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When will cars stop being released with steering wheels?

Discussion in 'Off topic' started by ng0, Aug 31, 2017.

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Will cars still be sold to the general public with steering wheels by 2037?

  1. No

    6 vote(s)
    37.5%
  2. Yes

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  3. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
More threads by ng0
  1. ng0

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    #1 ng0, Aug 31, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
    So my buddy and I have a little bet going... won't be able to collect for 20 years, but here it is:

    I'm saying that in 20 years (by 2037) there will no longer be cars sold to the general public with steering wheels. I keep thinking that's not completely unreasonable, but he thinks I'm crazy. What are your thoughts? Vote above!

    (this poll addresses general driving use and not some kind of special race track 6r offroading specialty sale)
     
  2. SoFlaModel3

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    I love it, but I think 20 years isn't enough time.
     
  3. ng0

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    How long do you think it'll be? I tried to ask him about 30 or 40 years and he said no. Then I asked him when he thought it would happen and he said "never". That just seemed absurd.
     
  4. SoFlaModel3

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    I won't go with never, but I its just very hard to put a speculative guess on it. I think we need a massive infrastructure overhaul in the US.

    There are far too many roads that may not work for FSD.
     
  5. Jean-Pierre Malef

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    It's a very good question, unfortunately, I am not very positive about the answer.

    Authorities have strange habits. They are faster at making a local law than fixing a problem.
    When a road gets very bad, they just put a "temporary" signalisation saying "Road not conform" to escape from legal action. We just have to coop with this new situation, for a long time.
    An example: when they decide to change the road structure (layout) like build a roundabout, it takes several weeks (months), and when its "done", another several weeks to paint the legal signalisation.

    Nature has his own agenda. It can destroy a road in a few seconds (float, earthquake and others).

    Now, you are sleeping in your car while making a trip to whatever. When the car stops "because their was supposed to have a road here". What do you do without a steering wheel (and a driving license) ?
     
  6. Michael Russo

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    Ng, fun question to which no one knows the answer of course, yet intriguing to fantasize about for a minute as we wait, and wait, for a marvellous BEV, though still with plain, non-spaceship like steering wheel... :D

    Though I'll be 80 in 20 years, Lord permitting, and still hope I could at times drive my Model 3(.5 by then?), I voted yes because we have no idea how exponential progress in the next two decades can be!!
     
  7. JWardell

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    I do think in 20 years, many if not most cars might not be sold with steering wheels.
    But then I changed my vote, because I think there will ALWAYS be vehicles sold with steering wheels, especially as an option.
    I still buy stick shift cars afterall.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • garsh

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      I think a more important question to answer would be: when do you think the *first* car without a steering wheel will be sold? I'm thinking that might be 20 years away.

      I don't think you'll ever see a time when there aren't some cars available with manual controls. There are many popular uses for cars that FSD is just not going to be able to handle. Lots of people like to do off-road driving of one kind or another. Some people live on farms, and drive vehicles in the fields. Various cars need to operate in construction zones (construction trucks, police cars, etc.).
       
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      • marcycharles3

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        You bring up a good point, I have always had cars that were a stick, other than my senior year in HS when I bought my dream car (as a dumb 18yr/o) an automatic Camaro, three month later I sold it for a 5 speed accord coupe. When it comes down to it manual transitions are no longer a cheaper option (many cars have no upcharge for an automatic), don't achieve better MPG (Dual clutch automatics, CVT's, and 8,9,10 speed automatics are all now more efficient), and aren't the quickest (again the Dual Clutch Automatics). The only true reason to buy one is pure driver enjoyment and engagement. I think you’re going to see the same thing with steering wheels, they’ll never fully disappear.
         
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        • Brett

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          i think we are all kind of missing the point. The real question is why would the general public be buying cars at all in 2037.

          In tech terms 20 years is an eternity. How many of us had a cell phone 20 years ago? Google didn't even exist 20 years ago. With all of the competing companies working of full self driving there is no doubt in my mind that fleets of fully autonomous "Johnny Cabs" will be the norm long before 2037. Even if Tesla doesn't succeed with their aspirations, many other people will. For the record I believe Tesla has perhaps the best chance thanks to their large install base and existing data gathering.

          Many people are already forgoing car ownership thanks to Uber and the like, that will only expand with autonomous cars and buses (etc). In 20 years the only reason to buy a personal vehicle will be for the industrial reasons mentioned above (farm, construction, etc) or for sport (race car, dune buggy, etc). My contention is that those aren't the "cars" the original question was asking about, and that by 2037 no one will be buying traditional "cars" at all.
           
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          • garsh

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            Short answer: because not everybody lives in a city.

            Longer answer: People don't want to wait for 20-40 minutes for an Uber to show up. You want to leave now. Car ownership == more freedom.

            I could see the average number of cars owned per household taking a dip though. When my car can take me to work, then drive itself back home for the rest of the family to use for local errands before it comes to pick me up, then that might be worth the tradeoff compared to owning a 2nd or 3rd car.
             
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            • SoFlaModel3

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              I enjoy driving and hate being driven so I hope this isn't the reality. I like being able to leave home on a moments notice without having to worry about a thing.
               
            • ng0

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              Thanks all for your input! You all make good points. When I'm talking about cars sold without steering wheels, I'm talking about daily driver types of cars and not specialty cars that you'd potentially take offroading or on a special track. Once true Level 5 autonomy comes out in cars, theoretically you no longer have to worry about road changes or anything else. The car will be able to analyze and evaluate it's surroundings and make decisions as a human would. Musk is talking about Level 4 (possibly even level 5) autonomy by the end of the year. I'm very skeptical about that, but 20 years seems completely reasonable.
               
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              • garsh

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                And when I talk about taking cars offroading or using them on a farm, I'm specifically talking about non-specialty cars. Your average pickup truck. Your average Jeep. Usually, people use old beaters for these purposes, but there are exceptions.


                I'm with your buddies on this bet. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that, for the next 20 years, we won't see a single car sold to the general public that doesn't have a steering wheel. If there are any such cars produced and sold, they will be fleet sales only.
                 
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                • KennethK

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                  When I go to Utah, I drive on the back roads and in the mountains where nothing is marked. Most of the roads are suitable for passenger vehicles, so I'm going to take my model 3. I also drive around to the back door of my house to drop things off there often.
                   

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