This will kill the rail loop faster than anything else

Rail is old technology…despite Len Brown having virtual; orgasms over new trains, the simple fact is they still only travel on rails, in a corridor and don;t travel where you want to go when you want go.

Autonomous cars and technology is what is going to solve transport issues, if only the moron politicians would stop hankering after solution for public transport from the 19th century.

If the money Len Brown is planning on plowing into rails was instead put into enabling self drive cars for Auckland we would see amazing advances.

Nearly every automaker is working on some form of autonomous vehicle technology, but according to a new study, consumers are more interested in a self-driving car from Google than General Motors.

The study, conducted by U.S. audit and advisory firm KPMG, polled a diverse group of drivers from both coasts and in between, pulling samples from Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Iselin, New Jersey.

The focus groups were asked about their willingness to use an autonomous vehicle every day, and rank their trust in the company producing the car on a scale of one to 10. While high-end automakers like Mercedes-Benz received a median score of 7.75, tech companies like Google and Apple scored an eight, and mass-market brands (Chevrolet and Nissan) came in at five.

“We believe that self-driving cars will be profoundly disruptive to the traditional automotive ecosystem,” said Gary Silberg, KPMG auto expert and author of the report. The company’s polling bears that out, although KPMG is quick to add the caveat that while “focus group discussions are valuable for the qualitative, directional insights they provide; they are not statistically valid.”  

It will be profoundly disruptive…especially for public transport. Imagine a fleet of autonomous taxis, booked and delivered by smart phone app…travelling in special lanes (redeploy cycling lanes, cyclists don’t use them anyway) or on special routes (rip up the rails and allows autonomous vehicles to use the corridor instead).

California drivers were significantly more interested in autonomous vehicles from the onset of the discussions, with L.A. residents ranking their willingness to use a self-driving car at 9 out of 10. Chicago residents came in at four, and New Jersey drivers’ median was six.

Additionally, premium vehicle owners — who made up nearly a third of the focus group — were more interested in autonomous vehicles and self-driving technology.

In Silberg’s estimation, the reason is that Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz drivers are “already accustomed to high-tech bells and whistles, so adding a ‘self-driving package’ is just another option.” Throw in the possibility of a special lane on highways for autonomous vehicles and the ability to turn the system on and off at will, and premium buyers were sold on the option full-stop.

Considering that AudiBMWCadillac, and Mercedes-Benz all plan to have some kind of semi-autonomous, traffic jam assistance feature either on the market or coming in the next few years, and it’s obvious that luxury brands are well aware of what their buyers want.

Those who said they had a “passion for driving” were less enthused about the possibility of a self-driving car (shocker!), but after the two-hour talk session, they showed considerably more interest in the technology and were more willing to let the robot drive, particularly given the possibility of reduced commute times and ability to turn the autonomous functionality off.

It isn;t a matter of if it will happen, but when. Rail is dead, time to move on.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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