Thread: Do you think you will ever own a self driving car?

nebish - 1/14/2018 at 01:02 AM

Hard for me to envision personally. I have a fleet of older vehicles I maintain and drive, 2001 Jeep Cherokee is my daily driver and one of the newest. I'm on the lookout for another used late 90s/early 00s lower mile Cherokee to replace it with when it's life ends.

I just can't see myself owning an autonomous car. If I have my choice 30 years from now I'll still have a Jeep Cherokee.

I'm about to restart some work on a 1974 CJ5 project I've had for a while. Pretty excited about that. Not excited about self driving cars though.

GOODVIBRATIONS - 1/14/2018 at 01:01 PM

I don’t drive so self- driving cars will expand my life.

porkchopbob - 1/14/2018 at 02:52 PM

I think this is more of a reality than most people realize. Sure, it's a little scary to hand over control of a large fast moving object, but not when you factor in that driver error accounts for an incredible amount of unnecessary deaths. No doubt those who still enjoy driving will still be able to man their own vehicle, but would you be upset if that idiot in the next lane texting gets a self-driving car? Or grandma and grandpa who take up 2 lanes going half the speed limit get a self-driving car instead of having their licenses revoked because they are a danger?

I don't really enjoy driving, I much prefer public transportation or a cab, but that's just not realistic considering the urban planning of most cities is dependent on the car. It's the cause of suburbs, sprawl, and gridlock that chokes many cities. Today, many people become irrational in response to other drivers, so just think of the stress relief of the whole if Mom is reading a book to her kid on the car ride home from school instead of yelling at her kid from the driver's seat? Or ever truck drivers dosing off trying to get their load in on time? Drunk driving could be a thing of the past. Think of insurance rates if you're not personally responsible for a fender-bender. I know, the logical response is what if you can't stop a deadly autonomous pile up, but you also have no control over the commercial plane you board.

The technology still has a long ways to go before it's viable on a massive scale, but I see nothing but benefits considering all of the horrible drivers I see on a daily basis.

alanwoods - 1/14/2018 at 03:07 PM

It's hard for me to envision. I really enjoy driving. I have an insanely fast Mustang that I really love to drive. I don't really drive it aggressively and as I age, I find that I am far less inclined to do so than I used to be (And far less inclined to suffer from road rage. Eff it, it just isn't worth it.). I have an F-150 that I drive daily and use for towing, etc. I also have a bike that I love to ride (I don't pedal). So, you can see that I am really into cars and bikes. Turning over that element of control would be difficult for me. I like to drive when on road trips even when there is someone else to share the duty. I'm just more comfortable driving.

pcb makes a very nice point about aging drivers, though. It would be a godsend for elderly people and as I stare down senior citizenship, I think my views about being the driver may change in time.

[Edited on 1/14/2018 by alanwoods]

LeglizHemp - 1/14/2018 at 03:44 PM

it will be 50 years before we cycle thru all of the gas powered cars, those on the road today and those being built in the future. electric cars will be mixed in with these. i might buy an electric car eventually. self driving cars are in their infancy. i do not see myself getting one of these.

I have a 2001 Isuzu Vehicross and a 2004 Chevy SSR.

[Edited on 1/14/2018 by LeglizHemp]

IPowrie - 1/14/2018 at 04:55 PM

I think I will own one. I think the majority of the people will own one in my lifetime.

nebish - 1/14/2018 at 06:48 PM

It's going to open some doors, like for people like Goodvibrations.

Seems the best introduction will be in the taxi/ride sharing area. And younger generation will be less skeptical I'd imagine.

I'm like alanwoods, I enjoy driving. I enjoy navigation. I hate GPS because they almost always tell me to go ways I don't want to go. I try and go a variety of different ways to familiar places just for a change of scenery and often make last second decisions on turns based on traffic ahead. Maybe if I just got in the autonomous car and closed my eyes the entire time I'd be ok.

I wonder about the future of our current automobiles and the collector car market. I see interest and values falling off sharply in the near future for autos that are considered collector items today. The interested buyers for those cars just won't be there in the future as people into those cars get older and newer generations having different interests. Think it is a great time to be selling that stuff now. A friend of mine thinks stuff like Model Ts will keep their value 20 years from now, I doubt it.

I also wonder about availability of gas and diesel fuels. Not that the supply source will be gone, but what will pricing be like? As electric cars get more popular, will there be a push to get older vehicles off the road? Like the cash-for-clunkers thing? cash-for-petrol-cars? California already has a vehicle retirement program...what if it became mandatory? Alot of businesses that make and supply parts for those older vehicles would take a hit. I really love my old Jeeps and what I do with them and the experiences I have in them.

On a side note, anyone like the Jay Leno's Garage show?

Sang - 1/15/2018 at 07:02 PM

I'm not against a self driving car - as many pointed out, it could really help older people that shouldn't really be driving.... there are so many assclowns driving out there today that I could see self driving cars eventually being safer. The speed limit in Illinois is 70 - and on the rural highways I rarely see anyone going less than 80... except me. Not having to deal with distracted drivers would also be a plus..........

BrerRabbit - 1/15/2018 at 08:20 PM

I won't own one - but one might own me! haHa

They might work in areas where there are enough cell towers to guarantee an unbroken signal - if these things go offline for even one second it will be chaos. If google maps gps is any indication, it craps out on a regular basis, it will be a while before this tech is good anywhere but in tightly monitored zones with multiple backup. Maybe "self drive" could be something that auto kicks in when car enters these zones.

No exaggeration, just last week on a rural road, no turns in sight, google maps suggested "go south on northwest east street", out of the blue - not a great boost for my confidence in wireless tech.

One upside is there will be ample opportunities for the cyber neoKerouacs to be "hitch-hackers" and go On the Road.

emr - 1/15/2018 at 11:16 PM

I don’t even trust cruise control

BillyBlastoff - 1/16/2018 at 12:19 AM

I've owned a Chevy Volt for a year and am now hooked on electric cars. I also own a Chrysler Crossfire. I've owned many fast cars in my life. I've had a sports car of one type or another for the last several decades. Since I bought the Volt I hardly ever drive the Crossfire.

My plan is to buy a Tesla 3 in the next 2-4 years.

I can't wait to own a self driving car.

sixty8 - 1/16/2018 at 07:33 AM

Not as long as I have two eyes, two hands, and two feet.

Muleman1994 - 1/16/2018 at 11:01 PM

I have been a passenger in a self-driving car.
Very strange and not what you may be accustomed.

It will take a long time to get used to what will come.

OriginalGoober - 1/17/2018 at 12:20 AM

I worry if they make them too obvious in the design,so for example you approach a 4 way stop and the robo vehicle turn is next but you know that and you are late for work you pull out where in most cases there could be a crash but because the computer is driving it reacts instantly and as a passanger your pork rinds and road soda go flying.

THe ecars become obstacles for the other drivers to get around instead of sharing the road. It will never work.

StratDal - 1/17/2018 at 12:51 AM

Right now, no. IMO, there are still some things we need to have direct human control of in spite of times of human ineptness.

kevdab - 1/18/2018 at 05:49 PM

I hope to be driving at least until I'm eighty. Twenty-one more years. I think I will be able to still drive gas cars until then.

pops42 - 1/18/2018 at 10:53 PM


Muleman1994 - 1/19/2018 at 03:11 AM


Gas cars will be around until a viable alternative exists.
To date, the eco-wackos have offered nothing.

nebish - 1/19/2018 at 03:50 AM

There goes Mule trying to turn it into a political mudslinging thread.

It is just an innocent question, all of our feelings on one thing or another doesn't need to enter into it.

I was kind of thinking it might go in some other automotive discussion directions. Cleveland Auto Show is coming up, I try and go every year. Shows like that are pretty cool, I'm glad I have such an event within close driving distance.

porkchopbob - 1/19/2018 at 04:29 PM

Gas cars will be around until a viable alternative exists.
To date, the eco-wackos have offered nothing.

The topic is self-driving cars, not future fuel options. Many self-driving cars testing now still use gas in some form.

porkchopbob - 1/19/2018 at 04:46 PM

Here's the Waymo, made by Google, testing with a blind rider:

Elon Musk and Tesla have an auto-automobile they claim is as safe as a human, indicating there is still possibility for driver error.

One of the interesting possible issues an autonomous car could encounter is hackers. All modern cars have computer chips and some form of software, but if the whole car is operating by computer what happens if someone else takes control of the vehicle remotely?

The possibilities are promising for those who can't (blind, seniors) or shouldn't (drunks) or don't want to drive (tired rush hour commuters).

BrerRabbit - 1/19/2018 at 05:52 PM

One of the interesting possible issues an autonomous car could encounter is hackers. All modern cars have computer chips and some form of software, but if the whole car is operating by computer what happens if someone else takes control of the vehicle remotely?

The possibilities are promising for those who can't (blind, seniors) or shouldn't (drunks) or don't want to drive (tired rush hour commuters).

Like I said in my first reply - "Hitch-hackers". Any tech wizard kid will jump on this. Or simply climb on the car at a stop and ride for a while, a whole new wave of "ridin the rails" complete with Woody Guthrie on synthesizer.

BrerRabbit - 1/19/2018 at 05:54 PM

To date, the eco-wackos have offered nothing

What about the tyrannical socialist setbacks the great eco-wacko conspiracy brought us such as unleaded gasoline, strict emissions standards, fuel-efficiency - if it were up to the mulemen we would all still be huffing lead.

BIGV - 1/19/2018 at 06:16 PM



nebish - 3/20/2018 at 03:22 AM

Self-driving Uber car kills Arizona woman crossing street

TEMPE, Ariz./SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An Uber self-driving car hit and killed a woman crossing the street in Arizona, police said on Monday, marking the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle and a potential blow to the technology expected to transform transportation.

The ride services company said it was suspending North American tests of its self-driving vehicles, which are currently going on in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

So-called robot cars, when fully developed by companies including Uber, Alphabet Inc and General Motors Co, are expected to drastically cut down on motor vehicle fatalities and create billion-dollar businesses. But Monday’s accident underscored the possible challenges ahead for the promising technology as the cars confront real-world situations involving real people.

U.S. lawmakers have been debating legislation that would speed introduction of self-driving cars.

“This tragic accident underscores why we need to be exceptionally cautious when testing and deploying autonomous vehicle technologies on public roads,” said Democratic Senator Edward Markey, a member of the transportation committee, in a statement.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle outside the crosswalk on a four-lane road in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe about 10 p.m. MST Sunday (0400 GMT Monday) when she was struck by the Uber vehicle traveling at about 40 miles per hour (65 km per hour), police said. The Volvo XC90 SUV was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel.

Herzberg later died from her injuries in a hospital, police said.

“The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk. As soon as she walked into the lane of traffic she was struck,” Tempe Police Sergeant Ronald Elcock told reporters at a news conference. He said he did not yet know how close Herzberg was to the vehicle when she stepped into the lane.

Elcock said he believed Herzberg may have been homeless.

The San Francisco Chronicle late Monday reported that Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said that from viewing videos taken from the vehicle “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway." (

Moir told the Chronicle, “I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident,” but she did not rule out that charges could be filed against the operator in the Uber vehicle, the paper reported.

The “Tempe Police Department does not determine fault in vehicular collisions,” the department said in a statement late Monday, in reply to questions from Reuters about the chief’s comments. “Ultimately the investigation will be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review and any potential charges.”

Tempe authorities and federal officials are still investigating the incident. Canada’s transportation ministry in Ontario, where Uber conducts testing, also said it was reviewing the accident.

Volvo, the Swedish car brand owned by China’s Geely, said the software controlling the car in the crash was not its own.

Video footage will aid the ongoing investigation, and the case would be submitted to the district attorney, Elcock said.

“Our investigators have that information, and they will be using that in their investigation as well as the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as part of their investigation,” said Elcock. “They are going to attempt to try to find who was possibly at fault and how we can better be safe, whether it’s pedestrians or whether it’s the vehicle itself


Uber and Waymo on Friday urged Congress to pass sweeping legislation to speed the introduction of self-driving cars into the United States. Some congressional Democrats have blocked the legislation over safety concerns, and Monday’s fatality could hamper passage of the bill, congressional aides said Monday.

Safety advocates called for a national moratorium on all robot car testing on public roads.

“Arizona has been the wild west of robot car testing with virtually no regulations in place,” said Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, in a statement. “That’s why Uber and Waymo test there. When there’s no sheriff in town, people get killed.”

Arizona has opened its arms to companies testing self-driving vehicles as a means to economic growth and jobs. Republican Governor Doug Ducey reached out to Uber in 2016 after California regulators cracked down on the company over its failure to obtain testing permits.

Self-driving cars being tested routinely get into fender-benders with other vehicles. Last week, a self-driving Uber crashed with another vehicle in Pittsburgh, local news reported. There were no injuries.

A year ago, Uber temporarily grounded its self-driving cars for a few days following a crash with another car in Tempe. The company has been the subject of a number of complaints about its autonomous vehicles, but the company has said the cars were being driven by a human driver at the time of the incidents.


Uber has said its ability to build autonomous cars is essential to its success in the rapidly changing transportation industry. The company envisions a network of autonomous cars that would be summoned through the Uber app that would supplement - and eventually replace - human-driven cars.

Uber has logged 2 million self-driving miles (3.2 million km) through December. The company has more than 100 autonomous cars testing on the roads of the greater Phoenix area, the company’s prime testing ground due to the state’s loose regulations and hospitable weather. Rain, snow and ice are particularly challenging for autonomous cars. The company also tests in Pittsburgh and Toronto.

Concerns over the safety of autonomous vehicles flared after a July 2016 fatality involving a Tesla Inc automobile with a partially autonomous system that required human supervision. Safety regulators later determined Tesla was not at fault. -car-kills-arizona-woman-crossing-street-idUSKBN1GV296

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