10 thoughts on “The End Of The Personal Car”

  1. The future Cooke fears (I also) is not inevitable.

    It is a matter of choices made in how self-driving cars are implemented.

    The centrally monitored, centrally controlled model he rightly fears is an implementation choice, not an inevitability. A decentralized approach, where each car operates autonomously based on its own local data and processing (as is essentially currently the case) is also possible.

    The decentralized approach will likely cost somewhat more and take somewhat longer. But that isn’t the primary reason why it’s not currently the way to bet.

    The centrally controlled implementation path that will, absent massive public pressure, most likely be pursued, offers increased power over our lives to corporate marketers and government meddlers, and is thus immensely attractive to both.

    Given how similar incentives have made both modern social media and modern phones godsends to marketers and meddlers without resistance or protest by more than an eccentric minority (ahem) I am not optimistic that self-driving cars will end up any different.

    But they could – IF enough people care enough to actively resist this next encroachment on privacy and freedm.

    1. Ref the discussion over at “The Intel Bug” about how Cloud-shared systems are most at risk: Another *really* good reason to implement self-driving cars locally-autonomous decentralized is system security and robustness.

      Centrally processed is centrally vulnerable. Just sayin’.

  2. Yup. And it will come like all changes to driving are done, indirectly. First a federal statue requiring all drivers to have insurance and 2nd insurance will simply become un-affordable to those who wish to drive.

    1. Well, our self-appointed betters tried that with medical insurance and so far it hasn’t worked out so well for them.

      Annoy enough people and things can still change.

    1. Exactly! Look at the Hands Free Hectare project. Farming by hand will be outlawed in the name of E. Coli prevention and food security.

      “He says it used to be a farm before the motor law.”

  3. Central control will happen a little bit at a time. Bring anyone from 100 years in the past to today and they would be outraged at what’s already happened so far.

    People have been desensitized to the point that you get funny looks for bringing up the subject. There is nothing so ridiculous that a control freak can’t provide a justification for.

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