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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin

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  #4081  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2014, 5:41 PM
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nixcity nixcity is offline
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^uh yeah, have you ever paid attention to the makeup of the vehicles on our roads? I would say half or a little more are SUVs or trucks. No offense if you have one of those but you would think more "liberal, progressive" Austinites would care about our air quality a little more.
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  #4082  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2014, 9:12 PM
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KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
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Having good public transportation that everyone uses shouldn't be about shaming them into using it. It should be used by everyone because of how easy and convenient it is, and safe. They should look at the traffic in disgust and prefer an easier alternative. I don't even care if people still drive some. There are just some places you have to go where you're going need a car or some errands that are going to require one. Plus, it's ok to drive sometimes, but we do need a good alternative to relying on cars for transportation so we can ease traffic congestion and not have to constantly rely on cars for it.

My paternal grandfather rarely drove. My dad's side of the family is from Germany. My grandfather had a brand new Chevy Bel Air back in the 60s, and it just sat in the driveway all the time. My mom said he went down to the dealership, bought the car, had my uncle drive him home in it, and he never drove it again. My grandfather worked on the UT campus. He walked to the bus stop every day from his house in South Austin, and then took the bus into work and back. And this was back in the late 50s to late 60s when much of South Austin was still mostly rural in spots. All of my aunts and uncles and oldest cousins also took the bus in their youth. My oldest aunt on my dad's side of the family didn't get her driver's license or a car until she was nearly 40 years old. By that time she had already been in the US for nearly 25 years. They all grew up in an urban environment that allowed them to use public transportation. My grandfather also rode his bicycle to work in Germany and relied on it for errands. My cousin says he probably rode his bicycle 50 miles a day. And they had 4 kids at the time, so it wasn't like he was some young guy with no worries or responsibilities.

Now a generation removed from that time, and nearly everyone, even young people, rely on cars. It's not even so much because of our built environment, although, sidewalks are a must even if you don't have dense housing. As long as you have sidewalks, bike lanes and public transportation, you can still get around without a car. People aren't going to walk or take the bus if those situations are sketchy. Americans have become born into comfy environments where they expect a certain level of convenience. Unfortunately some areas, even inside the city, don't suggest that it's safe to walk.

By the way, the talk of fuel efficient trucks reminded me of something I read recently - Ford makes aluminum-bodied F-150 in factory Henry Ford built.
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  #4083  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 6:20 AM
Texas Jeff Texas Jeff is offline
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Originally Posted by Tech House View Post
The problem with driverless cars is that they cannot be implemented on any roadway alongside driven cars. It has to be all or nothing. This means we're surely many decades away from large scale adoption of them, if they'll ever be utilized on any widespread basis whatsoever. I just don't see it.
Well, the flip phone is about 25 years old and the first digital "flip" designs were released about 20 years ago. The first flip phone cost about $2500 in 1989 dollars. Today it's hard to even buy a non-smartphone.

I think driver-less cars technology is about where cell phones were around 1980. They exist but most people haven't seen or driven one, they are very expensive and the technology is still not perfect.

Like most technology, driver-less cars will arrive and be the new thing for a while, then we'll all have them. Kids today don't know how to look up information without Google. Kids tomorrow may not learn how to drive.
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  #4084  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 3:32 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by Texas Jeff View Post
Well, the flip phone is about 25 years old and the first digital "flip" designs were released about 20 years ago. The first flip phone cost about $2500 in 1989 dollars. Today it's hard to even buy a non-smartphone.

I think driver-less cars technology is about where cell phones were around 1980. They exist but most people haven't seen or driven one, they are very expensive and the technology is still not perfect.

Like most technology, driver-less cars will arrive and be the new thing for a while, then we'll all have them. Kids today don't know how to look up information without Google. Kids tomorrow may not learn how to drive.
The difference is, when your cell phone drops your call, no one dies.

The safety and liability issues are inevitably going to slow down the production and adoption of driverless cars. Of course it will happen eventually, but not nearly as quick as phones/computers.
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