U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-18-2013, 08:38 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
Reputation: 9769

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
the most efficient and most cost-effective form of driverless technology is already available to us. its called public transit.
Most public transit, even fixed-rail public transit, is not driverless.

Quote:
I think a more sensible solution lies in improving and greatly expanding the abysmal public transportation sector. why do we have the worst PT in the world?
We don't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-19-2013, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,436 posts, read 11,937,287 times
Reputation: 10542
This conversation has sure drifted. My two cents.

1. You cannot call Roman-era settlements on the outskirts of cities suburbs. Suburbs are defined by the separation of the work environment and the home environment, and for the large part, people who didn't work.

2. I don't like sprawl personally for atheistic reasons, but I admit that's subjective. Objectively speaking, they are a waste of carbon emissions (and thus energy) compared to more dense, mixed-use development, but this isn't something intrinsic. If you developed zero-emission cars which took energy from cheap, clean sources, this objection would go away. Thus there's nothing intrinsicly wrong about sprawl, it's just becoming a less tenable model in the current era as energy prices rise. But we've sunk so much money into the current suburban infrastructure, which cannot easily be retooled into anything else in many areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Anyway another possibility is simply making vans without drivers and using them to commute in the burbs and exburbs. They could be cheaper than buses with drivers and well suited for door to door pick up in areas without sidewalks or streets laid out on grid. Won’t make cities any more denser but might reduce the need for cars a bit.
I think it will be very hard to convince the public to used shared minibuses or vans which are driverless. Think about it - even if you knew it was being taped, would you want to get into a car with a total stranger and no one else on board?

For that reason, I see driverless systems either being very big (replacing trains or busses, with perhaps a low-paid attendant who just acts as security), or very small (as in, if there's just one of you, it sends out a single-seater "pod").

Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
the most efficient and most cost-effective form of driverless technology is already available to us. its called public transit. the problem of traffic congestion (and sprawl) is caused in direct part by the automobile, so an autocentric response to the problem will not solve anything. it will only make things worse. that's an example of techno-narcissism. when you have a fire you don't pour gasoline on it unless you want to make the problem worse.

I think a more sensible solution lies in improving and greatly expanding the abysmal public transportation sector. why do we have the worst PT in the world? because the govt working with the highway lobby has been busy blowing our tax dollars by the trillions over the past half century on goldplating the highways, and trillions more for ongoing highway maintenance, that there's nothing left over to fund and build up a decent transit system. or for hardly anything else for that matter. which might help explain why the federal govt and states are going bankrupt today.
The problem is that public transit is publicly-funded, and self-driving cars are going to be privately funded. Thus if self-driving takes off enough it eats into transit, we'll be sinking billions into infrastructure which will be useless in twenty years.

Self-driving cars have a few great advantages over mass transit. Like a car, they are available on essentially your schedule (in theory, once they are up and running), and most importantly, you can get from anywhere to anywhere with them. It's hard to see how they won't kill off inter-city rail travel, for example, or intra-city travel to areas which are not so convenient to transit.

On the other hand, mass transit will remain very good for commuters - getting people to regional job centers and universities. As I stated upthread, it will be a long time, if ever, before there is enough of a supply of self-driving cars to deal with rush-hour conditions. Even with all the cars self-parking, they'll still require a ridiculous amount of parking spaces, not to mention the absurdly long lines of cars which will be waiting to drop off or pick up people in front of skyscrapers. Commuter mass transit will thus remain essential in this limited area, even if it fades in importance virtually everywhere else.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-19-2013, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,094,154 times
Reputation: 12647
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
This conversation has sure drifted. My two cents.

1. You cannot call Roman-era settlements on the outskirts of cities suburbs. Suburbs are defined by the separation of the work environment and the home environment, and for the large part, people who didn't work.
Sounds like a roman settlement on the outskirts of cities. Those were mostly homes for the elite. Not much in the way of jobs there aside from domestic slaves. Besides, it's a huge misnomer that suburbs aren't where a large number of people work. That's true of some bedroom communities, but not at all true of suburbs as a whole. There's quite a few major employers and many, many more small ones in Sacramento's suburbs. Intel and Apple, are just two examples. Seattle's Eastside is an even stronger example of that. Some of them are in Bellevue which is kind of becoming an actual city but isn't quite there yet, mostly in that it's lacking in the culture and arts. Its downtown is very business oriented.

Quote:
2. I don't like sprawl personally for atheistic reasons, but I admit that's subjective. Objectively speaking, they are a waste of carbon emissions (and thus energy) compared to more dense, mixed-use development, but this isn't something intrinsic. If you developed zero-emission cars which took energy from cheap, clean sources, this objection would go away. Thus there's nothing intrinsicly wrong about sprawl, it's just becoming a less tenable model in the current era as energy prices rise. But we've sunk so much money into the current suburban infrastructure, which cannot easily be retooled into anything else in many areas.
Sort of true, but not as much as you'd think. Commuter transit projects (park 'n ride) have a lot of potential to preserving suburban lifestyles. They're easier to implement than comprehensive transit in environments that really do require wholesale retooling to effectively be served by transit, which is very costly. Most of your daily needs in the suburbs don't require that much driving, especially if people ditch the Suburbans and Expeditions for something that gets decent mileage. Family size is shrinking, and a Prius V has plenty of room to meet a soccer mom's utility needs of hauling large strollers, shuttling kids around. Plus it's a darn sight cheaper than a full-sized SUV. For those with larger families, minivans work better than SUVs unless you need to tow stuff which isn't that common.

Quote:
I think it will be very hard to convince the public to used shared minibuses or vans which are driverless. Think about it - even if you knew it was being taped, would you want to get into a car with a total stranger and no one else on board?

For that reason, I see driverless systems either being very big (replacing trains or busses, with perhaps a low-paid attendant who just acts as security), or very small (as in, if there's just one of you, it sends out a single-seater "pod").
Personally, I wouldn't. But then I pick up random people so I can use the carpool lane to get into San Francisco. A legitimate point that many wouldn't feel safe doing that. As far as single-seater pods, it might work in urban environments, or even in suburban ones for running errands. Where that sort of summon a shared car just will not at all work is commuting. Rush hour demand would be very high and in generally one direction.

Quote:
The problem is that public transit is publicly-funded, and self-driving cars are going to be privately funded. Thus if self-driving takes off enough it eats into transit, we'll be sinking billions into infrastructure which will be useless in twenty years.

Self-driving cars have a few great advantages over mass transit. Like a car, they are available on essentially your schedule (in theory, once they are up and running), and most importantly, you can get from anywhere to anywhere with them. It's hard to see how they won't kill off inter-city rail travel, for example, or intra-city travel to areas which are not so convenient to transit.

On the other hand, mass transit will remain very good for commuters - getting people to regional job centers and universities. As I stated upthread, it will be a long time, if ever, before there is enough of a supply of self-driving cars to deal with rush-hour conditions. Even with all the cars self-parking, they'll still require a ridiculous amount of parking spaces, not to mention the absurdly long lines of cars which will be waiting to drop off or pick up people in front of skyscrapers. Commuter mass transit will thus remain essential in this limited area, even if it fades in importance virtually everywhere else.
They both would have strengths and weaknesses. I don't know, I just don't see them as competitive just as I don't see cars (normal ones) and public transit as being competitive. Driverless cars might replace transit where it's terribly inefficient, but it'd be too expensive in large cities to offer it instead of public transit. In low-density suburbs it'd be tricky to implement as well. Public transit as untargeted welfare doesn't attract a whole lot of rent seeking in the suburbs because it sucks so badly. Plus its marginal costs are almost nothing. Driverless cars paid for by the taxpayer would be the opposite. Public transport the costs are almost all fixed costs. Once you decide to on a level of service more people using it doesn't really add any costs so even if it attracts people looking for someone else to pay their freight so what? Summonable driverless personal transport pods wouldn't be that way. If they caught on and were financed 80% by the government like public transport is to keep the costs artificially low, it'd either be massively expensive for municipal governments or degenerate through rent seeking (long waits, having to schedule far in advance) it'd cause huge amounts of waste.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2013, 09:45 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,267,953 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Most public transit, even fixed-rail public transit, is not driverless.
I think you're confusing the term driverless with driver-free. public transit is not driver-free but it is driverless.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
We don't.
public transit in the US is the worst in the developed world, worst than Europe and many Asian countries. the US is the only advanced country with no HSR for example. even China has better PT.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,207,122 times
Reputation: 14007
I've thought about self-driving cars and how they would effect the future much like the OP in the past:

Imagine the future: The comfortable single family home in 2112...

I can easily imagine a world where almost nobody owns a car; they just rent them on a per-use basis. The car would show up at your doorstep, take you where you need to go and take itself back to the garage or next renter.

New technologies like electric vehicles with long ranges and instant battery charging, self-healing panels and the ability to change car colors at will + the ability to choose whatever type of car you want or need all far cheaper than it would be to own a vehicle outright will make such an arrangement very appealing.

And of course, if nobody owned cars there would be no need for garages or driveways, causing them to disappear from homes everywhere over time as they are repurposed or omitted in new construction.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2013, 08:10 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,842,524 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
I think you're confusing the term driverless with driver-free. public transit is not driver-free but it is driverless.
It is generally not driverless. There's a person called a "driver" or sometimes "engineer" who drives the public transit vehicle. A few vehicles (such as New York's L train) can be run driverless, but most cannot and some of those which can, are not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-20-2013, 10:06 PM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,267,953 times
Reputation: 2924
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
It is generally not driverless. There's a person called a "driver" or sometimes "engineer" who drives the public transit vehicle. A few vehicles (such as New York's L train) can be run driverless, but most cannot and some of those which can, are not.

subway cars don't have a steering wheel so they cannot be driven. nor are airplanes. like trains subways and light rail are operated. they don't have drivers they have operators or engineers. and airplanes are piloted.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2014, 05:00 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,006,214 times
Reputation: 1348
Just bringing back an old thread as a reminder to people in the "Aging Boomers" thread that we've gone at length about driverless cars.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top