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View Poll Results: Help us make a choice!
Royal Oak 6 50.00%
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:07 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,298,213 times
Reputation: 1864

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
Mass transit ridership is down across the country. The MTA loses billions every year. Silicon Valley and traditional automakers are in a race to transform transportation as we know it via autonomous vehicles that could render mass transportation obsolete.

Explain to me again why we want to take on billions in public debt and liabilities to construct 19th century technology that most people don't want (and will likely be obsolete in a decade or two)?
Some rapid transit systems, like Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Nashville had ridership increases in 2016, but many systems were down. Almost all bus ridership was down in all cities. The decrease in ridership may have to do more with Uber-Lyft, cheap gas, poorly maintained transit infrastructure, and transit worker strikes. It is too early to tell whether this is a long term trend. Many transit systems increased ridership in 2013, 2014, 2015.

If autonomous vehicles replace all those buses and trains in our nation's cities, won't traffic congestion increase in our already strained road infrastructure? Individual cars replacing buses that carry 35 people and trains that can carry 80 or 100 people

I just don't see how logistically it would work, unless you add a lane in each direction on all major roadways.

There are instances where rapid transit is the superior mode of transportation. If downtown Detroit approaches its status as the major office, retail, and entertainment center of the region like it was in its heyday, than rapid transit will be needed. If we don't build something, it is going to be a traffic nightmare everyday down there like it is on Tigers and Lions game days. During its heyday, the nation's largest city-owned streetcar system and 2 commuter rail lines brought people into Downtown, in addition to cars and buses.

Also, tourists and business travelers coming in to downtown/midtown/New Center or Ann Arbor from DTW should be able to get on a train to those downtowns, because the current options - expensive MetroCars or Uber/Lyft Ride, or 1.5 hour long bus ride - are inadequate. The tracks and trains are already there for the AA-Detroit line.

Autonomous cars are not proven. How long will it take to know for sure that this is a reliable mode of transportation?
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:20 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,298,213 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
Dumping billions of dollars into a 19th centruy mode of transportation when major disruption in mobility is just around to corner would be insanity. Millennials are already showing a preference for ride sharing over mass transit, and when autonomous vehicle sharing gets going virtually no one will want the inconvenience and added commute time of taking a train to work. Building a mass transit system that won't be online for at least a decade would guarantee a fiscal disaster.
Cars are a 19th century mode of transportation as well. The first car was built in 1896. Since then, there have been in advances in automobile technology, as there has been in train technology. An example of advances in train technology is the People Mover, which is an automated train (not a 19th technology), and the battery-powered QLine trains.

A grade-separated rail line is going to move much faster than a car and won't get stuck in traffic. That is something that autonomous vehicle technology can't overcome.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:32 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,821,099 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Some rapid transit systems, like Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Nashville had ridership increases in 2016, but many systems were down. Almost all bus ridership was down in all cities. The decrease in ridership may have to do more with Uber-Lyft, cheap gas, poorly maintained transit infrastructure, and transit worker strikes. It is too early to tell whether this is a long term trend. Many transit systems increased ridership in 2013, 2014, 2015.

If autonomous vehicles replace all those buses and trains in our nation's cities, won't traffic congestion increase in our already strained road infrastructure? Individual cars replacing buses that carry 35 people and trains that can carry 80 or 100 people

I just don't see how logistically it would work, unless you add a lane in each direction on all major roadways.

There are instances where rapid transit is the superior mode of transportation. If downtown Detroit approaches its status as the major office, retail, and entertainment center of the region like it was in its heyday, than rapid transit will be needed. If we don't build something, it is going to be a traffic nightmare everyday down there like it is on Tigers and Lions game days. During its heyday, the nation's largest city-owned streetcar system and 2 commuter rail lines brought people into Downtown, in addition to cars and buses.

Also, tourists and business travelers coming in to downtown/midtown/New Center or Ann Arbor from DTW should be able to get on a train to those downtowns, because the current options - expensive MetroCars or Uber/Lyft Ride, or 1.5 hour long bus ride - are inadequate. The tracks and trains are already there for the AA-Detroit line.

Autonomous cars are not proven. How long will it take to know for sure that this is a reliable mode of transportation?
Faster than most people think. Billions upon billions are being poured into tech companies deveoping the technology. Silicon Valley and the autos are all in a race to be the first to have reliable autonomous vehicles on the road because the payoff could be enormous. There's a reason why Tesla's valuation is higher than Ford's right now -- if Elon can pull his vision off, everything we know about transportation will be upended.

Autonomous vehicles can greatly reduce traffic by coordinating with each other. I just read an article the other day where engineers who study random traffic congestion said that most random traffic jams could be significantly reduced through autonomous where you have vehicles coordinating and cooperating with each other rather than jockeying for position.

When the technology is realized, I think cities and counties should think about subsidizing autnomous bus fleets, ride sharing, etc. The cost to taxpayers would be less because you could do more of a private/public partnership, and the governments would not be on the hook for massive infrastructures.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,935,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
...There's a reason why Tesla's valuation is higher than Ford's right now -- if Elon can pull his vision off, everything we know about transportation will be upended. ...
Interestingly the development and charge for autonomous vehicles is being led here in Detroit, well, technically Dearborn, with "Detroit" close behind, and Auburn Hills not far behind that.

Source: https://www.navigantresearch.com/res...omated-driving

Tesla is indeed developing autonomous technology, but most everything I've read on the subject indicates that Ford and GM are far closer to putting a reliable, mainstream market product on the street. The reason Tesla is valued so high is due to emotion and a perceived value of something that's new and fresh, while Ford is perceived as boring and stale. Meanwhile Ford (and GM) turn regular billion dollar profits and Tesla runs in the red, while not being as far along in marketing the "game-changing" technology.

The point is humans don't make sense, and we're not very rational. This is why autonomous vehicle technology is a good thing.
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:56 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,821,099 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Interestingly the development and charge for autonomous vehicles is being led here in Detroit, well, technically Dearborn, with "Detroit" close behind, and Auburn Hills not far behind that.

Source: https://www.navigantresearch.com/res...omated-driving

Tesla is indeed developing autonomous technology, but most everything I've read on the subject indicates that Ford and GM are far closer to putting a reliable, mainstream market product on the street. The reason Tesla is valued so high is due to emotion and a perceived value of something that's new and fresh, while Ford is perceived as boring and stale. Meanwhile Ford (and GM) turn regular billion dollar profits and Tesla runs in the red, while not being as far along in marketing the "game-changing" technology.

The point is humans don't make sense, and we're not very rational. This is why autonomous vehicle technology is a good thing.
I agree with all of this. I am skeptical that Elon will pull off everything he has promised, but with the amount of capital being invested in this technology its clear that someone will. It's reminiscent of the space race when the government poured enourmous sums into semiconductor technology. That's really what made Silicon Valley what it is today.

When Ford and GM started putting considerable resources behind this is when I realized it's not just a sci-fi fantasy anymore. It's an exciting time to be working in autos and the area could really benefit if we become one of the hubs of AI in autos.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:02 AM
 
67 posts, read 52,424 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
I even know tons of people that couldn't accept good jobs because they didn't have a car...
Mother Waddles Car Donations Detroit Michigan
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:07 AM
 
67 posts, read 52,424 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by newdixiegirl View Post

By the way, public transportation also doesn't have to be dingy, dirty, "germ infested, potentially dangerous ways to travel. It doesn't have to be like riding on a subway or a bus in NYC (of the 70s).
Not 70s, but my experience within the last 3 years in Ann Arbor, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Chicago. Fine for vacations, but not something I want to deal with 5 days a week.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 845,847 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig11152 View Post
And yet I witnessed young people ordering up Uber and Lyfts constantly. A lot of those young proffessionals don't live within walking distance of their jobs AND they don't always want to go to the neighborhood bar they can walk to so they ride in a car.




In the case of my step daughter she works in the NBC Tower and lives in Old Town. She uses Uber so much she gets preferred customer discounts from time to time. When discounts are not in place its about a $7 ride. Sometimes she walks home after work but even if she never did $14 a day times 5 days a week times 50 weeks a year is $3500. Thats about $290 a month. That is certainly more expensive than the bus but its a lot cheaper than owning a car. So its very "financially sustainable" in that regard.

And I am NOT SAYING nobody takes public transportation in Chicago. What I am suggesting is a LOT of people will take a car (Uber/Lyft) if they can afford it and buses or the "L" is a second (the affordable) choice.
I mean, even New York City and London are famous for their cabs. You simply could not take the L everywhere, imagine trying to get groceries for a week when you have to use a train to get them back. It would also be ineffective for going quite a few places that are practically inconvenient by train... after all Chicago has a mere fraction of the stations that New York does.

But it would be impossible to live car free if not for public transportation. Your step daughter will be in a tiny minority for whom work is within walking distance of their jobs AND can afford to ride share when they don't want to.
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