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AVs - will they help restore personal car ownership?

Discussion in 'Autonomous Vehicles' started by int-veh, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. int-veh

    int-veh Member

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    Sep 2, 2017
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    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    There is this talk of robo-taxi's and ride-sharing reducing or even eliminating the need or desire for personal car ownership.

    In my brief experience with even the limited capability EAP, I would think autonomous vehicles will spur more road travel and individual car ownership. In fact, I would rather ride my own autonomous vehicle for the SF - LA/LV/SD - distances within 10 hours of drive, if they are fully autonomous, much safer, zero emissions and much faster than today.

    So there is a case to be made autonomous vehicles will help spur or at least retain individual car ownership. Possibly it will impact short distance flights.

    What say?
     
  2. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    I can't see why. For anyone who doesn't already own a car why would they want to then own an AV? Either they are poor, in which case not in the market, or they currently don't want to own a car, for whatever reason, so no change there either. Just "hail a ride" - which will be much easier, than at present, with AV.

    OTOH of the people who currently own a car, because they have to, some/many/most? will give up car ownership. The car sits there for most of the time doing nothing, except depreciating. Sure Rich Folks may well not want to sit in a car that someone else just puked in ... actually, most people wouldn't want to sit in that car! so that problem will need a solution ... but for an Average Person there is a significant saving not having all that capital tied up in a depreciating asset.

    We have a daily-driver, that's only not-used for a little over 22 hours a day. A "small runaround", that is only used for one or two hours a week, and a people carrier that is only used when we need ... ermm ... people, or cargo, carrying - maybe a couple of hours a month. Oh .. and the Nutcase Sports Car, that gets used for a few hours a year ... although I'm not sure an AV version of that would scratch the same itch!
     
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  3. maxell2hd

    maxell2hd Member

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    Location:
    Canada
    Most likely, pretty much anything that has made cars more convenient has led to an increase in ownership. Mostly the people who think taxi services will reduce ownership have no idea of the economics of taxi services, or are virulently anti-private car. The biggest threat that autonomous cars poses is to mass transit, not private car ownership.

    IMO, people arguing for taxis to beat private cars are like people arguing for pay phones to beat cell phones.
     
  4. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Location:
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    I know nothing about Taxi services :) you are welcome to enlighten me, my presumption is:

    The most expensive element, currently, is the Driver. Uber et al seek to mitigate that cost by taking multiple fares, or encouraging private drivers to pick up some (modest) fare paying passengers on their journey e.g. to work

    The other major cost is the Matching of Car and Customer - the Dispatcher - taking calls and finding where their cars are and then getting someone to go to the pick up. With software apps that has already started to be a different ball game - all the vehicle locations are know, and the location of the person wanting the ride, and with AVs the vehicles will be moved close to locations where need is predicted - maybe that already happens with Uber; I've always been surprised, over the years, that when I arrive at the local station there are loads of Taxi drivers parked there (average pickup wait must be 30 minutes or more), reading a paper, drinking a coffee ... huge static-cost of Driver wages (sure, the vehicle couldn't be doing anything, as clearly more supply-than-demand at that time, but AV removes the overhead cost of Driver, and thus the cost of ride comes down and more people find it affordable)

    No wonder the existing Taxi companies hate Uber, its hugely more efficient at matching a Ride with a Rider, and thus reducing Ride-cost

    Night fares: currently more expensive because of, again, the Driver - antisocial hours. AVs won't care about that.

    Whether people - who are currently used to having their own car, getting into their own mess, or "no mess", or just having their "stuff" in the car with them - will switch to no-car and ride-hailing ... I have no idea. The only "junK" that we have in our cars is a pen or two, some tissues, an umbrella and some reusable shopping bags - I could manage my life without always having them available for unexpected Colds, Shopping and Rain ...

    I live in the countryside and there a big problem of transportation for the elderly. The small villages that have bus services are infrequent & inconvenient, many villages have no public transport, so the elderly retain a driving license - long past when they should be driving. Sure, buying an AV solves that, but I reckon that there are a high percentage of such elderly drivers, on pensions / reduced incomes, who would find an AV Taxi more affordable than ownership.

    Personally I think that AV Minibuses, rather than Cars which can only take a couple of passengers, doing on-demand pickups, particularly in rural areas, are a more useful solution than personal-taxi vehicles. i.e replace conventional, large, busses with smaller mini-vans, with on-demand routing. Rather than fitting your journey to the, relatively useless, bus timetable instead "book" a ride, and let the routing software figure out the best mix of vehicles to get you to your destination.

    I agree that mass transit will be made much better, none of that "Sorry, several of our drivers didn't show up today, we're running a reduced service" ... but ... if mass transit becomes more convenient and cheaper then individual vehicle ownership can reduce.

    Cost of cell phone relative to average income compared to the cost of both buying a car, and owning it - fuel, service, insurance, etc. - are two hugely different things
     

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