The End Of The Car?
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-11-29 07:00 by Karl Denninger
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The End Of The Car?
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There is circulating a "note" making the claim that we are basically at the end of the car era, much like we wound up at the end of the horse era.

That of course doesn't mean there are no horses.  There are; the moderately (and more-so) wealthy still own them for sport and pleasure, but other than the Amish nobody owns them for basic personal transportation whereas they were essentially the only means of same decades ago.

The argument is that driverless "cars" (really a box that moves people and can be called on demand) will appear and basically take over.  First slowly, like cars did, and then more-or-less all at once.

In other words not long from now (months, really, if you're in parts of Arizona!) you will start to be able to hail what amounts to a robotic taxi -- with no driver in it at all.  As the technology improves and expands people will start to voluntarily eschew owning a car in favor of hailing rides in driverless vehicles; arguably mostly for economic reasons.

Oh by the way, if you're one of the half-million or so who currently drive for Uber, Lyft, or a conventional "taxi" or "black car" service -- you're all out of a job the that transition really starts to accelerate.  Keep that in mind as you continue to read onward....

At some point the accident rate disparity between the choice of car ownership and driverless "hail and get in" vehicles will cause the government to either ban driving or it will get so prohibitively expensive, either by insurance regulations or outright government taxation in some form, that only the very wealthy will retain the option (as is the case now for horses.)

You may see benefits here.

I see grave danger.

The freedom to travel has always been one that has centered around some form of personal transportation.  For roughly 100 years after this nation was formed it was mostly from horses.  Now it's mostly from personal motor vehicles.  There is in fact an actual court case that says that driver licensing is illegal for personal transportation as personal transport of one's body and personal effects using the common means of the day is a fundamental liberty secured by the US Constitution.

That all disappears like a fart in a Church if transportation as a service becomes not only a dominant theme but actually required to be used either by sky-high costs or government dictate.  With transportation becoming centered around a handful of large and in many cases government sponsored and regulated companies the ability to effectively bar someone from traveling where they wish, when they wish will become trivial and, you can be assured, wildly abused.

You will be able to be trivially prevented from going where you want, when you want or even going anywhere at all.  You will have no recourse if it happens to you or if your travels are "redirected" or prohibited outright on the whim of said firms or, for that matter, at the whim of the government.

Don't get me wrong -- as I get older and more-frail there will come a point where the ability to hail such a device will look pretty darned attractive to me.  Perhaps I personally, at that point, won't care because the alternative is that I will be unable to operate a personal motor vehicle using my eyes, hands and feet.

But to those who believe this will be some great societal advance, let me issue a warning that I hope doesn't become prescient: You're going to all rue the day this happens and the majority of the persons in this nation at the time will be rendered effective slaves as a consequence and you will be imprisoned or killed if you resist.

There are ways around this outcome, of course.  If self-driving technology is used to make possible the purchase and ownership of truly autonomous vehicles that are owned by individuals and which do not require external control be enabled and available to other than the owner the problem can be largely mitigated.  But make no mistake -- there are plenty of individuals in government and corporations who will work mightily behind the scenes in an attempt to make damn sure that the ordinary, non-wealthy individual will never be able to buy such a device, and that there will be no such thing as an autonomous vehicle that will be solely under the individual owner's control -- ever.  Even the current Tesla models are not under your control as an alleged "owner"; the company can in fact brick them remotely, temporarily or permanently and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

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User Info The End Of The Car? in forum [Market-Ticker]
Analog
Posts: 1494
Incept: 2010-12-29

arkansas ozarks
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Wishful thinking by narcissistic impractical AI daydream believers who don't know by which end to grab a chainsaw .
The ones who stop in the acceleration lane at interstate entrances.
You can't hand power to that type.

Quote:
It is a talent of the weak to persuade themselves that they are showing the way when they are running away; that they see the light when they feel the heat.
eric hoffer

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Never trust a computer with anything important.
Millerized
Posts: 1
Incept: 2017-11-29

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Ala Lee Majors in the 1981 movie 'The Last Chase'. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082642/
Nadavegan
Posts: 66
Incept: 2017-05-03

The South
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For centuries, technology was advanced by its application to warfare. We have entered a new age where it is being advanced by societal control and soft despotism.
Tickerguy
Posts: 150689
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Oh no, it's war all right.

War on you!

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Winding it down.
Happytrails
Posts: 339
Incept: 2008-10-24

Northern California
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I've always believed that if cars had not been invented when they were, in an era with vastly more personal freedom and limited government power, and instead invented now, we would not be "allowed" to drive. We the peasants would never be deemed capable or worthy of such a privilege. Looks like it's heading that way after all.
Zappafan
Posts: 2993
Incept: 2007-11-30

Atlanta
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I haven't seen a scenario whereby driver-less and normal vehicles can co-exist side by side. Too many legal issues to sort out. The most likely scenario involves restricted access or physically separated lanes for driver-less cars.

However, the threat still remains as I can envision that governments start making you pay more and more for the "privilege" of driving yourself.

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Ich bin der Tankendau!
Hilandstrata
Posts: 251
Incept: 2008-10-19

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Yep, You don't own your car. You were only given the right to use it. You can bet your sweet ass the privilege will be taken away at some point one way or another.
Supertruckertom
Posts: 1551
Incept: 2010-11-07

USA
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When what is pried out of my Cold Dead Hands becomes the steering wheel, maybe more people will wake up.

It is for the Children to stop global warming.
Barf



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Preparing to go Hunting.
Vernonb
Posts: 1927
Incept: 2009-06-03

East of Sheol
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The ability to travel is fundamental to freedom.

However since most travel is done to acquire things I see a home delivery service by unmanned vehicle being more productive than having a human in a vehicle with all the liability implications. Most people these days seem to be in a self-imposed isolation.

Of course if this happens say goodbye to the "window shopping" malls as we know them. Lol- might make a lot of husbands even happier..

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"Mass intelligence does not mean intelligent masses."
Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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as usual i agree with Tickerguy on the issue
it is the wet dream of central planners to force everybody to buy a self driving electric car so they can decide where you can go and when, and get YOU to pay for what is essentially public tranport, and batteries for storing the power of non dispatchable sources

however i doubt this will happen any time soon, if ever.

i still find computers too dumb and slow for most tasks that require fast decision making and context evaluation, hell, google cant still do a half decent translation between german and italian, and that with huge resources and centuries of knowhow.

when i hear these stories of "you will not own a car because you wont need it, you will hail one when needed"

perhaps those who live in manhattan, or better, dan diego and the likes.
where i live, there is nothing to hail after 9pm in winter weekdays. yes i know, i can order one by cellphone. and wait 15 minutes for it? or 150 if i am in a village in the mountains and its snowing?

not owning a car because you can hail one might be attractive for some elegant progressive types living in the city center of big cities. everybody else will never accept such thing

plus, such mad scheme will quickly nuke any economy, killing any constituency in the process.

i know some are dreaming about this scenario, but they will find this very hard to achieve.

Quik49
Posts: 4217
Incept: 2007-12-11

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interesting timing...last night Total Recall was on....was thinking about this very thing when Arnold ripped Johhny out of his seat and took over.
Things that come to my mind that say good luck with that are camping rigs, atv's, boats (how you getting to the lake), snowmobiles (how you getting to the hills), good bye nascar/nhra?....good luck
seems to me that this is yet another precursor to more lead poisoning, but hey peeps just go on like a frog in a pot of hot water....until....
Inline

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Long Vaseline....

Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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i would like also to add

cars is a global market and most of the planet is still a long ways from being able to introduce such thing as autonomous cars. such cars will require digital maps with super high resolution and instantly up-to-date, i still find myself on roads that are unknown to satnav, and im talking about switzerland, france, spain.

plus, i think they will find somewhat hard to get 2.5 billions of indians and chinese out of their recently bought cars

Bodhi
Posts: 152
Incept: 2008-02-23

Georgia
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When the driverless car mandate occurs, what happens to the mandatory auto insurance gravy train? I'm sure the companies utilizing driverless cars will be required to carry insurance, but the days will be gone when essentially every driver owns an insured vehicle.
Tickerguy
Posts: 150689
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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It goes "poof" like a fart in the wind, because nobody is going to buy an "autonomous car" that THEY have to buy liability insurance for.

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Winding it down.
Gauntlet33
Posts: 43
Incept: 2009-03-30

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I for one might feel a strong urge to take arms if the govt were to take away our cars or something along that path. If they went that route, what would stop them from taxing bicycles and other vehicular modes of transportation? I tend to agree with Gianmarko that it would take several decades for this scenario though. Also, Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc. and the oil/gas industry would have a lot of incentive to fight such a policy as it would wreck their companies.
Tsherry
Posts: 957
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Spokane WA
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>>Things that come to my mind that say good luck with that are camping rigs, atv's, boats (how you getting to the lake), snowmobiles (how you getting to the hills), good bye nascar/nhra?>>

Let me put on my liberal / central planner hat here. I know a bunch of these types, and this is how they'd respond:

"Well, you don't go camping, because those areas have been designated by the UN for 're-wilding'. Not to mention the carbon created by getting there; the erosion of roads, trails and parking areas with all that dirty runoff. Furthermore, you shouldn't even live there, have cabins or touch those places--they are for animals, not for man.

Boats are evil because they disturb the fish and birds and the quiet. Not to mention the carbon they create.

Snowmobiles are evil because they can cause avalanches and they displace/scare/threaten wildlife. Not to mention the carbon they create.

NASCAR? Pa-shaw. So incredibly insensitive to the environment on all levels that it's laughable."

They can all, to a one, **** off and die.

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Omne mendacium est.
Goforbroke
Posts: 7149
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A True American Patriot!
Time to feed the chickens.
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For the elderly, taking away their ability to drive is the ultimate blow.

I can only imagine how everyone else would take that.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, and not our Darkness, that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson
Geschrei
Posts: 703
Incept: 2009-02-23

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Perfect time for some Rush:



As an aside, there's been movement in a similar direction for traditional broadcasting as well. In the not-too-distant future it may be impossible to receive information passively through an unregistered device (i.e., a radio or TV set) that cannot return specific information about the receiver (like physical location and personal data) to the content distributor.

And most people won't give a damn.


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"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." Lord Acton (1834-1902)
Quik49
Posts: 4217
Incept: 2007-12-11

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Well TSherry like I said, lead poisoning...

only one thing I can say to "them"

smiley


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Long Vaseline....

Kgmqt
Posts: 111
Incept: 2013-08-19

Minnesota
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I could see this being implemented starting in urban city zones. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area here has a defined freeway loop, and could see them implementing autonomous only inside the loop in the not so distant future. All transport inside the loop would have to be either public transport (rail/bus) or autonomous vehicle. I think their will be some guilty elites that start the process and it will be the fashionable thing to buy a driver-less car. Then they will force it on the rest. Those that cannot afford their own are stuck with the service and public transport.

If you lived inside the loop and wanted regular vehicle you would need to park it outside the loop and could be used for cross country travel or to rural areas where an Uber like service is cost prohibitive. Eventually these autonomous islands would be connected by high speed rail, and smaller cities would turn into islands - either from the top down with government/city planners forcing it, or from the bottom up because the cost of owning a vehicle starts to climb.

A few years ago somebody in the state legislature was pitching switching from a gas tax to a mileage tax. The only way to enforce it would be to require every vehicle to have an active GPS (they wanted to be able to implement demand pricing). The reason was that EV were not paying their fair share of taxes if they were not buying gas. Fortunately it did not get enough traction - I am guessing the GPS device makers didn't buy off enough law makers.

We also had a bunch of issues with law enforcement agencies putting up plate scanners all over and basically collecting and storing data. If you drove through any of their jurisdictions they knew about it. They could use it for both reactive (which cars were in the area of a crime) and proactive (did the guy with a warrant just drive into town).

Ultimately like Geschrei's media comment it is about not being able to do anything anonymously anymore. Through location tracking on your phone, moving away from a cashless economy, tracking everything you buy, what ever you say and do in your house (thank you Echo/Smart TV/Voice Remote), everywhere you go, everything you do they can collect, analyze, and sell the data so they can further **** you over.
Sandor
Posts: 1998
Incept: 2007-08-08

Marathon,Fl
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No DUI's. No speeding tickets. No red light run. No maintenance. No insurance. No vandalism. I can easily live without a car. If you are suburban or country you will need a car for a long time.

Its a larger issue for local law enforcement revenue stream.

I say bring it. I would like to have that choice.

Orionrising
Posts: 43
Incept: 2017-01-26

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Now consider what other things can be done with GPS/driverless cars...

Make the GPS go around businesses that are not paying them a cut....
Have a realtor pay people getting directions to a competing listings take them there through bad neighborhoods....
Have GPS avoid historic markers like say civil war battlefields to further erase them from memory....

Wealthy people pay navigation companies to keep traffic out of their neighborhoods...

all this is possible if not probable these days.
Emg
Posts: 113
Incept: 2012-11-20

Canada
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"If you are suburban or country you will need a car for a long time."

I'm not so sure. Over the next two or three decades telepresense will eliminate much of the need to move your body around, and local manufacturing will eliminate much of the need to move things around.

Seems to me that true driverless cars are going to appear right around the time they've been made obsolete by technological change.

But I agree that driverless cars are also a wet-dream of authoritarian governments who will be able to prevent people moving around any time they wish.
Gianmarko
Posts: 44
Incept: 2013-03-11

Bern, Switzerland
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Sandor

in the case it will not be a choice, i suspect, but a mandate

all those who think that "self-driving" cars will be an advantage, please do an analysis of all the rides you take, and try to imagine how many will simply be impossible in a scenario where conventional cars will be banned and only "self driving" are allowed.

i would also be curious to see how this scheme would be paid for.

there is a big difference between buying a car and then using it at a relatively low cost, and having to pay at every ride the full cost.

and lets say yo go from A to B, will you have to pay for the car returning to A? car just loiters around the B area? stop there and wait?

the devil is in the detail, ansd there are thousands odf them.

my kid school is about 1km from home, i often take the car to save time. without owning a car, i'd have to always walk?

i often go training at night in an indoor range out of town. how about returning home? there will be an autonomous car to come collectimg me in the area or i will have to wait 30 minutes a car from town? there will be 8-10 of us, each one going in a different direction, will 8-10 cars available in the area?

i recently saw a video of an autonomous car driving around.
if you watch the video carefully, car never goes above 30mph even with a completely empty road, and keeps slowing down for apparently no reason.

and thats probably the best case scenario, as i bet they used the best footage for the video.
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