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Old 03-15-2014, 01:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
imag
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Okay, so self drivers are inevitable. *There are a bunch of things that have been said about them, but I think people are missing the full scope. *A few predictions:

People will drive more, not less. *The four hour weekend drive to a weekend destination looks a lot more attractive when you don't have to drive. *If you can sleep in the car, all the better. *Living three hours from work becomes less of a problem with your own luxury cocoon.

Car devaluation will be brutal. *Initially, self drivers will arrive in the current car form factor. *Then, the front seats will turn around. *As safety is more proven, people might even start walking around in the car. *All these changes will mean that cars with older form factors will be tragically uncool, like old cell phones.

Car shows will be more about interiors than exteriors. *People will care more about what the car is like to relax in - what gadgets it has - than about how it looks. *Espresso makers, screens, fridges, stoves - all that gets much more useful if you are just chilling on the way to your destination.

Horsepower will be less important, sportiness less compelling. *Because who cares how fast your car is if you're not driving? *You don't even *want* it changing direction quickly.

RV sales will go up. *How much more desirable is an RV if you can wake up every morning in a new national park, without having to do the drive in between? *Why have a house at all?

City planning will change dramatically. *Businesses will have to create huge pick up and drop off areas. *After work, everyone's car - whether owned or contracted - will come by to pick them up. *That is going to create massive congestion in front of the doors. *On the flip side, parking lots will no longer need to be centrally located; your car can go park itself.

City drivers will ditch their cars, but not suburbanites. *Uber won't take over everything. *People will still want their own little living room, with their own stuff in it. *And try to imagine contract cars handling the entire morning and evening commutes. *No matter how hard you try, some cars will only be used two or three times a day.

For the uber-rich, supercars will make room for luxo-vans. *I mentioned this on another thread, but it is clear that most supercars are status symbols. *As such, when self drivers come on the scene, what would make a better status symbol than rolling in your own imperial black pod?

Current cars will be perceived as dangerous beasts. *People in fifty years will look at cars today as unimaginable. *The idea that we roved around at half attention, mixing metal with pedestrians, will look unbearably crude.

Car racing and track days will be like horse racing. *Plenty will still do it, but it will be an anachronism, a pastime for those with more money.

Any more?
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