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Since 10-15 years self driving cars will be mainstream, will luxury cars still be popular?

Opening Argument

agsragsr 601 PtsPremium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
Since most of the cars will be part of ride sharing economy, what happens to luxury brands? I Argue that cheaper, commody brands will be the winners in that new economy.
islander507northsouthkoreacomey_testify
  1. Since 10-15 years self driving cars will be mainstream, will luxury cars still be popular?

    7 votes
    1. Luxury brands will see dramatic decline
      85.71%
    2. Luxury brands will do mostly fine
      14.29%
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Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • While I am sure there will still be a market for luxury cars, it will be a tough sell
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    Even if self-driving cars do become mainstream in 15-20 years, most people won't want to have to ride in a car in which some unknown person was just doing God knows what.  They'll also want to have a vehicle for themselves that they know is reliable.  If people can afford to keep their vehicle private, they will.  If they can afford to have more than one vehicle and want to use one for ride-sharing, they'll keep the best vehicle for private use. 
  • @CYDdharta, possibly.  But, there will be sensors to ensure civil behavior is monitored amd vehicle is cleaned up after each use. While I agree that some people will want to have a private vehicle, it will become an order of magnitude more expensive than sharing, leading to much lower demand.  Possibly in rural and deep suburban areas, ok..but no in larger cities.  It's like saying most people stopped driving to work instead they now take mass transportation 
  • CYDdharta said:
    Even if self-driving cars do become mainstream in 15-20 years, most people won't want to have to ride in a car in which some unknown person was just doing God knows what.  
    I dont agree. Most people will be fine, just like taking a taxi or train.  If it is much cheaper to call uber and not having to worry about maintenance, worry about car washes, oay for a garage, clean snow from the car,  most will give up private cars.
    agree there will be exceptions, but maybe 1 to 50.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @CYDdharta, possibly.  But, there will be sensors to ensure civil behavior is monitored amd vehicle is cleaned up after each use. While I agree that some people will want to have a private vehicle, it will become an order of magnitude more expensive than sharing, leading to much lower demand.  Possibly in rural and deep suburban areas, ok..but no in larger cities.  It's like saying most people stopped driving to work instead they now take mass transportation 

    @islander507 ; Sensors?  How will that work out?  No one is talking about self-cleaning cars, are you going to want to have to clean the mess someone else left in your car?  If you have a full-time job, would you even have the time?  What would be the point of owning your own car if, when you need it, it's sitting in your driveway waiting for someone to clean out the mess some stranger left in it?

    CYDdharta said:
    Even if self-driving cars do become mainstream in 15-20 years, most people won't want to have to ride in a car in which some unknown person was just doing God knows what.  
    I dont agree. Most people will be fine, just like taking a taxi or train.  If it is much cheaper to call uber and not having to worry about maintenance, worry about car washes, oay for a garage, clean snow from the car,  most will give up private cars.
    agree there will be exceptions, but maybe 1 to 50.

    @CuriousGeorge ; That's great ... for the rider, but i was talking about the vehicle owner.  Uber vehicles are private owners.  You, as a vehicle owner, will have to worry about fuel and maintenance and car washes and paying for garages.  People call a taxi when they're too drunk to drive themselves, think about what else people do when they're drunk.  Think about some of the stories about what people do in taxis; and they do that with a living, breathing driver.  Do you really want to have to clean up your car after that?
  • @CYDdharta, sensors can figure out some basic stuff and next user can always report prior user if they left a mess.  So the ecosystem should balance out.  I am not advocating for self-cleaning sensors yet.
    the premise of self driving cars is to have much higher utilization of the fleet instead of just sitting idle in people driveways.  So true, if someone is willing to pay 100x for car ownership they can still have a shiny limborgini always sitting in their expensive driveway.  They can wash it, maintain it, etc.  Or they can use Uber-Self-Drive-Luxury app, where a different luxury car can pick them up every time. The app owner can ensure some level of quality check between rides, by remotely checking video cleaniless and if needing directing to a car wash between rides. This way they can enjoy the luxury, at a reasonable cost, and it's like having use of 100 different luxury cars instead of owning them.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @islander507 ...but who owns the car???  With Uber, the cars are owned privately.  Lets say you own a car.  Are you going to want to wash it, maintain it, etc. if you can't count on being able to use it when you need it?
  • @CYDdharta, I argue that most people will not own the cars.  There will be companies that own hugh fleets, and personal car ownership will no longer make sense. A car will always be minutes away with an app for most people (except some rural areas). 
  • agsragsr 601 PtsPremium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
    Premium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
    @northsouthkorea, agreed. The market for classic cars will always be there and many people will continue to enjoy driving themselves until eventually it will be either illegal or made prohibitively expensive by insurance companies.  People will always enjoy classic and luxury cars, but that luxury will be reserved only for the wealthy like collectibles.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • I don't see them going away. Even in the hypothetical scenario of the current set-up being outdated and there being a fleet of on-demand vehicles, there will be people who want to pay for luxury. I would expect there to be higher spec self-driving cars with leather seats, larger interiors, better performance, etc that people will either buy or which will cost a higher amount to rent. They might not be luxury in quite the same way as they are at the moment because with a self-driving car what's the point in getting one that can do 200 mph if the self-driving system will never exceed the speed limit, but there can still be different levels of luxury in different models of car like there are now. Maybe more popular, maybe less popular; it's hard to say and I don't really care until there's both good electric vehicles available and my country switches to mostly green energy,
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @AlwaysCorrect Will there still be speed limits for self driving cars?  What would be the point?
  • agsragsr 601 PtsPremium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
    Premium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
    @CYDdharta, I think speed limit would still be regulated due to 2 factors.
    1) hybrid environment with both self driving and regular cars.  Until all cars are self driving limits will be lower.
    2) at high limits there maybe safety issues even for self driving

    @AlwaysCorrect, sure some people will still want luxury cars, but the luxury option can be available for call-on-demand, so no need to own if you are looking for luxury .  Agree though that it is nice to have one available that no one else is using..kind of you don't want to rent out your living room while you are not there
    Live Long and Prosper
  • @CYDdharta

    Accidents happen and even if the computer itself is flawless and reacts instantly, the faster you're going the longer the distance it takes you to come to a dead halt. Going too fast and there might not be enough room to halt completely. It's an issue of the physics of big heavy chunks of metal moving with a lot of momentum behind them, it takes a fair amount of time to stop. Being self-driven doesn't change that part of the equation.



    See above, which comes from a UK road safety charity. Although self-driving cars can help with the thinking distance aspect of it, the braking distance will stay the same and is larger at higher speeds.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @AlwaysCorrect There are already plans to put stopping distance in the back seat, if you'll pardon the pun.  MIT is working on designing a fleet of trucks that will draft each other (follow each other at 10 to 13 feet to maximize aerodynamic savings).  I believe that if there's a speed limit, it will be to make drafting the standard road behavior and will be based on national fuel consumption rather than on safety concerns.


  • @CYDdharta

    I'm not sure I see the connection. You can have a standardised gap between self-driving vehicles and speed-limits in self-driving vehicles. The two aren't mutually exclusive from what I can see and the article doesn't suggest otherwise.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    edited June 24 Premium Member
    @AlwaysCorrect You said speed limits would still be a safety factor for stopping distance.  Since plans are already being made for trucks to drive only 10-13 feet apart at 60 mph, obviously emergency stopping distance isn't a primary concern.  Since stopping distance isn't a primary concern, why would speed be a concern?
  • @CYDdharta

    But you yourself have just quoted form your source and defined the speed at which they would be driving, stating it directly alongside the distance. How is it not therefore a primary concern?
    comey_testify
  • @alwayscorrect , luxury cars must be popular in the future due to different types of cars being in different categories.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @AlwaysCorrect ; In that example, neither speed nor stopping distance in a primary concern, maximizing fuel efficiency is.
  • agsragsr 601 PtsPremium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
    Premium MemberTechnology Community Moderator
    Okay, so a more specific point will be as follows:
    1) self driving cars will increase car utilization, so less cars will be required overall compared to today
    2) a large percentage of total cars will be part of fleets vs individual ownership
    3) arguably higher percentage of cars in a fleet will be economy vs luxury

    therefore overall demand for luxury cars should drop.

    regarding speed limits point by @CYDdharta, i also believe that self driving cars will follow each other and will optimize speed.  The issue is getting non- self driving cars on the road together with self driving ones..that still will require speed limits i think.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • @CYDdharta

    So are you talking about just in terms of the paper itself? Yes, because it didn't have to be the specific thing the paper happened to be investigating. That doesn't mean it isn't an actual concern in the scenario we are envisaging.

    To give you an example, a paper might investigate the effect of a healthy breakfast on energy levels throughout the day. That doesn't mean a healthy breakfast is the only thing - or even the primary thing - that effects your energy levels throughout the day.
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    agsr said:

    regarding speed limits point by @CYDdharta, i also believe that self driving cars will follow each other and will optimize speed.  The issue is getting non- self driving cars on the road together with self driving ones..that still will require speed limits i think.

    It would require a speed limit for non-self driving cars, but not for self driving cars.  Sensors and transmitters could be retrofitted into non-self driving cars to allow self driving cars to maneuver around them much like turn signals are required on all vehicles today. 
  • CYDdhartaCYDdharta 345 PtsPremium Member
    Premium Member
    @AlwaysCorrectNo, I was talking in terms of the point you brought up about stopping distances.
  • @CYDdharta

    I think this is just piling misunderstanding on top of misunderstanding.

    MIT is not "working on designing a fleet of trucks that will draft each other". Rather they have happened to do a research paper into what the benefits of a fleet of trucks drafting would be. They are working with companies in Brazil to implement this, with the idea that they could use self-driving trucks because drafting in close for long-distances strains people too much - they simply can't concentrate that long. The self-driving trucks themselves would not be of MIT design.

    The 60 mph figures comes from the article reporting on it and is just to give a reference for what the average human braking time is at that distance. it is not saying the trucks would be going that speed and no mention is made of speed limits beign a factor - it simply isn't what the research is focusing on.

    There is nothing in the paper which suggests speed limits would no longer be a concern that I can see, which is the point I was raising with stopping distances.

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