Consider policy regarding driverless cars: public/industrial

This is a short message to consider raising a policy related to driverless autos.
Split into public usage/taxis and general light usage to heavy usage from trucks and semis.

Some points to consider:

The state and federal support would be required to own and operate the cars regardless to the ramifications to other sectors.

Raised support for publicly owned fleets as private ownership decreases. vs fleets owned by uber. Government owned public transport fleet of cars.

Ability to create auto-minibuses… if 10 people travel the same path at the same time, carpool as a group automatically - opportunities for growth.

Privacy factors: does hiring a taxi auto for short trips decrease your privacy compared to taxis now or even ownership of your own car? Logging of when/where/how often you use the autotaxi could be trouble if there are not strict personal privacy considerations from the beginning.

Analytical data from the car is expected to be used to coordinate the traffic, but personal information of who is inside the car needs to be considered irreverent.

Safety factors: driverless cars would drop the road fatalities from the 1100~ we’re sitting on now to nearly zero.
Cars would automatically speed up/slow down based on the congestion and environment factors…

No personal use of car parking lots in cities.
Fine based revenue: Zero Speeding fines/packing fines/drink driving offenses.

Right of way for emergency vehicles: automatically forcing cars in the path to allow for faster direct routes to hospitals. Saving lifes.

Increase mobility for people with physical limitations.
Increased mobility for people without licences. Increased ability to work onsite/offsite.

Massive decrease in personal car ownership. Due to continuous usage, the total number of cars would drop 20%~?

Considerations for insurance/crash repair/maintenance and cleaning.

Considerations for car sharing. if I could throw in $2000 a year and buy 1/20th of a car in a fleet of cars.

No more street directories or getting lost. No more backseat drivers.

Long term mass transit public transport is still likely to be better and more efficient, but a fleet of shared cars at the train station to take people to their precise destinations.

Massive increase in safety for people on bikes… cars would open doors on the passenger side to the street. No more injuries from driver-side doors.

Increased convinces based on need - press for 1 person car, press for 8 personal minivan, press for moving truck, press for trailer, press for X.

Considerations to job losses from transport sector alone.

Loss of jobs due to massive decrease in production and maintenance of cars.
Loss of jobs driving taxis, semis, trucks.
Loss of jobs in servos, crash repair for small dings, customization of cars (no more butterfly carseat covers).
Loss of jobs in insurance.
Loss of direct revenue and taxes from personal drivers/increase in taxes from the owner of the autos profits.

Further Reading:

Not necessarily the case; an equivalent outcome can be reached by the government setting prices and access standards but contracting out the actual service provision. Maybe take a controlling interest in the fleet.
This is exactly what happens with bus services outside of the big cities.

Interesting point and not one I’d ever really considered. I wouldn’t think of taxis now as having any sort of real privacy protection as it is, so it’s not a step-change in surveillance so much as an increase in usage of surveillable transport modes.

This. Some people get caught up in the idea of a fleet of driverless pod-cars all whisking everyone along an urban freeway into the city. The reality is that trains are way more space-efficient.

For all the dispersed crosstown trips (and the vast majority of jobs are not in the CBD), though…

I’m not sure if the original post meant financial support to own/operate cars (which I think is ridiculous; no reason why private industry wouldn’t do this), or if they meant legislative support to ensure that they are legal (e.g. current road rules probably require a driver).

There will be big opposition from the industries impacted; no one likes to be the blacksmith.

We are already seeing with Uber how big a negative reaction there is from the taxi industry, even to the point of physical violence against Uber drivers. When it is only a driverless machine, I’m pretty sure they will go a lot further.

However, if they can’t see the direction technology is heading (Japan is talking about introducing driverless taxis as soon as next year) and spend all their effort fighting against technology instead of retraining, etc, then they should expect to be bailed out.

The last thing we want is the government trying to prop up a failing industry (like happened with car manufacturing) and causing a drawn out death over many years; even worse would be legislation that actively stops driverless technology (and established industries will try and influence this) – it will only drive technology offshore (like GST did to Bitcoin) and leave us behind the world.

The law needs to catch up to ensure driverless car technology is fully accessible in Australia.