By on October 27, 2016

car behind fence (Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr)

Almost three years ago, I wrote a little piece of fiction for this site (back when we used to do that sort of thing) called “The Controller.” The premise was that, one day, the government would decide what was best for all of us by taking away our right to own and operate cars. A little “Red Barchetta,” a little Richard Fosterand a little Affordable Care Act, all wrapped up in one. To this day, it ranks among my favorite pieces that I’ve written.

However, the change in the socio-political climate in those three years has led me to believe that the government won’t have to resort to totalitarian tactics to take our cars. No, the majority of people will hand over the keys willingly and easily, and they’ll do it thanks to one of the most brilliant political tactics ever developed.

They’ll be shamed into doing it.

It won’t take long, either, once the autonomous revolution happens. It will hit the coastal cities first, with ride-hailing services taking the place of what little car ownership exists in places like New York and Philadelphia.  The narrative with start with articles from the Times and WaPo, who will sing the praises of the little robotic autos, calling into question the sanity of anybody who is still archaic enough to want to own a car.

The streets will turn to silence, as autonomous cars ferry the worker bees from their $2,500 apartments to their 7:30 to 3:30 jobs with nary a honk of a horn. Never mind that autonomous vehicles are incredibly impractical throughout much of flyover country, where road conditions can vary greatly and the weather is much less predictable — we’ll be continuously force-fed a diet of praise for the driverless pods from the mainstream media.

If autonomous cars do what they’re supposed to do — which is reduce crashes and fatalities — then the narrative will quickly become one of shaming and irresponsibility. God forbid that somebody who is doing the driving for himself hits and kills somebody in an autonomous car. He’ll be infamous by the end of the hour.

Responsible Citizen Executed At The Hands Of A Selfish Driver”

And if you think that Gen Y hipsters are insufferable, wait until you see how their Gen Z replacements act. The constant virtue signalling will be unbearable to listen to.

“I’m so glad I don’t drive one of those minority-killing murder wagons like my parents did,” they’ll say to each other over non-fat mochas.

No longer content with simply obliterating the 2nd Amendment (or the 1st, with their safe spaces and warnings about Tom and Jerry cartoons), the next generation will set their sights on the car. Driving a car won’t just be uncool — it will portrayed as a dangerous, selfish activity that nobody needs to do. The insulation provided on these already car-free campuses will allow the professors there to brainwash them into thinking that the freedom to drive yourself anywhere you’d like is really just as unnecessary as owning your own firearm.

“Henry Ford could never have dreamed that someday his company would create cars with five hundred horsepower,” they’ll say. “Nobody needs to have that much power. It’s dangerous and it’s recklessly harmful to our environment.”

You had to know that the environment was going to get roped into this discussion at some point, right? I mean, when a scientist the caliber of Leonardo DiCaprio says that global warming is a problem, we all need to listen. And if these little Autobots (TM) are electrified, the shaming will get even worse. I mean, not only are you a selfish, murderous, capitalist pig for driving yourself around, you’re also killing Mother Earth, which is pretty much the only semi-religious figure these people worship.

Getting a driver’s license will no longer be a rite of passage that children dream about — instead, it will be a signal that you’re a hick from Tennessee, as the emasculation of the modern man takes another giant leap for Zhekind. Soon, the country will be divided into drivers and passengers and believe me, the passengers will be the ones seen as modern and virtuous.

Will it stop the sales of non-autonomous cars? No, of course not. After all, the relentless pursuit of the 2nd Amendment has caused firearm sales to spike in many parts of the country. But it cannot be denied that something that was once considered a fundamental right — it’s in the Bill of Rights, for God’s sake — when I was growing up in the 80’s is now seen as a certain sign of being a backwards guns-and-religion clinger, to the point where 67% of Americans now believe that the President was correct in using executive action to bypass Congress to enact stricter gun control.

How did that happen? Simple. The media told us gun violence was a problem, and we believed them. Do you think we’ll act any differently when they tell us that death by car is an even bigger one? And, by the way, they’ll be absolutely right. About 35,000 people die every year in car crashes in the United States, which is over triple the number of gun-related homicides. One can’t even make a justifiable case that the car is less dangerous than the gun, yet we’ve all accepted that as the cost of convenience.

But what happens when it doesn’t have to be that way? When cars aren’t a necessity for life? Oh, yes, they’ll come for your cars, my friends. But not with laws. It will start with notes on your windshield. Then a swastika painted on your garage door. Then they’ll come with Twitter and Facebook and whatever the kids will be using in 2025, the year when car ownership is scheduled to end, according to the founder of Lyft. And if General Motors has invested heavily in Lyft — which they have — can there be any doubt that they share the same vision? And if our government has already set the precedent of declaring GM the winner when they’ve clearly lost, then it only stands to reason that they’d do it again.

That’s how it will be done — through pure societal shame. So if you want to know what it’s like to be a non-autonomous car owner in 2025, just ask a gun owner in 2016. You’ll get a glimpse into the future, and you might not like what you see.

[Image: Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)]

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229 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: This Is How They’ll Take Your Car From You...”


  • avatar
    MostlyNormal

    I would like to have both of the front fenders off that 412. Mine are rotten. When the Russians or the Chinese finally take down the web, a well-sorted analog car will be a very useful thing to have.

    • 0 avatar
      Testacles Megalos

      I’m pretty sure that car has a computer (of sorts) in its engine compartment, listening to air flow, temperature, and fuel pressure (and O2 sensor if in CA) as part of the contemporary EFI system. Need to go to its predescessor Squareback to go true analog.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The 412 died before the O2 sensor was a commercially viable product. I’m not seeing how the internet going down is going to affect the operation of computer controlled vehicles. Yeah your Onstar may not have full capability but it is not like the engine won’t run just as it always has since it doesn’t need an internet connection to operate. Now if it truely does go down for the long term it could slow repairs as paper manuals are pretty much a thing of the past and most parts ordering is done electronically.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          So among the entire B&B there were only 2 of us who were Type IV owners?

          And before that I drove a Type III ‘squareback’ (shooting brake).

          • 0 avatar
            justdave

            At least one more – I had a ’68 Squareback with the stock F.I. and then a ’71 Type4 fastback. I swapped the F.I. for a dual Solex setup, then a 2-bbl Holley-Weber, and added a header. I’m pretty sure that I just made it louder, but at the time I was convinced that it was faster. It was at least faster than the Squareback, though – I could actually maintain speed on most of the hills!

          • 0 avatar
            Testacles Megalos

            Well, I wasn’t an owner, but I took my driver’s exam in my parents’ new 412 (’74) and it became “my car” to drive a year or so later when my ’64 Galaxy started rusting off parts on the road. I remember liking the car except for the fact it was even slower than my tired Ford. When did O2 sensors start (at least by ’76 in the CA-version Type II)?.

            Squareback with FI? Didn’t know that. Thought VW made the switch with the 411/412 series.

    • 0 avatar
      Carzzi

      Just last night I was idly looking at eBay listings of 412’s. Not the Brazilian wagon, but the well-proportioned, anodyne and oft-ignored Ferrari.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Where did you get that photo. I owned a Type IV ‘shooting brake’ (3 door wagon) just like the one in the picture. Quite a rare beast and one of my favourite vehicles design wise despite the fact that its electrical and brake issues and the total lack of customer service from the local VW dealer (Cedarbrae) turned our family off of VW’s despite having owned multiple previously.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I do prefer your brother’s take on how more or less we are dividing ourselves into “Rural vs Urban” and that will come to define the future. I would not wish to live in an incorporated area of more than roughly 20,000 people, I’m happy being out here where the cows and sheep outnumber people, I’ll gladly take ownership of my father’s guns when he passes, and it always makes me smile to see the silly happy looks that even elementary kids get from my 1967 Mustang – even though its an absolute hooptie.

    But then I’m just shy of 40. I know plenty of 18 to 2X year olds that don’t have a car and/or a license. Although in this rural community it means someone has to drive their a$$ around.

    Hey precious cupcake, who is going to get you to the mall when mom and dad are gone?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Hey precious cupcake, who is going to get you to the mall when mom and dad are gone?”

      They’ll move to the city, where what few jobs remaining live, and your town will hollow itself out further.

      • 0 avatar
        Click REPLY to reload page

        There won’t be malls any more, there will only be amazon.com and walmart.com left to shop from.
        It’s already started to happen.
        Personally, I try to order all the Xmas presents that I give online, so I won’t be subject to the crowds and nauseating piped-in Xmas songs.

      • 0 avatar
        Willyam

        Yup. This is happening. My family has moved to the exurbs. Our farmland is leased back in our hometown (my folks first met at age 3 or so and had a graduating class of 25). There is a nuclear plant outside of town, but no other jobs. Not even a Wallys. The great big old house that my grandfather owned is slowly decaying into the earth, along with all the others. There simply is no economy there. With no outside money coming in, there is none to circulate.

        Once the cars automate, at least you can watch youtube for your hourly commute to your telecom service cube.

    • 0 avatar
      RoninX

      Well, I live in the People’s Republic of Cambridge (Massachusetts), and I drive a 2016 Corvette. I’ve never really cared about what the crowd (liberal or conservative) thinks you should be doing.

  • avatar
    DaytonaUSA

    Gen Z denizen here……you can pry my Camaro from my cold, dead hands before I get a self-driving cars. And keep that non-fat mocha crap too.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m expecting a societal collapse around that time, so I’m not too worried about being the only non-autonomous car on the block.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generational_theory

  • avatar
    Vega

    ‘So if you want to know what it’s like to be a non-autonomous car owner in 2025, just ask a gun owner in 2016’

    So we’ll be enjoying the most lenient car ownership and use regulations in decades? Awesome. We won’t even need a driver’s license anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      brettucks

      Here in Arizona I would have to agree. And once you leave the city limits I would rather drive myself across some of these wide open spaces. I dont want to see what routes autonomous car would pick based off how far off map services are already. I cant cross town without being sent to a road that will exist in a few years.

      • 0 avatar
        Testacles Megalos

        If we had both lenient gun laws, lenient driving laws, and extended “defend your castle” laws to your car, all of this would settle itself out fairly quickly. I’m surprised the ATLA hasn’t started promoting this.

        • 0 avatar
          Carzzi

          In TX, you do not need a permit of any kind to carry concealed inside your car. You may deploy your weapon while in your vehicle, in self defense. It is an extension of the castle doctrine (an inarguably valid one, too). Might I suggest a S&W Governor or a Taurus Judge loaded with three .45’s and two .410 shot-shells; as Bill Burr said, shot shells “got a good sprayyyd”.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      @Vega

      Very well played!

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Agreed. Before I even clicked to the jump, I was thinking “yea, shame has been soooooo effective at reducing private gun ownership.”

        • 0 avatar
          whynotaztec

          I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so are you saying one should be ashamed if they own a gun? Should this shame apply to any and all private gun ownership?

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            No, I’m not saying you should be ashamed to own a gun. I’m saying that Bark’s claim that gun shaming after mass shootings has had any sway on gun ownership, other than people bunkering down in their given beliefs, is inaccurate.

            I own 2 guns, btw. They were presents from my father, so I’ll unlikely get rid of them. I don’t much care for them as far as hobby shooting or home protection because they are more hassle than they are worth in that regard.

          • 0 avatar
            whynotaztec

            Quentin – good point!

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            “…they are more hassle than they are worth in that regard.”

            That’s the same reason don’t own any guns.

            I’ve been taught gun safety, and know how to handle and store guns properly. I just don’t have any reason to go through the hassle of installing a gun safe and maintaining good procedural discipline on one more thing. So, I don’t own a gun.

            If that changes for some reason, I’ll spend the time and money do it all correctly.

            I don’t see that changing for me personally for the next decade or two, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Luke – agreed. That is why the two I own stay at my father’s house. He already has the appropriate gear in place to safely store them. The only time I use them are at his house anyway, so keeping them there also saves me the hassle of transporting them back and forth.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatist

          Difference is that there is a constitutional component to guns, but not cars

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      It’s getting better or worse for roughly half the population:

      1,430,000 Hawaii
      3,591,000 Connecticut
      6,006,000 Maryland
      6,794,000 Massachusetts
      8,958,000 New Jersey
      12,860,000 Illinois
      19,796,000 New York
      39,145,000 California
      ————-
      143,000,000 out of 324,000,000

    • 0 avatar
      malbuff

      Perhaps you should read the article. He is talking about societal pressure, not law enforcement and government regulation.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Great! Now we’ll have to start printing up the “They can take my non-self-driving car when they pry my cold dead hands off of the steering wheel!” bumper stickers.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    On a side note, this might just be the worst article that I have read by Bark.

    “in 2013, there were 73,505 nonfatal firearm injuries (23.23 per 100,000 U.S. citizens);[2] 11,208 homicides (3.5 per 100,000);[3] 21,175 suicides;[4] 505 deaths due to accidental/negligent discharge of a firearm; and 281 deaths due to firearms-use with “undetermined intent”,[4] included in a total of 33,636 deaths due to “Injury by firearms”.

    Furthermore, there have been 27 amendments to the American Constitution, including the infamous 18th. Some such as the 8th are being at the best ‘bent’ by the Federal Government and/or some states. Others have been altered by judicial decision.

    Technology changes and so does society. No longer do you adults need the privacy of a car to explore their sexuality. There are nicer places to do that including hotels that no longer require proof of marriage to allow you to rent a room.

    As for the neutering of males, there were more than enough virulent males around long before the invention of firearms and motor vehicles. I don’t think that anyone considers Vikings or the Hordes of Genghis Khan to be less masculine because they did not drive or use firearms.

    • 0 avatar
      Vega

      Yes, but the Viking’s masculinity was far less fragile in comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        How can you argue that your average flannel-clad 2016 hipster is any less masculine than some fop in a polyester leisure suit in 1976, or a cravat-wearing fop of a merchant in 1676?

        Geeze, could you be any more “get off my lawn”?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I don’t consider myself a merchant, I’m an importer-exporter.

          And sometimes, an architect.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          It all depends on your definition of masculinity. If it includes being able to work with tools (and actually build or fix something) then yeah the 2016 hipster is much less masculine than the guy from 1976 who could change a light bulb, build his kids a playhouse and tune up his car. Today’s hipster mostly doesn’t know how to use a screwdriver and probably couldn’t tell you if the screwdriver you are holding is a Phillips or not.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Don’t be stupid, this screwdriver is a Craftsman.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            A true man knows that a Robertson is the only screw worth using!

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            I’m not sure about that: I’ve seen more than my fair share of hipsters who can do acceptable bike repair and computer programming. My parents could do the former (but didn’t) and couldn’t fathom the latter.

            That said, a lot of things don’t need repair. I have LED bulbs and they don’t burn out, and the service intervals on my (non-mechanical-princess) cars are such that major services are almost an order of magnitude further apart than on my father’s car.

            There is a lot of generational resentment; it seems to be eclipsed on by ignorance of progress.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            I feel very manly today because I used a bunch of robertson screws to put together a shelf I drew up and built from old plywood. However, I’m sure the hard-core carpenter types would argue that using fasteners in any form is weak. I did cut dados for the shelves and glued them instead of using screws. The screws are used to hold the top distressed planking on and to fasten the facing. I also used a Kreig jig, does that take credibility away because someone idiot-proofed drilling angled pilot holes?
            I have to replace the power steering pump on the BMW, maybe I can earn some man points back this weekend.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Bike repair is pretty simple it was something I was doing in 2nd grade, so very few if any points on the man card for successfully fixing a bike, but it certainly is better than nothing and shows that they may know the difference between a ratchet and a socket.

            Computer programming doesn’t count, yes it is working with your hands but a keyboard isn’t a real tool and the manly men of generations past will tell you that typing is women’s work and in fact in the early days of computing females made up a significant number of the programmers. Once men found out it could be high paying they chased out many of the females.

            @ Zamotti, I’d say you earned quite a few points on your man card with that project.

            Using materials that you had on hand. +2 in the greatest tradition of farmers who couldn’t afford the down time to go buy something when they could find something that would work for now in their stash of items.

            +1 for having stuff around to use.

            +3 for cutting dados for the shelves.

            +1 for using the jig, old guys made their own jigs and if you would have done that it would have been good for an additional 2 points. We have been going through the garage of my MIL’s house in preparation to sell it. I’ve come across a lot of jigs that her late husband created for his wood working projects. Some I’m not quite sure what they were for, but they were certainly built by him to make doing a repeatable job much easier.

            +.5 for using square drive, the way to go is Posidrive though they seem to have dried up in recent years which really pisses me off. What I’m finding now is g-dam torx. The Posidrive was the most superior method because it combined the benefits of the anti cam out action of the square drive with the ability to clean/force out the grunge from the recess so you get a full bite like Phillips. Torx and square get packed with crap and you need to use a pick or pressure washer to get all of the junk out for full engagement. Plus you can use a Posidrive bit, square bit, or Philips.

            Note as an born and bred citizen of the US and a Ford fan I can not use that other term for square drive. To bad he refused to make a reasonable agreement with Henry and set back the adoption of his creation several decades. What is interesting when following a link this morning to a PS article on google books I came across an announcement about the new screw driving head and accompanying screw drive that was patented by NASA in the tail end of the 70’s. It looked like a standard slot but instead had a triangle shape, when viewed in a side cross section, to prevent the cam out action but it could be used with a standard screwdriver in a pinch or the intended pointy driver. Because of the shape it would have be relatively easy to clean out for removal.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “A true man knows that a Robertson is the only screw worth using!”

            True men and every Canadian.

          • 0 avatar
            Bearadise

            There’s a not-head screwdriver? Now I wonder what else my dad didn’t teach me.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          …How can you argue that your average flannel-clad 2016 hipster is any less masculine than some fop in a polyester leisure suit in 1976, or a cravat-wearing fop of a merchant in 1676?

          Geeze, could you be any more “get off my lawn”?..

          This wins the internet.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          That foppish dude from 1676 was trained in fencing and will probably kick yo ass.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            And had to live through child mortality rates of nearly 50%, multiple diseases and a total lack of sanitation. Just like in a science fiction movie just meeting him might expose you to germs that your immune system could not repel.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            Poke, not kick

    • 0 avatar
      LaughingBasho

      Arthur … thank you.

      I have been lurking at this site for some time, enjoying the community of the B & B. I LIKE you guys. What I don’t come here for is partisan politics. “The government is going to take your cars,” shouted out NOW, two weeks before the election, seems exactly that, to this reader.

      Bark, I enjoy your other writing. ;-)

      Say, did anyone on here besides me catch the Lancia Aurelia on BAT? A bid of $1 million … and it didn’t meet reserve! On the other hand, the car is breathtakingly beautiful. Can we talk about that?

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    “How did that happen? Simple. The media told us gun violence was a problem, and we believed them.”
    So, all of these people getting shot everywhere isn’t a problem? All just media hype?
    How do you look at it, Bark? Really effective population control?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Gun violence isn’t an issue, and neither is distracted driving apparently.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      Americans murdered with guns: about 11,200/yr (source: Wikipedia via Bark’s link)
      Americans killed by medical errors: about 250,000/yr (source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/medical-errors-now-3rd-leading-cause-of-death-in-u-s-study-suggests/)

      So you’re about 22 times more likely to die at the hands of an inept doctor than a gun-toting killer. But which problem gets all the media attention?

      PS Love your avatar. Hound dogs are awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      malbuff

      Point taken, though ALL criminal violence is a problem, not just criminal gun violence.

      I would have reworded his sentence as, “The media told us gun violence was a problem, AND LEGAL GUN OWNERSHIP WAS THE CAUSE, and we believed them.”

      Better?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If there is a takeover going on, it’s the Breitbartization of this website. Robert Farago was a conservative, but I doubt that he would have gone there.

    If autonomous cars work as advertised, then here’s a more likely scenario:

    -They will be popular because most people want to get where they are going and otherwise have the benefits of cars, but are not that interested in the mechanics of driving

    -Your insurer will charge you an enormous premium for not having an autonomous car, which will provide most people with financial motivations to go autonomous

    -Automakers will make everything autonomous because consumers want them

    The belief that the same government that made a point of bailing out the auto industry is at war with cars is simply ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This might be more on the Breitbart side of the aisle, but the general trend is more Buzzfeedy: “Five ways the government will take your car. Number three will shock you”.

      ETA: This article is pure clickbait and I’m sorry I fell for it.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        psar, this is at least the second time you’ve made this observation lately, and I agree with you again. Watching this site become something other than TTAC – although, to be clear, not the mess Bertel was making of it – is making me sad.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          @tonycd

          I started reading in the Robert Farago days, specifically for the podcasts. Now, Mr. Farago and I are _very_ idealistically and philosophically divergent, but I did like the way he ran the site; I admired his ability to keep editorial and journalistic content separate.

          Mr. Schmitt I admired technically, but he could not help but mix the two, so much so that it eventually entangled management of the site with it. Mr. Baruth (senior) was guilty of the same.

          Messrs Kriendler and Stevenson are more neutral, but I do find they tend towards clickbait, and the result is off-putting. I would like to see a stronger divide between factual and editorial content. This posting isn’t too bad, actually—I was unfair in disparaging it because it’s clearly editorial, if inelegant—but the press-release repostings I do see come with too much bait.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You must be missing the occasional leftist jabs certain writers toss in, but on the whole I agree with your overall points. I might add a tie-in to yesterday’s piece on in car ads. Ultimately the goal seems to be using the automobile as another avenue of corporate data mining and to a extent corporate/police control. Today there are already devices which prohibit operation of the vehicle due to non-payment. Tomorrow, you didn’t pay X tax/fine so we’re virtually booting you as punishment. Mild 1984 seems to be the future.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @Pch101: There is nothing conservative about Breitbart and the alt-right. Living in a echo chamber where facts don’t mater is always a fools errand. The political equivalent of a wild acid trip where there seems to be lots of fascinating color and movement but what in fact is nothing but an inward focused self-indulgence driven by the dark recesses of the participants own mind.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You’ve got CNN on in the background, don’t you?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Both Breitbart and cable news (Fox, CNN, MSNBC are all the same) leave me feeling exactly like I’ve been on a bad trip. They vividly paint a grisly, scary, dark, alarming world that has nothing whatsoever to do with the much more uplifting reality I live in day to day.

        This is why we’ve been moved into our new place a month and I still haven’t managed to install the additional length of cable I need to get the cable box up and running.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “I still haven’t managed to install the additional length of cable”

          Smartest thing I have heard all week.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          I gave away my television 10 years ago. There are adequate sources of bad information all around the Internet. I will believe the government has the right idea on gun control and some other things when they can explain Chicago to me. In the meantime I’m just happy I’m 73 instead of 33.

          • 0 avatar
            Bearadise

            westarv: “I’m just happy I’m 73 instead of 33.”

            Was thinking the same thing as I read this piece.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @wstarvingteacher: explaining Chicago is relatively simple and can be explained in nearly every undergraduate sociology or criminology course.

            You have a large underclass of underemployed or unemployable people living in the 4th largest urban centre in North America. There is a great deal of income inequality. There is a masive inequality in available services. They are exposed daily to symbols of conspicuous consumption equating possessions with success.

            There is an easy availability of firearms in all of the districts surrounding Chicago. There are no borders to cross or inspections for those travelling into our out of the city.

            Solutions are simple. 1) Charge anyone who owned or was the last registered legal owner of a firearm that was used in a crime. 2) Charge anyone who sold a firearm to someone who used it in a crime. 3) Throw the book at anyone using a firearm during the commission of a crime.

            Or

            Put a wall or moat around the city, inspect everyone going into or out of it, prohibit the carrying of firearms within the city and make the illegal possession of a firearm within the city a criminal offense. Oh wait, that is what most 1st world nations have done and as a result they have crime rates related to firearm use that are miniscule compared to the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            philipwitak

            “…explain Chicago to me.”

            my understanding is this: most of the guns involved come from indiana.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      “Robert Farago was a conservative, but I doubt that he would have gone there.”

      Farago was, and is, old New England money. He’s no more a conservative than he is an astronaut.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Before the definition of “conservative” in America got turned on its head by radicals who happened to be on the right, “old New England money” was as conservative as it got.

        In terms of how much change I want to American institutions, I’m pretty conservative. Yet in the American political spectrum I’m substantially left of center. And I think that’s because for the last 40 years or so there has been a lot more genuine radicalism on the right than the left.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      +1 on insurance being the primary motivator away from self-driven cars. Convenience will be a factor, but the penalty one would have to pay will be the biggest issue for most. Once the technology is well-developed I doubt it will represent a large cost factor of a car with vs a car without. Most cars have sensors and cameras already, now just need the software to get a little better and that cost will be spread nice and thin.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      +1

      Thanks, PCH101.

      Once thebinsurqbce companies get onboard, the financial incentive will be what it is.

      Those who enjoy driving the ild way will be able to, but it’ll cost more.

      Gotta pay to play, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      “Your insurer will charge you an enormous premium for not having an autonomous car, which will provide most people with financial motivations to go autonomous”

      Insurance companies currently make money off of a people who drive their cars by charging premiums which are affordable to most. Why would rates go up as you predict total claims to go down? Are remaining self-drivers going to have more accidents than they did on roads crowded with other self-drivers? Are the safest drivers going to be the ones leaving the pool? There still isn’t a single scenario where a total reduction in accidents leads to a fiscal requirement for insurers to penalize people out of their cars. Maybe people will welcome having no car insurance to pay while riding in a JohnnyCab, but that still won’t make car insurance more expensive for people operating in an environment where claims are expected to decline.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        High-risk drivers pay more.

        If the computer is safer, then it will get better pricing.

        Since the human would be several times more hazardous than the computer, it would pay accordingly.

        This is basic business stuff. Aren’t right-wingers supposed to understand business?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          This happens every time we talk about autonomous cars and insurance. Someone comes along with zero understanding about how risk and insurance works and then insists prices will remain the same for manual car drivers in an autonomous world.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            It isn’t me that doesn’t understand how risk works. When there is less of it, then there is a lower capital requirement to cover it. If autonomous vehicles lower risk, insurance rates will fall. They should fall more for autonomous vehicles, but the reduction will be shared.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Right now there are no autonomous cars, so the disparity between drivers is much lower – a more equal risk playing field (though manual driving is rather dangerous, so there’s a lot of risk overall). Having a few people driving manually and everyone else driving autonomously puts the manual drivers on a different field with regard to risk.

            Ex.

            The autonomous drivers will crash 2 times per 10,000 drivers per year.
            The manual drivers by comparison will crash fifty times per 10,000 drivers per year.

            The cost of insurance thus for said manual drivers will be very high. They will not share in the lowering of risk, because while -other- people have lowered their risk of crashing, the manual driver is choosing not to.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Unbelievable. I can see that you’re a conservative because you aren’t smart enough to be something better.

            If you are riskier than the norm, then you will pay more. If you are several times more dangerous than a computer, then you will pay a considerable markup to offset the multiples of risk that you contribute. The driver who insists on doing everything himself would be the equivalent of a drunk driver in terms of the additional risks that he contributes to the pool.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            More autonomous cars won’t make self-drivers less safe. Collisions usually involve two people failing to drive defensively and alertly. Cost to insurers is determined by claim rate times claim cost. Shrinking the pool doesn’t change these two figures, especially when the machines you’ve been waiting for to level the field are ever vigilant.

            If you two still can’t figure it out and think insurance companies are going to close the coffin on cars, take a look at motorcycle insurance. How does your imaginary model apply to a small pool of riders who have huge claim rates and can afford insurance anyway?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            This guy is completely clueless.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m going to dumb this down further, so you might get it, Todd. We’ll try it with health/medical insurance instead. Same concept.

            500 people are having a fight, all of them have knives. All of them fight, every single day.

            One day, 450 of those people switch to pillows, while 50 of them still carry knives.

            Which people are going to cause more damage?

            Those are the ones you charge more for insurance. They are on a different level of risk. The remainder knife people are now a substandard risk class, which applies a multiplier to the risk charge and cost of insurance.

            Being dangerous costs you, the consumer, more money.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Corey, if in your example an autonomous driver is likely to crash twice out of 100,000 drivers does this also mean premiums for autonomous drivers should decrease in a similar amount vs what they are now (i.e. avg rate is based on 50 drivers of 100,000 drivers)?

            Oh and, that’s not a knife, THIS is a knife /Australia.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            In theory, yes the premiums for autonomous drivers should go way down, as there’s less risk in total and less dollar amount in crash damage.

            However, I suspect what’ll happen is the insurers will just increase their profit margins some. Rates will go down very slightly but not as much as they should. The insurers are not going to give away money like that when nobody will complain.

            Young males should get cheaper life insurance out of the deal, as they’re the ones most likely to die at <26 in car accidents. It will take a few years of widespread autonomous car usage for the mortality table to be adjusted to reflect the change.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s what I figured. Funny how the corporatocracy never seems to lose.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Mhm. State regulation sez there’s a certain limit you can charge the customer for insurance based on their mortality/risk – but obviously there is no limit for the profit portion of the rate.

            It’ll be a general collusion across the board to keep the rates level-ish.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The system is not rigged.
            Your vote matters.
            Free democracy.
            We value your opinion.
            Justice is blind.
            Equal opportunity employer.
            Everyone qualifies!

            Care to add some more bullsh*t to the list?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The Lusitania was an accident.
            The Great Depression was unforeseen.
            The Gold Standard wasn’t necessary.

            Those kinds of things?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yes, those kind of things.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If autonomous cars work as is hoped, then crashes that are caused by humans who insist on driving themselves may be regarded in a far worse light than they are now.

            We tend to have a fatalistic view of crashes, regarding them as “accidents”. Juries generally don’t penalize drivers for even gross negligence because they see the possibility of one day being in the same position as the defendant.

            That may not be the case in the future. If the crash could have been easily avoided with a mundane technology that everyone has, then juries may start handing out penalties for what is unnecessarily risky behavior. The severe crash that is tolerated today may not be tolerated tomorrow. Instead of having empathy for the negligent driver, they may feel contempt. Those additional costs would be quantified in the form of higher premiums.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            *stokes imaginary beard* Interesting thoughts Pch.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The “once was normal, now is barbaric and contemptuous” theme was memorialized quite well in the film Demolition Man.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I suppose this is why stupid animals exist in herds. Legal requirements cap insurance company liability on tortes. Unless laws change, insurance companies will continue to be morally ambivalent. They exist to make money by collecting more in premiums than they pay in claims. They’re not social engineers.

            Drunk drivers’ insurance rates are based on actuarial tables which predict the actual risk they create for insurance companies. They’re not penalized for being socially stigmatized. They’re charged for what they cost insurance companies. Eliminating most of the drivers from the roads isn’t going to increase the cost of insuring the remaining ones.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “Drunk drivers’ insurance rates are based on actuarial tables which predict the actual risk they create for insurance companies.”

            You haven’t seen an actuarial table, per this statement. Please quit while you’re behind.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If autonomous driver poses a risk of x and hands-on driver poses a risk of 5x or 10x or whatever, then why would any insurer charge them the same premium in the absence of a law that requires it?

  • avatar
    jmo

    I don’t think it will be shame, I think it will be insurance and cost*. Do you want to spend $200/month to go wherever you want whenever you want or do you want to pay $800/month to own a car that’s just going to sit 95% of the time.

    * you know, market forces.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      That’s the stupidest part of all of it… why insurance rates probably won’t change (for the better) even when humans aren’t driving anymore.

      And won’t someone think of the poor cops! What are they to do when there are no more DUIs or speeding tickets!

      I’m just glad that I wasn’t born so late that I would have missed out on the last couple decades of being able to enjoy the act of driving. As much as I gripe about one day giving up the manual transmission, I might have to give up the damn steering wheel first!

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Cops can give you a DUI just for sleeping one off in the car. In their eyes, drunks are still responsible for controlling the car. Autonomous driving won’t stop the cash cow that is the DUI industry (and I’m sure the lawyers who make their living off of it will make sure the politicians see it that way too).

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I can afford it.

  • avatar
    dwford

    …and then once they have us in autonomous cars, they will have total control over us. They already have control over our information and finances through the internet (imagine the internet getting turned off). Once they eliminate human driving, the cars will be as easy as the internet to switch off.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I agree that a lot of people will gladly “give up the keys to their car,” but disagree as to why.

    Most people are not car enthusiasts. And most of the driving the average person does *sucks.* And- enthusiast that I am- I have to admit that most of the driving I *have to do* really does suck *ss. There’s no fun to be had barely crawling along on a stopped-up freeway. There’s no enjoyment in watching four traffic light changes in a long line of cars. There’s no joy in being nearly clipped yet again by the stereotype in the BMW, or having narcissistic bubblehead drift into your lane while Snapchatting, or being startled by yet another TylerAnthonyZach on his sick liter bike stunting and (illegally) lane splitting at 90 mph.

    I basically have one part of one day a week where I can really step out and have a good drive/ride on the open road. The rest of it, I’d rather do without.

    • 0 avatar

      I work from home, so I rarely have to drive during rush hour. And despite the fact that the majority of my driving is suburban with a bit of Cambridge, I enjoy it enough that I’m almost always happy to get in my car and go. The notion that some day in the next several decades, it may become uneconomical to continue driving myself due to insurance costs, even if I can keep my current car going, or some newer car that I can drive myself, is a dark cloud on the horizon, one I certainly didn’t imagine would happen on that wonderful day at the end of June, 1969, when I took my first legal drive, 35 miles of bliss, in the Peugeot 404 wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I commute by a combination of bus and foot. The great part about that is that almost all of my driving is recreational in nature and at least somewhat enjoyable.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Once you get out of the 20mph limited and roundabout restricted intersections of the neighborhoods of Seattle, not to mention those 2 way streets with only enough room for 1 lane of traffic sometimes with the UPS truck sitting in the middle of the street in the middle of the block. Seriously I find nothing enjoyable about driving in Seattle other than the occasional scantly clad female walking down the sidewalk. I’m just glad that I only have to do it on a daily basis a few weeks out of the year.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I grew up with it, and I’m comfortable with it. My wife and pretty much everyone I know in Seattle hates the narrow streets and roundabouts. I like them, appreciate their friendliness to pedestrians, and see them as a low-speed course for improving driving accuracy.

          Once you’ve spent a few months driving a 40-foot bus on the former Metro Route 25 — which featured several residential traffic circles, two 135-degree turns on residential streets, and a turnaround bay where both sides of your bus are within a foot of a concrete wall — anything with a car just seems like fun. The nicest compliment I ever got from a bus rider was from one on that route who said “You make this look like you’re driving a car through these streets.”

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Roundabouts are anything but pedestrian friendly. If you have the implementation as used in the Seattle neighborhoods you are forcing the traffic into the crosswalk area. Since no one uses their signal in the roundabout you now have zero clue as to the intention of the driver so if you are near a intersection with one of those style of roundabouts it is best to take 2 or 3 steps back and wait until the car has cleared the roundabout.

            If it is an implementation as they did at the ones in the Covington area it is even worse if you are a pedestrian. After they did the first one they realized that instead of improving traffic flow vs the stop signs they replaced it impeded traffic. Someone came to the conclusion that it was because you could see the car approaching from the other side and were afraid because they didn’t know what the other car was going to do. So the built a wall and piled dirt 10′ high in the center. So now there is no way to see that there is a pedestrian that wants to cross.

            I certainly don’t envy your time behind the wheel of a bus in Seattle. We are coming up on the season where I’ll be driving a 102″ wide box truck most weekends, as a volunteer, and some of those will be through the 96″ wide lanes in areas of Seattle.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Eh, the traffic circles in Seattle are on small residential streets where there are usually wide planting strips. I walk through about 10 of them on my three-mile walk home from work and there’s never an issue with cars. Roundabouts on major roads are a pedestrian nightmare but Seattle doesn’t have any.

            More important than the traffic circle design, to me as a pedestrian, is that the streets are narrow enough to force drivers to slow down and pay attention. Drivers usually went 20 even before the speed limit change just because that is the speed that feels right. On Seattle residential streets, drivers see me almost every time, which is decidedly not true in the burbs or even on wider multi-lane Seattle arterials.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Well the ones I see where I go which has to cross your path don’t have that wide of a planting strip that I don’t see cars regularly go into the cross walk area. I’m specifically thinking of the area between Broadway and 23rd more or less N of Maddison. With the long running major work on 23rd I occasionally use those streets to get to I90 when a problem on I 5 or getting to it via Yale or 6th makes that the better option.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    Shame? Hah! I have no shame!
    Both of my kids are in college now. Once they’re done I’m getting a car with the biggest V-8 I can afford.
    I won’t care about insurance. I won’t care about gas prices. And I certainly won’t care about anyone judging me for what I’m driving.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I believe that you and I could sit around and drink beers together and have a grand time!

      I will add that I have informed my spouse (god love her) that before I depart this earth I Will have a muscle car with chrome blower sticking out of the hood. Why? Cause ‘Merica that’s why! Oh, and cause I can.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    “you’re also killing Mother Earth, which is pretty much the only semi-religious figure these people worship.”

    Is it such a bad thing for “these people” to worship something tangible? Or are our brains hard coded to only believe a greater power has to be something whose existence we can’t even prove?

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      well, there are a handful of tautological books to go with them.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      We all watched Fern Gully as youths, and it messed us up.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Should have watched “The Secret of NIMH” – it would have taught you kids a healthy skepticism of the dangers of unchecked government.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You know I watched that one too but I don’t remember it now.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Mice and rats with high intelligence, increased lifespans, and telekinetic powers from unauthorized experiments conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

            The animals have escaped and are living on a farm but are eventually tracked down by the agency that either wants to recapture or destroy them.

            Really kind of frightening for a “kids” cartoon.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Most the Disney type films from the ’80s and ’90s had heavy themes under there. Look at Rescuers Down Under – a kidnapping where he locked the kid in a cage? If that were live action it would have been rated R.

            101 Dalmatians, theft and animal cruelty.
            Snow White, opiate poisoning.
            Cinderella, emotionally abusive parent/family.
            Lion King, parent death and abusive relative.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Most of those stories pre-date Disney and the 1980s.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, I know they’re mostly German children’s tales and whatnot. But Disney made them into fun cartoons.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I missed that one too but want to see it now.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_of_NIMH

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            You should read the book. It’s a children’s book that is under 250 pages so you should be able to finish it rather quickly. It’s one of the books I’ll eventually read to my daughter, along with “The Phantom Tollbooth”, “A Wrinkle In Time”, various Roald Dahl books, “The Hobbit”, and “Lord of the Rings”.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          “The Secret of NIMH” is no joke. It is some serious stuff. The Great Owl scared the generic cheese crackers out of me when I was a kid.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Tell me, do you fancy your cheese crackers with cheese, or with peanut butter in the middle?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Peanut butter FTW

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh hell no! You’re one of THOSE types huh. I got mad every damn time I opened up my package of orange processed squares product only to find it had light tan between the layers rather than light yellow.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            UGH. I can’t stand the cheese crackers with anything in the middle. Give me the whole wheat ones with the safety yellow cheese in between.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You mean Triscuits, you old man?!

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            http://www.lance.com/whole-grain-cheddar-cheese/

            Come ON! Lance, owned by Snyder’s of Hanover. Don’t tell me an Ohio kid doesn’t know those brands!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ha, I knew which ones you meant. Pizza Hut always had the Lance wheat ones on the salad bar, and I’d steal some when my mom was eating salad. Had to have something to eat before the bread sticks came.

            At that time, I wouldn’t usually eat the wheat since they “taste weird.” Now, I realize they’re fully superior.

            And there’s my childhood Lance crackers story.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I never really had the sandwich cracker things around as a kid. Generic Cheeze-Its or Better Cheddars were much more common. I also enjoyed generic fruit snacks featuring sharks or dinosaurs.

            I do like the Lance crackers Dan is referring to though. They taste like a special day at elementary school. Time machine crackers.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I feel like all my orange style crackers came from church. They were out for the taking in the basement kitchen in big boxes. At home I’d just eat Zebra Cakes like a fat @ss or some Dunkaroos.

            We had those strawberry Smuckers (?) fruit snacks which were way tasty.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          If you want real childhood horror, nothing quite matches “Watership Down”.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            I’m tempted to show that to my sons, but I think they’re still a little too young. At first they’d like the cute bunnies. Then OH MY GOD SO MUCH BLOOD AND DEATH!
            I think we’ll stick to the Iron Giant for now if we want to raise good little anti-government scofflaws.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Yep. At some point in the (not so distant) future, features like horsepower and skidpad/handling prowess will become meaningless. It’ll all be about the interior experience as acceleration, cornering and top speed will be long-forgotten identifiers of a vehicle’s status. Connectivity, comfort and style (hey Bob…who feng-shui’d your Honda Lounger? Niiiice…) will be the differentiating features.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    There are a lot of ways the progressives can implement this.

    Aggressive inspection laws (think Brit MOT) that purge the current ranks.
    Making liability insurance more and more unaffordable for non-autononomous cars.
    Different lanes and speed limits for different categories.

    Yadda, yadda.

    The good news for me is that by the time this stuff is widespread, I won’t be driving anyway even if I’m still above ground.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Making liability insurance more and more unaffordable for human-driven cars wpn’t be a sinister “progressive” plot. It will be the logical response by insurance companies and the actuaries they employ to the relative claims histories of human-driven and robot-driven cars.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      And the people least capable of dealing with those costs, well, the progressive elites want them riding the bus anyway.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    Yes, all that shaming about gun violence has shamed all of the gun owners out of their guns!!! We have more gun owners than ever in this country!! The logic makes no sense. People are holding on to their cars longer than ever now. They don’t have the money to buy new cars..especially new cars with self driving capability. Outside of Manhattan, Chicago, and San Francisco you are going to NEED a car. I lived in New York City for years and I owned a car. Do you want to call Lyft or Uber every time you go to the Grocery store? Or Home Depot? Or the Package Store? HELL NO!!! The tech will gradually find its way into New Cars over a 10-20 year period. There will be more options. However, they aren’t going to force you into giving your old car up without a massive fight. They may offer you the INCENTIVE to do so (like Cash for Clunkers) however they aren’t going to take it away. Money talks. Nobody Cares. There is very little shame in this country. Just look at this election.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    From someone who loves to talk a big game about strength and manhood and self-reliance, this is a bunch of pathetic self-piteous whining. For someone who is so contemptuous of the campus crackpots, you spend an awful lot of time worrying about what they think about you.

    Several comments above have already nailed the main point, which is that market forces will take care of the transition to robotic driving just fine without much assistance from either “shame” or Jackbooted Government Thugs(tm). Insurers don’t want to pay the astronomical claims that result from human driver error, and will price insurance accordingly once robotic driving is a realistic option for the mass market. Parents don’t want to waste their precious free time shuttling their kids to the 20 extracurriculars, inevitably located all over the metro area, that are now needed to get into college. Busy professionals would rather spend their commute time on their laptops. Drunkards don’t want to worry about DWIs. Seniors don’t want to be rolling road hazards. Trucking companies don’t want to pay drivers. And on and on and on.

    And the elimination of the vast majority of those 35,000 annual deaths will be the cherry on top.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “and will price insurance accordingly once robotic driving is a realistic option for the mass market”

      I’ve been saying this all along – it’ll be only the wealthy enthusiasts with their antique Jags and rare Japanese steel who can afford the insurance on manual driving, once the autonomous causes the shift in insurance.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Seniors don’t want to be rolling road hazards.”

      This!!

      STOP ME BEFORE I DRIVE AGAIN!

      I’m absolutely all a-flutter, simply starry-eyed and singing hosannas at the thought of still owning my own car, never, ever, having to drive it again but still going when & where I choose.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Yes if you do hit and kill a person with a vehicle you absolutely should be liable and criminally prosecuted as appropriate.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      Only if you criminally or negligently broke the law doing so.

      If a guy strung out on meth jumps in front of my car and I have no time to stop, am I liable for his stupidity?

      I sure hope not.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Societal shame is one of the biggest weapons in the policymaker’s arsenal. The “nobody needs” argument has been rearing a lot lately.

    I can see this day coming, Bark. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not soon – but it will happen.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    The gig/sharing economy will further divide the haves from the have nots.

    Soon, the have nots will not own any private property. Millennials are all too happy to rent cars/housing/music/smartphones..etc as their needs dictate.

    Eventually, there will be owners of property and renters of property. The socialist utopia of almost non-existent private property will be realized.

    Houses, cars and guns are the canaries in the coal mines. Once you consolidate private property ownership into the hands of a few – it makes it much easier to socialize those things.

    Hopefully millennials will realize what is happening to them before it’s too late.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      But if like, I own something, that means like I have to take care of it and stuff.

      Nah, I don’t think so.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “Hopefully millennials will realize what is happening to them before it’s too late.”

      Oh, they know. But what are they supposed to do about it?

      They can’t legally strike, what with labour’s bargaining position weakened globally, the can’t illegally strike because they’re in debt to their eyeballs, and they can’t emigrate, because of a) money and b) laws that allow the free movement of capital, but stop labour at borders.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “But what are they supposed to do about it?”

        Riot?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “they can’t emigrate, because of a) money and b) laws that allow the free movement of capital”

        They can emigrate, the issue is most of the world is s*it in part because of the current citizens of those places. The lack of A, isn’t limited to the “Millennials”, and for B, it was their Affirmative Action savior who signed FATCA into law in order to entrap them, but it does not mean they cannot establish residency first and then apply for banking (or simply renounce).

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @zerofoo, Sorry but you have mixed up your idealogy. What you envision is the capitalist utopia of a few very rich getting richer off the labour of the others. Property owners using their capital (investments) to get richer and more powerful. The rest providing their labour in order to live.

      I am quite baffled why so many Americans are unable to differentiate between political systems and often get their precepts mixed up.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        @Arthur Dailey I was going to chime in with the same.

        Eventually, there will be owners of property and renters of property. The socialist utopia of almost non-existent private property will be realized.

        Socialism means their is no private property. What you are describing ALREADY exists in this country and it works just fine. If one would like to save their money and buy multiple properties to lease out to others who could not be bothered to own anything is what America is founded on! Private enterprise stepping in to fill a need. Where is the problem?

  • avatar
    slance66

    This isn’t going to happen in my lifetime, or probably ever. Autonomous cars are not the answer to any problem that anyone is trying to solve.

    Despite the constant drumbeat that people are urbanizing, telecommuting and other work from home initiatives are actually driving people to the fringes of metro areas. They aren’t going to get driverless cars. Maybe Lyft or Uber will do that someday, or cab companies. But this is a long way off.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Autonomous cars are the answer to long boring commutes.

      My wife commutes 50 miles each way and, if she could spend that time in the back seat working or reading, her day would be much better.

      We have a Tesla Model 3 reservation. At the very least, it’ll save tons of gas. And maybe she’ll be able to snooze on her way to work mornings, if the software gets good enough.

      This may not solve a problem that you personally have, but it does solve a problem that millions of working Americans have.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        This. Today, only the very rich can afford a chauffeur, but that’s the analog to the digital future we’re talking about. I worked at a firm where one of the two partners with his name on the door chose to live in Annapolis, about a 45-minute drive from DC outside of rush hour. He always had a driver take him to and from work; and he was an early adopter of the cell phone. So, he was able to live in a place he found more congenial than this “work city” and avoid wasting probably two hours or more of his day driving a car.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    If an overly vocal minority tries to guilt us car people into autonomous vehicles we’ll do the same thing to them that the gun folks do:

    Laugh at them, call them pussies, elect people sworn to protect car rights, and buy more and bigger/powerful cars/trucks just to spite them.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      And the rest of us will roll our eyes at you, and refuse to join the NCA.

      Even if we happen to like cars.

      Because nobody with any self eateem wants to join a club that just called you a pussy. Such great company. [Eye roll]

  • avatar
    carguy

    If this article is a parody then it was very funny but if not then you need to work for Alex Jones.

    The problem with the “the government is going to take ‘X’ from you” conspiracy theories is that they never seem to come to pass. I am sure if you had lived in the early 20th century you would have written for your local paper that the government is coming to take our horses away from us and force us into these mechanical contraptions instead.

    The truth is that shifts in technology are driven by customer demand – people want cheaper and better. Just like cars were better than horses, self driving cars simply better fit the needs of most Americans. The reality of driving today is mostly stuck in traffic or long and boring drives. Freeing the time I spend commuting to allow me to do something else and making my trip safer is a good thing. So good, in fact, that consumers will choose it without the need for any government conspiracy.

    It is sad to see TTAC fall from being a site that promotes reasoned analysis of the car industry into part of the alt-right echo chamber.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      If Obama took your guns, raise your hand!

      If Obama put your elderly (grand)parents in a death camp, raise your hand!

      Well, there is still time for him to declare himself King of America before the swearing-in in January, so I can’t quite refute ALL the nonsense I heard back in 2008 just yet.

      (I’m totally not pro-Obama, but nonsense is nonsense)

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Hey now, none of that wishy-washy non-hating business. The Two Minutes Hate starts in 5 minutes BE THERE.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          No joke, but that seems to already been happening.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Except that it’s not happening.

            Nobody wants to taken your guns away. We want you to make sure the epeepe you sell your gun to isn’t a criminal or a terrorist.

            Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m referring to the two minutes hate comment, but I refute this: “Nobody wants to taken your guns away.”. Yes, there are people who would like too, just are there are those of us who want to eliminate those people. Neither is necessarily the majority or the norm.

      • 0 avatar
        philipwitak

        when i think of our current choices – i would be delighted to learn obama is king.

  • avatar
    ClausGraf

    Should I dig a hole under my garage and hide my Porsche(914)?

    Like in the movie:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/06/movie-review-last-chase-starring-porsche-917-lee-majors/

  • avatar
    raph

    Sweet! I’m not a gun owner but I’ve alwayseen wanted a ” They can take my >> insert here <> inserthe here <<!

    Although I suppose it won't matter in the end since I'll be too blind to drive and corrective surgery will be way to expensive with the 50/50 unobtanium ( 50,000,000 deductible / 50% of my income ) care Affordable Care Act market plan in place.

    At least I was able to drive during the glory years before commanding your own destiny become a socially irresponsible act.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Methinks the Baruth’s youthful follies resulting in multiple head traumas are to blame for their recent increase in shrill, absurd missives that one assumes were originally scrawled with crayon on whatever paper-like detritus happened to be within arm’s reach when the vapors descended.

    OTOH, maybe they were always hacks that happened to produce a handful of interesting material like the proverbial monkeys clattering away at keyboards for eternity that eventually produce the works of Shakespeare.

    Whatever the cause, the well has apparently run dry.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Indeed. Political hackery is an easy way to get clicks. But its also guaranteed to alienate about half of the audience.

      I was kicked out of the conservative movement for insufficient bloodlust in 2003, and my departure was reaffirmed when my sister came out of the closet to me in 2004ish,back when hating on gay people was how conservatives rallied their base.

      One of the things I like about TTAC is that it’s apolitical. I come here when I’d rather talk about Toyota vs GM than Republicans vs Democrats.

      BTW, I just drove the new Honda Ridgeline. It is the truck I was looking for when I replaced my Ranger back in 2012 years ago. I’d like it better if it were electric, though.

      I also got a good look at the Honda Civic hatchback. The headrests in the back seat make it harder to install the top teather than expected, and it’s a bummer Honda Sensing is only available on the sedans for now.

  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    That is some first rate wharrgarble. Add some Hellcat! for extra BTSR goodness.

  • avatar
    Orangecar Blackheart

    Are you ok, Bark? This article makes you sounds deranged.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      The guy who services my HVAC will go on exactly like this article for as long as you let him.

      Leonard? Is that you? You’ve got 7 more calls today and you’re doing this crap?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        People like my great aunts talk to Leonard, then write up what he says verbatim into chain emails with eleven different fonts, which my grandma sends me.

        “My mechanic was driving me home because my husband couldn’t because he was at work and he started to tell me all about the election and what Obummer has done to rig it so he gets to be elected again…”

        Grandma, don’t forward this crap to everyone in your address book.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “chain emails with eleven different fonts”

          :-D

          From: ********@aol.com

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            PS.

            That example I gave was real. According to “the mechanic,” Obama will be assuming his 3rd term in office via Executive Order after Hillary goes to jail upon winning the election.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Actually that might be somewhat gratifying.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            You and I both know that, if Hillary went to jail after winning the election, Tim Cain would become president.

            I used to live in Virginia, and both he and Jim Webb both struck me as remarkably sane as politicians go.

            I’d be OK with that, just so long as Trump gets the electoral defeat he deserves.

          • 0 avatar

            Tim Cain for President!

  • avatar
    Chan

    I’m just about as interested in guns as I am in medieval torture devices, i.e. not interested.

    But as a car enthusiast in a world of car non-enthusiasts, I don’t see the connection. Owing to the Agricultural Revolution allowing a stable nonviolent food supply, guns never came to be a common tool used in daily life. They have always been used either as weapons or as a hobby.

    Cars are a necessary tool for non-enthusiasts to get around, and as long as the majority of people hate driving, the day of autonomous cars will come. Those who play with archaic human-driven cars as a hobby will eventually have to adapt to that reality and its constraints. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Agreed.

      Elon Musk thinks that owning classic cars will viewed as a hobby for those who are drawn to it, kind of like owning horses.

      That sounds about right to me.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    “Henry Ford could never have dreamed that someday his company would create cars with five hundred horsepower,” they’ll say. “Nobody needs to have that much power. It’s dangerous and it’s recklessly harmful to our environment.”

    To this aging Boomer, this is true. In my case, I can’t use most of the 184 HP that my Accord puts out. Without trashing local speed limits by a factor of two or more and becoming a menace to society , you cannot use 500 hp around here on the public roads. If you want to track your 500 hp beast go for it. But a track car is a want and not a need. Transportation is need.

  • avatar
    Mathias

    >> scientist the caliber of Leonardo DiCaprio says that global warming is a problem, we all need to listen.

    You didn’t listen when the climate scientists said it.
    You didn’t listen when the American Physical Society said it.
    You didn’t listen when the Pentagon (Bush era) said it.

    You can’t fault them for sending out DiCaprio. They’ve tried the other stuff. What do you do when facts don’t count?

    >> is now seen as a certain sign of being a backwards guns-and-religion clinger

    That’s a great narrative to tell each other in right-wing circles, but our beautiful mosaic that is America is so much more complex than that.

    The worst thing you can do in politics is to convince yourself you know how “the other guy” thinks.
    Trust me, you don’t.

    cheers -mathias

    Physicist, Gun-owner, Church-goer, Cyclist, Gear-head

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      If Leonardo DiCaprio spent less time on mega yachts or private jets with the carbon footprint of a small town I would be more impressed by his professed concern about global warming. The hypocrisy of a guy who charters boats and planes that burn hundreds of gallons of fuel per hour telling me/us that WE should consume less fuel is astounding.

      To borrow a quote, when the people who tell me climate change is a crisis start acting like it is a crisis I’ll be ready to listen.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Niemöller is enjoying the article, that’s for sure.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Two points.

    One is that driving a car is not a mandate to be a human being. Not is it even very important unless one has been thoroughly conditioned to believe so.

    Second, the conversion to cars from horses happened without any of the drama speculated in this article.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Foley

      The conversion from cars to horses happened without drama because people who wanted to continue using horses for transportation were free to do so, and remain free to do so to this day.

      If those of us who want to continue using human-driven cars are given that same freedom, then the conversion to autonomous cars will happen without drama too.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        You can ride a horse on the highway? I didn’t know that.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Not on the Interstate, but on secondary roads.

          The Amish do it all the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Funky

            “Not on the Interstate, but on secondary roads. The Amish do it all the time.”

            Yes, they do. All day, every day, they drive by my house. Including my Amish friend who helped me with the image in my Avatar. When they visit my home, parked in my driveway, next to my cars, is their team. Their teams are also at the local Walmart, the banks, and sometimes the local hardware stores, as well as the local ice cream shops. They coexist just fine on the same roads, etc. as cars. Not highways, but they have no need for highway speeds.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    I wouldn’t write off the post millenials. My spawn (and those with whom they associate) are quite the budding antiestablishment shitlords.

    I swear that I have nothing do with that.

    The girls on the other hand….

    If they ‘come for the cars’ it will be by making owning them exclusive to the very wealthy, by a combination of over regulation, manipulating the economy and debasing the currency.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    I don’t think MarkBark is that far off. Look at how VW TDI owners were “shamed” during the start of the (still ongoing) VW emissions scandal.

    These “shamers” are the knowing (and also foolishly unknowing) foot soldiers of a those pushing for a globalist society, where sovereignty is eliminated, self-reliance is treated with contempt, and the eventual goal-of taking independence slowly taken away because “we know what’s best for you.”

    What will we become when we no longer know how to fix things? To take care of our own best interests? To defend individual rights? Hell, to wipe our own backsides? That is why so many Americans see a possible future like this as antithetical to how this country was founded.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      How were TDI owners “shamed?” By one idiot in Portland who couldn’t tell the difference between the perpetrator and the victim of a fraud leaving a few notes? That’s the only thing I ever heard about that could even sort of fit the description.

  • avatar
    7402

    I live in a city and work at home. I mostly walk/metro or fly on big planes to far away places when I have to go somewhere. Yet I keep a manual-transmission car with a supercharger for when I do make those trips to the suburbs or even have a local errand that requires carrying stuff. Sometimes I just feel like driving to the beach or taking a spin in the mountains. I like driving and always will.

    What will motivate me to get a self-driving car won’t be that I dislike driving. It’s that I dislike parking and parking is a real PITA here in the city. Never mind lane control and smart cruise control, I’m looking forward to getting out of my car at my building or a restaurant and just letting it park itself. When I need it I’ll just summon it with my smart phone and it will come like a loyal dog. Maybe I take the metro to the store and bought more than I planned and need a car to get home, I can just have my car come and get me. A self-parking car that I can summon at will is an easy sell. Sign me up.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Just be aware that when everyone is able to do that, there still won’t be any more space in the city to use for parking, and so a parking space for your robot car will get quite a bit more expensive.

      One regulatory challenge will be how to prevent robot cars from just driving themselves around indefinitely to avoid expensive parking, which could create gridlock if even a small number of them did it–or driving themselves home, doubling the number of cars on the road. I think that will be the reason why congestion pricing, London-style, finally gets implemented in the centers of American big cities.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Would not having to allow space between parked cars for open doors and human egress make a significant difference to mow many autonomous cars could be parked per unit area?

        Or how about cooperative bahavior in parking structures like valets do now. If your car is 8 deep in its row cars 1-7 will extricate themselves and allow yours out, and then re-park for maximum density.

        Seems you could get pretty clever to increase space utilization once you no longer have to accommodate the meatbag behind the wheel.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          That could definitely help around the margins, maybe packing 5 cars into the space of 4, but it’s not going to change the fundamental problem that cities dense enough to become real knowledge centers don’t have enough space for everyone to drive and park their own car everywhere they go. (Or they force enough space for cars and become Silicon Valley, with zero housing for anyone outside the top 1%.)

  • avatar
    HeyILikemySaturnOK

    “No longer content with simply obliterating the 2nd Amendment…”

    Oh, FFS. Yeah, you let me know when the 2nd amendment is obliterated. Sure it’s gonna happen any day now. Just like it’s been imminent for the past 8 years. Yep, any day….

    “I mean, when a scientist the caliber of Leonardo DiCaprio says that global warming is a problem,”

    DUR-HUR-HURR! LEONARDO DICRAPPIO! DURR-HURRRR! OWLL GORE! DERPITY_DERP_DERP.
    Right, because the basis for climate change science is entirely from celebrity statements and not from data or analysis. I think 2003 wants its talking points back.

    Jesus, did BTSR hack into Bark’s account today or something?

  • avatar
    mikey

    While filming the” Revenant” in Alberta . Leonardo commented that the Chinook winds, were a terrifying sign , of eminent “global warming” …… Near as I can guess , the Chinooks have been part of the Alberta climate, since the end of the Ice Age

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    O brother.

    1 there has been no impact to gun laws in the last 8 yrs, so there’s that.

    Secondly since when has flyover country ever buckled to coastal shame?

    This might be the most poorly conceived editorial I’ve read here, and I was here during and before Schmittgate.

    Stick to talking cars please.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    crunch crunch crunch crunch

    GREAT POPCORN

    crunch crunch crunch crunch

    Obama’s coming for your guns! The ploy is to confiscate them on November 8th when you’re voting. The only way to protect your guns is stay home. They’re coming for them!

    crunch crunch crunch crunch

    What? I’m just stirring the pot.

    crunch crunch crunch crunch

    Mmmm…need more popcorn

    crunch crunch crunch crunch

  • avatar
    DougD

    Yes, but how will they take that clickbait from me. Please????

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Shame isn’t quite the same as conscience to some of us, but ok.
    Cars, or traffic in general is a lot more dangerous than the a society that fears death more than any society has ever done before us will allow in the future. Our western society today is already a lot closer to the world in ‘Demolition Man’ now than most of us ever suspected when the film came out 23 years ago.
    Bark, you live in a country where there losing a few hundred soldiers a year in an actual war is considered a tragedy, and you expect people to be OK with thousands of lives being lost doing common everyday chores.
    Nowadays smoking is barely able to kill a few hundred times as many people as all the other dangerous things combined, and thats almost embarassing.
    Car companies really need to get the kind of lobbyists that tobacco companies use, (as do gun manufacturers), if you want to live in an old fashioned world where getting where you want quickly and in style is more important than getting there at all, and where kids have the right to accidentally blow their (or their friends) heads off. And where suicide is only a trigger or lane change away when the next episode of Game of Thrones is spoiled on facebook.
    Yeah, I love cars, and owning cars, and working on them, but I’d be perfectly OK with cars being less dangerous to people and the environment, and even more so if it makes the cars I normally like more unique and rare.
    ‘Real’ ars aren’t going to go more extinct than revolvers or horses or that thing we used to make whipped cream in the 40’s, but those of us who can use them and fix them will be a lot cooler than those who can’t. (seriously, there are people out there who can’t drive stick already, and they are no longer considered handicapped)
    The world is changing, as it has always been, and even if things were a lot better before, things didn’t fit the people we raise in the same ways as it fit us when we were raised. Who ‘shamed’ you into not letting your kids run free in the back of the car when driving? Who shamed you into a car with airbags, fuel injection, an auto gearbox, cruise control, self starter, a monocoque body, safety glass etc. There are literally thousands of people driving prewar cars daily in the US ( many with a lot more horsepower than your ‘safe’ Euro hatchback), are you that much less of a man than the people at the H.A.M.B. forums?
    PS. Its still possible to buy an axe in a store today, almost 100 years after portable chainsaws came about.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Honestly, while my “f–k the man” side still lives somewhere in my aged head, I have to disagree. Having been a teenager in the muscle car era (i.e. mid to late 1960s), I thought the end of the automotive world had come with the double whammy of emission controls and the first “Arab oil embargo” of 1973 and its attendant 55 mph speed limit (which was, back then, pretty seriously enforced). You could hardly buy a car in the mid-70s that did not (a) start hard or start and die and then start hard (b) bog and surge in response to an even throttle input and (c) develop a truly pathetic amount of horsepower given its displacement. Back then, a 0-60 time of under 10 seconds was considered “fast.” Michelin-X radial tires were a godsend in cornering and stopping ability . . . but they didn’t tolerate sustained speeds over 70 mph. And, to add further insult, fuel economy actually went down as fuel prices went up sharply, thanks to the crude emissions controls of the time.

    My first new car was a Mazda RX-2 rotary engine sedan. Mazda’s advertising slogan: “Mazda performs.” And it did! No flat spots in acceleration and a righteous 100 mph top speed. But it did suck gasoline like I owned a refinery — best you could do at 55 was 20 mpg.

    So, The End of the (automotive) World as We Know It did come in 1973; but about 15 year later, there was a better world. And today’s is better still. Even the Toyota Pius takes well less than 10 seconds to reach 60 mph.

  • avatar
    mikedt

    I like driving, but the day I can get in a 4 wheeled vehicle and read a book or take a nap while it transports me to work I will gladly trade in my DIY car. Who cares about “public shaming”, just think about parents with kids about to turn “driving age.” What a perfect time to get rid of that DIY car for an autonomous vehicle. Perfectly safe children and no 2-3x jump in auto insurance. Autonomous cars will take over faster than the microwave or iPhone.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    I don’t think it’ll go away. Enthusiasts still and will exist. I’m guessing there will be shaming and all that. Shame me all you want. There’s already “shame” for some vehicles.

    I don’t think it’ll be 2025, either. I have no desire to be carted around in one of those ugly cartoonish google koala-faced pods. I know many others don’t, either.

    I’m quite liberal, don’t get me wrong. But I’m also a car enthusiast to my death. I love driving. I love the rich history of automobiles, and how I feel when I see an old Mercury from the early 50’s, or a ’68 Toronado, or a cool old muscle car. That’s a LOT to overcome for people like us.

  • avatar
    210delray

    This was supposed to be satire, right? RIGHT?

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Does it count as self-parody when you still remain serious?

    As crazy as it sounds gun ownership isn’t gauche amongst liberals. Being an obtuse gun nut who screams about ‘the gubmint is going to take them away!’ is. In 2016 nearly 1/2 of American households own a gun, about 1/3rd own a handgun. Statistically speaking that’s pretty par for the course given what we’ve known about modern American society. Gun ownership has trended downwards as rural society has dwindled but your grandfather who lived on Michigan Ave probably didn’t own anything more than a shotgun on average. It’s not really surprising that in turn you don’t either.

    It seems a good number of commentators beat me to it, but this is pathetic. At this point I would love to come in as a consultant on government pieces, just to stop some of the ‘foot-in-mouth’ you suffer from.

  • avatar
    210delray

    It makes me wonder if the Baruth brothers have been moonlighting at Breitbart. Or if too much glue sniffing during their teenage years is now manifesting itself as long-term brain damage.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I wouldn’t mind having a self-driving vehicle especially when I get older and can no longer drive. It is hard for older people to get around once they can no longer drive. As for driving a manual transmission my older brother taught me to drive a manual in a 63 IH pickup on a gravel road and county roads that were narrow, winding, and blacktop. I am glad I learned to drive a manual but I do know a pair of twin brothers in their 60’s who do not know how to drive a manual. I still have a truck with a manual and I still enjoy driving it more than my other two vehicles that have automatics even though my truck is older and has less creature comforts.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Can the self driving car make me a mixed drink while it is shuttling me around? It would make my workday so much better if I could have an old fashioned on the way in to the office.


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