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The impact of autonomous vehicles


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#1
funkervogt

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  • Small, cheap, lightweight cars for fast delivery of goods (e.g. - groceries, pizza). They wouldn't have seats or be big enough for humans. 
  • Cheaper taxi cab fares will take business away from buses. 
  • Buses plying fixed routes might be obsoleted by vans plying semi-flexible routes. 
  • Taxis could also work in tandem with older mass transit systems by ferrying people from doorstep to bus- or train stop. People in the suburbs would thus gain access to mass transit. 
  • Much faster home deliveries of goods.
  • Impact on traffic congestion is unclear. More vehicles would be on the roads than there are today, but they would make much more efficient use of the roadways by coordinating traffic flows. Some of the autonomous future vehicles would also be much smaller than today's cars, meaning 2 - 4 of them could fit in the same footprint as a modern car.

https://arstechnica....more-than-cars/



#2
UG1

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When it comes to autonomous vehicles what could this mean for commercial vehicle insurance? Would the primary insurance company be at risk, the software or AI that powers the car and it's respective company, or would it be just chalked up as a mistake? According to this article on commercial auto insurance, the vehicles covered are commercial cars, semi trucks, limos and taxi cabs. Would an autonomous vehicle used for commercial purposes fall under these categories or would a special coverage be made?

 

Interesting things to discuss! 



#3
funkervogt

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I'm not sure what business model will come to predominate. For sure though, car insurance rates will sharply decline thanks to autonomous cars being safer drivers than humans. I've read that this will hit the insurance industry hard and force them to consolidate and to focus more on selling other products, like homeowners insurance. 

 

Local governments will also get less revenue from red light cameras, speed cameras, and other traffic infractions. Maybe the cameras will eventually disappear thanks to disuse.



#4
caltrek

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One obvious impact that just occurred to me is parking. This point has probably been greatly discussed in other places, but it just occurred to me.  Combine GPS and autonomous vehicles and you have vehicles that can park themselves.  That means they can drop you off at you desired location, find a parking space, then nestle there until called to pick you up.  Short term ten minute parking zones might be more numerous because you could time your car to pick you up at such zones.  

 

You would probably want to build in some redundancy features.  Like the car could text message and or email you when it has found a space.  So if there are problems with batteries running down or signal interference later on, you would at least know where your vehicle is parked. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5
Miky617

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I'm not sure what business model will come to predominate. For sure though, car insurance rates will sharply decline thanks to autonomous cars being safer drivers than humans. I've read that this will hit the insurance industry hard and force them to consolidate and to focus more on selling other products, like homeowners insurance. 

 

Local governments will also get less revenue from red light cameras, speed cameras, and other traffic infractions. Maybe the cameras will eventually disappear thanks to disuse.

 

I believe that insurance will be a big source of pressure to adopt autonomous vehicle technology. As rates decrease for autonomous cars, people who insist on driving "manual" cars will be forced to deal with relatively high (or increasing) insurance rates, which may lead to faster adoption of self-driving cars. As you say though, once the roads are more or less saturated with self-driving cars and they've been optimized to the point that road accidents are more or less eliminated, insurance companies may direct their attention to other forms. Though, they might insist on maintaining a presence on auto insurance, since at that point it'll represent an almost guaranteed profit, as they'll almost never have to pay it out to anyone. Maybe it'll only apply to car issues in the sense of wear-and-tear, upgrading or replacing hardware, etc?



#6
funkervogt

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Though, they might insist on maintaining a presence on auto insurance, since at that point it'll represent an almost guaranteed profit, as they'll almost never have to pay it out to anyone. Maybe it'll only apply to car issues in the sense of wear-and-tear, upgrading or replacing hardware, etc?

 

That would be a radical change from the current car insurance coverage model. I've never heard of a car insurance policy that paid for routine maintenance, like oil changes or tire rotations. They also won't pay for ordinary wear and tear, like the gradual fading of the car's paint job or small chips in the paint near the tires from pebbles bouncing up. 



#7
funkervogt

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One obvious impact that just occurred to me is parking. This point has probably been greatly discussed in other places, but it just occurred to me.  Combine GPS and autonomous vehicles and you have vehicles that can park themselves.  That means they can drop you off at you desired location, find a parking space, then nestle there until called to pick you up.  Short term ten minute parking zones might be more numerous because you could time your car to pick you up at such zones.  

 

You would probably want to build in some redundancy features.  Like the car could text message and or email you when it has found a space.  So if there are problems with batteries running down or signal interference later on, you would at least know where your vehicle is parked. 

Yes. The private parking lot industry will take a major hit thanks to autonomous vehicles. The cars will be programmed to drop you off in front of your destination and then drive to the nearest free parking spot where they'd wait for you to finish. Something like an "AirBNB for parking spaces" would come into existence, with average people renting out spaces in their private driveways on an hourly basis for low fees. 


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#8
Miky617

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That would be a radical change from the current car insurance coverage model. I've never heard of a car insurance policy that paid for routine maintenance, like oil changes or tire rotations. They also won't pay for ordinary wear and tear, like the gradual fading of the car's paint job or small chips in the paint near the tires from pebbles bouncing up.


I suppose you’re right. I have a hard time seeing why auto insurance would be relevant though once autonomous vehicle tech has been perfected. I guess as long as there’s a small part of the population that insists on driving manually then insurance will have a place, but otherwise it seems like buying volcano insurance in Florida or something. Accidents will be so infrequent that without legal obligation, it’d make little sense to invest in insurance. Without some kind of incentive to the payers, maybe auto insurance will just disappear?

#9
funkervogt

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That would be a radical change from the current car insurance coverage model. I've never heard of a car insurance policy that paid for routine maintenance, like oil changes or tire rotations. They also won't pay for ordinary wear and tear, like the gradual fading of the car's paint job or small chips in the paint near the tires from pebbles bouncing up.


I suppose you’re right. I have a hard time seeing why auto insurance would be relevant though once autonomous vehicle tech has been perfected. I guess as long as there’s a small part of the population that insists on driving manually then insurance will have a place, but otherwise it seems like buying volcano insurance in Florida or something. Accidents will be so infrequent that without legal obligation, it’d make little sense to invest in insurance. Without some kind of incentive to the payers, maybe auto insurance will just disappear?

 

Autonomous cars will never be 100% safe from accidents, so they will still need to carry car insurance. If anything, they will still routinely fall victim to freak occurrences, like large tree branches suddenly falling onto the road right in front of them or deer jumping into the road from behind visual concealment, like bushes. However, accidents will be rarer than today, so the insurance will be cheaper. 


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#10
funkervogt

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I just thought of another industry that will be eviscerated: home moving companies. In the future, you might pay some local guys off Craigslist to load your furniture and other belongings into an autonomous truck, then it would drive itself to the destination, where you'd pay a second group of local guys to unload it. Moving a full house worth of stuff halfway across America can easily cost $10,000 today. The system I described might cut that down by 70-80%. 

 

The car moving industry (e.g. - someone else drives your car across country for you because you moved) will also die out once cars are autonomous. 

 

https://www.homeadvi...-distance-move/

 

This is just more bad news for working-class and working-poor men. 


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#11
Richard Putra

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Self driving cars are just another form of automation. They're like escalators but safer.

#12
funkervogt

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Airports have huge parking lots that would disappear once autonomous cars became common. I wonder what the space would be used for.




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