War on Cars

“Just try and think what you life would be like without cars!”

I feel faint, going to sit down.

Me and my wife have a cargo bike and love it, our baby does too falling asleep very quickly in it. Get some hassle for it in the North of England though. UK car culture is second only to the USA.

What kind of cargo bike?

Babboe City; bought online from Amsterdam and a friend brought it over on the ferry.

The electric ones seem to be getting pretty popular now.

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We were delayed by not one, but two collisions driving back into the City last night.

Is there a way to ‘Big Fire’ fossil fuel, simultaneously and globally? (rendering fossil fuel inert and useless)

C-Jammers. Orbital bombardment with them all over the globe.

Well I’d hope we at least get some warning to let the aircraft land.

There’s a short story about this but I couldn’t find it. I found this instead, it looks bad but has the same scenario.

An “oil-eating” microbe, designed to consume anything made of petrocarbons: oil, gasoline, synthetic fabrics, and of course plastic.

What the company doesn’t realize is that their microbe propagates through the air. But when every car in the Bay Area turns up with an empty gas tank, they begin to suspect something is terribly wrong.

And when, in just a few days, every piece of plastic in the world has dissolved, it’s too late…

I think I’ve mentioned this before. Without cars we might not have the “fuck the police” thread.

And without airplanes we wouldn’t have had carpet bombing. And yet. So it goes.

Carpet bombing doesn’t happen very often.

Car happens constantly.

A question: if people had access to self-driving cars (privately owned or part of a service), used them as much as they currently use their own cars, AND ALSO used them for other kinds of trips made possible by self-driving cars… how much more traffic would that cause?

Turns out: an 85% increase in traffic.

My analogy:

Humans evolved to crave calories by millions of years of evolution where food is scarce. As soon as food becomes plentiful and cheap, there’s an obesity crisis.

Humans also evolved to crave freedom of movement, but also comfortable private environments. As soon as that’s available, there’s a traffic crisis. If there is even more supply of cheap car use, the city itself becomes obese, with clogged arteries and slow movement.

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There is no solution that works unless it reduces the total number of cars, preferably to zero. For self driving cars to help, we need to make self driving cars the only cars. There needs to be only one system, and all other cars must be removed.

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I don’t disagree with the conclusions this study is reaching, but I think allowing the use of runs with an empty vehicle really messed with the data. We will eventually reach that kind of tech, but if we’re trying to experiment and model near future societal change, that was an irresponsible variable to throw in that feels like it was just there to shore up the numbers.Of course if my self driving car could drive empty I would have it do pick up-drop off trips to save on parking (unless it was like an hour+ drive). Of course if my car could pump it’s own gas and pick up it’s own groceries (I thought those were some pretty ridiculous things to allow, that assumes that part of the “self-driving” infrastructure is technology or services that allow those kinds of things) I’m going to have it do that. Those definitely would increase VMT, but traffic? If my car can drive itself I can set it to pick up groceries at 2 AM when the grocer opens, or set a recurring gas refill at 1 AM. If people are able to stagger trips like that to times when they don’t need to be available, the average traffic amount per hour would increase, but I think you would smooth out high traffic times.

The biggest weakness of this study (which I won’t fault it for, you can’t model everything) is neglecting to consider all the other societal changes that are also happening right now. Yeah, self driving cards would allow everyone to move to the boonies and drive a thousand miles a day, if somehow everyone could afford a damn house. Even with self driving car tech I don’t see why the gigantic population of people in cities need a car, even discounting public transit traveling by bike/on foot is more efficient and faster than a car in the city. The increase in telecommuting and work from home culture is also going to reduce a significant amount of VMT required for people to make a living.

Referencing this study as a counter to the BS claims people in self-driving tech make is useful, but I wouldn’t rely on it as data for policy or infrastructure

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Self driving cars that are privately owned won’t work. There will be too many of them. To reduce total cars, they need to be shared.

Also, can you imagine how many cars rich people would have? Right now they have garages full of cars. If they were self driving and privately owned, a rich person might have like 10 or more cars driving around all the time.

Self driving cars can be part of a solution if everything else around them is done right. Otherwise, they are just more cars, which are not helping.

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Not so sure anything would change. I don’t think most car collections are for actual use, or at least, the enjoyment is from personally driving the fancy car.

I think more what it is, is that rich people already live the self-driving car lifestyle. Chauffeurs drive them everywhere they want to go. People pick up their food for them. Self-driving cards won’t significantly increase the amount of car rich people use, just eliminate all the manpower they pay to use it.