Unfortunately the opposite happened. We have monthly power outages because of "salt vapor" accumulating on power lines. In the last ten years rates have shot up uncontrollably, because people are using less power. Now NS Power is making NS Tax payers pay for an undersea power link cable to Newfoundland so they can pipe power through Nova Scotia to sell to the states.
Where things went wrong was when the conservatives sold NS Power to Emera they *guaranteed* Emera a monopoly with a fixed ROI. In short they screwed us. Having a privately owned power corp would have been fine if it was open to competition and they actually had to compete for business or would be allowed to fail thus forcing them to actually manage their company rather than just passing CEO bonuses off to rate payers.
I'd need to see actual figures and estimated costs before I could really decide if it's something I'd take advantage of, but like I said, I think it's a great idea.
Halifax/Dartmouth is more of a small to medium size city so we don't have the commuter issues larger cities have, but our transit system sucks. If you want people to use transit then it has to work, it has to be more convenient or cheaper than owning a car. In Halifax it just isn't.
Who hasn't been driving down the highway and seen someone texting, or shaving, or putting on makeup, or screaming at their four year old in the back seat. We just have too much to do to provide 100% focus on driving so it only seems logical we should let a computer do it for us. Sure the system isn't going to be perfect at first, but there's no reason it can't be made better and better over time.
We put up people driving because it's just too convenient, regardless of the danger we're putting ourselves in, so if there's a way to make it safer we should be doing it. For starters it's way to easy for people to get drivers permits. I have a cousin that failed his drivers test four times and passed on the fifth try, he's crashed three cars in the last ten years and only stopped driving because he couldn't afford insurance anymore.
We could also have mandatory retesting for the drivers test every five years or every two years after 65. My grandfather faked his way through his eye test when he was 78 and was allowed to keep driving even though he had had major eye surgery and couldn't even see anymore. That was until he almost killed an eight year old. Had someone gotten in a car with him they would have known he couldn't see well enough to drive. Mental faculties are also a consideration, as people get older and aren't as quick to react, which actually having someone in the car with the driver would be able to easily assess.
There's no valid reason in my mind why this technology couldn't work and why we couldn't make it work in the situations it's less reliable. You can see people throwing everything they have at it, but almost always you can use the, "how is that any different than now?" argument and point out umteen billion situations where it would be more convenient (being able to go to a bar and have a car to take you home, blind/disabled people being able to have personal transport, not having to give up your car when you get old) and safer (no more issues with texting, distracted, drunk, fatigued, stupid drivers).
There are a lot more, but lunch is almost over. Suffice it to say, public transit is not always great or a good option in every city. I bought my first car specifically because of all the draw backs with transit in my city. On top of that my wife and I were paying $60 each for a pass to use transit, then another $120 a month to travel to and from her parents place twice a month by provincial bus. Meaning we were paying over $4,300 a year, to be told when we had to be somewhere, when we had to leave and be forced to travel with people we didn't want to be around. I bought a car for $18,000, paid it off in 5 years, $4000 a year (because of interest), and now the cost of the car is on average $175/month in gas and maintenance, even with high gas prices. In another two years I'll have saved enough by not using transit to buy another new car.
With the added bonus that I can go where I want, when I want, with who I want. My commute to work use to be 2 hours one way, my wife's was 3 hours. Now we drop our daughter off at daycare on the way to work, wife drops me off at my office and continues on. Then does the revers in the afternoon the whole commute one way for her is 30 minutes, for me it's 15, for our daughter it's about 10. So for us owning a car is cheaper and easier than taking transit.
1. insurance includes mandatory and included in your premium sensor/systems maintenance
The advantage to this would be everyone pay's the same rate, it won't matter if you're male or female, young or old. All cars will have the same, tiny, equal chance of failure so the insurance company won't be able to get away with the, "You're a male so you pay twice as much as your wife, even though she's had three claims in the last year and you've never had so much as a warning in your life."
What's that? We haven't been able to figure out how to secure anything that's biological against random heart attacks, strokes, drunkenness, fatigue, drug impairment, or stupidity and someone behind the wheel of a car can kill the occupants? Lalalalalala! I can't hearrrrr you!
I would like to see speed limits done away with if speed is no longer a factor for safty, but I think you'd still have to consider fuel economy. The faster a vehicle travels the more fuel it has to consume. So there probably will still be some "fuel optimal" speed limit.
Just not having to worry about some crazy b*$%) who's doing her makeup on the highway on the way to work ramming into the side of my car, which has happens to me, is enough to sell me on driverless cars. I mean, she was passing me on a single lane highway doing 80Km/h with on coming traffic while putting on mascara. I looked over right at her and thought, this is it, I'm toast. I went off the shoulder of the road and took my foot off the gas while working hard not to tense up and keep the car going straight on the gravel shoulder while it slowed down, got out and promptly threw up. Luckily I got away with just a few scratches to my driver side, $2,700 to fix. Cops never caught her, I gave a description of her and the car, but was a little busy focusing on not dying to get her license plate. <== This is why we need driverless cars.