This would imply that they are decelerating on the approaching trajectory.
They are not a pipe dream in Silicon Valley, and may not be a pipe dream on dedicated highways that only allow automated cars.
You are mostly correct, any Google car that lacks manual controls will be grounded during bad weather and/or novel conditions since 'autonomous' parts heavily relies on detailed mapped and predictable environment.
* Unwillingness to finalize the product is part of Silicon culture. When I buy a car, I expect final product with very rare instance of patching (e.g. recalls) and no instances of altered or added functionality. The fact that when you buy Tesla you are subjected to "patch Tuesday" tinkering greatly worries me.
* No defined model years. With traditional cars you usually know that parts from years X-Y models A-Z are interchangeable. Not so much with Tesla - where mid-model changes are commonplace. What going to happen when 10+ year old Tesla needs a new part? Always buy new, because no two of them are ever the same?
* Used car market. For electric cars it doesn't exists. This means that depreciation on these is largely unknown.
Can we have a better summary?
Don't underestimate addictiveness of "always connected" lifestyle and power to rationalize away your bad decisions.
Libertarian market driven approaches of 'perfectly informed' customers having access to 'flexible supply' are only workable on paper. Sure, it would be nice if we could get there, but meanwhile our situation continuing to deteriorate. Time to abandon this quixotic quest.
What we need is "mostly works for most people most of the time", and to get there we need policy with teeth that mandates Net Neutrality. Sure, it won't prevent all abuses, but we only need to prevent worst of them and let the rest play out in courts.
Very interesting post, thank you for writing it up.
I have a question. Are there guard bands in biological computation (e.g. our brains) ? I was under impression that our cognitive processes (software) are optimized for speed and designed to work with massively parallel but highly unreliable neural hardware.
What I am trying to say is that nature performed optimization decided that it is better to be very efficient all the time, and correct some of the time, but also be very good at error checking. While our CPU and OS designers decided that computing devices must be correct all the time, efficient some of the time, and poor at error checking.
But what happens on a macro scale, when your friend circle doesn't just include the dozen people you actually hang out with regularly, but also the hundreds or thousands of acquaintances you have online? All of those feeds may seem filled with frivolities from random people (and they are!) but that steady stream of life updates—photos, rants, slang—are probably shaping you more than you think.
A massive Facebook study recently published in PNAS found solid evidence of so-called emotional contagion—emotional states spreading socially, like a virus made of emoji—on the social network."
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In closing, you might not want to drive that hypothetical lasts-50-years car in 49th year, but it makes cost of year 1 to year 5 cheaper.
Very few people outright buy the car and use it until junk yard. For people that lease resale value directly impacts their payment, less it worth at the end of leas term higher the monthly payment. For people that finance, trade-in value of their last car impacts their payments. In almost all cases original buyer and second-hand buyer are financially tied via 'cost of ownership' concept.
The car is not a software product, and obsolescence is not clear-cut or binary. Nearly all car features, including safety, are tied to original car budget. For example, luxury 5 year old car will likely still have more safety features than 0 year old econobox. That is, you are A LOT more likely to survive a crash in 2009 Mercedes S500 than 2014 Chevy Spark. I can find many examples of 10 year old cars that are still 'feature-complete' with anything that can be found on the road today. Your "obsolete after 5 years" is way, way off and suggests to me you are trying to rationalize your leasing habit.
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