to be intelligently routed for people going in the same commute direction and are willing to share a ride in exchange for a discounted fare.
I wasn't aware that most people were allowed to shift their work schedules at will. Some could -I mean, I managed it- but even I only shifted my start time to by an hour. The best you're going to do is extend the rush hours from one hour to three, leaving you with six hours of rush hour, twelve hours of moderate usage, and six hours of dead road.

Society isn't going to reconfigure itself enough to have even road load, not even close. People aren't going to have their cars making money for them for 21 hours of the day; the average car will probably be lucky to see half that, even if literally everyone decides to rely on autonomous Uber for transport.

Last edited by begbert2; 09-24-2018 at 03:22 PM. Reason: messed up math
  #55  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:36 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6,610
Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
I think facing things like "surge" pricing for the 8AM and 5PM rides would cause people to start shifting work schedules accordingly until supply/demand settles. If the system is smart enough, it could allow for carpools to be intelligently routed for people going in the same commute direction and are willing to share a ride in exchange for a discounted fare.
People are already paying a significant "surge cost" in the form of lost time in traffic by traveling to/from work during rush hour.

If you want people to save a lot of time, find a way to stagger vehicle travel to cut down on traffic jams/slowdowns.
  #56  
Old 09-24-2018, 03:56 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
I dunno about you, but if I could hypothetically lend my car out at minimum wage for 21 hours a day ($5500/month), and I had it take itself twice a day to an automotive cleaning service (maybe $20 each time, so -$1200/month), and get fueled (~$60/day, -$1800/month), that still leaves $2500 a month, which is several times more than the car payment. Combine that with some sort of reasonable passenger rating & camera system that disincentives people from smearing peanut butter all over the seats, I think lots of people would strongly consider it.
Nobody is going to pay your car minimum wage, even at the very start. People aren't dumb and will notice there's no human in the car, and thus won't pay human prices. There's no federal law that says people can't underpay a car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
Sure, expectations of "21 hours/day at minimum wage" is going to drop off catastrophically as more 'drivers' enter the system, but that is only going to encourage more ridership as prices flatline.
Once the prices flatline, how many people are going to be willing to open up their car for strangers to ride in?
  #57  
Old 09-24-2018, 04:36 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,837
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Nobody is going to pay your car minimum wage, even at the very start. People aren't dumb and will notice there's no human in the car, and thus won't pay human prices. There's no federal law that says people can't underpay a car.
This is what the free market is for. People have a lightly utilized asset, and other people have the technology to make that asset work. The market will set a price such that people who have the asset want to make it available, and people who need the asset will pay the price to use it.

The marginal cost of having your self driving car remotely pick someone up and deliver them is FAR lower than the marginal cost of having someone drive their car manually for a similar service.

Not only will the price to the owner reflect that, but so will the price to the consumer, which would make the savings from going with a Service all the greater. The market is good at getting to that equilibrium where both sides are willing to work.
  #58  
Old 09-24-2018, 05:02 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
This is what the free market is for. People have a lightly utilized asset, and other people have the technology to make that asset work. The market will set a price such that people who have the asset want to make it available, and people who need the asset will pay the price to use it.
Or more accurately, a price will be set where enough people will be bribed into renting their car out to roughly satisfy the people who are willing to throw that much money down for the service. Most certainly not everyone who has the asset will be convinced to make it available - just like not everybody with a need to travel will consider the rental price acceptable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
The marginal cost of having your self driving car remotely pick someone up and deliver them is FAR lower than the marginal cost of having someone drive their car manually for a similar service.

Not only will the price to the owner reflect that, but so will the price to the consumer, which would make the savings from going with a Service all the greater. The market is good at getting to that equilibrium where both sides are willing to work.
It's good at finding the equilibrium necessary that the number of people willing to pay that price can find people willing to accept their money. There's nothing saying that this equilibrium won't price people out of the market - perhaps a lot of people. It ain't like the market guarantees that everyone can hire a personal maid; similarly it might not hire you a robot chauffeur.

I do say it'll be interesting to see how the average rider reacts to riding in other people's cars completely unsupervised. If they're as careless and irresponsible as I expect unsupervised humans to be, the price for convincing somebody to lend you their expensive self-driving car could end up pretty high. Particularly since the one shining example of where everybody needs to hire a ride is when they're drunk.
  #59  
Old 09-24-2018, 05:05 PM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
People are already paying a significant "surge cost" in the form of lost time in traffic by traveling to/from work during rush hour.
If you want people to save a lot of time, find a way to stagger vehicle travel to cut down on traffic jams/slowdowns.
Of course, but many people don't value their time effectively, hence all the people that will drive 5 miles out of their way to save 30 cents on gas. Having that explicitly quantified (pay $4 to ride at 8AM, $2 to ride at 9AM) will put additional pressure on the user to look at alternate commute times, as well as free up availability for the cars from owners . Obviously every employer isn't going to allow the same amount of job flexibility, but it puts additional market pressure on them as well.
  #60  
Old 09-24-2018, 05:23 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
It occurs to me that in all this discussion about Uber for all, I haven't been actually talking about the scenario proposed by the OP, where individual car ownership has ended. Under that model you wouldn't have individuals allowing others to use their cars, because individuals wouldn't have cars; they'd instead have to be owned by, basically taxi companies.

Having giant taxi companies that handled all the car ownership and rented them out at will would avoid some of the problems we've been discussing; they could send out the cars and when a ride ended somebody could push a button, look at the cameras in car 62, and if it was smeared with peanut butter push the 'recall' button to bring it in for a hosing down. They could much more comfortably absorb the costs of terrible passenger than the average dude.

Which is not to say that they'd set a price that everybody would like, of course, but the prices would probably still be lower than they would be coming from individual car owners.
  #61  
Old 09-24-2018, 05:40 PM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Nobody is going to pay your car minimum wage, even at the very start. People aren't dumb and will notice there's no human in the car, and thus won't pay human prices. There's no federal law that says people can't underpay a car.
Of course, I only used minimum wage as a starting point, because people must be paying a human Uber driver at least that amount now (and be satisfied with the service), plus maintenance/depreciation, plus fuel, plus corporate take, or else the human driver would be going to work elsewhere. Once the free market enters the equation with autonomous drivers, prices plummet, since nobody needs to pay the robot driver a living wage any more. Prices fall, demand skyrockets, ridership increases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2
I obviously have no way of knowing even a ballpark number, and in any case I live in my state's capital, in an area that mixes suburbs and commercial area.
So when you said "But in places like where I live" , you meant: "in places like where I don't live" Gotcha

In any event, since you live in a state capital, I'm going out on a limb and saying you're looking at thousands of currently idle vehicles available within a 10 minute drive, if even 20% of the total population was magically converted overnight to allow for autonomous hailing.
  #62  
Old 09-24-2018, 05:49 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
it provides a dynamic vector field of the local world
No, it doesn't. You have to postprocess the data to get a vector field out of it. And that processing is just as difficult and subject to ambiguity as visual processing.

Suppose you have a depth sample at some distance. On the next sample, it's much closer. Is that a car headed to you at high speed, or did a piece of paper flutter past?

Standard LIDAR doesn't even give you velocity information, though that may be changing with Doppler units. Even assuming Doppler, though, you don't get transverse velocity measurements. If you want a vector field, you have to use sophisticated computer vision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
More importantly, it doesn’t require perceiving identifiable objects in order to establish a potential hazard far beyond that of radar-based collision avoidance systems and can operate in complete darkness to perceive objects not emitting or reflecting headlights or ambient light, or if blinded by sunlight or high beams. This is independent of the problem of actually identifying an object.
These really feel like edge cases to me. Yes, even today we have the classic problem of people walking around at night in black clothes. But this doesn't really dominate the vehicle injury rate statistics.

HDR cameras, and various tricks to mitigate bloom, will more or less solve the bright sunlight problem. That's one of the easier visual processing pieces to deal with. Even crappy cell phones do a pretty good job these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
The claim that visual-only sensing is “good enough” is belied by the failures of vision-based current systems such as those used by Tesla or Uber, which admittedly are still in their infancy but demonstrate the immaturity of machine vision approaches that require the system to positively identify a potential hazard through pattern or object recognition alone rather than active sensing of a potential hazard regardless of whether it is positively identified.
Well, you said it: these systems are still in their infancy. I'm not arguing that LIDAR doesn't serve some short-term need. I'm arguing that Level 5 autonomy requires a degree of sophistication in computer vision that makes LIDAR redundant. LIDAR only solves a few of the easy problems; the hard problems require the same sophistication in processing that vision does. Maybe there will be systems, like Waymo, that are ostensibly level 5 but are really limited urban taxis, and they'll find some continued use for LIDAR.
  #63  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:02 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
that require the system to positively identify a potential hazard through pattern or object recognition alone rather than active sensing of a potential hazard regardless of whether it is positively identified.
One more comment since I didn't quite address this:

LIDAR does not enable you do identify hazards without positive identification. The simple reason is that it is that false positives are too frequent to be ignored. You cannot slam on the brakes on the highway every time there seems to be an object just ahead of you. It may be a cardboard box, or a leaf, or a bird, or just a bug splatted on the sensor.

Radar has an even worse problem in this regard, because a soda can may have the same radar cross-section as a car. LIDAR makes it at least possible to discriminate between some of these cases, but not without some sophisticated processing. And there are probably some cases that you'll still really need cameras for corroboration.
  #64  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:16 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
Of course, I only used minimum wage as a starting point, because people must be paying a human Uber driver at least that amount now (and be satisfied with the service), plus maintenance/depreciation, plus fuel, plus corporate take, or else the human driver would be going to work elsewhere. Once the free market enters the equation with autonomous drivers, prices plummet, since nobody needs to pay the robot driver a living wage any more. Prices fall, demand skyrockets, ridership increases.
I'm still confused over whether you think that private individuals own these cars, or taxi companies. (It just occurred to me that if it's private individuals, they often won't even get to drive their own car! It'll be an hour and a half away, having just driven three people to successive destinations further in the distance. They'll be stuck riding in somebody else's vomit-encrusted jalopy instead of their own vomit-encrusted jalopy.)

And I maintain that it's impossible that the price will ever drop low enough that I'll stoop to using one of these cars for my daily commute. That ten minutes you'd have me wait for it to arrive? That cost is higher than the cost of the gas to fill my car, per trip. (My time is worth a lot, by a couple of different measures. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
So when you said "But in places like where I live" , you meant: "in places like where I don't live" Gotcha
I didn't say that in places where I live it wouldn't be possible to hire a car within ten minutes. I said that in places like where I live lots and lots of people will just own their own car. Which is absolutely true. Besides the fact that there are a lot of people who aren't desperate enough to hand their cars off to strangers for cash, there's not enough demand to justify everyone using Ubers.

The kicker, you see, is everybody who needs to go anywhere around here has to drive, because absolutely nothing is in walking distance. Which means that during periods where most people need to get places (like, say, rush hour), you need approximately one car per person - at best one per every two adults. can equivocate and say that people will carpool or change shifts or switch to bicycles, but that's not going to happen to any significant degree. These many cars need to exist.

Which means somebody needs to own them.

And that a significant percentage of them will be sitting idle all the rest of the time. By definition there isn't as much load during the non-rush-hour parts of the day.

Which means there's not enough demand to justify all those cars being Ubers. In fact, after a certain point the more of them that are Ubers the less business there is for all of them.

Which means that all of us who wouldn't hire an Uber if it was free are fully justified -by market forces- to not come near enough to the market to touch it with a ten foot pole.
  #65  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:24 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Oh, and also it's not like every Uber sitting in a parking lot would be available for use anyway; if a person is out on a shopping trip with multiple stops they need the car to stick around and not take off with their groceries. It's not a big thing when Ubers are only use to carry drunks home, but there are times people just need to hold on to the same car.

(With the meter slowly ticking upwards as they try to rush their shopping...)
  #66  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:35 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
And I maintain that it's impossible that the price will ever drop low enough that I'll stoop to using one of these cars for my daily commute. That ten minutes you'd have me wait for it to arrive? That cost is higher than the cost of the gas to fill my car, per trip. (My time is worth a lot, by a couple of different measures. )
You wouldn't have to stand outside waiting for the car. You call for the car, finish your breakfast, get ready, go outside and get in the car that's waiting for you. Also, the car will drop you off right in front of your office building, rather than a parking lot a block away. So you actually save time.

(And gain weight because you don't even walk to/from the car anymore, but that's a different issue.)

Last edited by scr4; 09-24-2018 at 06:36 PM.
  #67  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:46 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
You wouldn't have to stand outside waiting for the car. You call for the car, finish your breakfast, get ready, go outside and get in the car that's waiting for you. Also, the car will drop you off right in front of your office building, rather than a parking lot a block away. So you actually save time.

(And gain weight because you don't even walk to/from the car anymore, but that's a different issue.)
Yeah right, like I plan that far ahead. What would actually happen is I would forget to call for the car, forget I hadn't called for the car, eventually notice the car wasn't there, call the car, wait for the car, get in the car, and arrive twenty five minutes late to work (rather than the usual ten, which at least gets me there in time for the morning meeting).

And I don't work downtown. My workplace, like all workplaces in this part of town, has a parking lot. There would be no benefit whatsoever to taking a taxi to work.

I also don't leave at a constant time and don't know I'm ready to leave until I'm packing up to go. Another ten minutes burned.

And then I sometimes go shopping. And I don't have a cell phone. So either the car stays there, waiting for me, calmly racking up the price, or I'm completely boned.

Yeah, this is looking more and more appealing all the time.
  #68  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:56 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I also don't leave at a constant time and don't know I'm ready to leave until I'm packing up to go.
You don't know what time you'll leave for work until you're ready?? What kind of workplace do you work at?

And that seems to contradict your earlier statement:

Quote:
I wasn't aware that most people were allowed to shift their work schedules at will. Some could -I mean, I managed it- but even I only shifted my start time to by an hour.

Last edited by scr4; 09-24-2018 at 06:57 PM.
  #69  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:01 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Anyway, begbert2, like I said before, if you want to waste your money by buying your own self-driving car, and never let anyone else use it, I don't think anyone will stop you. So rest assured. I'm sure lots of wealthy people will do that.

Last edited by scr4; 09-24-2018 at 07:02 PM.
  #70  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:06 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
You don't know what time you'll leave for work until you're ready?? What kind of workplace do you work at?

And that seems to contradict your earlier statement:
I'm lackadaisical. I'm theoretically supposed to be at work at 9:00, which probably means I should leave by 8:55ish or even as early as 8:50 if I wanted to be really confident of being on time. But I'm often just sitting down to eat then. So I leave when I'm ready - sometimes 8:55, sometimes 9:00, sometimes 9:05... Under the proposed model I'd call the car...sometime, and it'd just sit there until I was ready. (Unless it got bored and took off for another customer; I don't know how these things would work.)

At 8:40, the proposed time to make the call for the car presuming I was responsible, it's anybody's guess if I'm even out of the shower yet or not.

So yeah, while the variance isn't hours, there's not part of my schedule that's stable enough that I want to tack an extra ten minutes delay based on remembering to do something at an earlier point in the schedule.
  #71  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:15 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 21,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I don't like the idea of sitting in somebody else's puke. [...]

[...] it makes no sense whatsoever that I would eschew car ownership in favor of being able to pay extra money to wait extra time for a still-warm-from-somebody-else's-farts taxi to eventually appear before me [...]

I don't want some drunk barfing in my car, and I don't want somebody's kids smearing peanut butter in it. [...]

They'll be stuck riding in somebody else's vomit-encrusted jalopy instead of their own vomit-encrusted jalopy. [...]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Strangelove
Personally, I like having a car that doesn't smell like other people's farts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup
[...] the last thing I want is random strangers bouncing in and out of it all day, teenagers spilling drinks and fast food all over it, and somebody's kid throwing up in it [...]
Just a comment specifically on these somewhat emotion-driven reactions of squeamish visualization. Natch, I'm not saying that nothing messy ever happens in a vehicle; but speaking as a non-car-owning frequent user of car sharing, rental cars, public transportation and taxis, the average filth factor is really nowhere near as high as the above remarks would suggest.

Of course, shared vehicles (autonomous or not) would doubtless have to be cleaned and maintained on a more frequent schedule than privately owned single-user vehicles. But in my experience, car-share vehicles and public-transport vehicles are overwhelmingly not smeared with puke and peanut butter, reeking of farts, or otherwise physically revolting even when they haven't been freshly cleaned since the last user.

It's fine if you personally just happen to prefer never to share the use of a vehicle with strangers, but there's no need to let your fastidious imagination run away with you into realms of highly exaggerated grossness.
  #72  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:17 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Anyway, begbert2, like I said before, if you want to waste your money by buying your own self-driving car, and never let anyone else use it, I don't think anyone will stop you. So rest assured. I'm sure lots of wealthy people will do that.
I am dead certain I'd be saving money, and that everybody I know would be saving even more money, because they drive even more than I do. This Uber business is for people who don't have to drive on the regular - basic logic shows that. After all, if it costs X amount to own, fuel, and ride in a car yourself, it costs at least that much to own, fuel, and have other people ride in it. But Uber wants a profit, and the car owners want a profit, so it must cost more to ride in an uber to ride in your own car. It simply has to, for the business model to be viable. Which means the only place you could save money is if you have other reasons that make the ownership - really, just the storage of the car to be more expensive or inconvenient than the Uber markups. Just the storage, because the cost of the car? The Uber providers pay that too. It's all factored into the price.

Ubers are great if you don't drive often and don't want to keep a car around, or if you want to go places where it's inconvenient or expensive to park there (parking garages; airports) or if you simply can't drive at all, like if you're drunk or underage. But if you actually drive a lot and don't park anywhere weird, it's logically impossible for them to be a cost savings over having your own car.


And as for anybody stopping me from having my own car, check the OP. The topic of this thread is whether I will be stopped from having my own car (presumably due to me being unable to buy it for some reason).

Last edited by begbert2; 09-24-2018 at 07:18 PM. Reason: typo
  #73  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:20 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I'm lackadaisical. I'm theoretically supposed to be at work at 9:00, which probably means I should leave by 8:55ish or even as early as 8:50 if I wanted to be really confident of being on time. But I'm often just sitting down to eat then. So I leave when I'm ready - sometimes 8:55, sometimes 9:00, sometimes 9:05... Under the proposed model I'd call the car...sometime, and it'd just sit there until I was ready. (Unless it got bored and took off for another customer; I don't know how these things would work.)
Since you value your time so much, you should just make a recurring reservation for a car at 8:50, and pay a little bit extra for up to 15 minutes of standby time.

Though, your commute, including the time to walk from the parking space to your office, is nominally 5 minutes? Why do you need any kind of car?
  #74  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:22 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Just a comment specifically on these somewhat emotion-driven reactions of squeamish visualization. Natch, I'm not saying that nothing messy ever happens in a vehicle; but speaking as a non-car-owning frequent user of car sharing, rental cars, public transportation and taxis, the average filth factor is really nowhere near as high as the above remarks would suggest.

Of course, shared vehicles (autonomous or not) would doubtless have to be cleaned and maintained on a more frequent schedule than privately owned single-user vehicles. But in my experience, car-share vehicles and public-transport vehicles are overwhelmingly not smeared with puke and peanut butter, reeking of farts, or otherwise physically revolting even when they haven't been freshly cleaned since the last user.

It's fine if you personally just happen to prefer never to share the use of a vehicle with strangers, but there's no need to let your fastidious imagination run away with you into realms of highly exaggerated grossness.
Most of your ride-sharing vehicles presumably come equipped with a human who will do something if conditions in the passenger area get bad (at the least, rolling down a window). The vehicles under discussion are by definition unattended, and also they're by definition not coming home between trips - the glorious magic of these autonomous taxis is that they only move while they're carrying a passenger or picking up a passenger. thus maximizing fuel efficiency. They're not coming home between rides - and if they're not being remotely monitored by somebody who considers it their day job, they won't know to come home for cleaning after a particularly nasty passenger.
  #75  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:25 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Since you value your time so much, you should just make a recurring reservation for a car at 8:50, and pay a little bit extra for up to 15 minutes of standby time.
Or I could just not waste my money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Though, your commute, including the time to walk from the parking space to your office, is nominally 5 minutes? Why do you need any kind of car?
Because without a car it's a hell of a lot more than five minutes. And it rains here. And snows. And gets hot.

Might as well ask why I use a telephone rather just walking up and talking to people in person.
  #76  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:31 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Or I could just not waste my money.
Yet you insist on owning your own car. You are already paying a lot of money for that convenience. And it sounds like you'll continue to do so even when there are options that are cheaper and potentially/marginally less convenient. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that.
  #77  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:33 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Yet you insist on owning your own car. You are already paying a lot of money for that convenience. And it sounds like you'll continue to do so even when there are options that are cheaper and potentially/marginally less convenient. Which is fine, nothing wrong with that.
As I've just said, it's logically impossible for me owning my car to be more expensive than taking Ubers everywhere - assuming the Uber business model is financially viable. This includes both at current Uber pricing and any future (profitable) autonomous Uber pricing.

Admittedly, it helps that nowhere I go asks me to pay for parking.
  #78  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:51 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Note - the logical impossibility of car ownership being more expensive than taking taxis everywhere is predicated on the assumption that my car is not significantly more expensive to fuel and maintain than the taxis in question. I consider this to be a fairly reasonable assumption, but I feel I should acknowledge it as a legitimate point of attack against my position here. If the autonomous cars are spectacularly cheap to maintain -solar powered, no moving parts, that kind of thing- then it might be possible to operate them and make a profit and still be cheaper than my car's operating costs. Until I buy one of those vehicles for myself, anyway.
  #79  
Old 09-24-2018, 07:58 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 21,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Most of your ride-sharing vehicles presumably come equipped with a human who will do something if conditions in the passenger area get bad (at the least, rolling down a window).
No, car-sharing vehicles such as Zipcars (I'm not talking about ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft) don't come equipped with human attendants and don't get cleaned or serviced after every use. They're left by one user in a designated parking space to be picked up by the next user. And their condition is usually not objectionable in any way. Same goes for, say, bus seats which are not cleaned afresh for every new occupant.

(Sure, both Zipcars and buses get cleaned more often than your average private car, as I said; but the vast majority of the time their condition doesn't significantly deteriorate from one user to the next, even without an intervening cleaning.)

I'm not arguing that anybody who's exceptionally squeamish about shared vehicles needs to suck it up and use them anyway: private individual cars are definitely a preferable solution in that case. I'm just saying that the picture of shared vehicles painted by the exceptionally squeamish is not a very accurate representation of their typical reality.
  #80  
Old 09-24-2018, 09:22 PM
Dr. Strangelove's Avatar
Dr. Strangelove Dr. Strangelove is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 7,362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Just a comment specifically on these somewhat emotion-driven reactions of squeamish visualization.
With regards to my comment, I was really just going for some sensory imagination as a proxy for an entire category of "stuff inherent to shared property". "Fart" is an inherently funny word, so I used it.

Even in well-maintained and clean vehicles, it's just not as nice being in someone else's car. I've been in lots of Ubers and in fact none have smelled of farts. The nice ones have an array of water bottles, snacks, phone charging cables, etc. But at the same time that's a bunch of cluttery crap that I'd never have in my own car. Or considering public transportation--I've been in some that are very nice, both clean and with entirely well-behaved people. And yet there's no way around the fact that I'm stuck in a room with a bunch of strangers that are constantly milling around.

Maybe I'm still being excessively picky; certainly, there are plenty of people that use public transportation on a daily basis and don't seem to have a problem with it. But personally, I'll pay quite a lot to maintain personal transport. And I'm not super-convinced of the cost argument, either. A car lasts maybe 200k miles whether it's over 15 years at 10% utilization or 2 years at 80% utilization. The only thing I'm losing when my car is idle in my garage is some interest. Maybe electrics will change the picture somewhat, but there's still a ton of stuff that can go wrong.
  #81  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:08 PM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
But if you actually drive a lot and don't park anywhere weird, it's logically impossible for them to be a cost savings over having your own car
Not necessarily. Take car wear and tear, for example. Some of it is mileage-based, which is going to be pretty much the same whether it’s you driving your personal car or hailing a ride. Either way, for a trip of 10 miles, the same cost is incurred.

But some vehicle wear and tear is time-based (seals drying out, UV exposure causing seats to crack, etc), and the you’d get the same wear sitting outside parked all day as you would having it driving constantly. And some wear and tear is thermal cycle based, so if you could hypothetically keep it running 24/7 driving people around, it’d be much better for the car than having 3-4 cold starts per day.

So if one car could (hypothetically) serve the needs of, say 10 people during the day and run 24/7, each person would pay the full mileage depreciation per trip, but the time depreciation would be split 10 ways, and the thermal cycling depreciation would drop to 0.
  #82  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:23 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
Note - the logical impossibility of car ownership being more expensive than taking taxis everywhere is predicated on the assumption that my car is not significantly more expensive to fuel and maintain than the taxis in question. I consider this to be a fairly reasonable assumption, but I feel I should acknowledge it as a legitimate point of attack against my position here. If the autonomous cars are spectacularly cheap to maintain -solar powered, no moving parts, that kind of thing- then it might be possible to operate them and make a profit and still be cheaper than my car's operating costs. Until I buy one of those vehicles for myself, anyway.
You seem to be completely ignoring the cost of depreciation, registration/tax, and parking (actual cost, or opportunity cost of the car occupying your garage/driveway). These are all costs you pay for yourself if you own a car, but are shared among many users for a shared car. In particular, if you buy a new car, depreciation is a bigger cost than all others.
  #83  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:24 PM
SamuelA SamuelA is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,629
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
How much do LIDAR modules tend to cost? How has the price been changing over the last decade? A LIDAR AESA or active light-field camera may be 2-3 decades away but they seem like they could be extremely useful.
$50k plus for top end units now. There are shorter range units that are supposed to be $100 in mass quantity. You can also project out a pattern of IR dots and measure distance that way.
  #84  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:36 PM
YamatoTwinkie YamatoTwinkie is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,182
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I'm still confused over whether you think that private individuals own these cars, or taxi companies.
I think long-term it’ll be a mix of personal vehicles and taxi companies managing gigantic fleets. As I mentioned before, the market will drive prices low enough that a individual car owner is going to have trouble making a profit off of the razor thin margins (barely above maintenance, depreciation, and fuel) They’re just there in the example to keep the taxi companies honest- the minute they start charging more, a flood of personally owned ride shares ensues to capitalize on the market.
  #85  
Old 09-24-2018, 10:53 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
I can't imagine private car owners rending their vehicles out. When self-driving cars become common, there will be two kinds of people: people who don't want the hassle/expense of owning a car, and people who want to own a car because they want a car all to themselves, waiting in their driveway/garage all the time.
  #86  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:49 AM
wolfpup's Avatar
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 9,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Just a comment specifically on these somewhat emotion-driven reactions of squeamish visualization. Natch, I'm not saying that nothing messy ever happens in a vehicle; but speaking as a non-car-owning frequent user of car sharing, rental cars, public transportation and taxis, the average filth factor is really nowhere near as high as the above remarks would suggest.
I'm sure that's a valid point, and I honestly believe that the real factor here is that the normal instincts of property ownership and pride thereof will dissuade people from turning their shiny new cars into a public utility. Nevertheless here is some interesting info which will appeal to the germophobes among us. I post it only semi-seriously but it's presumably factual:
Of the vehicles we tested, rideshares yielded the highest bacteria levels by far – more than 6 million CFU/sq. in. on average. The rental cars averaged more than 2 million CFU/sq. in., while the taxis had an average of just over 27,000 CFU/sq. in. To put it in perspective, rideshares averaged almost three times more germs than a toothbrush holder. Toilet seats and coffee reservoirs both contained fewer microorganism than rideshares and rental cars.
https://www.netquote.com/health-insu...ing-with-germs
And then we have Wolfpup's First Law, to wit: Where there is a lot of bacteria there will inevitably be McDonald's wrappers, spilled Coke, and, eventually, somewhere, somebody's puke.

And Wolfpup's Second Law: Where there are a sufficient number of people, anything that can get broken will be broken.
  #87  
Old 09-25-2018, 09:18 AM
bump bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 16,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpup View Post
I'm sure that's a valid point, and I honestly believe that the real factor here is that the normal instincts of property ownership and pride thereof will dissuade people from turning their shiny new cars into a public utility. Nevertheless here is some interesting info which will appeal to the germophobes among us. I post it only semi-seriously but it's presumably factual:
Of the vehicles we tested, rideshares yielded the highest bacteria levels by far – more than 6 million CFU/sq. in. on average. The rental cars averaged more than 2 million CFU/sq. in., while the taxis had an average of just over 27,000 CFU/sq. in. To put it in perspective, rideshares averaged almost three times more germs than a toothbrush holder. Toilet seats and coffee reservoirs both contained fewer microorganism than rideshares and rental cars.
https://www.netquote.com/health-insu...ing-with-germs
And then we have Wolfpup's First Law, to wit: Where there is a lot of bacteria there will inevitably be McDonald's wrappers, spilled Coke, and, eventually, somewhere, somebody's puke.

And Wolfpup's Second Law: Where there are a sufficient number of people, anything that can get broken will be broken.
Seriously. All anyone has to do is ride public transit for a month or so, and then think to themselves "Do I want these sketchy, grungy-ass people riding in my car? Most people would say no, unless the car is strictly a money-making proposition and they don't intend on riding in it themselves.
  #88  
Old 09-25-2018, 12:24 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
Not necessarily. Take car wear and tear, for example. Some of it is mileage-based, which is going to be pretty much the same whether it’s you driving your personal car or hailing a ride. Either way, for a trip of 10 miles, the same cost is incurred.

But some vehicle wear and tear is time-based (seals drying out, UV exposure causing seats to crack, etc), and the you’d get the same wear sitting outside parked all day as you would having it driving constantly. And some wear and tear is thermal cycle based, so if you could hypothetically keep it running 24/7 driving people around, it’d be much better for the car than having 3-4 cold starts per day.

So if one car could (hypothetically) serve the needs of, say 10 people during the day and run 24/7, each person would pay the full mileage depreciation per trip, but the time depreciation would be split 10 ways, and the thermal cycling depreciation would drop to 0.
I've owned cars for quite a while, and time-based and thermal wear and tear costs are beyond trivial, and would doubtlessly be offset by the cleaning costs the Uber owners incur and I don't. All those wetwipes have to be paid for by somebody, and that somebody had better be the passengers if this is supposed to be a viable business model.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
You seem to be completely ignoring the cost of depreciation, registration/tax, and parking (actual cost, or opportunity cost of the car occupying your garage/driveway). These are all costs you pay for yourself if you own a car, but are shared among many users for a shared car. In particular, if you buy a new car, depreciation is a bigger cost than all others.
The owner of the Uber has all these costs too, and if they're running a viable business then those costs will be passed on to the passenger (me) through the ride charge one way or the other.

An individual car owner is like an Uber owner who rides in his own car with an employee discount. I'm riding in my car for cost. If I'm riding in their car I'd better be being charged higher than cost or there's no reason for them to be running a business.

Unless, of course, it's being posited that these cars are being run as a non-profitable shared recourse, or at below cost - perhaps they're subsidized by the government, or are straight up owned by the government! (Perhaps as a way less cost-effective alternative to busses.) That's departing from the Uber model, of course, but it's certainly a possible scenario. Just one that's not on the table if you're talking about people being incentivized into contributing their privately-owned cars to the system based on how profitable running an Uber car is.
  #89  
Old 09-25-2018, 12:30 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
Seriously. All anyone has to do is ride public transit for a month or so, and then think to themselves "Do I want these sketchy, grungy-ass people riding in my car? Most people would say no, unless the car is strictly a money-making proposition and they don't intend on riding in it themselves.
Sounds like you just explained why Uber and Lyft don't exist.

Sure, there will be people who look down on others and feel that their car will be tainted by anyone else being in it, and for them, paying a premium for owning their own car, and having it exclusively for their own use makes sense. Everyone has their priorities.

Many people, myself included, would see an expensive asset sitting idle 90% of the time. It's not all that nice a car, but I have a fixed cost of about $350 a month just to keep it, whether it sits idle or I drive it every second of the day. Whether that means I would rent mine out, or just not buy one and use a rental depends on many factors, but I would not be using it as a driveway weight.

It was pointed out earlier, also, that a ride-sharing system doesn't work because you may need a large car for moving things, I argue, that's exactly why a ride share is superior. Most of the time, I need something to transport my body form one place to another. Sometimes, I need that, along with a few pounds of groceries.

Very occasionally, I have need of going camping or on vacation, where I want enough space to hold some cargo, and sometimes I want to move furniture.

If I buy a car that can move furniture, then not only is the vehicle not in use 90% of the time, but it is not in use for the purpose I bought it for 99.9% of the time. I am also using a much larger and less efficient vehicle to transport my body to work than I need to, just because I might need to move a couch someday.

Being able to choose the type of vehicle I need for the purpose I need it for is far superior to buying a vehicle with the very rare needs covered.

Also, an autonomous AV can drive you to another city. An uber driver isn't going to much like you asking them to drive you 100's of miles, because then they need to drive back. An AV can just be repositioned, the same as they do with one way rentals of cars and moving vans, except without need of paying a driver to balance load from demand.

Having more AV's on the road will make traffic more efficient, as most inefficiencies come from impatient drivers trying to shave off seconds, and AV's have no reason to be impatient. Carpooling improves that even more.

Fewer cars and more efficient traffic means shorter commute times, which is great for passengers, but is also good for the owners of the AVs, so they can turn around and pick up more, meaning that fewer are needed to deal with the rush.

If there is an app that allows me to schedule my trip to work, and preferably pre-schedule a week or more out, then I know when the car will be there, and when it will drop me off. I would think that scheduling a regular route in advance would decrease costs, and therefore, decrease prices. If I want an individual car to come and pick me up at my house at 7:25, and I call it at 7:15, then I should expect to pay a much higher fare than a car or van that will I have a recurring schedule to stop at the end of my street that I share with a few other people.

I may have to share with a couple other people, but that's fine, especially if there are cameras and monitors in the car that deter people from acting boorishly, I don't have a problem associating with other people. It could be interesting, even, a chance to actually meet people face to face and have a conversation.

So, yeah, private ownership is not going to go away, but it will decrease substantially. Most people will use some sort of ride share transit system to get around, some of them from large fleets maintained by livery companies, some maintained by a municipality, and a few owned by private citizens who rent theirs out when the "surge pricing" gets high enough to pay for the indignity of having someone else in your car.

As a first order approximation, I would say that most people who drive an economy car would be happy saving money by ridesharing, and the people who pay a premium for luxury cars now will pay a premium on having the luxury of their own car.
  #90  
Old 09-25-2018, 12:53 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Also, the car will drop you off right in front of your office building, rather than a parking lot a block away. So you actually save time.
I was thinking about this, and something else occurred to me, that impacts the OP's notion that Uber completely replaces private ownership.

One proposed benefit to everybody riding an Uber is that you don't have to worry about parking; your ride just shows up, carries you to your destination, and drives off in search of another fare. A huge boon to those who otherwise have to leave their cars in parking garages and walk half a mile to get to their actual workplace, right?

So you have a downtown metropolitan area, with millions of people working in it and no convenient parking around. We know that come five o'clock those millions of people will be calling for millions of Ubers, and there had better be millions of Ubers available or there will be wait times of an hour or more since it will take a while for cars to make multiple trips, dropping off one rider and coming back for a second. So we know there have to be tons of cars waiting around for a rider come start of rush hour.

Where do these cars wait? They won't all have just finished dropping off a fare; the whole deal with rush hour is that more cars will be needed then than were being ridden in an hour before. Presumably you don't want them to just drive around in circles all the time when not in use, burning gas and clogging the roads.

Parking garages are probably out; they charge to park there. Even if you handed your Uber your credit card and somehow fitted it with a little robot arm to put the credit card in the slot so the gate will open, the cost of running an Uber would go up a lot if you're paying for daily parking. This would be reflected in the costs to riders.

Do the Ubers all go home and wait there when not in use, either to a central Taxi business parking lot or back to their private owners' houses an hour and a half away? If so then this means that anybody who's not working within a few miles of home base will have longer wait times, perhaps much longer wait times.

Do the Ubers all find the nearest free parking space and chill there? That's fine if there's enough free city parking for everyone to park in - but what city has that? Or do they just find any free space and chill there?

If I own a downtown Denny's that has a small parking lot, I'm not going to be too happy about Ubers chilling there, taking up spaces without anybody ever coming in to buy something, and preventing real paying customers from parking there. If I own a downtown Walmart with a huge parking lot I'm still not going to like Ubers chilling there taking up my spaces without giving anything back. I've seen signs saying that people who try to park their motorhomes in the walmart lots overnight will get towed.

Ubers will start getting towed, if they gum up every business parking lot for miles around. Ubers will start getting banned from parking in other people's lots, for longer than a pickup or dropoff. Business owners will mark out a couple of spaces for Ubers to wait in for their passengers, and Ubers anywhere else will get their license numbers taken down and charges filed.

Unless there's something I'm missing about all this?
  #91  
Old 09-25-2018, 01:00 PM
sps49sd sps49sd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 152
One single car still can't drive itself reliably enough. It isn't a numbers game; the tolerance for a robot car injuring or killing people is near zero.

But a freeway full of cars? How many different active sensor frequencies will be needed? I don't want my car responding to emissions from a car two lanes over.
  #92  
Old 09-25-2018, 02:26 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
So you have a downtown metropolitan area, with millions of people working in it and no convenient parking around. We know that come five o'clock those millions of people will be calling for millions of Ubers,...
Those are areas that already have public transport. I don't see why people would suddenly switch from public transport to self-driving Ubers.



Quote:
...So we know there have to be tons of cars waiting around for a rider come start of rush hour. ...Where do these cars wait?
Demand for vehicles is fairly predictable. The self-driving cars will be arriving from outside the city at a rate sufficient to meet the demands. Some of them will park, others will circle around.

Quote:
Presumably you don't want them to just drive around in circles all the time when not in use, burning gas and clogging the roads.
Gasoline powered cars will have long disappeared by then. Electric cars need very little power to move around at low speeds. And they can talk to each other and find places to loiter that won't get in the way of traffic.

Quote:
Parking garages are probably out; they charge to park there.
So? The self-driving car operators can contract with them, if that makes economic sense.

Quote:
Do the Ubers all go home and wait there when not in use, either to a central Taxi business parking lot or back to their private owners' houses an hour and a half away?
Each car would periodically go back to one of the operator's facilities for cleaning and recharging. But there will always be many on the road or parked, available for hire.

Quote:
Do the Ubers all find the nearest free parking space and chill there? That's fine if there's enough free city parking for everyone to park in - but what city has that? Or do they just find any free space and chill there?
Parking space for self-driving cars can be in less desirable places (i.e. many blocks away from major businesses and destinations), so they would cost less to provide. But parking isn't strictly necessary. They can just loiter in outside lanes of 4-lane roads, for example.

Quote:
If I own a downtown Denny's that has a small parking lot, I'm not going to be too happy about Ubers chilling there, taking up spaces without anybody ever coming in to buy something, and preventing real paying customers from parking there.
If all cars are self-driving, your customers don't need parking space!! Even if someone comes to your restaurant in their privately owned car, the car can just go and find a place to wait somewhere else. Or circle the block waiting for the owner.
  #93  
Old 09-25-2018, 02:28 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
An individual car owner is like an Uber owner who rides in his own car with an employee discount. I'm riding in my car for cost. If I'm riding in their car I'd better be being charged higher than cost or there's no reason for them to be running a business.
No, depreciation is a much lower cost per mile for a shared use car. A privately owned car depreciates just sitting in the driveway.
  #94  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:01 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,435
Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Those are areas that already have public transport. I don't see why people would suddenly switch from public transport to self-driving Ubers.
I can easily imagine why a person who is currently riding the bus and walking from the bus stop would prefer to get dropped off at their office door by an Uber. Can't you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Demand for vehicles is fairly predictable. The self-driving cars will be arriving from outside the city at a rate sufficient to meet the demands. Some of them will park, others will circle around.
If we're talking about actual Uber, where the cars are owned by individuals who live an hour and a half away in the suburbs, I'm finding this claim implausible. Is the app going to predict that X number of people will punch their 'call Uber' button at 4:45, and summon the cars an hour before that? What if the car isn't used? With the car owner be compensated by Uber itself for the wasted trip?

If the Ubers are owned by Yellow Cab, on the other hand...they're not going to dump them all on the streets early either, but at least their parking lot is closer to the city than the suburbians are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Gasoline powered cars will have long disappeared by then. Electric cars need very little power to move around at low speeds. And they can talk to each other and find places to loiter that won't get in the way of traffic.
I get that this is the Monty Python argument sketch and you're automatically gainsaying everything I write, but are you seriously dismissing the notion of all cars everywhere being on the road constantly as being a non-issue, from a cost, wear, and traffic standpoint?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
So? The self-driving car operators can contract with them, if that makes economic sense.
If they're private owners who live out in the suburbs, you want them to contract with all the parking garages individually, on their own initiative? Fat chance.

Had you suggested that Uber would contract with them (and increase their cut accordingly), that might have been better, but you're still talking about a not-inconsiderable infrastructure change that would also involve alterations to the cars themselves (so an Uber can be recognized by the garage and the right person billed). That ain't happening overnight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Each car would periodically go back to one of the operator's facilities for cleaning and recharging. But there will always be many on the road or parked, available for hire.
Yes. This is beside the point though, excepting as an acknowledgement that the ones that do go home are now in the wrong place, and that the remainder still have to find a physical space to put themselves into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Parking space for self-driving cars can be in less desirable places (i.e. many blocks away from major businesses and destinations), so they would cost less to provide. But parking isn't strictly necessary. They can just loiter in outside lanes of 4-lane roads, for example.
You're seriously going to run with "running the cars down the roads 24/7 even if they get no passengers whatsoever for that period is an excellent idea with no negative side effects whatsoever", are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
If all cars are self-driving, your customers don't need parking space!! Even if someone comes to your restaurant in their privately owned car, the car can just go and find a place to wait somewhere else. Or circle the block waiting for the owner.
Of course stores will need parking lots, and of course some of those cars will sit outside patiently waiting for their designated passenger (slowly ticking up the meter for that customer). Consider the average shopping trip. You call your car and go to the store, and buy some stuff. Then you call another car and go to another store nearby. And...take your previous stuff into the store with you, so the first car doesn't drive off with it? Do you go all the way back home between each and every store just to drop off each load? Ha ha, no.

Or say you're going on a trip. I've seen it mentioned that a perk is that you can hire an Uber and get driven to a city six hours away, and that's no problem because the suburbian who owns the car doesn't have to go with you and never wants to see his car again. Okay, I can accept that, that makes total sense. But what about your luggage? When you stop your car at a public toilet you don't really want the thing haring off to give somebody nearby a lift to Canada. Besides all your stuff rolling away, you also are going to have to wait another hour for a second car to drive up from the nearest town and give you a lift for the rest of the way.

Ha ha, no again. You'll be able to 'hire' a car for more than a single ride, and make the car sit around waiting for you to get back into it. That's a given in this new world order. And it's worth noting that the stores will be okay with that - you're a customer, so your Uber waiting for you is fine.

It's the between-customer ones who have nowhere to rest their weary heads away from home.
  #95  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:05 PM
bump bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 16,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
So, yeah, private ownership is not going to go away, but it will decrease substantially. Most people will use some sort of ride share transit system to get around, some of them from large fleets maintained by livery companies, some maintained by a municipality, and a few owned by private citizens who rent theirs out when the "surge pricing" gets high enough to pay for the indignity of having someone else in your car.

As a first order approximation, I would say that most people who drive an economy car would be happy saving money by ridesharing, and the people who pay a premium for luxury cars now will pay a premium on having the luxury of their own car.
My point about the public transit was that there are some people out there who ride public transit who are seriously dirty, stinky and slobby, yet who can manage to pay for a bus or light rail ticket, and there wouldn't be any way to prevent them from eating in your ridesharing car, infesting it with bedbugs, or stinking it up with their BO or whatever. A lot (most?) people would consider this a non-starter for sharing their personal vehicles out, or even riding in cars subject to that.

I think more people would farm their cars out, but the fundamental attraction to cars is the flexibility and control that you get from owning and using your own car. You get to drive where you want, when you want, and you can trick your car out however you want, set your AC however you want, etc... If you're running late (or early), you can do that as you feel like with your own car. You can make impromptu stops as you like.

I think that is not going to be overcome by people's desire to save what will probably be a small amount of money over the life of a car by doing ridesharing with autonomous cars, and by sharing their own cars out if they happen to own one.

From the consumer perspective, why haven't Lyft and Uber supplanted private car ownership significantly in the years since they started? From the consumer perspective, there should be no difference within a metro area whether or not the vehicle is autonomous or not. I suspect it's because they don't want to be constrained by having to call up a car for every stop of a multiple stop errand trip, or find out that their Uber smells like mildew, or keeps the AC too hot, or whatever it may be.

I mean, if I wake up on a Saturday and want to go to Home Depot, I can just go. I don't have to call up an Uber, wait 15 minutes for it to show up, and then repeat the process each time I choose to go somewhere else before going home. That's a monstrous pain in the ass, plus it's pretty clear that Uber is drastically more expensive to make that trip- their fare estimator quoted me $6.53 to get from my house to Home Depot one way. Based on 10 mpg, which is probably really low, even considering a cold, non-warmed up pickup on an all-city trip, I'm estimating 1/10 of that for the trip (65 cents - 2.5 miles @ $2.60 per gallon) in gas, plus whatever costs for maintenance, tires, etc... So let's say $1 for the trip each way. Still beats the shit out of paying $6.53 each way.

And what do you do if you go on camping trips or hunting tripos? Hire the off-road autonomous uber? What if you own land that has dirt roads or is far off the beaten path? You'll then have to wait for someone willing to part with their car for some extended period while you go to the family farm 200 miles across the state.
  #96  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:09 PM
enipla enipla is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 13,206
One of my 'cars' is a plow truck chained up on all 4 wheels. It never leaves my property in the winter. Even after 25 years of plowing, it get's hinky. No snowstorm is the same. No plowing is the same. I suspect an AV will have a VERY low tolerance for the possibility of getting stuck. And just say 'uh,uh'. I can't imagine where it will every have better judgement than someone that has been driving his 'road' for 25 years (it actually does have a County Road #, but is not much more than a dirt path). I have a friend that has a new car with accident avoidance. She knows just where one snow drift builds up and can break through it. Opps, her new car throws on the brakes thinking it's about to hit something. We got a ways to go.
__________________
I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from here.
  #97  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:37 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Lovely Montclair, NJ
Posts: 12,837
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
From the consumer perspective, why haven't Lyft and Uber supplanted private car ownership significantly in the years since they started? From the consumer perspective, there should be no difference within a metro area whether or not the vehicle is autonomous or not. I suspect it's because they don't want to be constrained by having to call up a car for every stop of a multiple stop errand trip, or find out that their Uber smells like mildew, or keeps the AC too hot, or whatever it may be.

<snip>

Still beats the shit out of paying $6.53 each way.
The second part of your quote answers the first part. If you want an Uber, you're paying for a person to drive you. Driving is work. Work costs money, and if you drive a lot, or close to a lot, Uber is too expensive. Get rid of the driver, and the cost of an AVUber is much reduced, their incremental cost, inclusive of maintenance, cleaning etc, is that $1 each way. Every single penny you pay over that is a penny that goes to fixed costs/profit. Let's say it's $1.25, or $1.50 is that worth it? Assuming it's convenient of course. If 20 people borrow my car for trips like that a day, I could be putting hundreds of dollars towards my car loan and insurance every month, with no more effort than activating an app on my phone.
  #98  
Old 09-25-2018, 03:54 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,998
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
I can easily imagine why a person who is currently riding the bus and walking from the bus stop would prefer to get dropped off at their office door by an Uber. Can't you?
Depends on how good their current public transport is, and whether they improve as well. Naturally, when cars become self-driving, so will buses. They will run more frequently.

Quote:
If we're talking about actual Uber, where the cars are owned by individuals who live an hour and a half away in the suburbs
No, we're talking about a company like Uber owning a huge fleet of self-driving cars. That's why Uber is investing in self-driving technology. The intent is to eliminate human drivers and private car owners.


Quote:
I get that this is the Monty Python argument sketch and you're automatically gainsaying everything I write, but are you seriously dismissing the notion of all cars everywhere being on the road constantly as being a non-issue, from a cost, wear, and traffic standpoint?
It's a solved issue. In places where most people commute by car, workplaces have parking lots big enough for their employees' cars. With on-demand self-driving cars, they will require at most the same amount of parking space, and likely much less.


Quote:
Had you suggested that Uber would contract with them (and increase their cut accordingly), that might have been better, but you're still talking about a not-inconsiderable infrastructure change...
That is what I suggested. The "operator" is Uber and its competitors who own fleets of self-driving cars. We already have technology to pay for toll roads wirelessly - no new technology required.

Quote:
You're seriously going to run with "running the cars down the roads 24/7 even if they get no passengers whatsoever for that period is an excellent idea with no negative side effects whatsoever", are you?
Yes, but I expect the cars will be stopped most of the time. Perhaps better to say they will be parked on the road, but get out of the way of any car that is carrying a passenger.

Quote:
Of course stores will need parking lots, and of course some of those cars will sit outside patiently waiting for their designated passenger (slowly ticking up the meter for that customer). Consider the average shopping trip. You call your car and go to the store, and buy some stuff. Then you call another car and go to another store nearby. And...take your previous stuff into the store with you, so the first car doesn't drive off with it? Do you go all the way back home between each and every store just to drop off each load? Ha ha, no.
The car doesn't have to be parked next to the store while you shop. It can drive a short distance and find an empty road to sit at, then come and pick you up when you are ready to leave. It can wait on a road, or find a nearby parking lot, or keep driving around the block if that's the only option available.


Quote:
Or say you're going on a trip. I've seen it mentioned that a perk is that you can hire an Uber and get driven to a city six hours away, and that's no problem because the suburbian who owns the car doesn't have to go with you and never wants to see his car again. Okay, I can accept that, that makes total sense. But what about your luggage? When you stop your car at a public toilet you don't really want the thing haring off to give somebody nearby a lift to Canada. Besides all your stuff rolling away, you also are going to have to wait another hour for a second car to drive up from the nearest town and give you a lift for the rest of the way.
The owner of the car is a national corporation, so a road trip is no more of a problem than a one-way car rental. And of course such a service will allow you to retain a car (for a small hourly fee) while your stuff is in the car. You would do the same if you go on an all-day shopping spree.


Quote:
Ha ha, no again. You'll be able to 'hire' a car for more than a single ride, and make the car sit around waiting for you to get back into it. That's a given in this new world order. And it's worth noting that the stores will be okay with that - you're a customer, so your Uber waiting for you is fine.
Your Uber doesn't have to wait at the curb, or in the store parking lot. It will wait wherever it can, and pick you up when you are ready.

If you decide to buy your own self-driving car, it will do the same.

Last edited by scr4; 09-25-2018 at 03:56 PM.
  #99  
Old 09-25-2018, 04:13 PM
bump bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 16,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesesteak View Post
The second part of your quote answers the first part. If you want an Uber, you're paying for a person to drive you. Driving is work. Work costs money, and if you drive a lot, or close to a lot, Uber is too expensive. Get rid of the driver, and the cost of an AVUber is much reduced, their incremental cost, inclusive of maintenance, cleaning etc, is that $1 each way. Every single penny you pay over that is a penny that goes to fixed costs/profit. Let's say it's $1.25, or $1.50 is that worth it? Assuming it's convenient of course. If 20 people borrow my car for trips like that a day, I could be putting hundreds of dollars towards my car loan and insurance every month, with no more effort than activating an app on my phone.
First, cost has absolutely NOTHING to do with price. Price has to do with what the market will bear, and I doubt that it will bear more than the existing cost per mile for car ownership, except in the situations where people are willing to pay a premium- going out drinking, going places where there's limited parking, or their personal car and public transit are unavailable. Otherwise why would someone pay more for the same service they already get by owning their car?

In your example, the AVUber would have to price themselves under my $1 for that trip and still make a profit in the bargain, which might be difficult, considering that the cars that a person would own themselves and not share and the AVUber cars would be identical, so costs would be similar if not identical.

I also imagine they could want to limit the number of cars that are part of the ridesharing network- that way, they can limit supply and raise the price they can charge, so they'd probably want to charge a fee for being part of the ridesharing network. That would also factor into the per-mile cost.

In short, I think that since the cars are the same, the per-mile costs would be essentially the same, and the AVUber would also have costs above and beyond that (licensing fees, profit, etc...) which a private owner would not have. It is true that there are situations where people are willing to pay a premium, but in the majority of trips, it would cost more for AVUber than owning your own car.
  #100  
Old 09-25-2018, 04:38 PM
wolfpup's Avatar
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 9,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
So you have a downtown metropolitan area, with millions of people working in it and no convenient parking around. We know that come five o'clock those millions of people will be calling for millions of Ubers, and there had better be millions of Ubers available or there will be wait times of an hour or more since it will take a while for cars to make multiple trips, dropping off one rider and coming back for a second. So we know there have to be tons of cars waiting around for a rider come start of rush hour.
There are also unpredictable demands, and the best way I can put it is this: Try to get a cab in Manhattan when it's raining! It's a famous meme but it's true. Ask me how I know.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:58 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017