[ExI] post forward for tara maya

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu May 17 20:37:29 UTC 2012

Posted for Tara:


[Could you please pass this on to the extropy list for me? I still have my
messages bounced by my server when I try to post.]



Robo-cars will probably start coming with a lot of apps to entertain
passengers as they drive. This will probably happen in three ways:


1. They will integrate with existing tech, i.e. you stick your iPad in the
slot and watch it as a tv.

2. They will have their own integrated tech, i.e. a giant tv/computer
already in the car, chairs that massage you, sleep lighting, 360 degree
windows for sightseeing, etc.

3. They will make present day limo perks look tame. Food and alcohol will be
commonly available in robo-cars. Driving drunk will be popular again, since
there's no reason not to. Fridges may become standard features.


Kelly Anderson wrote: 

I suspect autonomous vehicles will also
result in a very high measurable increase in productivity. Now all you
can do in your car is use your cell phone, which is only so
productive. In the future with autonomous vehicles, you should be able
to do reasonably passable video conferencing and computer sharing
(like gotomypc.com) and such that will be way more productive than the
uses we put our time in cars to now.


Yes, I think there would be a tremendous gain in productivity. 


Right now you have millions of people spending hours per day doing nothing
but trying to get from one spot to another without killing anyone along the
way. It's tiring, it's stressful, it's a waste of time. On a train or a bus,
you can do some work while you ride, but you still have disadvantages. The
main one is that they don't pick you up from your house and drop you off at
your work, but don't forget the others. It might be too crowded to get out
your computer, or you might be afraid of thieves;  for women, especially,
there is the need to be vigilant about predators, which can make public
transportation just as stressful as driving (whenever people trumpet about
the supposed virtues of public over private transportation, I cannot help
but recall certain unpleasant experiences in this area); and if you forget
your stop, or leave behind your bag, you are screwed. 


A robo-car would be like having your own private train, without any of those
disadvantages. You could have your workspace all ready for you, without fear
of being robbed, crowded, harassed or dropped at the wrong place. I think
many people will start their work day as soon as they sit in their robo-car.


But even the slackers and the students and the folks just on their way to
the mall or a movie will still contribute to the economy in their robo-car,
because they will probably be surfing the net, buying apps, playing games,
reading, watching movies, etc. 


If robo-cars made it easier to drive a long way in a shorter period of time,
then longer commutes would be possible. Case in point: we would love to move
our family further from the city center in order to buy a house with an
actual yard. However, the commute to work already wastes two hours a day, an
hour each way. Furthermore, that time is completely wasted, since it must be
spent avoiding high-impact death, rather than, say, answering emails. Even
if a robo-car couldn't make the commute one minute faster, by freeing the
driver to do something else (like on a train), that would free up two work
hours. And if the robo-car system could reduce traffic and increase speeds
safely, then perhaps we could live twice as far away, in a nicer house, with
the same over all commute time, which is now also work time. Big win.


Robo-cars could also allow families to safely send kids to their various
lessons and games without doing all the "chauffeur" work themselves. I don't
know how many parent-hours are spent just driving, but it sure would be nice
to use that time otherwise. Even if you went with your kids to the soccer
game, you could sit and talk with them in the car rather than spend your
time swearing at other drivers.  ;)


On May 16, 2012, at 12:47 AM, BillK wrote:

Most accident repair shops will close down - more unemployment.


Repair shops might do less repairs (I am actually dubious even about that,
since even if robo-cars have less accidents, they can still break), but will
still be active. Service shops will include something like the "genius desk"
to help all of the older citizens and liberal arts majors actually *operate*
their robo-cars, which will be more like operating a computer than a
machine, and thus baffle a good portion of the population. 


Every new feature the robo-car engineers and app developers add to make it
"easier" to use robo-cars will only confuse the tech-challenged portion of
the population more. They will need more service assistance. 


On May 16, 2012, at 12:47 AM, BillK wrote:

Mostly people won't own their own car. They will just specify their
journey, number of people, luggage, etc. and an appropriately sized
vehicle will turn up on schedule and deliver them to their


I can't think of any reason people wouldn't want their own car. Most people
will still commute to work, and so need the car daily. Unless for the
reasons some have suggested it is *significantly* cheaper to rent a rob-car
daily than to leave it in your garage, and I'm not sure it would be, people
would buy and own cars. Maybe this would depend on the city one lived in,
since of course there's already a difference in car ownership in, say, Los
Angeles vs New York. 


However, maybe this is just my own hang-up. I'm not big on rentals. I don't
rent my house, I don't rent my computer, I don't even loan school books if I
can buy them. I'd rather own my own vehicle. If it's my own car, I can pack
it with a diaper and toy bag for the kids, water bottles and power bars in
case I am stuck in a snowstorm or earthquake or alien invasion. The kids can
put stickers on the window. And if the baby barfs on the seat, I don't have
to worry about paying some company a fine. (And really, would you *want* to
be the next customer in the car after me on the day the baby is sick? No, my
friend. No, you really wouldn't. You'd want me to own my own car too.)


Unless of course, it was really, really much cheaper and almost as fast to
get a rental to my house whenever I needed it. Speed is important. If I live
out in the boondocks because robo-cars have made it easy to commute a long
way, I don't want to have to wait half an hour every time I call a car to my
house. The price difference would have to significant too. Right now, if I
wanted, I could ride the bus and train to work, but it would cost me almost
as much as my car, and that's just for my commute. It doesn't count all the
other trips I make chauffeuring the kids around.


In that case, sure, you'd have to put up with my baby possibly barfing on
your seat. So a lot depends on price point. I guess I just don't see why
robo-cars would be more expensive to own compared to always taking


By the way, my 3 little boys absolutely LOVE cars. I don't pretend to
understand it, but good luck decoupling cars from the American (really? no
one else in the world loves cars? really?) psyche. 


On May 16, 2012, at 6:26 PM, Mike Dougherty wrote:


Another important side effect of on-demand cars showing up when
required is that we de-invest our identity from them.  I'm not going
to leave 'my stuff' in the car when anyone else might be using it next
or (more likely) that I may not see that particular vehicle again for
weeks.  Assuming these vehicles keep themselves clean (within
tolerances agreed-upon by service provider and consumer) there is also
less concern for how stylish the vehicle is; for it is no longer a
status object to be owned or compared to others'.


Certain people who at present don't care much about cars will buy new cars
more often to get the latest features.


I don't really see why people would de-invest their identity from their cars
just when the cars get cooler and more awesome than ever. That hardly fits
with human nature. A phone was always something of a status symbol, but that
has only increased as phones have gotten "smarter" and the gap between the
most basic phone and the most feature-loaded phone increases. As robo-cars
are likely to increasingly load cars with new apps and features, we are
likely to see their status-value increase or at least continue to be of
importance. The main change will be that it will no longer be merely speed
and style that is important in judging a car, but things like its
connectivity to larger systems.


On May 16, 2012, at 12:47 AM, BillK wrote:

Eventually people will be banned from driving on public roads as being
just too dangerous.


Indeed. Which would open a market for privately owned courses where ordinary
people could take their hobby cars to drive. Much as people do with horses.
It might even be cheaper than keeping a horse, since you only need to "feed"
it when you drive it.


Motor sport will dwindle away as it is much less interesting without
the spectacular crashes. And will humans really want to spend the day
racing each other when a robo-car can come along and beat all their
lap times and show them how it should be done?


Motor sport will split into robo-car racing and human driver racing. It will
still be popular. Drivers will still die. Otherwise, they wouldn't do it.
Some people crave danger, and the safer the rest of the world becomes, the
more they will turn to artificial ways to inject danger into their lives.
Fans will love watching it for the same reason on a lesser scale.


People generally just won't travel nearly as much. 


Are you kidding? I would travel a lot more. 


Travel time would no longer be wasted time. In fact, if your really enjoyed
the feeling of movement, you might even choose to work from your car, as you
would probably have full connectivity. You could drive and work four hours
in the morning, stop in a brand new city every day for lunch and a bit of
sightseeing, then work another four hours on the commute home.

The cruising for no
reason will disappear as you won't be doing the fun driving. 


Except you could be drunk. And going very, very fast. I imagine some people
would indulge in that just for the hell of it. 


 problem won't matter so much if people gradually
stop needing to use oil at the same time as oil supplies gradually
reduce and become more expensive.


Obviously, a lot depends on how cheap it is to buy and run a robo-car vs
what we have now. But in general, I think that if robo-cars could go faster
in a shorter period of time with less stress for the driver, then we will
see an *increase* in mobility, not a decrease.


Just for the record, I think increased mobility is to be welcomed, not


Tara Maya

The Unfinished Song: Initiate <http://goo.gl/My1if>  (Book 1)

The Unfinished Song: Taboo <http://goo.gl/6YT1F>  (Book 2)

The Unfinished Song: Sacrifice <http://goo.gl/tIr4u>  (Book 3) 




-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20120517/be669220/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list