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Thread: The end of parking as we know it

  1. #1
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Default The end of parking as we know it

    Let's say you have a self-driving electric vehicle and you live and work in a city where such vehicles are allowed to move around on their own without a human behind the steering wheel.

    Under what (if any) circumstances would you find it preferable to just let the car drive around while waiting for you instead of paying for parking?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Where the cost of petrol/electricity cost less than the parking costs. Seems unlikely to be frank.
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  3. #3
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Im already happy to park in a side road somewhere and walk 15-30 minutes just to avoid paying for parking. Seems more likely I'd just send it to wherever that is, then call it up when I'm finished rather than having it driving around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Let's say you have a self-driving electric vehicle and you live and work in a city where such vehicles are allowed to move around on their own without a human behind the steering wheel.

    Under what (if any) circumstances would you find it preferable to just let the car drive around while waiting for you instead of paying for parking?
    Given the cost of some city parking (especially during major events) this actually makes a lot of sense. Though I would imagine the self-driving car would just drive 10 minutes and park at a no cost parking area outside of the city center and then drive back when you are ready for pick-up. If the event/trip/meal is going to be short maybe it would drive around the entire time.

  5. #5
    Once we get to the tipping point of self driving cars parking won't be at a premium like it currently is. So many multicar families could cut down on how many cars they need and cars will end up running so many errands for us that our out and about schedules will end up being planned around that fact.

    I've already mapped out my family with a self driving car. We could survive on 1 car instead of 3 as long as it was allowed to move around on it's own. Coming and going to work, school, mid day transportation for my mom, then back to picking us all up one at a time.

    It's more milage on a single car but it's still a better deal than having a bunch of cars that sit around doing nothing for a majority of the day.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 08-07-2018 at 06:11 PM.
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  6. #6
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    I don't think you'd be allowed to let your car drive around randomly while you run an errand. Can you imagine if everyone parked in Central London right now did this? The city centre would total gridlock.
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  7. #7
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Let's say you have a self-driving electric vehicle and you live and work in a city where such vehicles are allowed to move around on their own without a human behind the steering wheel.

    Under what (if any) circumstances would you find it preferable to just let the car drive around while waiting for you instead of paying for parking?
    Ideally your car wouldn't park at all. Depending on how long you are at your destination, your car could/should/would be driving other people around town, like with a ride haling service, while you do your destination business. Taking it further, people likely won't own self-driving cars - they'll be part of an ownership collective, or buy into a service more likely, that provides the car for them to ride to whatever destination, then the car moves on to the next member or customer.

    This is what's freaking out the auto companies. How many fewer cars will be needed when a single vehicle's usage rate goes from 3% of the day to 50-60%? And what does that do to the reliability/ maintenance cost of a vehicle too, when it's driving around all day rather than sitting in garages and parking lots most of the time?

    EDIT: Large swaths of today's car owners will have no reason to own a car in the self-driving age. Anyone living someplace that's somewhat urban should have access to a self-driven ride whenever they want. The only fly in that ointment I can think of is rush hour - people's work schedules will have to stagger somewhat because right now, while we use our cars for only a short time of the day, people who work tend to want to use them at the same time.
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    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    The idea of Uber style services instead of owning a car is plausible. Sort of like how Netflix and Amazon style services has made owning DVDs physically rather redundant.

    The problem is rush hour. Cars can't actually be streamed to multiple people at the same time. Without a big change in how we live there will always be a peak demand around rush hour. That means either shortages or delays at rush hour or a cars usage will still average a long way away from 50%.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
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  9. #9
    Under the influence Wraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Let's say you have a self-driving electric vehicle and you live and work in a city where such vehicles are allowed to move around on their own without a human behind the steering wheel.

    Under what (if any) circumstances would you find it preferable to just let the car drive around while waiting for you instead of paying for parking?
    The plan that everyone is talking about is basically ending personal car ownership. When there's a fleet of self-driving cars always ready and nearby to take you wherever you want to go, why pay for a private vehicle? If you do own a car personally, there's bound to be ways you can set it to go out and earn you money by driving others around until you need it again.

  10. #10
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    The problem is rush hour. Cars can't actually be streamed to multiple people at the same time. Without a big change in how we live there will always be a peak demand around rush hour. That means either shortages or delays at rush hour or a cars usage will still average a long way away from 50%.
    Yeah, I edited in a comment on this. The interesting thing is that for most professionals, the daily commute isn't even necessary. I can do 99% of my job from my home office, yet I commute to an office almost every single day. An unnecessary office that costs my company lots of money to maintain, unnecessarily... I do wonder if that outdated concept of the work place will change.
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  11. #11
    A lot of the rush hour problems would be solved with a last mile type plan. Similar to how cities handle Park and Ride. The upside with self driving mass transit, especially vehicles that only hold 5-8 people, is that their service rotations could be every couple of minutes instead of once an hour like my local bus system. That could easily cut traffic into major cities to a quarter of its current rates.
    Last edited by Ominous Gamer; 08-07-2018 at 07:11 PM.
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    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
    The plan that everyone is talking about is basically ending personal car ownership. When there's a fleet of self-driving cars always ready and nearby to take you wherever you want to go, why pay for a private vehicle? If you do own a car personally, there's bound to be ways you can set it to go out and earn you money by driving others around until you need it again.
    I think that's one of those things that only Silicon Valley could possibly think is a good idea.

    I can tell you right now the only person whose going to leave sweet wrappers and muddy footprints in my car is me.
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  13. #13
    A lot of what is to come will come down to cost. I can't picture not owning a car, even with eyekhan's rental idea. My one way commute to work is 6 miles and its still cheaper for me to pay a $400 car payment and maintenance than it is to use a service like uber.

    But a family car that the wife and I could share without having to play chauffeur will be game changing for the industry.
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  14. #14
    Under the influence Wraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I think that's one of those things that only Silicon Valley could possibly think is a good idea.

    I can tell you right now the only person whose going to leave sweet wrappers and muddy footprints in my car is me.
    Meh, it's not like it'd be mandatory. Uber/Lyft are dealing with this stuff now. You could probably have cameras to catch anyone who leaves a mess, and they will of course be tracked by payment method, so it wouldn't be too difficult to create a way to make passengers of your autotaxi liable for damages & cleanup.

    I wouldn't rent my car out personally, but that's because I'm selfish and paranoid, but the market has already demonstrated that there are plenty of people who'd be happy to do this.

  15. #15
    Honestly I don't see the industry/government allowing individuals to rent out their own self driving cars. You're looking at something that could destroy the industry as it is. Something radical enough that a few car bombings or chemical attacks and a lot of lobbying money would get outlawed before it became mainstream.
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  16. #16
    Under the influence Wraith's Avatar
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    You might be right; that's something I haven't given a lot of thought to. The taxi industry is rallying hard to kill the Uber/Lyft's of the world, and while they're not winning in general, they're still putting up a hell of a fight and winning occasional battles. Once the automotive industry is motivated to join forces with them to prevent a decline in car sales, that might be enough political pressure to stop the whole thing. At least for a while.

  17. #17
    I think this techno-utopia people are imagining might be rather far from reality. One might, for example, have thought that the proliferation of Uber and Lyft would have reduced congestion in dense urban areas. But data has suggested this isn't true - increased passenger-less loiter time (60+% of the time they're on the road) is part of it, along with expanding the pool of people who would actually use the service vs. a non-car alternative like public transit, biking, or walking.

    I'm less than convinced that driverless vehicles would actually solve much of our congestion or parking woes. It's possible they might, but there are likely to be unforeseen unintended consequences. In some ways, the technology would just be like massively increasing the number of taxis.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    I don't see how taxi services can reduce congestion. They should increase it unless they are combining journeys via ride sharing.

    If I want to go from A to B and someone else needs to go from C to D then privately the distance we drive is AB and CD. A taxi doing both does AB, BC and CD. That's more miles.

    Taxis reduce parking requirements but not congestion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  19. #19
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Yeah, I edited in a comment on this. The interesting thing is that for most professionals, the daily commute isn't even necessary. I can do 99% of my job from my home office, yet I commute to an office almost every single day. An unnecessary office that costs my company lots of money to maintain, unnecessarily... I do wonder if that outdated concept of the work place will change.
    Indeed, the concept of the workplace is already changing/ has already changed. I work the majority of the time from home. There is no-one at my office location with whom I work with directly, so there is little point in the time and the expense to commute. My direct team depends largely on project but are scattered globally regardless. I have two dedicated analysts who work for me full-time; one is in Edinburgh and one is in Athens; I have not met either of them. My many meetings with all my stakeholders and colleagues are conducted mainly through video-conference, otherwise through audio conference and webex. Again I have met few of them in person.

    Other banks and large corporations have the same work-at-home policies.

    This, combined with living in a large city entirely negates the need for a car. My partner does not have a licence and never took a driving test - has never seen the need. The only reason I have a car is because I like driving and have always been a petrol-head, but my car spends weeks at a time locked up in my garage unused.

    The latest generation of youngsters are turning away from cars, at least in the UK, with applications to take driving tests dropping by over a quarter in the last 10 years. Improvements to city cycle-infrastructure combined with ever-improving public transport are conducive to this.

    On the days I do go into the office, I take a publically-available Boris-bike to get from the train station in London to my office, which takes less than ten minutes. The roads are crowded with cycles.



    These require docking stations from which to rent a bike and return it. It's a pretty good system , with an app on your phone to undock the bike and locate stations/availability. There are over 10m hires a year in London of Boris-bikes; it's well-used. Other cities across the world have similar schemes.

    Increasingly however, dockless bikes are appearing, which require no docking station and can be picked up anywhere and left anywhere, all through a Q-code on the bike snapped with your phone for usage. These have become ubiquitous in London over the past year.



    Again, there are schemes in cities around the world where these bikes are being rolled out.

    For more suburban settings, I see a similar scheme for publically-available small electric cars, accessible in the same way through your phone.

    Indeed, petrol-variant schemes already exist in London and elsewhere, like Zipcar. It's becoming more prevalent.



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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    I don't see how taxi services can reduce congestion. They should increase it unless they are combining journeys via ride sharing.

    If I want to go from A to B and someone else needs to go from C to D then privately the distance we drive is AB and CD. A taxi doing both does AB, BC and CD. That's more miles.

    Taxis reduce parking requirements but not congestion.
    It's more complicated than that. For example, a substantial portion of traffic in dense areas is actually cars circling and looking for parking; take that out and you can reduce congestion. Then there's the theoretical benefits of Uber Pool or Lyft Line (although these can easily be exaggerated). Finally, surge pricing (which doesn't happen with taxis but does happen with ride sharing apps) has the potential to smooth traffic peaks by giving people an incentive to use the service at off-peak times. Eventually, you might argue that you can eliminate on-street parking entirely, which would also ease congestion.

    These are at least theoretical reasons why Uber/Lyft could potentially reduce congestion. It turns out that they don't, though.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  21. #21
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    They're all theoretical and marginal. When compared to the increased miles I mentioned I don't see why it balancing out shouldn't be a surprise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  22. #22
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    I think this techno-utopia people are imagining might be rather far from reality. One might, for example, have thought that the proliferation of Uber and Lyft would have reduced congestion in dense urban areas. But data has suggested this isn't true - increased passenger-less loiter time (60+% of the time they're on the road) is part of it, along with expanding the pool of people who would actually use the service vs. a non-car alternative like public transit, biking, or walking.

    I'm less than convinced that driverless vehicles would actually solve much of our congestion or parking woes. It's possible they might, but there are likely to be unforeseen unintended consequences. In some ways, the technology would just be like massively increasing the number of taxis.
    I think a lot of these externalities are due to pricing, both of the taxis themselves (whether driven by a person or a robot) and how we price traffic overall. In the NY example, the asinine city legislature decided to cap how many permits Uber, Lyft, etc. can offer. Given that their driver churn rate is 25% (not sure over what period), this will clearly have an impact.

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