My Prius has started to internally eat oil at a rate of one quart per 1500 miles. It's still economical for me to feed it oil. I have 136,000 miles on it and would love to keep it 3 more years for a full 10 years but we'll see. However, it's enough for me to start looking at what is available now and perhaps 3 years from now. I looked at the Tesla Model 3, an electric car with a 240 mile range and, more interesting than the type of motor, the ability to SELF DRIVE. Even at 68 my driving skills are at an all time high, risk avoidance tweaked to the max and my reaction times seem to be still adequate. But I hate driving, more exactly, the idiots I encounter on the road. So I am ready to get taken out of the loop and let an AI do the work. What will this mean for me?
My driving skills will plummet.
I can let my friend MaryAnn, a pathological level backseat driver who could fill a whole Dr. Phil Show, shout at the car while I listen to Classical Music.
I can paint over or frost the car windows so I can ride naked, if I want.
I can drink more.
I can sleep more.
I can surf the net more or even read print books.
I can ride until I'm a hundred without a silver alert.
Recently, My mother was all panicked that her license would be taken away. The neurologist gave her a clean bill of health but not before I got a "Why did you do this to me? and a lot of crying. So eff me. But, in the future
How will insurance companies react? Tesla is claiming a 90% reduction in accident rate.
Why own a car that spends 95% of the time dormant? Self-driving ubers can pick you up and drop you off. I looked up the cost of uber and it's still pricey. But with volume and multi-passenger shared rides, it could be cheaper than owning a car on a per mile basis with all the annoyance that goes with it.
With cars mostly in motion, who needs parking lots and parking spaces?
The municipalities will lose an important source of revenue.
Goodbye, car insurance companies.
Some right wing dweeb who thinks he's smarter than he is posted on realclimate.org that there isn't enough lithium to supply a total changeover from internal combustion to electric cars. Though not necessarily true, a smart guy then replied to Fred Flintstone that that will not be true if you only need 10% of the cars.
For me, the writing is on the wall. Digital Cameras killed Kodak. There was nothing Kodak could do, Film made Kodak indispensable and nearly unique. But anybody can build a digital camera. Eventually, self-driving may collapse the car industry to 10% of its present size. Of course, in this country that couldn't convert to metric or adopt a dollar coin or buy round monolithic dome houses in Kansas that can withstand F5 tornadoes, maybe not. We are good at thinking inside the very, very small red, white and blue box.