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AI Transportation

How Robotaxis Might Mitigate Electric Car Depreciation (robohub.org) 111

Hallie Siegel writes: Autonomous car expert Brad Templeton argues that we're in for a period of about 5 years in electric cars where each year's new model is a lot better, and that could be a problem for people trying to sell them. Further exacerbating Moore's Law for cars is that autonomous features (like traffic jam assist) rely heavily on computers. Unfortunately cars cost a lot more than computers or cell phones, so throwing them away before the end of their lifespan is a bit of a problem. How do get over the depreciation problem while autonomous cars and electric cars are going through this period of rapid development? Templeton suggests that a taxi model could be the answer, since use is so much more intense that with a private ownership model, that the cars are likely to wear out before they become worthless from a resale perspective.
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How Robotaxis Might Mitigate Electric Car Depreciation

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  • Good idea but (Score:2, Insightful)

    Good idea but autonomous cars is about 40 years away from being realistic. I am sure people will protest "but Google has a car that works now!". No. They really don't. They have a car that can navigate through heavily pre-mapped city streets. If they turn that car loose in the middle of Chicago it won't work. But the idea of using electric cars for human-driven taxis is a good one. In fact that is one of the reasons why so many taxis are hybrids already. Another reason is that hybrids can use the HOV in so
    • How is the middle of Chicago not composed of heavily-mapped city streets?

      Disclaimer: As a pedestrian I've interacted with Google's self-driving car as it tools around in Austin. It managed not to murder me.

      • The Google car requires pre-mapping beyond the basic Google maps style mapping. That is the dirty secret they don't mention.
      • Chicago? Come on now. That thing will get car-jacked in 10 minutes. They'll find the frame up on blocks with the tires, battery pack, and electronics all gone.

    • Well (Score:3, Informative)

      by DrYak ( 748999 )

      I am sure people will protest "but Google has a car that works now!". No. They really don't. They have a car that can navigate through heavily pre-mapped city streets.

      Well, not exactly. If you pay attention to Google latest TED talks:
      - that used to be the case at beginning.
      - but even heavily pre-maped city streets aren't perfect: new construction works that haven't been mapped, new pot hole, etc.
      - thus this ultra-high detail maps would need to be constantly update with very tiny details (which would have been a very fastidious and expensive work if actually done).
      - one could better automatically crowd-source the updates: cars automatically submits them as they encounter

      • so the cars are in an early alpha test, to use a software analogy?
        • so the cars are in an early alpha test, to use a software analogy?

          Yes, and this alpha-car softrware analofy works MARVELOUSLY well, FULLY AUTOMATICALLY, requiring absolutely ZERO USER INTERVENTION / OPERATOR SUPERVISION...
          ...on the small test dataset.
          Which is exactly a 1mb sized file.

          But we're sure that one day we'll be able to plug this software analogy into the data center to service gigabytes of data per second.

    • It is a bad idea. Oh, taxis might be a decent idea in large filthy urban areas, but if they were the taxi companies could figure that out, but so far they realize that the inflated price of electric vehicles (and eventual replacement of very expensive battery packs) makes the choice of non-electric vehicles much better economically. And that will remain true with the foreseeable future of the oil market. But most of the country is far less concentrated than the cancer of our urban areas. In more spread out
  • Don't buy new. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sims 2 ( 994794 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @01:41PM (#51344781)

    If I buy a car from the dealership for $50,000 and then try to sell it 10 minutes later it's now worth $25,000 at most.

    If I buy a used vehicle from someone for $15,000 and try to sell it 10 minutes later it's still worth about $15,000.

    Why take the hit?

    Also a car that is worn out still has a pretty poor resale value even if it is just a year old.

    • That is because of dealer markup. Taxi companies don't pay that markup when they refresh their fleets.
      • Not that much (Score:4, Informative)

        by DrYak ( 748999 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @02:35PM (#51345241) Homepage

        That is because of dealer markup.

        Not quite. The dealer don't have actually that high margins on new cars.

        It's really the market price falling with the perception of the cars being in pristine conditions or not.
        (It's the same kind of consideration as that to a fan or a collector, it's REALLY important if a good was unboxed / if the packaging has already been cut open or not.)

        On the other hand: you can count the dealers to milk your wallet as much as they can get with it. Specially for periodic controls. But also at the slightest warning light going orange / the slightest warning message on the dashboard. Or even for simple firmware update. Or even if the offered services don't make any sense (e.g.: car dealer selling care packages including a few oil changes. On an electric vehicle. (which has a sealed electric motor and thus no possibility to touch the oil).
        That's why car dealers are pissed by dealership-free cars companies like Tesla Motors (With automatic OTA update that don't require a "technician" and are offered for free instead of being charged. And with fewer parts requiring actual service)

      • Actually, dealers don't really rake in that much off of their new stock... it's the used cars (along with their Parts&Service and F&I departments) that really rake in the bucks.

        F&I gives them big margins because there is a bumper crop of people who don't pre-qualify at their bank/credit-union, instead financing at the dealership. F&I is also the place where additional warranties, undercoating, etc can get tacked-on.

        Parts&Service get an average 50% margin on selling genuine brand parts to

    • Also a car that is worn out still has a pretty poor resale value even if it is just a year old.

      The point is that you've already used up it's value so resale value is not important. If a car is good for 200k miles and you drive 20k miles per year but the car is obsolete in 3 years then you're throwing away a perfectly good car which can still be driven 160k miles. On the other hand, if you drive 100k miles per year then the car is used up before it has a chance to become obsolete.

      As far as your other point, new cars are not as bad of a deal as alot of people seem to think. There is a small hit for

    • If I buy a car from the dealership for $50,000 and then try to sell it 10 minutes later it's now worth $25,000 at most.

      If I buy a used vehicle from someone for $15,000 and try to sell it 10 minutes later it's still worth about $15,000.

      Why take the hit?

      Also a car that is worn out still has a pretty poor resale value even if it is just a year old.

      Maybe it's that I'm coming at this from a different usage pattern than yours, but new cars make a lot of sense to me. I bought a new Subaru in 2001. I put 230,000 miles on it, and when I got rid of it, the head gaskets were leaking, two CV joints were failing, the center differential limited slip clutch pack was no longer working, the shocks were shot, and it was way overdue for new timing belts, the cumulative cost of which far exceeded the car's value, so it went off to a junkyard. The previous Subaru

      • In contrast, when the last Soob went off to the junkyard, I bought a used Subaru, and over the last three years I've had to replace the transmission, two CV joints, the shocks, and am about to have to replace the u-joint/cv joint...

        An important distinction between buying used vs new is risk. Those that are good at minimizing the risk can come out way ahead buying used vs. new over a series of purchases. The key with used is to get a good deal to start with (which means patience and saying no), so that even if you have a large repair expense you still come out ahead, and make sure the car is a reliable model and in great shape.

        I have a Camry I bought almost 4 years ago, have put 50,000 miles on it, have had no costly repairs, and c

        • The key with used is to get a good deal to start with (which means patience and saying no)...

          ...and having enough mechanical/electrical ability to know when you're purchasing something that will hold up, or if you're about to buy a rolling money pit.

          If you know what to look for, you can avoid the latter most of the time.

        • Those that are good at minimizing the risk can come out way ahead buying used vs. new over a series of purchases

          The same can be said for buying new. Wait for a good deal to come up, don't pay sticker, and if you're a driver that actually takes care of your vehicle as opposed to deciding you're going to sell it in 2 years and thus skip things like oil changes, you can get a vehicle that lasts substantially longer.

          My truck is now 8 years old and still hasn't needed major maintenance.

    • by njnnja ( 2833511 )

      In general, cars are not sold 10 minutes after being bought from a dealership. So when one is, it is reasonable to think that there is something very wrong with the car, or else why would somebody get rid of it so quickly? Therefore the potential buyer demands a huge discount from getting a perfectly new and clean one from the dealership.

      This is why "certified pre-owned" cars are more expensive than used cars that aren't. In theory, there is much less of a chance of something wrong with the car, so the di

      • Marketing is part of the "certified pre-owned" markup, but there is the (promised) pre-replacement of parts that are near the end of their useful lifespan, and a limited warranty to back that up (which you are also paying for in the markup).

    • Source please for your claim?

      See Edmunds here.

      http://www.edmunds.com/car-buy... [edmunds.com]

      Maybe you're overpaying...

    • If I buy a car from the dealership for $50,000 and then try to sell it 10 minutes later it's now worth $25,000 at most.

      Let me guess, trying to sell it back to the dealer that just sold it to you? Odds are if you're trying to sell it back 10 minutes later you wrecked it or something, discovered it's a lemon/shitty car, and the dealer needs markup.

      Meanwhile, last time I went car shopping I discovered that used cars 1-2 years old were 80-90% of the price of a brand spanking new car, and because the interest rates are a couple points higher on loans, the new car was cheaper, at least for me. Maintenance was also iffy. Was th

  • Component Upgrades (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @01:45PM (#51344817)

    If a computer were too expensive, I would replace components until it made financial sense to purchase a full system.

    Something similar could happen with automobiles. The manufacturer could provide a refit program at least once during the typical life of the vehicle (perhaps 3 or 4 years in). It would bring in much of the latest technology for a much lower cost than purchasing a new vehicle, keeping customers happy and less likely to look at a competitor's latest model.

    • Also less likely to buy the manufacturer's latest model. I think the auto manufacturers rely very heavily on people purchasing their new models and anything that cuts into that would be avoided like the plague.
      • Just because they haven't worked out the business model (ie how much people are ready to pay for it:

        1. Sell new car
        2. Profit
        3. Sell technology parts upgrade
        4. Profit again

        Sounds like a wonderful idea.

        • 1. Sell new car.
          2. Profit.
          3. Sell another new car.
          4. Profit again.
          5. Sell trade-in as certified pre-owned.
          6. More profit!

    • the manufacturers make running changes all the time, that's why when you go in to buy a part, and they look it up, it crosses to a new number. which may cross to another one.

      so why can't they change the labelling to, say, "mode 3 autosteer processor, required plug G-C-F-T-L depending on make." that's pretty much how the carmakers are buying the train loads of those modules from Continental or Adelphi. government testing will have to change, also, to a modular approach.

    • The manufacturer could provide a refit program at least once during the typical life of the vehicle (perhaps 3 or 4 years in).

      Tesla motor for example has tried to retrofit a couple of technologies into previous models that didn't have the option.
      (As much software as possible, Armor sheilding the battery, etc.)

      The "Autopilot" was notorious for being the first technology where Tesla did need to explicitely state that they can't retrofit it on older models.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      If a computer were too expensive, I would replace components until it made financial sense to purchase a full system.

      Something similar could happen with automobiles. The manufacturer could provide a refit program at least once during the typical life of the vehicle (perhaps 3 or 4 years in). It would bring in much of the latest technology for a much lower cost than purchasing a new vehicle, keeping customers happy and less likely to look at a competitor's latest model.

      The manufacturer doesn't want you to do that, they want you to get a lopsided finance agreement to get a new car rather than fixing your old car.

      However the process of refitting cars has been going on for ages without the manufacturers. Many cars get refitted with more modern equipment from infotainment systems to entire engines. There are a lot of popular swaps such as 2JZ and LS1 swaps into older cars. I've seen 2JZ's swapped into newer cars.

  • by captjc ( 453680 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @01:46PM (#51344831)

    OK, so lease an electric car. Do not buy an electric car. Gotcha.

    • that's what I did, 2 year lease and 7500miles/year. Really cheap and in 2 years I'll lease a much better model

    • Leasing doesn't magically make depreciation disappear. It just hides it and/or rearranges it.

      • Yes, but if there is a wild miscalculation in terms of the residual value, it's the leasing company that loses. Of course they charge a fee for taking that risk, but it's a form of insurance that makes sense for many people.
      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        Leasing doesn't magically make depreciation disappear. It just hides it and/or rearranges it.

        Well, that is the point. Leasing rearranges depreciation so that it becomes not your problem, unless you were dumb enough to sign a bad contract.

        • It's nothing to do with whose problem it is. If something is 40k new and worth 22k after three years, what's the absolute minimum the monthly charge can be? Assume the lessor intends staying in business.

          You shouldn't need a calculator.

          • by khallow ( 566160 )

            what's the absolute minimum the monthly charge can be?

            And there you go. It's not my problem anymore. I just decide whether or not I will pay the monthly charge.

    • I'm leasing, and even though I think leasing is generally a scam, the deal was impossible to beat. Thing is, the article is wrong. Really. I leased a 2015 Volkswagen eGolf. I love it, although there's obvious room for improvement. But the 2016 model is almost the exact same thing as the 2015, except with an improved entertainment system. Same range, same basic engine, etc. Nissan Leaf is basically the same car for the past 3 years as well.

      Given the rate of technological advance, I don't think there's

      • For chassis, motor, batteries, etc. I agree with you. For the autonomous part, I think that is incorrect. The field is moving so fast right now, with new features being added (with their own hardware requirements), that next year's autonomous feature will not work with this year's model. Tesla's self-driving (whatever they are calling it) on the highway, self-parking, etc. are not backwards compatible. that will happen repeatedly over the next decade or so.

        I don't know why this is only relevant to ele

    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      In the UK, there's an arrangement called PCP (personal car purchase). It's perfect: you pay a deposit and small monthly charges, and you hand the keys back after two or three years. (If you wanted to keep the car, you'd have to pay a large balloon payment, but why would you do that when you can get a new model that will be much better?)

      The monthly costs can be really low. For our shiny new Renault Zoe, we're paying £180 (~$250) per month. Upfront payment was about £2k (~$3k). It's a small car, a

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When computers were obsolete the minute you bought it, that was not bad for the people who sold them. Now that computers are "good enough" for half a decade or more, the industry seems to be in much more trouble.

    • That is why the industry is pushing so heavily into the cloud/SaaS/pay monthly model. It is more profitable to get everyone to pay a (many) fee(s) per month to use their computer. It really is a corporations dream.
    • by TWX ( 665546 )

      When computers were obsolete the minute you bought it, that was not bad for the people who sold them. Now that computers are "good enough" for half a decade or more, the industry seems to be in much more trouble.

      In the nineties comptuers were, "good enough," too, even though marketing didn't want to say that, or could be made good-enough through well planned simple upgrades. I had a 350MHz machine (Pentium III? can't remember for certian) that kept up with my friends' machines with GHz processors because I had a 1.5GB RAM while most of them were in the 128MB-256MB range, and I had a really nice video card, for the time.

      As for cars, once electric cars have a range about the same as what a half a tank of gasolin

      • I'm calling BS on your computer. Very few computers back then would accept that much memory (pretty much would have to be a high end server board), and to actually put 1.5GB of ram in it would cost a fortune. And if you used Windows, it would have been wasted anyway because Windows back then really didn't know what to do with more than about 512MB.

        Also, "good enough" would be a bit different. In the late 90's, the WWW was all the rage, but it would be painfully slow on a computer from the early 90's. Ev

  • Fleet vehicle usage is almost always going to be higher than personally owned vehicle usage (regardless of whether the driver is a robot or a human) because in one case, the car is a return producing asset that makes no money when it's not working, and in the other case, it's more of a convenience item. That said, the taxi model works significantly better in cities (high population density) than it does in flyover country, so I fail to see how this is a "solution" to the "problem."

    • by b0bby ( 201198 )

      Yeah, but 80% of the US population lives in urban areas. The other 20% will just have to choose if they want a depreciating electric car or a (possibly less quickly depreciating) normal car.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Check the Census folks to see what they consider urban. 1500 people in a town is urban. 2500 if they have a residential institution like a nursing home or jail.

        I see this quite a bit. Urban is not what you think it is.

  • by harrkev ( 623093 ) <<kfmsd> <at> <harrelsonfamily.org>> on Thursday January 21, 2016 @01:53PM (#51344879) Homepage

    So, a taxi driver is supposed to drive around for about four or five hours, and then sit around for a few hours to recharge? Yeah, there goes his income. Or, we could have TWICE as many of them so that the driver can swap out cars after four hours. That is economical!

    • The subject is robotaxis. There are no drivers. The car can drive itself around for about four or five hours, then sit around all by itself for a few hours to recharge.

      Or, more likely, they would use superchargers to recharge in 30 minutes in the mid-afternoon lull, then recharge fully overnight to be ready for the next morning.

      Other options, like swappable batteries or electric cables strung over the streets to power the motors, seem less likely.

      • Or, more likely, they would use superchargers to recharge in 30 minutes in the mid-afternoon lull,

        By midafternoon lull, I assume you mean Peak Pricing?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hmm....if those are your only two options than sure...but first off it would not be hard to 'stagger fleet usage' so while a taxi company might need more vehicles it's entirely unlikely to be 'twice as many'...maybe 1/3rd more or thereabouts seems more reasonable...and how is this really any different than having a certain number of vehicles out of commission due to 'regular maintenance'.

      Furthermore the need to recharge the batteries is not based on 'time' but 'range'. So provided the taxi driver isn't driv

      • by Anonymous Coward

        In the major cities the taxi fleet design is controlled by local government the same way it dictates how city buses and trains work. It may not OWN them, but it gets to say "You can't operate in my city without obeying these rules" and so they have to. In London for example the Conditions of Fitness are obeyed by only two vehicles, the TX4 iteration of the classic "London taxi" design, and a larger Mercedes van-style taxi cab with rear-wheel counter-steer to let it approach the TX4's legendary tight turning

    • by meza ( 414214 )

      In Stockholm there are apparently at least two Taxis running Tesla already (http://teslaclubsweden.se/taxi-stockholms-tesla-model-s/, sorry in Swedish). According to the article they expect to save about 15kUSD just in fuel every year and possibly more from reduced service. [personally I feel more statistics is needed before we know if electric cars really are cheaper to service than ICE cars]. The car can go more on one charge than the average distance a Taxi travels during one day (50km for a car used by

      • by meza ( 414214 )

        oops, correction. The average distance traveled for a Taxi in Stockholm is 500 km (50 Swedish mile).

    • So, a taxi driver is supposed to drive around for about four or five hours, and then sit around for a few hours to recharge? Yeah, there goes his income. Or, we could have TWICE as many of them so that the driver can swap out cars after four hours. That is economical!

      Yes this would never work.

      Except in the Netherlands where the last Taxi I took was a Tesla. I actually asked the Taxi driver exactly this question and the answer was quite simple, he had to eat at some point so he did so at the supercharger which his various fares would take him close to many times during the day. He's never had range anxiety and when he picked me up he had over 400km range showing on his dash.

      We talked a bit longer and found out fleet based taxi services are even better suited to this. Sc

    • So, a taxi driver is supposed to drive around for about four or five hours, and then sit around for a few hours to recharge? Yeah, there goes his income. Or, we could have TWICE as many of them so that the driver can swap out cars after four hours. That is economical!

      Modular battery packs that could be swapped out in a charging garage?

  • Tesla, has the battery tech has improved has offered upgrades. If the cars are designed with modular electronic components there is no reason the computers, sensors, and batteries couldn't be kept current to extend the life of the vehicle and shore up the resale value.
  • If your electric robotaxi needs to charge while you're in it, do you get charged for the 9 hours your waiting? If it runs out of charge at your home, are you obligated to charge it? Do you get refunded for the cost of electricity if you do? I must have answers!!!
    • Why do you hate Mother Earth so much? Sure, you have to wait 9 hours to complete your ride, but in exchange you get a clean environment. Don't be so selfish!
    • 1. If it's that low on charge, it doesn't pick you up.
      2. Battery swap, takes ~90 seconds.
      3. You get another taxi
      4. Supercharger station for 'just long enough'
      etc...

    • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

      Another fully charged robotaxi meets you and you swap vehicles, with your fare carrying forward into the new vehicle.

  • the cars are likely to wear out before they become worthless from a resale perspective.

    Nope. They'll become worthless before they wear out.

    Who writes this drivel? His name is suspiciously like Bennet Haselton.

  • Demand is primarily need-driven, if you buy an electric car today because it works for your commute now it'll still work for people "like you" in five years. It's not like the car 5 years from now will drive the same commute significantly better or faster, maybe it can drive longer but that's for a different market. And the quasi-autonomous driving still requires an alert licensed driver in the seat 100% of the time, until that changes it's just bling. Oh and imagine the regulatory hurdles of getting a car

  • People buying Tesla don't give a damn about depreciation.
    People buying smaller electric cars (Nissan Leaf etc.) clearly don't care too much about value for money either.
    Electric cars (pure, not hybrid) could be a great solution for polluted city centres, but unless the Renault-touted replaceable battery pack concept takes off, (it has not so far), I don't see that a cab driver is going to tolerate cutting earnings in half every day while they wait for the car to charge...
    Finally, pure elec cars have much fe

    • People buying Tesla don't give a damn about depreciation.
      Of course they do. Plenty of car enthusiasts plan to only have their car for a few years before moving on to the latest and greatest.

      People buying smaller electric cars (Nissan Leaf etc.) clearly don't care too much about value for money either.
      Of course they do, unless they lease (very common with small electric cars).

      I don't see that a cab driver is going to tolerate cutting earnings in half every day while they wait for the car to charge...
      This ar

    • I don't see that a cab driver is going to tolerate cutting earnings in half every day while they wait for the car to charge...

      I'd see a taxi company in larger locations such as NYC being large enough to invest in their OWN battery swap stations. For example, if Musk ever targets the taxi industry, it could be that the driver picks up a car with a fully charged battery, stops at a recharge station for lunch, then drops the car off where the battery is swapped before it's issued to the next driver. Tesla already has a fully developed swap station available.

  • by Robo Goofers ( 4293461 ) on Thursday January 21, 2016 @02:40PM (#51345275)
    I read the headline and got scared.
  • Video cameras, computers, batteries, radars, etc. Interesting stuff for thieves.

    Ok, robotaxis would either be driving to the next customer or safe at base.
    But would anyone buy/lease a personal autonomous car and leave it parked in the street ?

    • You mean video cameras that can send a live feed to the police it calls when it detects that something hooky is going on? The battery that requires a life and at least a serious cart to move?

      Current cars are just as interesting to thieves for their parts, if not more.

  • 1) That computer upgrades are always 'necessary'. Most computer upgrades are caused by new TYPES of programs, not upgrades of existing ones. That is, we update our computer to handle video, etc. Old Word processing programs from the 70's still work fine on old 70 computers. But you can't live stream to them.

    2) That most robotic cars will not be thrown away every 2 years. Many well off people buy a new car every 2 years. At least in the beginning, that's where the market will be. As time goes on (4

  • I've seen reference to this before, that the used market for the Leaf is a buyer's market, because they depreciate much faster than their gasoline-powered brethren; at least that's one way to look at it. I guess the tech-advancement from year-to-year at least partly explains the high depreciation -- but for someone that may be in the market (in the next few years) for a used Leaf, it looks like a boon for me, at least if the current trend holds. As a second car that gets used for a 15 mile (third shift, i

    • I think it's a pretty decent deal, honestly. There are a few factors making the Nissan Leaf a good deal. Doug Demuro had a nice post on Jalopnik [jalopnik.com] outlining some of the reasons why they've become so cheap. Admittedly, he exaggerates for humor in his articles, but it's pretty on-the-nose. The man used to manage a Porsche dealership, so he does understand the automotive market reasonably well.
  • Do they fight the Robotallies?

  • It's all still conjecture. It seems as though there's a new article every day trying to find additional reasons to stay hyped about self-driving automobiles. Self-driving autos will come, eventually, but we all need to accept that, when they do come, it's not going to happen en masse. And the critical mass for autonomous cars is still a decade out. At least.

    No one's willing to fully insure a purely automated vehicle and remove any humans onboard of all liability yet. There are still massive legal restric
  • Not to worry, the electronic components in any device always fail before the mechanical devices, so the electronics will fail and the car will be bricked long before the vehicle is fully depreciated.
  • Here's one of 75 electric taxis that operated in London in the late 1800s. They're worth considerably more now than when they were first sold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] ...and, electric taxis? Modern and innovative? Seriously?

    • by dave420 ( 699308 )

      Comparing those taxis to modern electric vehicles is ridiculous. Yes, they both are "electric", have wheels, and carry people for money, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends. Your feigned indignation is very transparent.

      • Comparing those taxis to modern electric vehicles is ridiculous. Yes, they both are "electric", have wheels, and carry people for money, but that's pretty much where the similarity ends. Your feigned indignation is very transparent.

        Your lack of sense of irony and humour is also very transparent.

        Also, until recently, the UK had fleets of milk-floats; almost silent electric vehicles that delivered milk to everyone's doorstep every morning; and how long have we had electric trains and trams?

        Antique taxis aside, the point is, electric vehicles are nothing new. We're just being sold the idea that they're something modern and innovative by Tesla, Google, Nissan, et al.

  • Give them to IBM Sales Reps that way you cut out the only section of their working life where they are required to think. Also the car will be thrashed in six months (As long as the autonomous car can emulate a sales rep's driving technique)

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