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Friday, September 25, 2015

Thoughts On The Morning Commute...


  Has anyone thought through the repercussions of Autonomous Cars?

During the commute I imagined riding in an electric-self driven car that was linked to all the other cars around as well as linked to the "grid" that would maintain the speed limit ( would that be necessary?) and completely safe distances. Lets say you have this car in the driveway, you back out in the morning and then the car and road take over.  It follows at a safe distance. Stops as needed. Brings you to your destination safely.

Sounds great on face value. 

Now think about what the .gov will have to do for missing revenue.

How much money is the "car" industry and all the subsets of things related to it really worth?

What if all that revenue that is generated, as well as all the tax revenue from the people employed 
by industries related to today's cars were gone?

This is just a quick mental list I came up with involving some of the things 

No gas tax. ( huge lost of revenue)

No speeding tickets or other infractions. (huge loss of revenue)

No court costs for accidents. (etc.)

No drunk driving fines.  (etc)

( I wonder what percentage of all law enforcement and court related items are "car" related)

The insurance industry.. ( why would you need car insurance?)( huge loss there) 
How would they make up the numbers that are lost?

Lawyers out of work. ( no accidents no-one to blame)

Autobody repair drops off significantly. ( That industry is gutted)

Car/ mechanic repair ( gutted)

Hospital and ambulance calls for accidents (drastically reduced)

Petroleum industry ( gutted)

There are many more that would be affected by this change.




  1. The part I don't get is there does not seem to be a bunch of screaming enviro-nuts on this subject. They hate cars with people in them so I would think the idea of highways full of peopleless cars would make their heads explode.

  2. Don't think it will really happen too soon. Reminds me of the slot car racers of the '70's - my kids ALWAYS found a way to make 'em go faster!

  3. A not insignificant portion of civil forfeitures come from property seized out of cars after they were stopped for vague quasi offenses.

    And to borrow an idea from I, Robot, do you want your car making the decision that it's for the greater good to swerve in front of a moving semi because it can't stop in time to avoid a group of protesting hippies who just stepped into the road in front of you?


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