Saturday, October 29, 2016

Surely The Commission Can Invent the Technology

Why I wage my mostly lonely battle against the self-driving car nonsense.

Both rural legislators and voters understand: Minnesota can’t afford to waste billions to build an already-obsolete 19th-century rail system — not when we’re suddenly but obviously at the beginning of a 21st-century transportation revolution. That involves automated, on-demand vehicles.

This revolution isn’t “coming” — it’s here now.

Uber automated cars are serving paying customers in Pittsburgh (there are backup drivers). Mercedes Benz has been running its automated “Future Bus” on transit routes in Europe. Ford has announced it will begin mass production of on-demand automated vehicles in the year 2021 — no steering wheels, no pedals.

This is our transportation and transit future. We need to launch a legislative commission to study what we can accomplish by spending the proposed metro transit sales tax on 21st century bus-based and automated-driving alternatives to rail transit.
Rail as "19th-century" technology has been a talking point for decades. Always makes me laugh.

I do like the two-drivers-are-better-than-one option Uber offers. And this person hasn't gotten the memo. Uber is betting on flying cars! A true 21st century technology. Won't be any congestion problems then!

I'm holding out for the Uber transporter, personally.