*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Saving suburbia for itself

You know, self-driving cars are not as crazy as they seem...
If real-estate developers and the automobile industry had any long view, they'd be pushing them hard; insurance agents would be fighting them.

Here's what's to love for real-estate and car-companies:
- encourages sprawl, because the drive becomes pleasant if you can nap, read, surf or 'rub one out'
- keeps a housing bubble afloat, which the 'burbs need most as bubbles burst first and hardest there, rather than in the urban areas
- they'll make people upgrade to new cars, or in any case slow the trend of youth giving up driving much
- they'll improve car commute times, as half of the excess is due to driver individuality (abject selfishness and stupidity)

Insurance companies will hate it because they won't be able to rape us as hard as they have:
- much of the insurance will be on the companies responsible for the car, and they'll bargain harder than we can
- less of it will be on the car owner, if at all if they do not take the wheel
- humans suck so badly at driving it's pretty clear giving it to the machines will cause a reduction in accidents

If you could run every errand while safely multi-tasking, if you could send your spawn to every school and activity in a locked pod and not need to accompany them, if you could ride in your own pod blind drunk instead of with a taxi-driver, living two hours out of the city starts to look a whole lot more attractive.  I think it's well established nobody gives a fuck about the ecological, social and health consequences of cars with any driver, so save your breath.

Were I the black-hearted president of a company or lobby, automotive or real-estate, I'd be bringing together the collaborators to get this to happen.  It'd sure get more traction than belittling people who've already lost the taste for your kool-aid.  You could convince people it is a kind of transit where you can avoid strangers.  Best of all, on my bike I'd trust the machines more than the humans.


  1. Definitely trust the machines more. They don't have big egos and a need to prove things.

  2. 'rub one out' - are you referring to playing a scratchie lottery ticket here?

  3. During my daily funnies I ran into this: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/2013/05/01/

    Kinda made me think of your articles regarding transportation. Though I have taken to walking more than driving for selfish reasons. I can fit more quality beer time in my day without being an asshat and trying to destroy people in my Toyota. But I think some people, like my sister, are in need of autopilot.

    She is scared of driving, would rather pay me/feed me to drive her around! She got in a single car accidentally on the freeway... because 'someone tried to merge into her lane.' I guess evasive maneuvers are nothing compared to her feeling entitled to her bit of the road. *sigh* I need to go for a walk, I touched on the bad driver thing once before on my blog. (Ok more than once.)