Jump to content
The WGB
Sign in to follow this  
Garage_Rubin

The Car Thread

Recommended Posts

I MIGHT GET A DIFFERENT JOB partly because getting a car (and commuting to Redmond) is such a PITA.

 

Also, Bothell is literally a half-hour bus ride away, way closer to me--I would *not* get a goddamn car, were I to change to this job.

 

Also, this job fits me like a glove: https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/sad/d/entry-level-technician/6673826482.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, db said:

Oh! good to know!

 

Haha--I don't have the new job, yet! I just sent in my resume yesterday. Hell, I even like my present job, my coworkers, and even my present boss! I kinda feel guilty about jumping ship (which makes me feel a bit like a cuck, but whatever).

 

But, yeah:

* $1/hr more

* way the hell closer

* actually in my "field"

 

= xen0 is trying to get himself poached

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liking your job is worth something, but yeah you have to weigh other factors too.  I always suggest applying for new jobs or even interviewing on a regular basis, then you wind up in the position of being able to choose rather than scrambling for work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't get the new job, so back to hunting for a goddamn car.

 

I really don't even want a car at this point in my life. It seems like a fucking money suck. I want to live (I guess) nimbly and lightly. (Yes, yes, it helps that my middle-ish class parents basically own their house here on Driveby Ave, and I am living rent-free). It's a fucking "gotta spend money to make money" situation, and I am half-assedly contemplating either just moving to Redmond, or quitting.

 

I probably will get a fucking car, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ended up just not buying anything. Dad got the cancer diagnosis, and that job didn't seem worth buying a car at that point.

 

New Subaru Outback works fine, old (295K miles) Subbie Outback needs a new drive shaft. I can actually do that myself, once I get around to picking up some jack stands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems relevant.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45786690

 

For some time the call for driverless cars, or automated vehicles has been getting louder.  In addition to the 30k deaths a year on roads in the US alone, mostly due to driver error or impairment, driving jobs, particularly long haul truckers pay high wages.  There are three main challenges to implementing more automation in transportation.

  1. Technical.  Were we see the most evidence of change.  The technical barriers to this seems to be falling by the day.  This seems to be especially true in the kinds of driving with little social interaction.  It seems likely that within ten years there will be solutions to the majority of remaining technical issues, which mostly have to do with safety and negotiating some of the social aspects of the process (telling the difference between a speed bump that should be driver over and debris that shouldn't for example).
  2. Regulatory.  Cities are learning fast after the rise of Uber.  Without any guide to how to deal with the idea of thousands of part-time cabbies roaming the street in their own cars cities responded with a hodgepodge of regulation and enforcement.  Some worked, some didn't.  Now, as scooters and bikes are blanketing sidewalks all over the place it seems, cities aren't playing.  Companies are being told to share their data on where the scooters are, where they are being ridden, and if any taxes are being paid on their use.  If companies don't comply the scooters go into a dumpster (literally, some community residents have taken to throwing away scooters that piled up on their street).  It seems that any automated car solution would be enacted under some sort of regulatory regime.  The point is, this isn't insurmountable.
  3. Social.  This is probably the hardest part of the problem.  Will people give up their cars?  What about people that need to drive?  My sense from looking at other automated revolutions is that this will vary a lot based on a number of factors.  Geography matters.  It seems unlikely that rural areas will see enough demand for companies to deploy uber-esque fleets of driverless cars.  Also, the cost of owning cars in rural areas tends to be lower since insurance is cheaper.  But denser cities, and we are denser and more urban every year, are a different story.  Owning a car in a city is a huge expense.  In many cities it is not a luxury, a car is a requirement when the bus sucks and there is no metro.  Some jobs require a vehicle also; police and fire vehicles, construction work trucks, delivery vehicles that might need to use non-standard parking.  A lot of these might see some sort of hybrid solution, an automated system with a manual backup.  But in the urban areas a cheap ride you can get with your phone is going to be a lot more attractive than paying for a car, repairing, gas insurance, and the fucking DMV.  Drivers will suffer.  Driving is a good, middle class job for a lot of people, and they are not without their own political power.  Uber drivers are a recent phenomenon, but long haul truck drivers and a wide selection of other professionals who are primarily employed to move people and stuff around will find their skills almost worthless.  There is no real capitalistic solution for that.  Automating sometimes leads to more work in other types of jobs.  Notoriously the cotton gin lead to a massive increase in the need for slaves in the US.  Driving itself was a job created by the car.  Still, it is hard to see how driverless vehicles will lead to more work, except that all those people shedding their cars will have more money to spend on other stuff (as long as they weren't truckers).

But no matter what, manual cars will see their numbers dwindle.  This won't make cars cheaper, although it probably will make insurance and gas prices go down.  But if people still want to drive their own cars they will compete for the few remaining cars that don't require an autopilot. It is a recipe for creating a new luxury toy, like polo ponies, yachts or houses with ten bathrooms.  The personal car will become a way to show off wealth, an idiosyncrasy of the rich.  You think a Tesla or Lamborghini is a rich person's toy?  Wait until you you see the Maybach 10, it runs iOS 25 with a full color heads up display, a toilet and a steering wheel made of simulated human skin. 

 

People that don't want to subject themselves to the social control of a driverless car will seek out old Toyotas and Volvos they can keep on the road.  Conspiracy theorists will see fascist intent (real or imagined, take your pick) as law enforcement experiments with how to investigate, arrest, or divert people using these cars.

 

I don't know.  Maybe I am wrong, but there are a lot of examples to go on to see how this is likely to play out.  As somebody that is witness to some of the worst traffic and drivers in the world each day I, for one, welcome our new automated highway overlords.

Edited by editengine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For work reasons I have attended several seminars and fora on the future of automobiles, mainly focused on the tire aspect, as that is the part we are concerned with, and most people refuse to make predictions after 2030-2035. There are two big problems for predictions, oil prices with all the fracking/shale gas/renewable energies, as the interplay of decreasing supply and decreasing demand make price prediction a nightmare. Then the holy grial of safe high density batteries that is not clear when (if) it can be ready to outcompete gas as an energy source, in thermodynamic terms, even with the higher efficiency of electric engines.

 

Expensive oil will push car use into a luxury, and it should bring a host of distributed fllet services where you rent a car when you need it. Less car ownership will strongly help the case for automatization and making human driving illegal in highways and other monitored areas. It will also push electrification of transport, that will be coming in cities in any case, but it is not a given in rural areas, unless batteries improve enormously.

 

On the other hand cheap gas can keep competing with the electrics in areas where there is little concern (real or political) for the environment, will keep cars affordable, and force electrics to be competitive too. That may well delay the introduction of automated driving if there are many humans still on the road. 

 

Uber-like work is great for the capitalist owners because it is a low overhead (for Uber) service economy that creates jobs in a job destruction period. These political concerns may well delay any attempts at automatization. It will probably arrive in highway long haul transport, but anything else will depend on too many factors to set a timeline.

 

CO2 reduction may be a factor in Europe, but probably not anywhere else, so it will not have a big impact , except if you own a car in a big European city, where sooner or later you will need at least a hybrid, or renting a car when necessary.

 

As for tires, apparently we will see an inversion of the tendency to wide, low profile tires to narrow, high ones, specially as efficiency becomes critical for fleet managers, while profile use and automated driving reduces speeding and the need for high grip at high speeds. Advances in adaptative surfaces, road conditions measurements and probably tunable inflation mean that smart tires may have a good grip in almost all circumstances, and integrate in a fluid way with the auto pilots, as it will be impossible for a human driver to monitor all those factors, and assisted driving is only a step away from fully automatized driving. Cars will have pneumatic tires for the foreseeable future, however, barring impressive material science changes, but the number may change a lot depending on how many cars are on the road. Automated driving will probably make tires last longer as well. So limited or full crunch time as well for tire manufacturers. Pirelli has recently returned to bike tires, a sign that will at least keep a nice presence in the near future.

 

Interesting times, and the statistics people are finding another factor, less and less young people  own a car, partly as a cultural thing, but in many case simple economics, cars are too expensive with the typical earning power and debt situation of the young. So we may end up with a carless generation due to the greed and shortsightedness of capitalists.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've just bought what will probably be our last car. Traditional petrol/automatic. We're out in the sticks, don't have a bus service we can walk to, very poor cellphone service, no sign of public electric charging points in our area. It all hardly matters. We do very few miles a year. I think I filled the tank a max of 6 times last year. Just shopping, and doctor visits. The golf course is 4 minutes away. We've started using grocery home delivery, so that reduces the pressure on shopping. The car we're trading in is 18 years old with 108000 on the clock, and most of that was when I regularly commuted to London in the first 10 years. I think we'd be cheaper with taxis, but they have 6 or 7 miles to come and most of them smell awful.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got one of these tonight

 

https://www.kia.com/us/en/vehicle/niro/2018

 

We lease.  Since moving to Maryland we realized that we drive very little.  Unlike Florida the density here is so high that the car rarely strays more than 2 miles from the house most days.  Thus, leasing makes a lot more sense, especially since I am not a "car guy".  I can change the oil, the tires, headlights etc as needed but I am not enamored with the process like many people.  Leasing lets me have nothing "in" the car, not worry about repairs or maintenance and I get a new car.  We just finished a lease on a Prius but Toyota were a bunch of dicks about getting a new one and the Niro had similar stats. 

 

I still hate the process though.  After a few weeks of one dealership failing to honor the lease deals offered on line another dealership I corresponded with via email was more receptive.  They still tried to tack on a ton of fees to the deal though.  Fees they "couldn't change".  We were almost back home when they called the Girl and miraculously "found a way" to make the numbers work.  Seriously, I get that some people love to haggle.  I don't.  Also, my credit scores run in the 740s and the Girl is now over 800.  We don't struggle to get financing because we are really frugal in most ways.  In the end we got our way, but it would have been much simpler had they just done what we asked via email.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BUT ANYWAY, we got a 1999 Buick Century. I only paid for $50 of it. My brothers paid for the rest (and, the youngest is probably going to end up using it the most). So, we're a 2-car family again, I again have easier access to whatever temp work, and all my car hunting is mostly moot.

 

It's an OK car.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, it's the sedan-iest sedan I've had the blandness of driving.

 

That's not a bad thing!

 

I hate how everything's a crossover now. How the car market could just not handle normie sedans. Fuck, I don't need the car to, like, give me a blowjob. Just want it to convey my ass to a job quicker than a bus or walking or biking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×