[Lab] AVIS exploring a new business model - servicingautonomous cars

David @ ProjectWorkshop david at projectworkshop.com
Sat Aug 11 04:54:57 EDT 2018

Very interesting. I have always thought the individual automatic car concept made sense. It could work like public transport, with shared vehicles, but still meet exact point to point movement that people desire. I would also think individuals could still own their own if they like, so as to be able to keep their “stuff” with them (I might like that myself), and/or have a customized travel cab/environment, but the vehicle would otherwise still plug-into the same automated travel network and processes. I have talked about this stuff over beers with friends, and many do not like the idea at all. They want to run the gas and brake, turn the steering wheel, and in many cases be involved in operating the transmission in some way. They want to direct the details of vehicle operation and motion. They like driving.

Anyway, I assume people can find new pastimes while riding, but it will be quite a change for many. I’m for it because I don’t care for driving, but I don’t mind having to drive just around town either, so I also don’t really need it, and I think it will impact me very little...I’ll drive, or I won’t. I don’t think I care. We shall see. (BTW, my partner and I often do the: you drive...no you drive...no you drive, thing, if the drive is any serious distance.)

From: Darcy Whyte 
Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2018 9:04 PM
To: Ryan Stec ; Hack613 
Cc: lab 
Subject: Re: [Lab] AVIS exploring a new business model - servicingautonomous cars


I think antonymous cars are inevitable and they will solve a lot of problems. 

There are some amazing possibilities. Here are some thoughts/ramble.

Eventually I think there could be no signs or lights or even lines on roads. Except perhaps marking places for pedestrians. Cars would just move along and if a pedestrian crosses the road they just stop as long as needed.

They'd zipper through intersections or just plan to not have cars arriving that would conflict. Merging would automatically zipper. If an ambulance is moving on a highway, cars would automatically clear a lane for it. Lane direction would auto configure based on volume in each direction. A lane could even serve both directions with some fancy lane changing and coordination.

They could drop you right at your destination and then go off to a gig economy of fares or to a parking area far away. So without parking in high traffic areas there could be more lanes and better throughput.

Also cars could have policy programmed into them (the rules they use for driving). This could be part of status. For instance if you wanted to get somewhere quickly during a peak period you could toot down the highway and cars would get out of your way. The policy of your car would request cars to change lanes. Other cars would have their own policy. Some cars might just get out of your way. Others might need payment to get out of the way. So if you want to get somewhere faster you subsidize some of the rides of people who cleared a lane for you. The higher the price your car policy will pay the more effective it will be at clearing the fast lane.

The sense of urgency in driving will go away. Today you see people speeding up to a red light then wasting gas pulling away in a hurry. This may go away since you are not occupied by driving anymore. Safety can increase since nobody's in a rush because the traffic could be very efficient and everybody's conducting their social and other business instead of driving.

An extreme example would be going to a party, drinking alcohol then stepping into your car to get home. You'd just sleep while your car gets you home. No rush there. It'd take lower volume and peaceful routes and then wake you when you get home (depending if that's in the policy/rules).

Car ownership might become more shared (as most people predict). 

Imagine how inexpensive a taxi/uber could be if you remove the driver...

Cities could also have mini buses that shuttle people around as well.

I wonder if buses as we know them with fixed routes and stuff might even become obsolete? Demand driven shuttles could run 24x7. 

A given route could even interact with a bulk system such as the rail system. You could be dropped off at a rail station if there's a train coming, then when you get off a different vehicle is there waiting for you.

There could be integration with bicycles or electric kick scooters. Perhaps some vehicles could carry bicycles somehow. Or there could be shared bicycles too...

I food delivery vehicle might be able to operate without an operator. It pulls up and you walk up to it, identify yourself and it lets you take your order/package. Mail delivery, shipping.. christ it seems endless what can happen...

This will take quite some time though. I don't think it's around the corner like most do.

What is around the corner I think is a mix of the current human driven cars and cars that are fairly autonomous but require human supervision. This is due to the culture around regulations and safety. And as long as there are a lot of human drivers on the road even autonomous cars aren't as safe. If we're lucky municipalities will designate good routes to autonomous cars where full autonomy might be allowed sooner (since there's no humans operating)...

Currently peoples' status is partly tied up with their vehicles. Of course I'm not a fan of this but the status aspect may come with expensive driving policies that give higher priorities to road resources. Or ownership so they can have access to a vehicle during peak periods.

Another thought I had was safety regulation. Cars could come with different sensor packages and a question is what will be the minimum.  For instance some IR vision (or something) might be able to see a deer running through the bush. 

Even if your car doesn't have a particular sensor on it, it could get the same information from the network. So a car ahead is tooting along and a deer is about to run in front of it. It knows that from it's night vision package. Your car doesn't have the package but it buys the information from the car ahead (based on the policies). Or perhaps it could be mandatory for safety information to be passed along the network. Perhaps it will be worth having he expensive package because you can sell the data to other cars in real time.

One way or the other, sooner or later access to cars will be spread out a bit more evenly. It will be safer and greener. The lower end might be municipal networks of shuttles and the higher end might be ownership or fancy-expensive policy in your driving account(s).

Darcy Whyte

Art+ inventorArtist.com | Makerspace hack613.com | Aviation rubber-power.com
Contact: darcy at inventorArtist.com | 613-563-3634 by appointment (no text)

On Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 12:20 PM Ryan Stec <ryanstec at artengine.ca> wrote:

  Robin Chase, founder of ZipCar talked alot about the role transportation companies will play, given the fleet infrastructure they already have. 

  This is a great panel discussion with Robin Chase and Anthony Townsend which has some great insight.




Ryan Stec
Artistic Director
artengine.ca at artengine

  On 2018-06-04 10:47, Jason Cobill wrote:

       What's AVIS going to do when autonomous cars and ridesharing put the nail in the coffin on the car rental industry? 
       They have all the experience and facilities to service huge fleets of cars - cleaning, fuelling, and repairing their own huge fleet of vehicles, plus they have parking lots and vehicle charging stations at airports and in urban cores.

       ... so they're exploring becoming a service provider for autonomous vehicles. After a hard morning of dropping office-workers off, your UBER will drive out to the airport to wait it's turn in line to be shampooed and fuelled up and ready for the next customer.


       This is super brilliant.
       How long until every step of the servicing is automated? Robot fuel attendants, robot carpet cleaners. Little robot that drives along with a rag and cleans your rims. :) 


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