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DonPeffers

Are the days of the private car really over?

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10 Jan 2019   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46794948

"A couple of months ago I wrote a wildly optimistic piece about how we've all probably bought our last cars.

It drew on analysis that suggests that the convergence of electric cars and Uber-style ride hailing networks, together with autonomous driving technology, could completely reshape the car market."

Interesting article on autonomous future.

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Some of those things might well be true, but in the UK there is just a 5% reserve on generation capacity at this moment in time according to some sources, so where is that going to suddenly come from if we all up take electric cars?

There needs to be a fundamental change in policy to generate much more electric from renewables, wind, wave and solar are unpredictable and cannot be stored easily, but if you look at the Hydro power station near Snowdon, that uses electric through the day to pump water up to the top reservoir to produce it when needed instantly by running turbines in the mountain. That could be a way to convert power that is not needed instantly, to power when needed as an example of how we could use it. At the moment some wind and solar farms are paid to switch off as they cannot use the power at the time they can produce it.

Nuclear is a good option but look at that over a life span the costs are insane.

On the radio today the BBC reporter was in Las Vegas at the technology show there. He was taken for a ride in an autonomous vehicle and he said we will never get to have total self driving cars in the near future as the task is simply too complicated to be 100% safe. Trucks might come first as there is a shortage of drivers world wide it would appear and for Hub to Hub near to main roads they might make sense, especially if they are more drone like, with a remote operator to shut things down always on hand.

For me I have no issue having an electric car if the range and speed of charging is there, which will get better as more mainstream manufacturers have jumped in and are throwing billions at this.

Over Christmas I was at a party where there was a guy from BAE systems who is working on AI product development and we got talking about cars. He felt it was years away for cars to be 100% autonomous for two reasons, technology and public acceptance.  Planes could take off and land autonomously now assisted by remote pilots, but there are so many possible things to go wrong, hacking just one of them but how many would happily get on a plane if the pilot back up  was sat thousands of miles away and his life was not at stake.

We are years away from that so I confidently feel I will still be choosing cars for years to come, how we will be allowed to use them a different discussion

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One of the biggest hurdles for oem manufacturers of autonomous cars is liability. So now it’s the manufacturer who has to cover road accidents.... ? Where/who is to blame? Or take responsibility?

legal teams will love it!

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