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Opportunity cost of electric and/or self-driving cars


ScienceNostalgia101
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A scientific poll is always better than the comments section on Youtube. Always.

So perhaps you are not dishonest but are instead simply uninformed but speaking as if you were informed. Either way your contribution will be minimal and suspect, as you are unable to tell the difference between good data and bad.

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On 12/25/2020 at 2:36 AM, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

People love to drive. For some people, it's literally to die for; the tens of thousands who die driving have not deterred people thus far.

 

In practice, it's not just those who drive who can be killed, but those who get run over by cars while walking. So "I have the risk to assume the risk" is not as valid an argument as it would be for, let's say, eating junk food. On top of that, even the individuals who claim they'll drive more safely than others do (which I suspect is mostly said by those for whom its not true) are still harming others through greenhouse gas emisisons that result in flooding. But it's still popular enough that libertarian and non-libertarian voters alike don't want to go as far as banning it outright. As a natural consequence, the market has stepped in to supply the demand in a way that might partly address environmental and/or safety concerns; electric cars, and self-driving cars, respectively.

 

But then that leaves another issue; the opportunity cost of what could've happened if we passed peak oil without electric cars, or self-driving cars, ever becoming available. If no one ever developed electric cars, would this have forced motorists to switch to public transit, bicycling, walking, or any combination thereof? Would this have eventually saved more lives than climate change is expected to cut short, or is the tendency of climate change to cut lives short expected to be a continuous annual permanent feature of climate change as much as it is for traffic deaths?


You are conflating issues. Electric vehicles, on the whole, are not currently self driving. Fossil fuelled vehicles can generally be made self driving as easily as electric vehicles. In the mean time hydrogen engines promise reciprocating engines and driving experience without emission. Like fossil fuelled vehicles, hydrogen vehicles could be made self driving. 
 

Electric and hydrogen vehicles only equate to nil emissions based on the original power source or method of production. In the mean time there is huge development in fossil fuelled engine efficiency. There may well be a cross over, likely even, but mandating the prohibition of well proven transport on this basis is spurious at best.
 

You argue then that people should be forced to choose public transport - which depending on usage rates may or may not be more efficient than, I presume, current fossil fuelled vehicles. Which ignores the pre-existing skew to public transport in populated areas, irrespective of vehicle ownership. FWIW, in residential development there is a keen move toward “self drive, electric, on order” vehicles. It creates a lot of freedom in developments which are traditionally hemmed in by vehicle storage constraints. 
 

In short electric does not equate to self driving nor nil emission. And does not preclude driving pleasure. And has not necessarily won the low-emission battle.
 

FWIW personally my main hobby/sport is 4wd. My idea of a perfect day is switching my 4wd into auto pilot early in the morning as I sleep in, or drink coffee, taking me to the trailhead. When I take over in a vehicle with true 4wd - motor to each wheel. True independent individual wheel control in the absence of differentials and axles. Those things get hung up on rocks. And the engineering for articulation can be so much superior without them. On the trail we want “off-idle torque” and diesel chews petrol, but electric where max torque is a a theoretical zero revs, well just wow. I’m getting worked up thinking about it. Knock myself out on the trail, then back on the bitumen I crack open a beer as I press the “take me home button” and turn on a video replaying the day’s antics. The vehicle is put into pool mode at home with a priority of picking me up and dropping me off during the work week.

I’ve got no intention of losing things I love, like driving. And no intention of missing the advantages of new technology as it happens. But let’s take just a modicum of intelligence to suggestions that a love of driving should be banned in order to save the planet.

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11 hours ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

It is not dishonest. It is a frankly significant fraction of how I form my worldview.

Then your worldview is incredibly contrived. You are responding to movie-plot scenarios, rather than actual conditions that one could discern by gathering scientific data. And because of that, zapatos's description isn't really off the mark.

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On 12/25/2020 at 10:57 PM, zapatos said:

A scientific poll is always better than the comments section on Youtube. Always.

You mean like it was in 2016?

 

Look, respondents lie, so polling is right out. Internet comments at least offer a sliver of a chance at spontaneous sincerity. I'm not sure if it's the best option, but it can't be worse than polling. Nothing can.

 

Frankly, calling polls scientific is a little too strong a word. If an engineer got it wrong and people died there'd be hell to pay. But polling got it wrong in a manner associated with hundreds of thousands of deaths; more than any engineering failure was ever associated with; at the hands of the person who actually won that election, with no way of knowing if he'd have won if his rivals didn't let their guard down, and yet people still rely on polling.

 

As for those continuing to strawman my post as calling for the outright banning of cars, please re-read this.

Edited by ScienceNostalgia101
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1 hour ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

You mean like it was in 2016?

Yes, like 2016.

1 hour ago, ScienceNostalgia101 said:

Look, respondents lie, so polling is right out. Internet comments at least offer a sliver of a chance at spontaneous sincerity.

Can you please provide some support for your assertion that internet comments are better than scientific polls?

Otherwise you are wasting our time with your personal bias.

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If you took a close look at Internet culture in 2016, Trump's victory would not have come as a shock. Internet culture was awash in Muslim-bashing and Mexican-bashing as far as the eye could see.

 

You know, the kind of stuff people would conceal if asked about it by a pollster.

 

People focus on individual polls' "methodology" but ignore the fact that the 2016 US polls, just like the 2013 British Columbia polls, asked people their opinions and expected an honest answer, to predictable results.

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