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Friday, September 19, 2014

Whither ImPark?

Today I took my car in for servicing and used the courtesy shuttle to commute to work, saving me $13.50 in parking plus the hassle of driving downtown. It was a nice change of pace.

Then I started thinking how nice it will be when driverless cars hit the market. We could program the car to take me to work, then Sylvia, and the car could park itself at APS and come pick me up at 4:30. No parking fees! I'd save $300 every month.

If everyone starts doing this, I wonder what will happen to parking prices downtown. Will they plummet in an attempt to delay the inevitable, luring folks with manual-drive vehicles to put off buying driverless cars? Or will they shoot up in an attempt to milk as much cash as possible while there are still a few people who need to park downtown?

On the other hand, what will the city do? If cars are driving themselves back and forth to work, that's a trip in the morning plus a trip in the afternoon - both ways. Will the city dump a levy on driverless cars to help pay for increased road maintenance?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but the more I think about autonomous vehicles, the more I realize the ripple effects of the technology are going to be enormous. 

1 comment:

"Jeffer Decks" said...

Hello car! I'm trying to get my pregnant wife to the hospital! Well, look: a semi-tasteful non-interruptible commercial spot regarding the benefits of anti-aging cream. It's OK honey, I've set the waypoint... did you know there's thirty-six Starbucks' between here and the hospital? Oh, dang, where did I put my credit card? iNav says my phone is maxed out, and I need funds to pay the mileage fees. And reservation fees for parking... unless you want the free parking sponsored by McDonald's... it's only a half and hour walk from the restaurant to the hospital. No, I guess you're right, we should pay for - what do you mean you see the baby's head? I'd send for an ambulance, darling, but they're on the Amazon network. I know, I know you told me to buy Amazon, but I liked the Android dataplan. How was I supposed to know that the data was all being routed through the Mumbai servers? At least it works, and normally I don't mind waiting for five minutes for the system to handshake. Some of the commercials are so danged funny! And it's so comforting to know that there's a friendly neighbourhood Zuckerberg out there who knows exactly where I am at all times. Oh hell, it's crashed again. Honey, just reach past the baby there and lift that motherboard out of the socket and give it a twist and a hard thump. That ought to reseat the connector. Now where were we? Oh, yes, 15% off on anti-aging cream... the perfect gift for Christmas. Oh, dear, iNav says there's an unauthorized passenger. I think it means the baby. Darling, hold its eye up to the retinal scan, and we'll get baby's first Facebook going. Ummm... if we "like" that, then we can access the highway menu... "like", "like", "like"... yes, we can try unliking that one later, but "like" for now. It's your mom on the line, she wants to see the baby, hold it up to the LifeCamBot... all right! 45 hits in the first minute of life. Here, put this Samsung jersey on the baby, and maybe we'll hit a thousand before tomorrow! Like! Drive! Like!

"Start Car Now?" Yes.
"Are You Sure?" Yes (Like!).

Please insert $100.

Pumpkin, can I borrow your purse?