Claim: Autonomous EVs will Help Solve the Climate Crisis

Taiwan Tesla Accident
Taiwan Tesla Accident – the “Autonomous EV” in this case is believed to have confused the white surface of an overturned truck with the sky, and failed to take evasive action. Source Liberty Times

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Relinquishing private automobile ownership, and hoping the previous occupant of your autonomous electric vehicle taxi didn’t have lice.

Hitting the Books: How autonomous EVs could help solve climate change

Andrew Tarantola·Senior Editor
Sun, 29 November 2020, 2:30 am AEST

Climate change is far and away the greatest threat of the modern human era — a crisis that will only get worse the longer we dither — with American car culture as a major contributor to the nation’s greenhouse emissions. But carbon-neutralizing energy and solutions are already on the horizon and, in some more developed countries like Sweden, are already being deployed. In his latest book, Our Livable World, science and technology analyst Marc Shaus, takes readers on a fascinating tour of the emerging tools — from “smart highways” to jet fuel made from trash — that will not only help curb climate change but perhaps even usher in a new, more sustainable, livable world.

Depending on where you live, going electric may still be perceived as elitist or unnecessary. But neither of these stigmas can survive much longer. The more states roll out pro-EV regulations, build the necessary charging infrastructure, and offer incentives for buyers, the more these vehicles become a near-term solution for our transport problems. Many countries and individual regions have EV charging stations along major highways already or have those projects in development. Some of these charging stations even have the promise of being renewably powered. If publicly funded, they could also be free to use. Multiple larger global companies have likewise installed free EV charging stations in their parking lots for employees to use. Or, of course, to lure potential customers to parking lots with the promise of free electrons.

The promise of wireless charging tech for electric vehicles is not simply to save homeowners the hardship of plugging in their car at night—the real promise is encouraging public transit operators to transition with increasing ease. Taxi companies may scale up EV fleet ownership if they know that charging pad locations throughout cities will help them avoid re-routing back to the company HQ for power. Any city’s fleet vehicles could also employ this technology. Think, too, of stopping zones by hospitals, schools, and anywhere else people routinely idle. Analyses from experts see the global wireless EV charging market increasing from the $21.8 million it was in 2017 to about $1.4 billion by the year 2025.

You have likely heard about driverless cars, but for most auto market analysts, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will eventually dominate the market. In assessing expert analysis, Project Drawdown estimates that AVs will likely capture a market share of approximately 75 percent of cars on the road by the year 2040.

AVs can contribute to decarbonizing our transport sectors in a number of ways. For example, increased data coupled with connected vehicle systems can cut down on collisions, gridlock conditions, and potentially even the number of drivers on the road (more on that soon). Reducing collisions and idling cars can have direct implications for the footprint of remedying either.

Two cars exchanging the same data points in real time will essentially be able to “see around corners” with the situational awareness of where other cars on the road are. Hence, aside from reducing the number of drivers operating cars under the influence or falling asleep at the wheel, AV applications offer more safety through interconnectivity. We’ll also see gridlock improvement when AVs become connected to a larger, smarter set of citywide driving data for route optimization.

For these reasons, some industry commentators see the possibility of future AV ride-sharing services actually reducing the number of people who even purchase a car. After all, it may one day be cheaper to simply call an AEV from a shuttle service, which may have a fleet in motion at any moment; purchase a ride somewhere for smaller amounts of money than fuel, insurance, and possible monthly car payments; and then send the AV on its way. AVs equipped with charging commands could know in advance whether a pre-set passenger destination will deplete its energy reserves and signal operators that a trip back to a charging station may be necessary first.

Read more: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/hitting-the-books-our-livable-world-marc-schaus-diversion-books-163013416.html

In my opinion, what is missing from this vision is a little engineering reality.

AI is nowhere near ready for controlling autonomous vehicles. As an expert software developer I’ve created useful commercial AI systems, some of them from scratch. I disagree with people who say AI is a myth, the systems are genuinely intelligent. But their intelligence is insect level intelligence.

Why don’t I trust insect level intelligence in charge of my vehicle? Because we all know what happens to insects when they encounter a situation beyond their ability to comprehend – they splat against the windscreen. Or in the case of AI insect autonomous vehicles they splat into obstacles, as occurred in Taiwan in May this year.

As for those contact less charger points, where will operators get the energy to power those charging points? Renewable systems which cannot reliably replace fossil fuel are in no position to provide additional energy for charging EVs. Add to that substantial transmission losses from wireless charging, and the situation becomes utterly absurd. Anyone who has used a wireless mobile charger knows how close the mobile has to be to the charger to receive energy. Even when the device is touching the charger there are substantial losses.

This apparent confusion between fantasy and reality is not unusual in renewable energy circles. Anyone who can do the math can calculate that renewable energy is not ready to power the modern world, and may never be ready. Yet billions of dollars are being wasted every year on the baseless green fantasy that if you spend enough cash on something which doesn’t make sense it will all work out.

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Flight Level
November 29, 2020 10:17 pm

Those who talk & wet-dream of full authority auto-pilots have never used a real one. That’s how intellectually delinquent startups and other prime-tech skim the uninformed pubic opinion to make a living.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Flight Level
November 30, 2020 12:56 am

“Flight Level November 29, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Those who talk & wet-dream of full authority auto-pilots have never used a real one.”

Correct me if wrong however, IIRC, 1965 saw the first real demonstration of “autopilot” in aircraft at London Heathrow.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 30, 2020 4:31 am

Tell me how an AI can make decisions like the guy who landed the airliner in the Hudson after engine failure? What would the AI have done?

What has Tesla built into the autopilot to handle an explosive decompression of a front tire? If you’ve never had a true blowout on a front tire then thank your lucky stars. Can the Tesla autopilot even aim the vehicle toward the shoulder or, god forbid, a ditch in order to avoid hitting others? Can it warn the occupants to brace or duck if a wild turkey or deer is headed for a potential windshield impact?

I can see an AI assist (e.g. lane warnings, waking up a sleepy driver, etc) being very valuable. But an autonomous driver? AI hasn’t progressed nearly that far yet.

Flight Level
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 30, 2020 5:47 am

Someone please hold my beer as I stand to applaud Mr. Tim Gorman !

Right… Try calling “Go-Around !” in a skidding Tesla.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Flight Level
November 30, 2020 6:10 am

“Try calling “Go-Around !”

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Neo
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 30, 2020 5:55 am

I had a friend hit an deer on the Garden State Parkway. The deer flew up in the air and landed on the front window with the deer crashing into the front passenger seat (fortunately, the deer did not kick the driver). He then proceeded to an exit ramp and stopped. A ticket taker came over from the booth and told him … “Sir .. you can’t keep the deer”

Not sure what part of this Tesla can help with.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 30, 2020 9:12 am

“Can the Tesla autopilot even aim the vehicle toward the shoulder or, god Elon forbid, a ditch in order to avoid hitting others?”

Fixed it!

Charles Higley
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 30, 2020 11:00 am

No mention of the fact that there would be a central authority that would have full control over the system and could easily prioritize traffic to their needs. They could shut down all vehicles and only let police cars move. They could target anyone they did not like or approve of. It’s just too prone to human machinations.

I was on I-95 heading up to Maine years ago win a minivan at 70 mph in the middle lane. A car changed lanes in front of me and there was a large mattress in the middle lane, where I was. No time to change lanes, so I slewed the van to the left just before the mattress, then hard to the right, and straightened out, basically schussing around the mattress. My family was panicked but we were perfectly okay. What would AI have done?

MonnaM
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 30, 2020 4:26 pm

I have a 2017 Nissan Murano with adaptive cruise control that I can set to maintain a specific distance between me and the car in front of me. It has cameras in the front, back and on both side mirrors and a radar unit in the front. It has proximity detectors for all sides of the vehicle. This is my fourth winter driving it.

Canadian roads in the winter are frequently wet, slushy, covered in snow, or icy. The lines between lanes are frequently obscured by packed snow, and by the end of the winter the paint may not even be there anymore. Gravel is used liberally on the roads, and vehicles are usually dirty in the winter because
a) it’s too cold to wash them OR
b) it’s warm enough to wash them, but that means that the roads are wet and there is constant spray.

Before I start driving, I usually walk around my vehicle and wipe dirt off all the cameras, because the cameras are basically useless (everything is cloudy) until they are wiped. I also sometimes (but not always) wipe the radar unit located in the front of the vehicle.
The cruise control works for a while when you are driving down the highway, but eventually the radar unit gets too dirty, and the cruise control turns itself off. It won’t turn on again until I get out and clean the radar unit.

Now, having said all that – I can’t see how an autonomous vehicle would be able to cope with all these issues in the winter.

TonyG
Reply to  MonnaM
November 30, 2020 5:03 pm

I can’t see how an autonomous vehicle would be able to cope with all these issues in the winter.

Obviously, they just have to program it to do all that. Simple.
(/s – needed? probably)

Flight Level
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 30, 2020 5:40 am

Caravelle and Trident have been on it since about then. If we exclude the Russians who reportedly had CAT III autoland equivalents way before.

However I consider the L1011 as the genuine milestone of the trade.

However on rush hours, landing at Stuttgart even in bad weather is a piece of cake compared to driving to there.

Simply because aviation, often misquoted by Tesla lunatics, is
performed by highly trained operators in a regulated procedural environment with very few potentially stochastic variables when compared to land traffic.

Jan W
Reply to  Flight Level
November 30, 2020 10:24 am

The autopilots – more correctly ‘flight management computers’ also despite the complexity of some of their processing, avoid a lot of programming effort, because if anything goes out of bounds they will drop out and hand the bag of bolts to the flight crew to sort out. This means that a LOT of ‘otherwise case’s do not have to be programmed, tested and certified.
A learning AI system cannot (yet) learn analogues of what it is shown. So if it has only ever seen left hand circuits to land it will not invent a right hand circuit they have not been learned. This means that handling of non-nominal events can be difficult to train as there are so many potential non-nominal events.
The same applies for AI in cars. Occasionally, events will happen that are outside the capability of the AI to deal with and it cannot invent a suitable way out in the way that a human driver may make value judgments. Worse still as with the white truck, the AI may not even alert to something ‘not quite right’ and the driver will be in an inattentive monitoring state and not notice until recovery is impossible.

MarkG
Reply to  Jan W
November 30, 2020 11:01 am

The other big difference is that when something bad happens to the autopilot in the air, the pilot typically has minutes to fix it. If something bad happens on the road that the autopilot can’t handle, the driver typically has seconds to fix it, if that.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Flight Level
November 30, 2020 6:23 pm

Flying and land travel have very mixed problems.

If you are travelling on land, and you get a system failure then you can simply stop where you are (within reason) and get out.

Flying and suffer a system failure and you are still required to land… or… crash.

Hence the maintenance requirements for land and air are very different.

On the other hand once you get into the air things are a lot simpler in that the air is relatively empty, there is a lot of it and, weather not-with-standing, it is pretty constant. Want to get somewhere? Then fly though that large relatively open piece of air until you arrive.

On land you are in a relatively densely packed environment, filled with multiple variables and other traffic. If you want to get somewhere then is there a road going where you want? If not and assuming you are offroad, then how do you process the difference between long grass safe and long grass over water logged ground that is going to bog you to the axles? And that your current safe path will not lead you to an uncrossable ditch your scanners only detected at 20m and wasn’t marked on your maps? As anyone who plays a lot of computer games the AI path finding in many cases can be very… ‘creative’.

I have seen presentations for automatous aircraft that can select and land on a runway automatically. They are programmed to scan for the piano keys and other key indicators that ‘prove’ the area actually is a runway and how to scan for objects/other aircraft. Quite clever really.

I have also seen automatous land vehicle presentations where training the AI to ‘follow me’ is considered a realistic demonstration of practical tech.

Yes, early days, but frankly I am surprised AI is allowed to drive cars on public roads.

MarkW
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 30, 2020 12:08 pm

1965 airline auto pilots were little more than the ability to fly a straight line while maintaining altitude.

Luther Bl't
Reply to  MarkW
November 30, 2020 12:43 pm

You are mistaken. The Heathrow system in 1965 was used for the final approach and touchdown. It was never general public knowledge then. (The authorities thought the public would be so terrified they would avoid air travel). It appears it is not general public knowledge now.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Luther Bl't
November 30, 2020 2:17 pm

“Luther Bl’t November 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm”

That’s my very vague recollection too. Thank you Luther.

MarkW
Reply to  Luther Bl't
November 30, 2020 4:08 pm

When I worked for Rockwell/Collins around 2010, we were still trying to get an approach and landing system certified.
The problem was detecting height from ground. Following the guidance system only got you down to about 100 feet, the rest had to be done by on board systems.

MarkW
Reply to  Luther Bl't
November 30, 2020 4:12 pm

Could you point me to some data on this system. Circa 1965 would have meant that the onboard computers would have been at best discrete transistor computer systems. Most modern watches could process more data than those systems could have.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Luther Bl't
November 30, 2020 5:03 pm

It’s a Wikipedia link but…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland

John Endicott
Reply to  Luther Bl't
December 2, 2020 7:30 am

And as that Wiki link clearly indicates, they’re only useful in “limited, strictly regulated conditions, which is a far cry from the nearly unlimited, mostly unregulated conditions that can be found on the open roads that autonomous automobiles will be expected to travel.

Quote from your wiki link:
This imposes a requirement for the ground-based, guidance element to conform to specific standards, as well as the airborne elements. Thus, while an aircraft may be equipped with an autoland system, it will be totally unusable without the appropriate ground environment

Try using that “Autoland” feature on any airfield that doesn’t have the appropriate ground environment, see how that works out for you. Now imaging your car doing the same knowing that just about everywhere you want your car to go is a place without the appropriate ground environment.

Streetcred
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 30, 2020 5:50 pm

I’ve turned all of these “aides” off in my car. They are damned dangerous in every day driving. Lane control has almost caused me a rear end collision as it pulled me back into the lane I was leaving as I accelerated to pass the car in front. Ditto going around a corner, the lane control pulled me across into the adjacent lane. What about those sensors that automatically apply the breaks to the car because it thinks that I’m going to hit the side walls of my narrow driveway … and as for those stupid things that turn the engine off when stopping at the lights or a stop street.

Joel O'Bryan
November 29, 2020 10:23 pm

Automous EVs “solving anything” is so full of hidden assumptions that it will fail on contact with reality.

This is just like Elon Musk’s claim of using EV trucks to replace the diesel powered 18 wheelers we now have as a viable path to replacing diesel powered fleet of millions of large trucks.
It will face the market test of the real world, where patently false (usually hidden in the analyses) assumptions are laid bare as they always are, and then the whole thing fails in spectacular fashion. The best we can hope for is it is private investment money that gets lost in the certain collapse and not the taxpayers’ money.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 29, 2020 11:21 pm

I’ve seen a Tesla Service Truck in our neighborhood a few times in the last year. First question, given that there are only a few Tesla’s in the neighborhood, why so many service calls. Second question – the service vehicle is a Ford Transit – did Tesla convert it to an EV, or did they realize that that wasn’t an effective thing to do? Maybe Elon is talking out of both sides of his mouth?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 29, 2020 11:48 pm

“Retired_Engineer_Jim November 29, 2020 at 11:21 pm

Maybe Elon is talking out of both sides of his mouth?”

No, he is talking out of both sphincters, the upper and lower one.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 29, 2020 11:55 pm

Tesla owners I think must have a good tow service/AAA recovery on a speed dial button for their cell phone. They need it.
A growth industry will certainly be starting/owning/investing in a recovery service for big EV trucks if they ever hit the interstates in number.

DonM
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 30, 2020 9:15 am

I didn’t know anything about the Toyota Tundras so I stopped in Bend at the Toyota dealership (for a driving break as much as much as anything else. Found out they only make they only make 1/2 ton trucks ….

But says the sales guy, they are fantastic, strong trucks, and very good in all the snow we get here.

I ask him, “why does this lot, and the one down the road have a plow on the front of a Ford to keep the lots cleared … why not a Toyota?”

Didn’t get an answer.

taz1999
Reply to  DonM
November 30, 2020 12:15 pm

+ many

Eventually a significant number of EV’s are going to meet winter and find unacceptable consequences; Exacerbated by an increasingly unstable power grid.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
December 1, 2020 8:20 am

Didn’t Tesla come in last in the JD Power Initial Quality survey this year?

Ross
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 30, 2020 4:26 am

My concern is that we dip our toe in heavily subsidized waters to “jump start” the technology, and then drown in reality downstream. Not a market solution at all.

c1ue
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
December 1, 2020 3:46 pm

Actually, I think the primary problem is going to be economics, or lack thereof.
The additional gear needed by AI in order to even have a chance for an autonomous vehicle is $100K or more: 2 or more visions systems (lidar, radar, ultrasound, vision etc), large compute and storage and some form of wireless comms.
We already know from ride-share that such a business model cannot deliver much more than 2 rides per hour at peak times – meaning 100 typical commuters would still require at least 50 vehicles.
Since these commuters are presently using 1 vehicle each – the autonomous vehicle cannot cost more than double that of a regular car or else it just doesn’t make economic sense.
The average vehicle price sold in 2019 was $37,185 – the extra autonomous vehicle cost makes the self-driving car at least 4 times more expensive than an owned vehicle.
In reality, the cost ratio is likely even lower than twice the price – because there’s still maintenance, cleaning, parking, etc – which is free when vehicle owners do it (or ride share “contractors”) but costs money when the cars are being offered as a service.

Hans Erren
November 29, 2020 10:25 pm

“If publicly funded, they could also be free to use.”

Free fuel? Nope, governments need tax.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Hans Erren
November 29, 2020 10:52 pm

Free stuff for everyone turns a middle class paradise into a socialist nightmare of misery for all.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
― Margaret Thatcher

John F Hultquist
Reply to  Hans Erren
November 29, 2020 11:00 pm

Free, more or less, to the few that use them.
Everyone else pays.
Great Idea.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  John F Hultquist
November 30, 2020 4:06 am

Oh, even they pay- just instead of getting a bill they pay higher taxes

MarkW
Reply to  Joe Wagner
November 30, 2020 12:17 pm

Socialists have been convinced that everything they want can be had, just by increasing taxes on rich people.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
December 2, 2020 7:42 am

Which would be true if only the total of everything they wanted didn’t exceed (by many orders of magnitude) the amount of money all the rich people in the world have.

observa
Reply to  Hans Erren
November 29, 2020 11:12 pm

State Gummints in Oz are already recognizing they’ll need to replace fuel excise and the GST on it-
https://thedriven.io/2020/11/21/shameful-victoria-follows-south-australia-and-imposes-electric-car-road-tax/
Get in early with a Tesla owner tax before the proles have to switch to EVs and scream.

fred250
Reply to  observa
November 30, 2020 12:56 am

If they don’t want to use the roads, that’s ok by me.

But if they do want to use them, they should pay their fair share, like all other on-road vehicles have to.

The amount is actually a small fraction of what it should be.

Maybe they should drop the road tax portion of petrol and make everyone pay the same way, by distance…

That would be fair, wouldn’t it 😉

Tom in Florida
Reply to  fred250
November 30, 2020 4:45 am

The government will have to black box every vehicle. That way they can also limit the top speed, limit the miles driven per month plus know where and when you went somewhere. The the government will take over all electric producing operations in order ensure fairness and equality of access. It gets better everyday doesn’t it?

DonM
Reply to  fred250
November 30, 2020 9:33 am

It wouldn’t really be a fair way.

Heavy vehicles do the damage. Studded tires do the damage. Highways are designed (structurally) for the trucks. Extra lanes are for congestion & for the passenger cares.

The roads need to be there regardless of how many miles Bob drives in a given year.

Fair is a combination of both access (registration costs) & use (miles driven or weight-miles driven where weight is a factor) & other regional variables.

But fair doesn’t really matter. Perceived net (govt) revenue & perceived political power & other crap is what matters most.

LdB
Reply to  observa
November 30, 2020 5:27 am

Yes the tax is there for everyone who uses the road to pay for there upkeep why should EV’s get to not pay for the upkeep.

Laertes
November 29, 2020 11:03 pm

“AVs will likely capture a market share of approximately 75 percent of cars on the road by the year 2040” especially with measures in place forbidding the sale of diesel cars in many countries by 2030-2035.

Only by direct government intervention and prohibition will they be made viable.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 30, 2020 4:35 am

“Easy just do what Singapore did – huge taxes on private vehicle ownership and operation.”

Ahh! An urban solution for everyone! How’s a farmer supposed to get his harvest to the market?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 30, 2020 8:26 am

What’s a “farmer”?

Food comes from the supermarket, silly!

MarkW
Reply to  Rich Davis
November 30, 2020 4:14 pm

BLM and other progressives are pushing Biden to remake the Dept of Agriculture and have it focus on feeding people in poverty and stop wasting so much time supporting farmers.

TonyG
Reply to  MarkW
November 30, 2020 4:56 pm

Why now? We don’t need farmers when we have grocery stores, right? Just open more stores. Much better for the environment than those dirty farmers.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 30, 2020 6:07 pm

Singapore also has the advantage of being only slightly bigger than the average Hollywood mansion.

Unless you are planning to leave the country there isn’t really that many places to drive to.

If I could walk or train everywhere (and I am talking literally in this example) 364 days a year I probably wouldn’t own a car just for that one day a year I want to go road tripping.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Laertes
November 30, 2020 8:19 am

It is predictably common for people to make statements like this without doing even a rudimentary sanity check.

In assessing expert analysis, Project Drawdown estimates that AVs will likely capture a market share of approximately 75 percent of cars on the road by the year 2040.

The average age of US passenger vehicles on the road in 2019 is 11.8 years according to this source. And it’s been rising steadily; up from 10.3 years in 2009. In other words, the average age on the road has risen by 1.5 years over the last 10. This is in response to the increasing cost of new vehicles, partly as a result of all the new mandatory equipment, plus the fact that vehicles are better made and have longer usable lifetimes. The result is it takes longer for any new change introduced to reach 50% penetration of vehicles on the road.

Assuming average age stays at 12 years going forward and that 100% of vehicles sold starting 2021 were autonomous, it would take until 2033 for even 50% of vehicles on the road to have this feature. To reach the 75% level would take another 5 years or so, and that’s only if we start immediately with 100% of new vehicle sales.

But if additional mandates significantly increase new vehicle costs, the inevitable result will be people will keep their old vehicles longer and further delay autonomous capabilities reaching 75% of active vehicles.

And there’s no way an autonomous driving feature will be mandated anytime soon. Take for example backup cameras, which are required on all new vehicles manufactured after May 1, 2018. The feature was part of legislation signed in 2008 which ordered the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a backup camera standard by 2011. It was stalled until lawsuits filed in 2014 prompted NHTSA to issue the standard. It took 10 years from legislation being signed mandating a new feature before the first new vehicles rolled off the assembly line with this new feature as standard equipment. Of course many new cars came equipped with backup cameras before the 2018 deadline, but it will probably still take until 2030 before 50% of all US vehicles have them.

All the technology for backup cameras was available in 2008; it was just a matter of cost. But as of today we don’t know how to make a reliable self-driving car, at any cost. So the claim that 75% of US vehicles on the road will be autonomous by 2040 is absurd.

Patrick MJD
November 29, 2020 11:43 pm

“Relinquishing private automobile ownership…”

Relinquishing is a voluntary action. What “climate activists” want is enforced cessation of private property rights, ANY private property, in the name of saving the planet.

mikee
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 30, 2020 12:41 am

Communists!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  mikee
November 30, 2020 12:57 am

That’s so much easier to say.

Vincent Causey
November 29, 2020 11:48 pm

The true goal of those pushing the EV agenda is not to “save the planet” but rather to deprive the poorer class from car ownership. First of all, an EV costs twice as much as an equivalent ICE vehicle. But most people can’t even afford to buy new ICE vehicles. In the UK, the average cost of an ICE car is about £15,000. The EV equivalent £30,000. As I say, the vast majority can’t afford even the £15,000 and must buy used cars. What is the average price paid for secondhand cars? Probably around £8,000, but that’s just a guess. The problem is, used EV’s won’t exist in anything like the numbers needed to satisfy the second hand market. Most people will wake up to that shock too late.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Vincent Causey
November 29, 2020 11:59 pm

The climate scam is first and foremost an assault by the Elites on the lower half of the prosperous middle class.

fred250
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 30, 2020 12:46 am

Which is really quite stupid, considering that is where most of the funds come from.

Trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.. Not a good idea.

But its the socialist/marxist way.

MarkG
Reply to  fred250
November 30, 2020 9:12 am

Haven’t you heard? In the brave new Great Reset world, income no longer matters, governments can just print as much money as they want.

Walt D.
Reply to  fred250
December 2, 2020 8:18 am

But its the socialist/marxist way.
Ah, but this time it is going to be different.
Try again,
Fail.
Repeat.

Klem
Reply to  Vincent Causey
November 30, 2020 12:11 am

Welcome to 2030, I own nothing, I have no privacy and life has never been better.

John Endicott
Reply to  Klem
December 3, 2020 8:04 am

Life unwinds like a cheap sweater
but since I gave up hope I feel a lot better
and the truth gets blurred like a wet letter
but since I gave up hope I feel a lot better

While the world winds down to a final prayer
nothing soothes quicker than complete despair
I predict by dinner I won’t even care
since I gave up hope I feel a lot better”

— Steve Taylor

StephenP
Reply to  Vincent Causey
November 30, 2020 1:40 am

The cost of second hand cars near us can vary from £600 to £15000, depending on the age, model and size of car.
Very often the smaller cheaper cars are a young driver’s first car and the more expensive ones for more affluent drivers who are still loathe to suffer the initial depreciation on a new car. The total depreciation on an £8,000 car over 120,000 miles runs out at about £0.07 per mile.
A new EV would work out at more like £0.35.
A ICE car with 40,000 to 80,000 miles on the clock can be run up to 200,000 miles with sensible servicing before replacing it with another of a similar initial initial mileage.
A big problem as I see it with EVs is that in spite of the electricity being cheaper the batteries will need replacing at some vast cost just at the point where some less well off person would wish to buy it.
Also if the change-over to EVs is as great as forecast, then I can’t see the government not putting a tax on their use.

MarkG
Reply to  StephenP
November 30, 2020 9:15 am

The main selling point from EV owners I’ve met online is that they bought their EV for practically nothing because the depreciation was so enormous over the few years that the original owner had it that they were practically giving it away. So they get a cheap car until the battery breaks because no-one wants to pay much for them used due to the fact that they’ll have to throw it away if the battery does break.

griff
November 30, 2020 12:20 am

autonomous EVs give you cooties?

A new low in anti EV rhetoric here…

fred250
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 12:47 am

but they are the only friends you have, griff. !

Laertes
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 12:54 am

Griff, it’s almost 3 p.m. Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead), turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you’re not using.

We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part and stop posting.

StephenP
Reply to  Laertes
November 30, 2020 1:55 am

The local fire departments over here advise against running appliances at night because of the risk of causing a fire.
The Grenfell Tower fire was initially caused by a malfunction in a fridge-freezer.

http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/safety/the-home/bedtime-checks/

MarkW
Reply to  StephenP
November 30, 2020 12:35 pm

Turn off the fridge overnight?

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
November 30, 2020 12:58 pm

In the winter it might be doable. After all with electricity getting so expensive, the temperature inside the house won’t be much greater than what the fridge would have provided anyway.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MarkW
December 1, 2020 12:03 am

The fridge my family has in the 70’s was gas powered.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Laertes
November 30, 2020 1:55 am

I prefer griff to stop polluting ie breathing out…

Bryan A
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 30, 2020 6:12 am

Must have been the Dreaded Camel Mite

LdB
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 5:24 am

There would be a lot less anti EV rhetoric if dropkick politicians didn’t try to force them on us. If they were actually a better product people would buy the things but they aren’t hence you have to try to force the issue. At the end of the day I like many I simply vote to kick any idiot out who tries to use force for such things.

leowaj
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 8:38 am

So, griff, you demonstrate the superiority of pro-EV rhetoric by responding with a question and a cynical remark. This is like two drunk dudes fighting at a bar. Really, no one comes out on top.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
November 30, 2020 12:34 pm

As usual, griff can’t argue honestly, so he has to lie about what others are saying.

griff can’t handle it when his religious beliefs are criticized.

Peta of Newark
November 30, 2020 1:02 am

Quote:
” jet fuel made from trash — that will not only help curb climate change but perhaps even usher in a new, more sustainable, livable world.”

a) What is ‘livable’ If yo meant ‘liveable’, the only thing r*really* making it un-liveable presently is legions of zombified muppets such as yourself
b) There is no such thing as burnable trash

Quote:
“If publicly funded, they could also be free to use.”
Words fail

Quote:
“cars exchanging the same data points in real time will ”
Literally just now (actually 6\minutes and counting) , I have tried to exchange data with the company I buy my car insurance from. I ‘verified my phone number’ and their computer promised to send me an Activation Code to log me in and we could thus exchange data (My debit card details in fact)

Now = 8 minutes later and I’m still waiting the code# I was promised
Meanwhile the AV with 56 school children on board has just sliced its to off under a low bridge then fallen, in flames, down a steep hill and landed on 97 Gazillion Squiggawatt Lithium battery farm.

You’ll hear the bang shortly…..
All because it couldn’t see round the low bridge, just around corner, when the computer*perhaps* thought it could but was still waiting, just like me.

Switch the fooking thing OFF.

BTW: Is *this* true?
If you examine the actual deaths in the USA during 2020 as compared to previous years, you’ll notice something interesting.
In 2018, there were 2,839,000 deaths.
In 2019, there were 2,855,000 deaths.
And through November 22, 2020 there were 2,533,214 deaths.
If we extrapolate the deaths at year’s end, we get 2,818,000 deaths in the USA, which is 37K fewer deaths than last year

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 30, 2020 2:26 am

You are not supposed to see such data, it is counter to the Covid scare and could delay the transition to the new normal.

My logic explanation is that during the restrictions in 2020 activities on the roads and on the workplace have been less than normal and therefore caused less mortality on the roads.

icisil
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2020 5:35 am

But more suicides, and more domestic violence and drug overdose deaths.

Petit_Barde
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 30, 2020 5:14 am

Actual data from the CDC :

Season Deaths
2013-2014 2580853
2014-2015 2750884
2015-2016 2697072
2016-2017 2790291
2017-2018 2835736
2018-2019 2831233
2019-2020 3132209

There is an increasing death trend (you can compute the trend without 2019-2020), and 2019-2020, is in line with this trend even with positive excess mortality.

In many countries, a positive excess 2019-2020 mortality is related to former negatives excess mortality (Sweden is a good example).

Other question : how many deaths caused by lockdown ?

Data source :
https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/mortality.html

(click on the download button, you will get pneumonia, influenza deaths but also all causes deaths).

Hope this help.

Scissor
Reply to  Petit_Barde
November 30, 2020 6:15 am

There are financial incentives to allocate deaths to CV19, so they are exaggerated to some extent.

MarkG
Reply to  Scissor
November 30, 2020 11:09 am

Last week an article was published on the Johns Hopkins website which claimed that the people supposedly dying from CCP-19 were just people who would have died of some other disease in other years. The number of people allegedly dying from CCP-19 was basically the same as the number of people allegedly not dying of heart attacks, pneumonia, etc.

Needless to say, it was quickly memory-holed.

Yirgach
Reply to  MarkG
December 1, 2020 12:32 pm
David A
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 1, 2020 3:33 am

According to other statistics we have many excess deaths? So looking for real all cause mortality numbers????

November 30, 2020 1:28 am

Climate change is definitely real. I did my whole senior project for my bachelors on how just the warming of the ocean would destroy the currents that facilitate Europe’s current weather system. Which would in turn plunge Europe into it’s own private ice age.

We need to work on something that filters the crap we pump out into the air like a giant air purifier to replace the millions of trees that did that before we cut them all down for the sake of progress.

Changing what we drive isn’t the answer. Articles bringing that fact to light is a great way to shine the light on how we are focusing on the wrong way to solve this problem. Thank you for sharing.

Kevin A
Reply to  Elle
November 30, 2020 6:56 am

And you were awarded a degree? You must have used data from the models since observed data says the ocean is not warming. Check out Ocean Temperature Update by Andy May, very informative

Rich Davis
Reply to  Kevin A
November 30, 2020 8:51 am

Although plunging Europe into an ice age may be one way the UK makes a clean break from the EUssr, so well worth considering. The Frost Fairs were fun I hear.

Thanks indeed for sharing!

Robert Austin
Reply to  Elle
November 30, 2020 9:05 am

Elle,
So apparently you got your bachelor of wokeness as opposed to a bachelor of science. Then you proceed to cry about tree decimation by evil humans without the mention of the greening of earth by global man-made increased plant nourishment. No mention of the stunning global increase in health and longevity as a result of human progress. Or that wealth creation and the free market has proven to be the best road to addressing man-made environmental degradation.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Elle
November 30, 2020 10:56 am

“Climate change is definitely real. I did my whole senior project for my bachelors on how just the warming of the ocean would destroy the currents that facilitate Europe’s current weather system. Which would in turn plunge Europe into it’s own private ice age.”

Elle, you are working on the assumption that the temperature of the atmosphere will continue to increase as long as CO2 in the atmosphere increases. There is no evidence that this will be the case. You are assuming too much. Don’t feel alone, there are a lot of people who assume too much about what is happening with the Earth’s climate.

That’s the main problem with current alarmist climate science: It’s founded on assumptions, not facts. Any speculation done using the basic assumptions are assumptions themselves.

You said above “the warming of the ocean would”. Well, what if the warming does not materialize? The oceans do cool you know.

The assumption that warming will continue as long as CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere increase, is not established, it’s just an assumption that is almost certainly wrong. The planet is cooling now (0.3C since 2016), yet CO2 concentrations are increasing.

This is constructive criticism, as far as I’m concerned, not a knock on you. You sound sincere. 🙂

MarkW
Reply to  Elle
November 30, 2020 12:38 pm

Did you actually check the assumptions that you were told to work with, or are you just another obedient drone that believes whatever you are told to believe?

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
November 30, 2020 4:15 pm

A better question would be: Will elle ever return to read the responses to her comment?

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2020 8:07 am

Magic-8-ball says “Don’t count on it”

John Endicott
Reply to  Elle
December 2, 2020 7:52 am

We need to work on something that filters the crap we pump out into the air into impressionable young minds in the schools at all levels

fixed that for you. Pity that such a filter wasn’t in place when you were going for your bachelors, you clearly would have benefited from such a filter.

November 30, 2020 1:52 am

How is being driven into the side of a truck by an autonomous insect brained EV vehicle going to help give us nicer weather?

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
November 30, 2020 2:30 am

Only Green-horns are capable of understand that.

Paul C
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
November 30, 2020 7:50 am

Population reduction?
Probably need autonomus buses to make a real impact!
I wish those with a population reduction agenda would take personal responsibility, and lead by example.

Chaswarnertoo
November 30, 2020 1:57 am

What climate crisis? Any evidence? Tumbleweed…

PaulH
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
November 30, 2020 6:11 am

The climate crisis is why we need self-driving coffins, err…, self-driving cars.

MarkG
Reply to  PaulH
November 30, 2020 9:19 am

Given the way they like to catch fire when they crash (or sometimes even while driving), it’s less a coffin than a crematorium.

Phil
November 30, 2020 1:59 am

The main issue I have with autonomous vehicles is that the designers are relying on the vehicles to do all the computations based on what their sensors pick up and the occasional “chat” with other vehicles.
On its own, this is an incomplete picture of the local topology, to greatly enhance the safety & reliability of such systems, there must be telemetry build into the road infrastructure that provides accurate mapping for the vehicle to negotiate lanes correctly at complex junctions and more importantly, be informed of roadworks and potential hazards that the road monitoring systems have detected.
Like most other forms of transportation ( train drivers rely on signalling, planes rely on ATC, etc) the vehicles need to rely on external controls as well as their AI

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Phil
November 30, 2020 2:49 am

Your are correct and add to that:

Elks, sheep, wild pigs, flooded read segment, fallen trees, etc. are obstacles that are not easy to detect, in particular in bad weather.

Even train drivers have an obligation to constantly keep an eye on the tracks, in order to react on any obstacles that may cause harm to the train or to third party.
This is despite the relative safe and controlled environment of the rail tracks.

Climate believer
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 30, 2020 6:47 am

Not so convinced of that. Reaction times can be incredibly long, and wrong, and that’s if you react at all, age is a major factor, but so is your general state; health, fatigue, stress, etc.

As an ex volunteer fireman in France I’ve seen my share of bad human computations.

Phil
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2020 3:55 am

There are some driverless rail systems in operation around the world, for example the London Docklands light rail. But the main factor is that a railway is a very controlled environment.
Urban roads are anything but, I would not feel comfortable being in an autonomous vehicle which is negotiating a busy street with pedestrians, cyclists other motorists etc,
I would not have any issued on an open motorway with full external telemetry systems working in conjunction with the vehicle AI (such a system would have prevented the type of crash seen in the headline of this story by informing all vehicles that the lane was blocked)

MarkG
Reply to  Phil
November 30, 2020 9:09 am

Relying on external telemetry for safety just means that when those systems fail or get hacked, all the autonomous cars crash.

Even relying on them for convenience–say traffic monitoring reports which tell the car to take an alternate route because another is busy–will cause problems when they inevitably get hacked and send thousands of cars down a single-lane back road.

It’s a typical plan of midwits who have no concept of the real world outside their fantasies.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  MarkG
December 1, 2020 9:12 am

The traffic reports I’m familiar with are always 30 minutes behind. Who will do all the real-time data entry? Are we also going to place trillions of sensors along every road to keep up with real-time telemetry?

MarkW
Reply to  Phil
November 30, 2020 4:25 pm

All this telemetry creates huge data transmission issues. First off you have to make sure that your car is receiving telemetry from the sensors that are ahead of you, not behind you, or on the road just east of you.

Secondly with all those sensors trying to transmit at the same time, you have to deal with data collisions and the need to occasionally retransmit missed data. I’ve programmed WiFi hubs for well sites where every sensor is connected to the central system via radio instead of hard wiring. These were relatively small installations and the data changed slowly.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
December 3, 2020 8:33 am

Indeed. The thing with wifi is that if your wifi system is on the same channel as another wifi system that is too close, they can interfere with one another causing missed or garbled packets of information as the transmissions overlap on the same frequency at the same time. Not a problem with your car is the only one on the road for miles around, potentially a problem when your car is packed in line with dozens of other AV cars on the road all trying to communicate over the same transmission channel at the same time.

Highway Engineer
Reply to  Phil
November 30, 2020 9:02 am

With 5G AVs (autonomous vehicles) will have on board AI and network systems support to see the landscape and roadway. I did a study for government on the topic with industry and stakeholders. AVs need not be EVs, only if so mandated. AVs will not solve congestion, that is a myth. In NYC it was found that Uber, a foreshadowing of mobility for hire, increased congestion due to hovering or cycling vehicles looking for a ride. AV will have a similar issue. They will be part of a future transportation solution, but the difficulty is transition. Roads will best operate with all AVs or no AVs the in traffic mix is a challenge so getting there is a problem.

MarkG
Reply to  Highway Engineer
November 30, 2020 9:28 am

Don’t forget no pedestrians, cyclists, deer, cats, dogs, pieces of debris, snow or any of the other usual road hazards that humans have to deal with.

The simplest solution would probably be to put them on rails in tunnels where no-one else can easily get in the way. If it’s good enough for Logan’s Run it should be good enough for Millennials.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  MarkG
November 30, 2020 12:12 pm

Don’t forget the potholes.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Tom in Florida
December 3, 2020 9:26 am

And unexpected road works that are not on the satnav. The AV will most likely just stop dead in confusion.

TonyG
Reply to  Gerry, England
December 3, 2020 11:50 am

GPS directs people to a non-existent road when they try to get to my house. The car would end up driving into a river in the woods, if managed to get past the trees.

mike macray
Reply to  MarkG
December 2, 2020 5:16 am

…The simplest solution would probably be to put them on rails in tunnels where no-one else can easily get in the way. If it’s good enough for Logan’s Run it should be good enough for Millennials…

Same thought occurred to me many times on a Friday pm Eastbound on the Long Island Expressway. Forget the tunnels just hitch each car to the one in front put em on rails to control fishtailing / serpentine oscillations, one driver in the lead vehicle and bingo read a book, have a beer or take a nap and the railroad is resurrected!
Cheers
Mike

John Endicott
Reply to  mike macray
December 3, 2020 8:25 am

considering the people pushing this AV/EV utopia are mostly anti-human Malthusians, I don’t think the dome city monorail/tube car-system is the only idea they’d want to lift from Logan’s Run.

MarkW
Reply to  Phil
November 30, 2020 4:21 pm

There’s also visual obstacles that objects dart out from behind at the last second.

My most terrifying driving incident was a case where a car overloaded with people ran a red light in front of me on a narrow road. I was too close to stop in time, and the sidewalk on the left had people and the right side had parked cars. I chose to take out a couple of parked cars. It will be a long time until AI’s are up to making those kind of value judgements.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
December 1, 2020 5:55 am

It’s striking how many thoughts can go through your mind in a life-or-death situation.

I was driving a 3/4 ton truck down a two-lane road in Vietnam where the traffic was bumper to bumper going both directions.

There was a jeep in front of me with four American officers in it and as we were proceeding down the road, a 2-1/2 ton truck, going the opposite direction steered over into our lane as he was passing a bicycle, and the jeep in front of me dodged the truck and pulled to the side of the road and started to brake, and I saw that if I dodged the truck too, I was going to run right over that jeep and probably k!ll everyone in there, so I just gripped that steering wheel as hard as I could and hung on and both trucks hit left-front to left-front at about 20 mph.

I ended up facing sideways across the lane and the other truck had the other lane blocked and we eventually had a traffic jam in both directions that was about ten miles long.

I hit my lower lip on the top of the steering wheel which caused my teeth to go through my lower lip, so I was bleeding pretty good but that was about the only injury I suffered, except for a pinched nerve in my neck, which I didn’t notice until later. I bent that steering wheel into an oval shape, gripping it so hard. The moveable front windows in the three-quarter ton vehicle were sticking straight out after the impact. They were closed when it first happened.

The guy on the bicycle was injured but he didn’t look too bad. About like me, banged up and a little bloody..

And all that happened in about two seconds.

Those officers in the jeep came running back and said they had seen it all and the other truck driver was at fault, not me. So I’m glad I saved their lives. 🙂

Not really, I didn’t get in any trouble over the incident. All the military police were interested in was clearing the road and getting the traffic moving again.

mark from the midwest
November 30, 2020 2:41 am

Eric:

AI is one of those terms that I detest because it implies something more than “insect level” intelligence. I’ll beleive that machines are intelligent when they can start to poke around the edges of a problem and offer solutions that are outside of their training. Unfortunately I don’t have a good alternative to my own complaint, terms like pattern matching, machine learning come close, but are still not quite right.

icisil
Reply to  mark from the midwest
November 30, 2020 5:31 am

One thing AI doesn’t, and never will, have is life. Life is an intelligence that man is totally unable to create.

Editor
November 30, 2020 3:00 am

AVs could well be very successful, IMHO. Yes, there are problems to be overcome, but human ingenuity knows no bounds. As long as the process isn’t corrupted by governments or others interfering, it’s simply up to the technology to prove itself and to be attractive to people. But against the claims that AVs will be more energy-efficient, you need to offset the fact that parking habits will change. People who drive to work, for example, won’t need to park the car at the workplace, they can tell it to go home and come back at the end of the working day. Distance driven doubles. Having communal cars also increases total distance driven, because all the previous mileages will still be needed, plus extra mileage as the car leaves one customer and drives to meet the next customer.

observa
Reply to  Mike Jonas
November 30, 2020 4:15 am

I agree with you AVs are coming although it’s a gradual thing if you look at the incremental safety features occurring on our cars and how we take for granted head units with GPS maps and reverse cam ABS ESC cruise control and the new ones rolling out across the showrooms. Full AV is coming and it could save considerable car resourcing over the present.

That’s what Uber are about with the ultimate prize of paywave per km and you get to decide whether you want to paywave solo or hop on board with another 1, 2, 3,…? passengers and share costs. That would certainly reduce peak hour traffic and what’s more stay at home mums retirees and adolescent schoolchildren could call up 9-5 worker’s cars for their use. The fly in the ointment with car ownership and parking space reductions with share EVs like that is of course the time it takes to recharge them and that’s where ICEs win. Cabbies now certainly use hybrids in the city but they’re not big on EVs.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  observa
November 30, 2020 4:53 am

And who will clean the inside of those communal cars? Who will be responsible for the maintenance?
Who will replace the parts that are stolen by thieves who are always one step ahead of everyone.

Bob boder
Reply to  observa
November 30, 2020 9:05 am

Can you image, you are at work and your 4 year old wants to go to the pet store, you step outside for a bit of air and see your car leaving the parking lot on its way home to take your 4 year old to look at puppies, wouldn’t that be an awesome thing!

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2020 3:28 am

But carbon-neutralizing energy and solutions are already on the horizon and, in some more developed countries like Sweden, are already being deployed.

I live in Sweden and hang on to my 35 year old Land-Rover. Many middle class people hang on to what they got 10 or 20 years ago when the car marked here made sense.
I see some electric cars here, but it is mostly shop owners or more wealthy people who already have an ICE. The electricity price in southern Sweden has increased artificially to match trade prices with northern Europe and due to the cost of strengthening the grid for future increase of electric vehicles, heat pumps and countless electronic equipment. Bio-diesel is slightly more expensive than natural diesel (from crude oil).

Different interests, the interest of the government and the woke, and that of the general Joe, is pulling a bit each way.

Therefore I think we should look at what happens in Norway.
Norway has seen a tremendous conversion to electric cars. Nearly all Norway’s electricity comes from hydro.
If AVs become a success in Norway’s rural areas, the AV can be a success everywhere, where the population is rich enough.
Norway’s roads are very demanding, in particular during winter. An autonomous system on these rural roads will be a challenge.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 30, 2020 4:32 am

Many people here in the north have stand-heater.
I enjoy coming out to a preheated car with ice free windows.
A normal stand-heater uses between 0.25 and 0.5 liter per hour with output 2.25 and 4.5kW respectively and costs around $2000.

Nearly all heavy trucks here have a stand-heater. It would be very wasteful to sleep in the truck with the engine running all night, just to keep warm when the temperature falls way below freezing.

MarkG
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 30, 2020 10:54 am

Note that an EV will need to keep burning power from the battery to keep the battery warm overnight. I also remember watching a documentary some years ago about people driving across Siberia where they did keep the engines running all night because they wouldn’t be able to start them in the morning otherwise; I wonder how an EV will handle temperatures that low?

If I remember correctly, the local Tesla owner said he loses half his range here in the winter. And we don’t get as cold as Siberia.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkG
November 30, 2020 3:03 pm

A girl in my high school graduating class moved to someplace in Alaska for a job. She said it was not unusual to run her car all night since it got so cold that not even a block heater could keep it from freezing.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkG
December 3, 2020 8:11 am

Cold is very good at zapping the life out of a battery. I suspect a Tesla won’t last long in a typical Siberian winter night.

FrankH
November 30, 2020 4:34 am

“…hoping the previous occupant of your autonomous electric vehicle taxi didn’t have lice.”

There are many reasons to dislike the idea of autonomous vehicles. Worrying that the previous occupant might be lousy is not one of them. As a non driver I often travel by bus, train or taxi, I have more sensible things to worry about than that the previous occupant of the seat might have been suffering from something contagious.

icisil
November 30, 2020 5:11 am

“I disagree with people who say AI is a myth, the systems are genuinely intelligent. But their intelligence is insect level intelligence.”

In that sense all programming is intelligence – encoded intelligence. AI is just a matter of complexity.

icisil
Reply to  Eric Worrall
November 30, 2020 5:43 am

My dad did all of the time. I told him that life is something more than just what’s going on in the brain. Now he’s on death’s door and doesn’t see anything beyond the prison he made for himself. The brain is not the center of life, or intelligence.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  icisil
November 30, 2020 5:38 am

I think Eric’s point is that the magical aura that the term “AI” bestows on this or that system is, unlike the Transformers, “less than meets the eye.”

name redacted
November 30, 2020 5:16 am

We will understand better human stupidity with the exploration of artificial stupidity.
Machines can give all the decision tree that bring their mistake without the Jamming effect of the proudness

[invalid email. which is a real shame because I really like the comment–mod]

Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 5:33 am

As a cyclist, I welcome the day when we have fully autonomous vehicles. It will not be hard at all for them to do a better job than about 20% of drivers. The AV will understand,
1. That it should not overtake until there is space front to do so.
2. That as soon as the front seats have gone past, it is not yet time to pull in.
3. That 10cm is not a safe margin when overtaking.
4. When it is turning out of junction it will see me, because AVs will not play with their mobile phones.
5. When it pulls up at the traffic lights next to me, it will not forget I am there and run me down as it turns left. It will also remember to signal, another plus.
6. It will obey speed limits and not jump traffic lights, it will not cheerily drive though pedestrian & cyclist shared lights without slowing because “There was no one there”, no one that is until a cyclist arrives at 15mph and they obliterate him/her.
7. It will not lose it’s temper and drive at me because I was able to go a lot faster in the bus & cycling lane and got in front of them.
8. When I am riding along, minding my own business at 20mph in a 20mph limit it will not overtake at considerably more than 20mph, then brake check me, and yell “You’re going too effing fast!”

I could go on, but those who say AVs will never happen always appeal to a vision of perfect driving which they imagine they themselves achieve, and for the purposes of discussing AV they claim the rest of the population do as well, although they don’t say that at other times.. Must drivers are rubbish, and my desire to stay alive means that I never, ever, get into a car driven by someone thinks themselves a ‘good’ driver.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 6:14 am

Man gets on bike,
Bike goes on the road,
Cars are on the road,
Bad drivers are in the cars,
Farewell and adieu my fair Spanish ladies……………..

icisil
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 6:19 am

“That 10cm is not a safe margin when overtaking”

LOL no it’s not. I’m the guy who gets in the other lane to pass you. Please tell your buddies to get single file when cars want to pass.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 7:32 am

You are right at many point, except “5. When it pulls up at the traffic lights next to me, it will not forget I am there and run me down as it turns left. It will also remember to signal, another plus.”
Drivers should go far right (left in UK) behind any waiting cyclists and at the same time hindering any other cyclists coming alongside from the back.

And, there are terrible cyclists as well as car drivers.

Ian Coleman
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 7:58 am

Well hello Harry. How are you today? Get off the road on that stupid bicycle. Adults want to use the roads to get somewhere.

I have actually struck a bicyclist while driving a car. I was in the wrong, but I was in the wrong in 2000 pounds of steel. The bicyclist I struck, and who had been scrupulously obeying the rules of the road, screamed as he flew through the air. (He was okay, incidentally, but we both pretty shook up about it.)

I am trying to make a point here. Sit down, think about it and see if you can guess what it is.

DonM
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 10:28 am

Hey Harry,

I have never struck a cyclist in my car.

When I was a kid I was hit by a motorcycle when I rode my bike in front of him … my fault. I have a friend that is a quadriplegic as a result of him and another bicyclist running into each other.

In my car I have been struck by three bicycles. One broke the rear passenger door window as he t-boned me … “are you going to make me pay for that?” he says. One sideswiped me as he swerved to avoid an object that my lights illuminated for him (he had one of those crappy lights that meet regs but don’t do any thing). One rear-ended me at a four way stop sign … really odd.

It has been my experience that a higher percentage of bicyclists are rubbish (with respect to safety, consideration for other travelers, conformance with rules/regs, etc). Those bad bicyclists call attention to all bicyclists and you get lumped in with them by the ignorant drivers. (when was the last time you chastised a bad bicyclist?).

John Endicott
Reply to  DonM
December 3, 2020 7:56 am

I have never struck a cyclist in my car either. My cousin, however, was a cyclist who was struck by a car at a busy intersection that, at the time, had no traffic light, it has a light now (not a coincidence). He broke an arm & had a concussion, got a nice settlement out of it though.

FrankH
Reply to  Harry Davidson
November 30, 2020 2:30 pm

“4. When it is turning out of junction it will see me, because AVs will not play with their mobile phones.”

And they’ll see you (and me) because they won’t just be looking for other cars or buses, they’ll actually be looking for all other road users.

John Endicott
Reply to  Harry Davidson
December 3, 2020 8:18 am

Harry, it’s not even a matter of perfect driving, AVs haven’t yet achieved bare minimum adequate driving in chaotic real-world conditions. If your “desire to stay alive” prevents you from getting “into a car driven by someone thinks themselves a ‘good’ driver” then I suggest that same desire should logically prevent you from getting into an AV invented by someone that thinks they invented a “good” driver. Because in real world conditions, AVs, as they currently stand, are rubbish.

Don Bennett
November 30, 2020 6:21 am

I hadn’t really thought about wireless charging (I have no device that uses it). Does the transmission follow the inverse square rule or close to it?

Paul C
Reply to  Don Bennett
November 30, 2020 8:05 am

It is basically wireless but NOT contactless. A phone case can be too much material interference to allow the charging to take place. Scaled up to EV charging, the losses are too much to make it a practical option. An automated connection device (under car connection via robot arm) would be a more sensible option – much easier than autonomus driving, and if it fails, it gets to try again.

Don Bennett
Reply to  Paul C
November 30, 2020 10:39 am

Thanks, Paul. I’ll pass in any account.

EJW
November 30, 2020 6:57 am

The wolf in the grass is battery replacement in older EVs.
Nice car in good shape turned into a “hop to a neighbourhood grocery store” wheel chair.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/nissan-leaf-electric-vehicle-new-battery-1.5769998

Jeffery P
November 30, 2020 6:59 am

Pure fantasy.

chuck martel
November 30, 2020 6:59 am

Some of the issues with autonomous vehicles are displayed here.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 30, 2020 7:25 am

Two cars exchanging the same data points in real time will essentially be able to “see around corners” with the situational awareness of where other cars on the road are.

But how does each AV really know this data is coming from another valid AV, as opposed to a malicious hacker? Distributed systems that always trust information they are given are vulnerable to attack. There would have to be a provision for each AV to validate the source of remote traffic information before acting on it. Hopefully this will dawn on someone before deploying these information sharing features on a wide scale.

If the people pushing AV technology are as clueless as those pushing wind/solar energy to replace fossil fuels, we’re in trouble.

E. Martin
November 30, 2020 7:38 am

Don’t understand the title —What “Climate Crisis “.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 30, 2020 8:45 am

Andrew Tarantola, Senior Editor
Andrew has lived in San Francisco since 1982 and has been writing clever things about technology since 2011. When not arguing the finer points of portable vaporizers and military defense systems with strangers on the internet, he enjoys tooling around his garden, knitting and binge watching anime.

Seems to be the standard CV for “senior technology editors” today.

Other recent articles: “What we’re buying; Our New Home and Garden Essentials” (perhaps an autonomous weed-whacker?), and “‘Pokémon Go’ raises the level cap and adds seasons in its biggest update yet”.

Bob boder
November 30, 2020 8:52 am

You are all killing me, I for one can’t wait until I can sleep my way to work, now I am beginning to think ill be retired first, UGH!

Highway Engineer
November 30, 2020 10:10 am

With 5G AVs (autonomous vehicles) will have on board AI and network systems support to see the landscape and roadway. I did a study for government on the topic with industry and stakeholders. AVs need not be EVs, only if so mandated. AVs will not solve congestion, that is a myth. In NYC it was found that Uber, a foreshadowing of mobility for hire, increased congestion due to hovering or cycling vehicles looking for a ride. AV will have a similar issue. They will be part of a future transportation solution, but the difficulty is transition. Roads will best operate with all AVs or no AVs the in traffic mix is a challenge so getting there is a problem.

Reply to  Highway Engineer
November 30, 2020 10:22 am

That sounds like a very poor study. AV will not behave as Uber drivers trying to maximize their individual incomes. AVs will organize fleet wide toward heat zones to maximize efficiency. And much much more efficient use with all AV roadways

MarkG
Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 30, 2020 11:00 am

Ah, yes. The same old story:

1. Midwit has a brainwave.
2. <<– Magic happens here.
3. We live in an AV utopia.

Let's get back to some basics:

1. AVs are supposed to replace all private vehicles because we'll no longer need to own a car when we can just call an AV when we want to go somewhere.
2. This means there need to be enough AVs available to handle peak traffic.
3. This means that, most of the day, there'll be far more AVs than are required for the amount of trips people want to make.
4. This means those AVs need something to do for the rest of the day. Like driving around or sitting in a parking lot somewhere.
5. If people don't want to be waiting ten minutes for a ride when the AV has to come from a parking lot, they're going to be driving around all day waiting for someone to call them.

AVs basically offer all the downsides of public transport except you don't have to share it with people coughing and sneezing all over you. Though you might have to share it with the poop the previous passenger left on the seat.

It's absolutely insane that anyone takes this nonsense seriously, let alone tries to push it on society.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  MarkG
November 30, 2020 12:15 pm

Who will clean the vomit and piss left by uncaring previous passengers. Don’ t forget the used condoms, needles and left over food wrappers thrown on the floor.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 30, 2020 12:16 pm

The cars could be built to be hosed down internally. This is not as big an issue as people make it out to be.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 30, 2020 12:57 pm

How big a tank do you propose the car carry with it? Enough water for one flush, two flushes, ???

Do you propose the car drive to a central flushing station after each use?

Beyond that, how long does it take to dry the car after the flush?

You’ve solved one problem by creating a much bigger one.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 30, 2020 3:22 pm

Charles,

I have four friends/relatives that are law enforcement. Some of the patrol cars they use are made for the backseat area to be hosed out to clean things up. They will all tell you that the one thing you can *never* clean up is the smell. No amount of hosing that thing down can remove the smell of vomit, feces, BO, etc. At some point it has to be taken apart and everything sanitized with a strong cleaning agent, e.g. bleach.

My guess is that some of those AV’s, if they are public, will become defacto homes/outhouses for homeless. Someone will have to be assigned the responsibility for evicting the squatters and disinfecting the entire vehicle. What will the overhead be? How many will be out of service for maintenance at any one time? Ask anyone responsible for running a school bus service or city bus service. I suspect you’ll find the overhead to be 30% or higher.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom in Florida
December 3, 2020 7:39 am

As Mark said your “solution” merely creates multiple more problems.

How do you propose this “hosing down internally” happen?
1) automated system which requires an onboard storage of cleaning supplies: How many cleaning supplies (including, one assumes, water) can a single car hold without taking away from passenger room and trunk space (and space for the battery, since were also talking EV as well as AV)? and what will the extra weight and reduced space for the battery do to the AV’s range and fuel efficiency?
2) a central location where the cleaning takes place: how long will it take the AV to get there, get cleaned, and off to the next client? Might not be so long in a densely packed city, where distances are small, but what about rural areas where the “central location” is many miles away?

regardless of which of the above options you are thinking of, other obvious questions are:
How long will the AV be “out of commission” for cleaning (Cleaning and drying time, possibly travel time to a central location, etc)?
How often will the AV be cleaned? after every client? that out of commission time per AV will add up awfully quick. Gonna need a bigger fleet to service the customer base. Not to mention the amount of extra earth-unfriendly cleaning chemicals your fleet will be using up in a year. And this is supposed to be the eco-friendly solution?

And that just the most obvious questions that spring to mind, there’s always the no-so-obvious unintended consequences that will come along.

I know, I know, you’re “not going to go over your lists” (mainly because you can’t). The bottom line is, at this point in time, the AV is a pipedream not a realistic solution to anything.

Kpar
Reply to  John Endicott
December 3, 2020 8:18 am

Good points, all.

Let’s add one more- what about various known and unknown pathogens? I cannot think of a more efficient means of transmitting diseases than this proposal (short of actual bio-warfare, that is).

Reply to  MarkG
November 30, 2020 2:15 pm

Every one of these issues can be dealt with efficiently on a fleetwide basis assuming mass acceptance, and a different approach to transportation.

Your objections remind me of the cab drivers who told me autonomous vehicles wouldn’t be accepted because they wouldn’t be able to have the driver put on the radio station the passenger requests. Yes I really heard that.

I’m not going to go over your lists, but don’t picture AV as cars of today with automated control. Imaging little cubes with wheels and some side windows for the passenger.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 30, 2020 3:28 pm

Who is going to replace the side windows when they get shot out by a kid with a pellet rifle? Don’t put windows in them at all. Just a coffin on wheels will be sufficient. Make it an adventure! If the AV drives you into a jack-knifed semi then let it come as a huge surprise – you wouldn’t see it coming out a side window anyway! The insurance companies might even find a profit in selling “trip” insurance like they do “flight” insurance.

MarkW
Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 30, 2020 4:29 pm

You claim that these problems are easily solvable. Yet the only solution you have presented (against many complaints) has been shown to be unworkable.

John Endicott
Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 3, 2020 7:18 am

Every one of these issues can be dealt with efficiently on a fleetwide basis assuming mass acceptance, and a different approach to transportation.

That a big ass assumption. Why assume mass acceptance when we already have several different options of not-owned transport (Buses, taxis, ubers, lyfts, etc) yet the masses continue to own (or rent) their own cars rather then rely entirely on those not-owned transport options? (In the US more than 50% of household own cars, IE the masses are car owners!). What is so special about AVs that those other options don’t already cover just as well? AVs (if they ever get them safely working) would simply be one more niche option to add to the pile (barring government mandates that make ownership difficult/impossible).

John Endicott
Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 3, 2020 7:22 am

Every one of these issues can be dealt with efficiently …. I’m not going to go over your lists

Translation: I got nothing.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkG
December 2, 2020 8:28 am

1. AVs are supposed to replace all private vehicles because we’ll no longer need to own a car when we can just call an AV when we want to go somewhere.

And yet, we already have services we can call instead of owning a car (public transport, Taxi cabs, ubers & lyfts, etc.) Hasn’t stopped millions of people owning cars….

5. If people don’t want to be waiting ten minutes for a ride when the AV has to come from a parking lot

….And that’s just one of the many reasons why. People don’t like waiting. Be it for a train, a bus, an uber, or an AV. When people want to go somewhere, they want to go at the time of their choosing even if that choosing is “spur of the moment”.

MarkW
Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 30, 2020 4:32 pm

Unless the service is being offered for free, then whoever does own them will program them to do whatever they can to maximize individual incomes.
Your claim makes no sense.

John Endicott
Reply to  Charles Rotter
December 3, 2020 7:45 am

AV will not behave as Uber drivers trying to maximize their individual incomes. AVs will organize fleet wide toward heat zones to maximize efficiency.

Organized by who? Someone is going to have to pay for this fleet and all of this organization, and likely that someone (unless it’s the government) is going to want to at least cover their costs if not make some amount of profit – which means, yep, maximizing their individual incomes. (and if it’s the government, well since when has the government ever done anything with “maximize efficiency” in mind, let alone succeeded in achieving said “maximized efficiency” the only thing the government is good at maximizing is the amount of bureaucracy & red tape)

TonyG
November 30, 2020 10:26 am

Eric,
I am in total agreement with you about autonomous vehicles. I’ve been programming since around 78, and based on my experience, I don’t trust these things either. They simply can’t parse all the possible parameters required to make intelligent decisions. Granted, a lot of PEOPLE can’t do that, either, but these systems have a long way to go before they’re even close to that level (as you mentioned).

ResourceGuy
November 30, 2020 11:26 am

The great EV/AV pump and dump in stock markets is still in phase one.

MarkW
November 30, 2020 12:05 pm

Contactless charging points are substantially less efficient compared to directly connected chargers.

ResourceGuy
November 30, 2020 12:12 pm

We better start increasing the supply of body bags now for the national stockpile.

In addition, I smell a huge rescue package for Ford and GM coming from this risky scenario setup by California and CARB. Better start writing blame text versions now and blame Trump or Bush for it or maybe Fox news.

michael hart
November 30, 2020 12:47 pm

“The more states roll out pro-EV regulations, build the necessary charging infrastructure, and offer incentives for buyers, the more these vehicles become a near-term solution for our transport problems.”

In reality, the major transport problems in the West are related to congestion in large urban areas. You don’t really want the hassle of driving in much of London.

While the above is true, the people at the top of the economic pyramid would much prefer it if there weren’t so many poor people who can afford to own and operate a car. The “pro-EV” regulations will change that. The grockels will still have to pay for the infrastructure charges, but only the modestly wealthy will still be car owners because the extra costs won’t matter so much for the wealthy.

The fly in the ointment is the amount of revenue European governments get from petrol taxes. They will want to replace it. So, as well as no longer being able to run a car, the average citizen is going to see other taxes rise commensurately. Practice treading water to stop yourself drowning economically.

Climate believer
Reply to  michael hart
November 30, 2020 1:13 pm

“The fly in the ointment is the amount of revenue European governments get from petrol taxes. They will want to replace it.”

….they’re on the case.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/11/23/australian-state-governments-introduce-tax-on-electric-vehicles/

michael hart
November 30, 2020 12:50 pm

Curiously, from the photo, driving into the roof of an overturned truck looks like one of the better ways to come to an immediate halt in a head-on collision.

Ian Coleman
November 30, 2020 1:25 pm

We already have cars that you don’t have to drive yourself: Taxi cabs. What advantage is conferred to the rider in a short time-rented car if it is operated by a computer instead of a man? None than I can see. A computer-operated car is a wonderful technological marvel, but it’s like an electric toothbrush. It’s a lot technology for a need that doesn’t exist.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Ian Coleman
November 30, 2020 3:30 pm

+10!

EternalOptimist
November 30, 2020 2:27 pm

There is one major problem that has yet to be addressed. discussed even,
If a driver of an EV is very positive and meets a more pessimistic or negative driver, there will be an attraction and inevitable collision.
If there are a lot of positive EV owners on the road…the repulsion will be horrible

Kpar
November 30, 2020 2:50 pm

We hear so much about AI- Artificial Intelligence.

Why do we not hear more about the much more prevalent AS- Artificial Stupidity?

Nik
Reply to  Kpar
November 30, 2020 4:21 pm

Fatuous.

“… American car culture as a major contributor to the nation’s greenhouse emissions.”

So, culture causes emissions of greenhouse gases? A dopey on sequitur, but we’ll assume what’s really meant is ICE-powered motor vehicles in the US.

So, what’s “major”? On a global basis, the human contribution of “greenhouse gases” to the atmosphere is ~ 5% of the total, and the US contribution to that 5% is ~15%, or 0.75% of all the greenhouse gases (~ 1/2 that of China and falling). Globally, cars & trucks contribute ~ 20% of total greenhouse gas emission. So, the US contribution of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is ~ 0.25% of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. And records shows that the US portion of global emission is falling, and, bear in mind that water vapor is by far the greenhouse gas with the highest atmosphere concentration of ~ 1-4%, or ~ 70x that of CO2.

Conclusion: At .25%, if all the ICE-powered vehicles disappeared from the US tomorrow (not counting the effects of the economy tanking), the reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions would be nearly immeasurable. But the effects of the economy tanking would be obvious, immediate, and catastrophic, including the loss of electricity needed to charge the batteries of so-called “green” electric vehicles.

Kpar
Reply to  Nik
December 1, 2020 6:58 am

Were you replying to me?

Nik
Reply to  Kpar
November 30, 2020 4:22 pm

I’m more concerned about the deliberate stupidity.

John Endicott
Reply to  Kpar
December 3, 2020 8:12 am

Artificial Stupidity doesn’t get much press because it’s crowded out by all the numerous stories about the natural variety of Stupidity.

Kpar
Reply to  John Endicott
December 4, 2020 8:24 am

Well, I suspect that Artificial Stupidity has its origins in the government school system. If you really want to go “whole hog”, you send your “best and brightest” “skulls full of mush” to Ivy League universities to fill their brains with anti-American nonsense and socialist drivel.

That is the sort of Artificial Stupidity to which I referred.

Craig from Oz
November 30, 2020 6:28 pm

From the article:

“If publicly funded, they could also be free to use.”

Anyone else like to point out the flaws in that sentence?

If you pay for it, then you won’t have to pay for it. Or more correctly in practice, if people who aren’t you pay for it, then you don’t have to pay for it.

It is a bit like the dream of ‘Free Education’, which in real terms is getting people who work for a living to pay for different people to study for a living. Occasionally crudely put as ‘A Tax on Stupid People’.

Socialism – Other People’s Money will pay for your dream.

StephenP
Reply to  Craig from Oz
December 1, 2020 12:39 am

If cars are free to use you will end up with the tragedy of the commons, where no-one takes any responsibility for the common.
Who clears up the sweet wrappers and spilt drinks the kids have left?

Anders Valland
November 30, 2020 11:31 pm

The main thing about artificial intelligence is that it is artificial. Real intelligence has an aspect of intuition in it, and that is part of how we humans get to solve stuff that we have never before encountered.

Show me an AI with intuition and I will slowly turn towards respect.

ResourceGuy
December 1, 2020 6:49 am

The new mandate from DC and Paris:

You can have any color you want as long as it’s EV.

observa
December 1, 2020 9:13 pm

A very big lithium battery charging in every garage at night-
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/crime/california-dive-boat-captain-charged-with-manslaughter-in-maritime-disaster/ar-BB1bxGd9
What could possibly go wrong?

John Endicott
December 2, 2020 8:08 am

>and hoping the previous occupant of your autonomous electric vehicle taxi didn’t have lice

or BO that is powerful and lingering

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