By on April 22, 2017

autonomous testing tesla

Poor Generation X. Isolated, ignored and cynical, they brought us great music in the early-to-mid 1990s, but their opinion on self-driving cars and autonomous safety features just isn’t important.

At least, that’s the feeling you get while reading the results of J.D. Power’s U.S. Tech Choice Study. The company polled 8,500 Americans who bought a vehicle during the past five years, asking them how they felt about the emerging technology.

Naturally, large generation gaps appeared, not the least of which was the elimination of Gen Xers in favor of the opinions of Boomers, Generation Y and Z. So, how does the opinions of the largest car-buying cohort compare to that of the newest?

Not surprisingly, the older drivers showed much less interest in this newfangled technology. After all, this is the generation that grew up learning how to adjust carburetors when “See the U.S.A. in a Chevrolet” was a popular tagline. (Which isn’t to say that some don’t welcome new advents in, say, driver’s assistance technology.)

Still, the key takeaway from the study seems to lie in the opinions of Generation Z — those born between 1995 and 2004. Among this group, compared to last year’s survey, 11 percent more Gen Z participants said they “definitely would not” trust self-driving technology. 23 percent said they would “probably” not trust the technology.

The oldest cohort, Pre-Boomers (those born before 1946) saw distrust of autonomous cars grow by 9 percent, while a full 81 percent of the Baby Boom generation (born between 1946 and 1964) fell into the “definitely” or “probably” categories. That shows a growth in wariness compared to last year. Generation Y, consisting of those born between 1977 and 1994, was the only group to see acceptance of the technology grow compared to last year.

“In most cases, as technology concepts get closer to becoming reality, consumer curiosity and acceptance increase,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and HMI research at J.D. Power. “With autonomous vehicles, we see a pattern where trust drives interest in the technology and right now, the level of trust is declining.”

Of course, not every member of Generation Z is even old enough to drive, and it’s quite possible that, as they learn more and become more familiar with existing automotive technologies (including semi-autonomous driver’s aids), their individual opinions could eventually mirror that of Generation Y.

Older drivers could also soften their stance towards autonomy once they own a vehicle with, say, adaptive cruise control or a lane-holding feature. Familiarity with the technology would breed trust, assuming the experience is a positive one.

Still, there seems to be quite a difference between the distrust of self-driving cars and acceptance of existing safety features. Collision avoidance systems and other technology package goodies play a big part in new car desire, the study found. When looking at purchasing intent — those who say that they want a certain feature before learning the price — the study found that Boomers fall far behind the youngest generations in wanting the latest tech.

A predictive vehicle assistant — a system that predicts a driver’s needs while controlling vehicle functions — generated interest in only 12 percent of Boomer buyers, while 53 percent of Generations Y and Z buyers expressed a desire to own such a feature. The study found similar results for options such as a self-parking feature, or a limited self-driving mode.

After having their hands on the tiller of the economy so long, it seems that Boomers are, literally, not ready to let go of the wheel.

When Generation Z members were asked about individual features, the survey respondents showed a strong desire to have high-tech convenience and autonomous safety gear in their next vehicle — and pay for it, if need be. A total of 31 percent of respondents said they would pay $700 to add automatic emergency steering to a vehicle’s soon-to-be-mandatory automatic emergency braking.

Another 58 percent would pay $250 for smart key technology in their next vehicle.

To automakers, whether or not a certain generation wants a certain feature is of little consequence. As technology proliferates throughout the market, the nature of competition says that what matters most is offering a better crop of features than those offered by automotive rivals, regardless of the segment.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

103 Comments on “Study: Overall Trust of Autonomous Vehicles Declines, and No One Cares What Generation X Thinks...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Ironically, the generation that distrusts technology the most is at a point in their lives where they need it the most.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      Don’t include me. I’m 59 and my responses are MUCH better than current driver aids. I was driving a loaner while having my own car serviced at the dealer recently.

      While passing some vehicles (which put me in the left lane of a divided highway), a car in front of me made a panic stop. I quickly checked my mirror and made an evasive maneuver into the right lane. It was at that point the dim-witted auto-braking system woke up and slammed on my brakes – this while a tractor-trailer was now bearing down on me in the right lane.

      It’s clear to me that this technology is only better than completely inattentive or incompetent drivers. For the rest of us… it can get us killed. A driver who really needs this tech should be taking mass transit or Uber.

      This is not about being resistent to new things. This about life experience allowing one to have enough sense to accept and embrace what works, and reject that which does not. The automakers’ need to keep up with the competition is not my problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Steve Biro – my comment was broad and yes, there are driver’s in the boomer and pre-boomer set that can drive. At that age reflexes have diminished BUT hopefully experience aids the ability to detect risks and allow for safe margins.
        There are many in that set that not only have diminished reflexes but diminished mental faculties. You add that to the fact that “they” think that just because they drove 50 years without an accident, they think that they are great drivers. Too many people mistake dumb-azzed luck with skill.

        I have been in situation where electronic nannies have been a huge hindrance. We do forget how helpful those nannies are most of the time. This past winter I ran a few errands and the roads were very icy. Just for fun, I shut the nannies off for one of my runs and I was amazed by how much extra focus and work I had to do to keep the vehicle under control.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Steve Biro

        “It was at that point the dim-witted auto-braking system woke up and slammed on my brakes – this while a tractor-trailer was now bearing down on me in the right lane.”

        I just re-read your post since your comment was nagging at me.

        This wasn’t a delayed braking reaction to the vehicle in front of you making a panic stop. Your swerve set off the stability control system. It will cut power and apply brakes to settle the vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Biro

          I’m not sure about that. The maneuver was already completed. But assuming that was the case, then the stability control was dim-witted. Whatever the car decided to do, it didn’t help me. Again … only for the most inattentive and incompetent drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      zipster

      Lou:

      As a truckster who professes an adherence to science, you might find interesting an article in the Times today, “Can the Planet Stand this Presidency?”

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @zipster – I try to conserve and be environmentally conscious in all areas of my life but until there is a more efficient alternative to my F150, I’m still going to own it and drive it. I routinely improve my MPG by 10% or more by using hyper-miling techniques which for the most part entail driving smoothly and thinking ahead.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        There’s nothing interesting about that article; nothing there that everybody hasn’t read a thousand times. Either you think that we are going to destroy the planet with our carbon emissions, or you think that the world has continuously undergone radical changes in climate during human history and that we will adapt. Of the former, there are those who think that we don’t need to change our lifestyles in any significant way, but instead we can make tiny cuts to our resource consumption while hoping that technology will come along and save us from actually making any sacrifices. That appears to be the majority. But really, we’d need a huge cultural shift away from consumption, while preventing the poorest people in the world from making up the difference by increasing theirs to even a small fraction of ours.

        You can easily tell who really cares about climate change in the western world. They’re intentionally living well beyond their means, and have no wasteful habits. I haven’t met any yet apart from maybe my brother, who lives a somewhat bohemian lifestyle. The rest all seem to think that things like the appearance of their home interiors, the allure of vacations, vehicles that are larger and more luxurious than absolutely necessary, expensive toys, drinking and eating in restaurants, and living as long as medical technology allows regardless of quality of life, are all more important than the condition of the planet.

        We should care about conserving our resources and minimizing pollution regardless of anthropogenic CO2-based warming. If we don’t care for that reason, how can we be expected to care about some theoretical future beyond our own lives?

        Personally, I’ll be happy if Canada isn’t under a glacier again like it was only 20,000 years ago, when sea levels were 400 feet lower, and a few thousand years before an asteroid probably wiped out almost all of North America’s mega-fauna. But I admit I’m a bit of a misanthrope, and don’t have a positive long-term outlook on humanity regardless of climate.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        Sounds like a left-wing pantload. As someone who has had long experience with the liars and control freaks that call themselves environmentalists, I don’t believe a word that issues from that lot. In fact I never take “saving the planet” into consideration in any my purchases and activities and fully support President Trump’s efforts to rein in the excesses of the EPA thugs. (“The planet” will still be here and doing just fine long after all of us are gone.)

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          “As someone who has had long experience with the liars and control freaks that call themselves environmentalists, I don’t believe a word that issues from that lot.”

          Then don’t listen to the environmentalists. Listen to the scientists. Unfortunately, people aren’t always consistent when it comes to that. Petroleum scientists, weapons scientists… ok, let’s hear them out. Climate scientists — who use a similar scientific method — um… don’t call us, we’ll call you.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The climate scientists you speak of have a laughable track record of incorrect prognostications and calls for drastic actions that would have been completely unnecessary while having devastating impacts on human beings. I don’t know why smart people don’t take their calls anymore. It is a mystery.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “a laughable track record of incorrect prognostications”

            Give me three examples, Toddles.

            And stop wearing my robe.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @ToddAtlasF1

            Science isn’t a crystal ball. But 90% to 100% of scientists agree climate change is a real problem.

            Also, this youtube video offers up some insight (it’s not propaganda or alarmist):

            https://youtu.be/OWXoRSIxyIU

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            1.) A new Ice Age (Newsweek)
            2.) A world “eleven degrees colder by the year 2000” (Kenneth Watt)
            3.) 1985 air pollution to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half (Life magazine)
            4.) 1995 between 75 and 85 percent of all species to be extinct (Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson)
            5.) Mass starvation (Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes)

            It’s easy to find this stuff on Earth Day. If you have to ask, you’ll never know.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            T-Odd… I gotta go somewhere right now but them guys don’t sound like scientists.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            @OMP – “… but them guys don’t sound like scientists.”

            Thanks. Maybe @ToddAtlasF1 will listen to Exxon Mobil — or rather Exxon Mobil’s own scientists:

            Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago:
            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/

            But Exxon suppressed their findings and went on to refuse climate change exists.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Canada did a study on climate change denial. Liberal electoral districts showed a 1:10 denial rate. Conservative electoral districts were 4:10.
            @We Todd did fit that pattern.
            Ironically, providing factual evidence to deniers makes them entrench even further into their denial.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Ironically, providing factual evidence to deniers makes them entrench even further into their denial.”

            and I doubt their denial is rooted in actually believing it’s not happening. 2manycars used a phrase which I think displays the actual reason: “control freaks.”

            they deny it out of a “ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to do” mindset.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Serpent Society, consisting of those born between 1977 and 1994”

    Don’t lump us in with the Snake People, you’re the ones ass backward in society.

  • avatar
    Phillin_Phresh

    Some people just have an inherent distrust of robots, and that’s a big factor here. But I’d wager that Tesla has done more damage to the public’s perception of self-driving cars than any other automaker. Elon Musk has publically stated that he’s in favor of deploying autonomous tech before it’s fully baked, because he believes there will be a net benefit to safety. The problem is that with every high-profile accident, Tesla weakens public confidence in self-driving cars as a concept.

    The fundamental problem with Level 2 automation is human psychology. Once a driver gets comfortable with Autopilot on the highway, they lose situational awareness and won’t be able to react quickly if the computer hands over control in an emergency situation. I believe that Ford, and other legacy manufacturers, have the right approach by waiting until Level 5 automation is ready, before releasing that technology to the public.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Elon Musk has publically stated that he’s in favor of deploying autonomous tech before it’s fully baked, because he believes there will be a net benefit to safety.”

      What he’s saying is that perfect is the enemy of good. And he’s 100% right. Net it out, and his stuff probably does increase safety. The problem is, the times when it doesn’t increase safety get large type press on page 1 along with clickbait headlines (right up there with the weather reporters declaring the White/Wet Death is going to destroy us all, or the reporter saying “coming up: the three everyday items in your kitchen that will kill your children!”).

      And readers will gravitate to such clickbait headlines every time, and profess outrage that such an incident was “allowed” to happen, because after all everyone knows we live in an absolutely perfect world, right? Where nothing bad should EVER happen, right?

      • 0 avatar
        Phillin_Phresh

        It becomes a philosophical question. If a piece of technology can save lives, great. But what if it also caused a small number of deaths that wouldn’t have happened otherwise? You may think that’s a net benefit to society, until it happens to you or someone you care about. I don’t think Musk’s calculation does anything to comfort the family of that Navy SEAL who was killed in a Tesla last year.

        Despite how it sounds, I’m actually a huge proponent of self-driving technology. I just don’t think it’s responsible to release it to the mass market until Level 5 automation is fully developed. In the meantime, automakers can readily increase safety with proven driver aids like lane guidance, automatic braking, and BLIS.

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          @Phillin_Phresh the Philosopher,

          Yes, I agree. If the Tesla can pass a driver’s road test (I believe it can although I don’t recall Tesla’s ever advertising that), then it can drive on roads. And like all new drivers, it must be in limited conditions.

          Unfortunately, people get too comfortable with the tech and let the Tesla drive in virtually all conditions. The proper way to deploy this is to confine autonomous cars to certain roads and corridors, those that are clearly marked, and even better, where there is V2V and V2I.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “Level 5” automation will never just one day be “fully developed” in some lab somewhere. Anything complex evolves iteratively. Like humanity.

          Assuming no Divine intervention, of course. But I can’t imagine even the most ardent believers in Intelligent Design, reckons God will anytime soon drop a Level 5 car into our garages.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Isn’t this a partial definition of an automatic transmission: “A predictive vehicle assistant — a system that predicts a driver’s needs while controlling vehicle functions”?

    So we accept automatic transmissions, ABS, cruise control, back-up cameras, automatic lights, moisture sensing windshield wipers, power windows/locks/liftgates and even electric rather than hand crank starters, all functions that remove the requirement for human thought/effort/exertion/driving skills, but not autonomous vehicles?

    Somebody please explain the full logic behind this?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Get off my lawn unless you are here with the push mower to cut it! LOL

      • 0 avatar

        I’m a boomer (conceived in Truman, born in Eisenhower). I not only cut my lawn with a push mower, I cut it with a push mower that almost certainly dates back at least to wwii, and probably earlier.

        I have cruise control, but I almost never use it–even on the trips I take a couple of times a year between Boston and DC (900 mile round trip). I enjoy driving too much.

        Probably needless to say, I drive a stick/clutch.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @David C Holzman – I don’t like cruise control. I get better mpg in hilly/mountainous terrain without it. It is nice on very straight and flat roads in good weather. That’s it.
          I just did an 1,800 km trip over Easter. I never used cruise. I love driving too.

      • 0 avatar
        2manycars

        I’m with you there – I don’t give a rat’s ass what young people think. Children should be neither seen nor heard.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      You’ve just described a passenger train. Autonomous cars remove the entire ‘driving’ aspect from ‘driving a car’. You’d no more be an active participant in the journey in one of these ‘cars’ than you would be in a compartment on a train. You’d be on your devices far more, though, which is the idea behind it all.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I’d rather be on a passenger train!

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “I’d rather be on a passenger train!”

          If everyone else on the train were at least as clean and polite as I am in public, hell yes. Same for buses.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        “You’ve just described a passenger train. Autonomous cars remove the entire ‘driving’ aspect from ‘driving a car’. You’d no more be an active participant in the journey in one of these ‘cars’ than you would be in a compartment on a train. You’d be on your devices far more, though, which is the idea behind it all.”

        Well, passenger trains are, relative to other areas of the world, remarkably unpopular in North America. There are some notable urbanized exceptions (although, even then, I believe ridership numbers are below other cities of comparable populations in other parts of the world).

        So, do you think it could argued that the dislike/lack of use of trains and the distrust of any form autonomy in a passenger vehicle is related? I’m not sure how, though. Cultural? Geographical?

        I personally don’t see the need for autonomous driving on a wide scale, when the easier solution is to use the already existing testing systems in each state to require re-testing every ‘x’ years. You could possibly require a vision test as well. I think it would weed out terrible drivers who have bad records, and offer a re-fresher on the basics for those who fall into bad habits.

        For those who fail the vision or skills test, then yes, sure, since we have mostly terrible public transport options in the US, an autonomous vehicle means still having the ability to get to work. Or for seniors, possibly maintaining a higher quality of life.

        But for everybody? I think a one size fits all policy or solution is usually ineffective when it comes to human problems. A long term, multi-faceted approach would be better.

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “a one size fits all policy or solution is usually ineffective when it comes to human problems.”

          Worked pretty well on infectious diseases.

          • 0 avatar
            newenthusiast

            I did say ‘usually’ not ‘always’.

            But I’m interested: do you really think that some of the solutions we have for infectious diseases, which have indeed greatly improved the life span and quality of life for humanity, are equivalent to autonomous driving technology? Or are you just ribbing me a little?

            I consider the former a far greater accomplishment that solved a far greater problem.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            newenthusiast,

            “The National Safety Council estimates 38,300 people were killed and 4.4 million injured on U.S. roads in 2015, which saw the largest one-year percentage increase in half a century.” Jason Redmond/Reuters

            Yeah, I think meat driving *darfs* past US fatalities from lethal communicable diseases except for the “Spanish” flu.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “Worked pretty well on infectious diseases.”

            I consider a hypothetical AV mandate more akin to a “National Diet” to reduce heart disease, stroke, and diabetes than something like Penicillin.

            Now, you might be in support of both such policies but there are a lot of people that want to keep eating a bacon cheeseburger or riding a motorcycle or smoke a cigar even if that all brings on increased health risks.

            I don’t think there were many people clamoring for the right to get smallpox. Then again, even with that, compulsory vaccines are a semi-controversial topic.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            ajla, your middle paragraph ignores the fact that I and mine are also endangered by others’ meat driving. Their meat eating endangers only them (except vis health insurance costs).

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Perhaps it’s closest to questions about firearms ownership then?

            I still don’t think communicable disease prevention is the best comparison just because very, very few people *wanted* smallpox or polio. I expect a nontrival amount of people will want some amount of nonAV driving to remain protected on certain public roads.

            We’ll see what happens. Maybe AVs will be superior to the point they are adopted without much struggle (though even the horse carriage didn’t go down without a fight). Maybe the “freedom vs safety” debate will rage on for decades. Maybe AVs get hacked or go haywire and kill the whole thing before it gets off the ground.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            OK, I get your drift about the violated choice involved. I’d be happy with an AV system mandated only for restricted access highways; most anything that happens at lesser speeds is survivable with modern safety engineering.

            My attitude to this topic, though, is pretty whimsical; it’s like imagining what I’d do with a Powerball win, equally likely in my lifetime.

        • 0 avatar
          Tele Vision

          ‘So, do you think it could argued that the dislike/lack of use of trains and the distrust of any form autonomy in a passenger vehicle is related? I’m not sure how, though. Cultural? Geographical?’

          Topography must have a lot to do with the lack of ridership in most North American urban centres. The sprawl we take as given would melt the hair of a London or Tokyo or Manhattan resident. The autonomous vehicle combines – in theory – the best of both public and personal transport: the ability to go where and when you want with the convenience of being delivered to your destination with all the involvement of a tepid pizza in a clapped-out Civic.

          I’ll stick to driving until governmentally forced otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            newenthusiast

            “Yeah, I think meat driving *darfs* past US fatalities from lethal communicable diseases except for the “Spanish” flu.”

            Well, wait. A lot of lives were saved with vaccines decades ago,if not further back: polio, mumps, measles, smallpox, chicken pox, diphtheria, TB, etc. Using the very small number of deaths caused by these diseases today, after almost just about 100 years if widespread availability in Western countries, as opposed to their overall lasting effect seems like the wrong analogy.

            They saved likely hundreds of millions of lives and variolation is one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in the history of mankind.

            Autonomous driving isn’t even a reliable, real, widespread thing yet. Not the so called ‘Level 5’ autonomy, anyway.

            I get that it WILL save lives, eventually. I’m not sure it will be in my lifetime, because I think that it will have to be an all or nothing proposition. And that’s a hard sell.

            I just posted that I think changing the nature of how drivers learn and are tested (tougher, and more often, respectively, at least in the US) will have a more significant impact in a much quicker time frame. And it should be something considered.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            OK.

        • 0 avatar

          @newenthusiast
          I don’t think non-use of trains and aversion to autonomous vehicles are at all related.

          People don’t use trains much because they aren’t convenient for most people. (They’re also expensive, at least between NYC and Boston.)

          I have used them at times in my life when they’ve been convenient (living near a metro in DC, and going to events or seeing friends in Manhattan).

      • 0 avatar
        cstoc

        No, autonomous cars are not passenger trains or buses. The car takes me from one place directly to a destination, on my schedule. I can put my stuff in the trunk and cabin without having to carry them on my person everywhere. I can go to many places on a trip without having any of them be a train station. There’s good reasons why people prefer cars to trains or buses.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      An automatic transmission doesn’t predict anything. Nor do those other vehicular devices. They’re all reactive.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Somebody please explain the full logic behind this?”

      I’m sure if you asked someone in 1850 if they would prefer personal travel by horse or by a conveyance powered by many small explosions contained in an iron box two feet in front of you, they would go heavily to the horse.

      I think this is less about unwillingness to “accept” an AV and more that there isn’t a lot of knowledge or understanding about how AVs function and what they are all about.

    • 0 avatar
      Wodehouse

      Well, a self-starter is the only thing from that list that’s in my daily driver (on the rare occasions I actually drive these days). It’s much more enjoyable for me to drive my Corvair than it is to get in my spouse’s new Honda Accord coupe.

      That ugly Honda doesn’t even have rear side windows that open! The car clicks, beeps, winks, tugs, pulses, vibrates and nags before you get in it and continues until the drive is over and you get out of it. I loathe that hideous thing.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Leave Gen X out. We are used to it. Our boomer parents just want is to pay for their nursing home bills since they failed to save, and our dippy millennial kids want to live at home for free and have us cover their bills because they are too lazy to work. But why ask what we think?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      dwford,
      Maybe its time for you gen X’ers to do a better job.

      I really believe the Boomers have done a good job. Could we have done better, yes.

      Overall you guys have witnessed the greatest advancement in living stanards of humans globally.

      If you look at what we Boomers are leaving, technically, medically, scientifically, etc behind it seems we are leaving a great toolbox for you young’ins to build a better world.

      What can your generation do? What will be your legacy and mark you will achieve for your off spring for the future of humans?

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Boomers left behind an world full of unsustainable debt and social promises that can never be kept. The upheaval the world is about to face is a direct result of the disingenuous actions of boomer politicians. Gen X’ers have Boomers on one hand saying look at the wonderful world we left you and millennials on the other hand saying look at the mess you left us. As per usual, Gen X has to attempt to clean up the mess.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          So, gen X’ers are materialistic?

          You have all the tools and instruments, a great toolbox to use to reduce debt.

          Like any business, managing a home debt is needed to invest in the future.

          You have a fully kitted out business, make the most of it. This means more effort from the gen X’ers. You were pampered and given an easy life. Now you must work.

          Us Boomers can’t continue spoon feeding you guys, you have left the nest, go and find your own worms now and stop sulking.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        As a Boomer I claim that our greatest crime against posterity was in obsessively clinging to the belief in innate human value and potential.

        Hope but verify. Then weed.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        Before responding to your post, everyone should research Bob Taylor (who died just this past week).

        While he technically didn’t create the world we live in, one could argue that without him we might not have most of the things we take for granted.

        Bob Taylor’s legacy is not to be repeated by any of the current generation.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ dwford – Gen X’s parents, by and large, are *not* Baby Boomers. They’re Silent Generation, born from roughly the late ’20s through 1945. It’s a small generation and had a correspondingly small number of children, Gen-X.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    So we don’t trust the slapdash software engineering, shockingly easily fooled image recognition and sensors, and artificial intelligence that is still decades away from handling unpredictable situations or human intent or human mistakes, or the lack of any development on standards for interopability and information exchange between manufacturers and vehicles. I guess nobody wants to hear how far along we actually aren’t.

  • avatar
    zipster

    Lou:

    I won’t do the metric conversions because you can probably do them faster than me, but I would conservatively estimate that you indispensable F-150 emits 10 tons of CO2 a year.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Which subcompact car do you drive? Do you really think the world has the resources to allow everyone to own and operate even that? Why can’t you ride a bicycle instead? Do you hate the planet?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        rpn453,
        Its not about the quantity of resources to sate all.

        Its about CO2 emissions and a person who constantly talks up his geen credentials.

        This appears to be a case of “don’t do as I do, do as I say”.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          I equate the two. Almost everything in the modern world is the product of oil and oil energy.

          I haven’t perceived Lou_BC that way, and I do tend to read his posts. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention. zipster’s post came across as a random, off-topic call-out. Sorry if I missed the lead-in that justified it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            rpn453,
            My comment regarding Lou is a little bit overstated ….. not much, though.

            But we need to curtail energy use.

            I can’t believe the advocates of use as much as we can. This doesn’t make sense.

            Lou has every right to drive an inefficient vehicle, a want.

            It makes me wonder why and how other countries prosper with smaller vehicles.

            We in the US, Canada and Australia could survive very comfortably with a further downsizing of vehicles.

            But you have people such as Lou and myself to a degree driving vehicles we just don’t need.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Zipster,
      Lou should at least drive a VM diesel powered fullsize Ram pickup. This is far better than the F150.

      He’s one of those who over buys …. just in case ….. maybe ….. might need the capability.

      He claims he requires a fullsize pickup to tote his 2 muts and 6’4″ five year old.

      But if he can afford it, that’s okay. But he should stop spruiking his green credentials. It just doesn’t add up. His fireplace would emit far more CO2 than his truck. Living in north BC is cold, Seattle is cold enough.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @BAFO –
        1. VM diesel Ram?
        Can’t buy one new since they are being investigated for emissions cheating. I haven’t seen a vm motors powered FCA vehicle in inventory for a while.
        2. Overbuy ? As opposed to a small truck that does not do what I want it do do for similar cost and negligible improvement in mpg?
        2010 5.4 F150 342g/km.
        2010 Tacoma 4.0 is 350g/km.
        I’m not saving the world by owning a small truck.
        3. Go troll someone else. My son’s are 13 and 15 . Height 5’7″ and 5’9″ and still growing. One dog is a mutt, the other is pedigreed.
        4. I don’t have a fire place. Too much pollution and very inefficient. Getting firewood isn’t efficient or cost effective for me either.

        I’ve never claimed “green credentials “.

        BC is cold? Depends on where you live. It is a big place.

        @zipster – you the butt hurt guy bragging about all the places you hiked?
        Oh and answer rpn43’s question. What do you drive?

        • 0 avatar
          zipster

          Lou:

          An ’06 TDI and a ’15 Prius. For short distances in warmer weather
          a Specialized 21 speed bike. But lets not be distracted, you would find the article interesting as well as would your boys.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I read it. Yes it was interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            I suppose I shouldn’t get so irritated by someone calling out another on their consumption. I was once young enough to have that mindset; thinking that those driving pickup trucks for basic transportation were wasting finite resources. Before “global warming” even became a buzz word, I can recall someone in the office complaining about rising fuel costs and me replying that it’s a good thing, because maybe it will convince people to waste less in their trucks and boats. Of course, the co-worker who made the comment drove a truck and did a lot of boating on summer weekends. My habits of driving my ’87 Grand Am 650 miles every weekend at as close to 90 mph as I could get away with to see my girlfriend, heading to the mountains to snowboard whenever I could in winter, and addictively purchasing home and car stereo equipment were perfectly acceptable ways to consume the earth’s resources.

            I really believed that my place in the moral grey area of western consumption was the right one. But at some point I realized that I could always take steps to waste less, and no matter what I did it wouldn’t be sustainable or even possible for the world’s population to live that way. We can always do more. Where do you stop.

            The science is that Lou’s extra 10 tons have practically no effect on the climate. His entire output has practically no effect on the climate. The entire output of all the personal transportation in Canada has practically no effect on the climate. The entire output of all the industry in Canada has practically no effect on the climate. Shut Canada and the U.S. completely down and anthropogenic CO2 levels are going to continue rising. This is so much bigger than any of our personal lives, and flagging Lou for his personal consumption when he’s probably right around the mean for a North American, using a tiny fraction of what people like Trudeau use, is still as ridiculous as when I did such things.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I suppose I shouldn’t get so irritated by someone calling out another on their consumption. ”

            No, you should not get irritated at all by it. Nor should you be drawn in by it.

            Different strokes for different folks. You drive what you choose to drive, and I drive what I want to drive. Because we can.

            The uber-left greenweenies and treehuggers can drive what they choose to drive, or not drive at all.

            Autonomous vehicles are great, if a person is so inclined, but I prefer to drive myself and be in control.

            Works for me.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Speaking of diesel, Baruth had a recent editorial on it.

          “No matter what happens next, though, here’s something you can bank on: Diesel is dead. I called it in these pages some time ago, and it turns out I was right. The emissions numbers were fudged, perhaps across the industry. The health effects were real. A generation of policymakers looked the other way because they were more concerned about polar bears floating on lonely ice caps than they were about the lives of their own constituents.”

          http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a33255/why-diesel-is-done-for-in-passenger-cars/

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Just how much “trust” in AVs is necessary to accept that they’d unarguably be safer overall than this ever greater amount of booze, drug, hormone and sclerosis addled meat on the roads?

    But it’s got to be all or nothing for that to work. Otherwise AV occupants just become the likeliest victims.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    With the borderline autonomy I’ve experienced so far (radar cruise and lane-keep assist), I’m still in the trust but verify stage. But I’m absolutely certain we’ll see significantly more progress in improving autonomous vehicles in the next five years than meatsacks will improve, well, ever.

  • avatar

    I got lost in all those generations. Whats a difference between Y and Z? Which one is referred to as snowflakes which are melting down and weeping when reality does not match their rosy expectation? I have a bad news though with or without self driving cars – world enters the new era of nationalism and instability. Globalism apparently did not work as we hoped we witness it now in US, Europe, GB and Asia. Dream did not come true. Additional 5 to 6 billion Africans coming to existence in coming decades and lack of food, water and resources will put enormous pressure on Europeans who will fight for their lives. I hope technology continues to advance in US. I do not envy generations Y and Z and they will have more serious problems on their hand than self driving cars.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “will put enormous pressure on Europeans who will fight for their lives”

      Or just die off/miscgenate away.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m hoping for this.

        youtube.com/watch?v=Tj9M34DzAKo

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          I never saw that film, tried watching your clip but Sheen’s rabid overacting made that impossible.

          That guy always struck me as hyperthyroid zombie.

          • 0 avatar

            It is a satire. In reality decisions are not made like that. Europeans lost any ability to fight, unlike Americans they just want to have nice comfortable life, and enjoy fruits of hard work and sacrifice of previous generation and let stupid Americans to police the world and die in the process. Apparently current and future refugees from Africa think the same way – why to fight for better life in your own country if paradise already exists and available to anyone who will dare to come and take it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “Europeans lost any ability to fight, unlike Americans they just want to have nice comfortable life, and enjoy fruits of hard work and sacrifice of previous generation and let stupid Americans to police the world and die in the process. ”

            Yup. That all started with the Marshall Plan, right after WWII.

            Let’s hope that has changed since the new guy came to town (DC) on Jan 20, 2017.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            “That all started with the Marshall Plan, right after WWII.”

            But wasn’t the Marshall Plan a lesson learned from WWI? Germany was left to suffer economically after losing WWI, which in part, gave rise to Hitler and WWII.

            There’s wisdom in the Marshall Plan, and today.. well ok, maybe up to last year, Germany is / was a strong ally.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Wheel, revere the wizened sage.

            It takes a special kind of half-bright certitude from a hopscotch partial reading over the years of a few popular press books to see the Marshall Plan as an agent in contemporary Germany’s peril.

          • 0 avatar

            Something like UN and Marshall Plan was suggested by Woodrow Wilson after WW1 but European allies rejected American plan. During WW2 US saved their collective ass so US decided how world will look like after WW2 and could ignore their objections. And btw they were more afraid of SU than Germany.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “During WW2 US saved their collective ass”

            More so after than during WWII. The Soviets brought down the Third Reich. The US kept the Soviets from occupying all of Germany and the rest of Western Europe.

            Hardly seems worth it now, merely assuring that invading mooslems will have free food, shelter and flushing toilets for a brief while.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Maybe there’s hope that the new guy can turn things around and get the allies to carry a larger share of the global burden.

            In the past, they were fat, dumb and happy to leave it all to the US to do.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Well regardless of which piece of new technology comes along, who wants to be the squished guinea pig?

    Its akin to war – I mean who wants to be the general’s cannon fodder just cause he wants to move the line forward?

    Strap the General and the politicians to the first tanks over the line. Same with autonomous.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      At least the bulk of autonomous development in current consumer products is done in higher end cars – not too much cannon fodder affording a Tesla or S-Class for now.

  • avatar
    raph

    Meh… what else is new with Gen-X, I think since the end of the 80’s we’ve always been statistically unimportant. Nothing new there when you don’t have the numbers to make any sort of meaningful political or financial impact.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “when you don’t have the numbers to make any sort of meaningful political or financial impact.”

      But at some point you will have meaningful and political impact. And at that time your generation has to mold the world into the image that you want it to be.

      The world we live in today is largely shaped by the baby boomers, those born ~March 1946 – ~Dec 1965, who believed in free love, flower power, drugs and rock&roll because the world shaped by the Greatest Generation before it was too restrictive and inhibited.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        HDC,
        I believe the Boomers have done a great job expanding what our parents built.

        What the Boomers have done incorrectly is give too much assistance to our offspring and not have them considered failures.

        We created a generation of risk averse people who are less unclined to achieve.

        Our parents, mine pre WW1 and WW2 told us when we had failed, even teachers were involved.

        This inspired excellence and tougher skinned people.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Sure, I can see where a lot of people have done incorrect things, but life is all about winning and winners.

          There are no do-overs in life and failing often leads to being labeled a loser.

          If a job is worth doing, it is worth doing it right the first time. And the competition is getting better all the time.

          We don’t all get the same opportunities in life, so when we compete it is of the utmost importance that we win.

          There will always be winners and losers. The trick is to remain with the winners. And sometimes, we can all use a little help or trickery to accomplish that.

          • 0 avatar

            In Japanese culture you have to be in winning team, if you failed you are done, you have to commit suicide. In Western Christian culture and esp in America failure is just part of learning experience and today’s looser might be tomorrow winner, weakness might be advantage. Once I asked my Jewish friend why Jews did not adopt Christianity – they waited prophet and prophet arrived but still they did not like his message and rejected him. He told me that Christianity is a for losers – it makes them feel better and makes it easier to fool and exploit them. Nevertheless Christianity took over the world and radically transformed it, introduced the concept of human rights, equality, science and scientific method, technology. But yes Christians were losers and it was religion for poor. Now poor rule the world.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “In Japanese culture you have to be in winning team”

            And yet Mazda is still with us.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            People who initially came to America did so to flee religious persecution, famine and/or oppression in their own countries. It was their dedication and hard work that built America to what it is today.

            But today’s America is different in that everyone has an equal chance to fail, but not an equal chance at succeeding. Being at the right place at the right time counts big time.

            Money talks, and bullschit walks doesn’t only apply to what a person can afford to drive. It also applies to a person’s status in American society.

            But there are ways around that. Some have found it in crime, others have found it in the underground economy.

            And sometimes, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters all pitch in to give one of their own a leg up on the competition.

            Lots of precendence for that. It’s not WHAT you know. It’s WHO you know!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Inside

            Nice truth, its great to finally see some.

            @OMP

            More truth.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          I find this whole ” give too much assistance to our offspring and not have them considered failures.” total bullsh!t.

          There is a big difference between “failing at a task” and being “considered failures”. One is personal and the other situational.

          “Too much assistance to our offspring” is another giant steaming pile of sh!t. The line has to be drawn at this: the assistance comes with expectations.

          My dad lived through the Great Depression and being the oldest boy was pulled from school and helped his family survive. He did not what us to go through that. My brother and I were “assisted” with many things but there were always expectations to meet.

          Boomers tend to arrogantly look down at subsequent generations. Western boomers were born at a time when there was almost boundless opportunity. That does not exist to the same degree anymore. Societal values and beliefs are much different. There is nothing wrong with that. “We” don’t understand them but expect them to think, act and feel the way we do.
          I will assist my sons as much as possible because like my father,I see it as father’s job to set children up with the best chance of success.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            The assistance must be of value for their futures.

            Far too many parents give the wrong type of assistance. From what I can see many Gen X’ers just expect with minimal effort.

            Look at how many over the past several decades jump from job to job always expecting more than they are worth.

          • 0 avatar

            I paid for my son’s education only the for first half of the first year and made down payment for his (almost new) first car but told him to find a job and borrow money to pay for the rest of college and the car. He did well and he is very successful. After college every time he got offer at the very first interview. But we are immigrants. Baby boomers expect too much and do not believe in American dream. There are too many success stories in Silicon Valley to think that it is not possible to succeed in America anymore. You do not even try if you think so.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Inside Looking Out, “we are immigrants.”

            Yeah, most of us in America are immigrants. Both my parents were immigrants, but they got to America legally. They didn’t just waltz across the border and squat.

            Everyone wants to see their children and grand children succeed, but that isn’t always possible in today’s America, and that’s why those who can, help any way they can.

            There are even distinctions made based on education and the college/university a job-seeker graduates from. That’s why so many people lie about their qualifications on their job application.

            And yet I see America’s immigration problem as relatively simple to solve.

            Just use the the German version which requires ALL non-citizens to register at the local police station for a stay, and do so each year after that.

            That’s what my German-born American-citizen inlaws had to do.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Boomers tend to arrogantly look down at subsequent generations. ”

            every generation thinks the one succeeding them is terrible.

            which is really off-putting; if “kids these days” are so awful, why did you raise them to be so?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            JimZ – a rather obvious conclusion.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    “a system that predicts a driver’s needs while controlling vehicle functions”

    How’s the bladder sensor attach or don’t I want to know?

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    Safer is a broad term. Safer than who, the average inatentive idiot in a minivan with bald tires. Yeah maybe that one is safer in a robo car.
    Persoanlly I have close to zero fear of dying or being in a road accident while driving. I have personally avoided plenty. teh accident or death rate is based on an average. If youre int he top 25% of drivers what relevance is stat or tech that applied tot he bottom 25%.

    I alkso dont nwat to die like sheep. You can tell me airlines are as safe as you want, when it goes wrong your suffed in tube bleating like a sheep hoping someone up front deals with it. I would much rather be at the controlls myself, trying to save myself.

    Now if I lived in Fl there the roads are straight well marked and weather not an issue, then autonomous tech maybe could take me from one place to another. I would probably like it too, instead of dealing with the slow plodding traffic on I95 during rush hour. Not as though driving there has any entertainment

    But in the Ne where i live, I cant imagine an autonomous car dealing with potholes, poorly marked signs, snow covering sensors, snow traction and whole host of ills. Nor whould I trust a machine in such circumstances.

    The danger is in otehrs becomign reliant on the imperfect the machine, and having unpredicatble humans driving otehr cars at the same time. The bigger danger still is all those people relying on the machine, and the machine relying on human being to be able to take over suddenly after months of inattention. Hows that going to work out.

    So sure if there were a 100% accurate car that could take me to work, or home after dinner and drinks I would have one. But such a machine is way way int he future, unless you live in the southwest or parts of the south where roads and conditions are near perfect. In otehr circusntances these auto cars will be a danger to the resat of us. Also hows it going to tow my race car, or reverse the boat down the ramp.

    I also ride a motorcycle, and what I have noticed is the standard of inattentiveness has risen exponetialy. People are relying on the car to beep at them, and are usualy doing somethign else. Part of the fault lays with the cars, because they new ones are so safe and isolated that people dont fear real harm.

    lastly had a new lincoln rent car. Its was plush smooth and great, except. My 80 yo mother commented that they have removed driving from the equation, the wheel and pedals meerly telling the machine where you want to go, so at that level of blandness, might as well have athe applance do it all.

    in the end theere ate two reasons why why this tech is being pushed. well gov loves rules, they love control and ideally love to be able to keep tabs we all are and going. But the real push is that every manufactuerer makes good cars these days so the real attempt to differentiate is with gizmos and features. First it was sunfroofs which no one uses, now it vibrating seats.

    Sadly you cant buy the good tech without gettign all the nanies. Cant tell you how many cars I didnt buy because you couldnt turn of one system or another. This tech, in the end as imperfect as it is, it will be rammed down our throats, just like proximity keys and button starters, and auto stop start.

    if it were defeatble and cars still drove great, that woudl be choice. But in the days where most “sportscars” are really just a heavy fast Gt car, with zero steering feel or feedback the end is nigh. Maybe a few manufacturers will serve the niche of drivers cars. But for the rest they are already transport modules and most would prefer they require nothing of the owner. the dumbing down of the human proceeds apace.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Ce he sin: Interesting that you mention only locomotives because multiple unit trains (the ones with engines or...
  • mcs: I’m an EV fan, but a large part of my income comes from oil investments. I’m also very much into ICE...
  • Vulpine: It wasn’t the “superiority of ICE vehicles” that gave them the lead; it was the oil...
  • retrocrank: A couple of decades ago I asked my farmer friends (a.k.a. ag producers) why their huge tractors were...
  • The Comedian: Would it pass GM’s own toolbox test? https://youtu.be/GrahNMrlOIY

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States