Robotic Audi

aaron jongbloedt jungle at
Fri Jan 11 08:13:42 PST 2013

 A friend and I keep talking about buying a pole shed and stuff it full
of older cars....I would buy a bunch of VW jetta/golfs from 94~99 w/ the
4cyl & 5spd.....
-good mpg, easy to work on, cheap parts, I know the chassis......keep
driving them, and when one dies, just pull another one out of storage.
I for one am SUPER excited about robotic cars....something like 75% of
traffic flow issues are a result of human error!  Just think about more stop & go in rush hour, no more slamming on the brakes cuz
some @ss wipe cut you off, no more two or three lane changes at once,
better gas mileage, less time on the road, and everyone merges perfectly.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Mike Arman
  To: "quattro at"
  Subject: Robotic Audi
  Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 10:23:38 -0500

  Kent writes:

  > Ha! Let's see it in 10 years when its sensors start flaking out.
  > "Oh, it needs a new infrared parking sensor. That'll be $945, plus
  > 4 hours labor for installation."
  > "No, we're not responsible for the dent in your bumper, or the
  > it caused to the other car."

  I see this as eventually becoming a serious problem.

  First, as we well know, cars are becoming exponentially more
  complex - integrated touch-screen controls are a perfect example.
  When one of these fails (and as we well know, they WILL fail), the
  entire car becomes inoperable. There's no "limp mode", you're stuck.

  As the cars get older, replacement parts will become harder and
  harder to come by, more and more expensive, and eventually will
  simply be unobtanium. When that happens, the REST of the car, most
  of which may be perfectly serviceable, is going to be junked.

  Here are two current examples - 2005-2007 Ford Focus -
  non-replaceable air filter "never needs service!!" Has an indicator
  to show it needs the entire air box assembly (with the filter
  sealed inside) replaced. $545 from Ford - for an AIR FILTER!!

  I didn't believe it, and I had my parts guy at FLAPS look it up (he
  didn't believe it, either) - when he did, there it was . . .

  Turns out Dorman makes a replacement air box for $120 or so, then
  you can use a standard $10 air filter when the time comes.

  Next they'll weld the gas tank shut so they can say "Never needs
  gasoline!" When the indicator reads "E", you just buy a new car.

  Example 2 - Dodge PT Cruiser 2003 to 2005 or 6 (I think). Headlight
  goes out, change a $10 bulb, right? Nope, "Headlight Control
  Module" $2,500 (holy crap!). Probably available rebuilt/exchange by
  now, but since I gag every time I see a PT Cruiser, I haven't
  investigated it.

  Result will be many of these things will soon be scrapped because
  nobody is going to spend $2,500 to fix a headlight on a $2,500 car,
  and there will be a BIG market developing in stolen PT cruiser
  electronics. When these cars start disappearing into chop shops,
  theft insurance on them is going to go WAY up . . .

  Many of these "can't-run-your-car-without-it" devices are totally
  proprietary, so we will increasingly be at the mercy of the
  dealers. The $945 parking sensor will probably cost three times
  that, remember it is imported from Germany (originally made in

  I don't even want to guess what the touch screen controller in the
  new Caddies costs.

  I'm looking at a Chebby Volt, but have serious questions if anyone
  other than the dealer will be able to fix it after the warranty
  runs out.

  It appears to me that the car manufacturers are really looking
  forward to making cars using the consumer electronics mode. When
  the TV or cell phone or computer breaks, we usually just pitch it
  and buy a new one, nobody fixes these things, even when there isn't
  much wrong.

  That's where cars are going - constant upgrade cycles, don't repair
  anything, just get a new one - but cars are a LOT more expensive
  than cell phones as well as a lot bigger and a lot harder to
  dispose of.

  They're going to price themselves right out of the market - incomes
  are not rising anywhere as fast as average car prices, and repair
  costs for these modern (and future) electronics-laden cars are
  about to blast off into orbit.

  On the bright side, bicycles are still cheap, and the exercise is
  reputed to be good for us . . .

  Best Regards,

  Mike Arman
  quattro mailing list

..Aaron "youngblood" Jongbloedt

-Nexus Information Systems Engineer
--Carpe Diem
Tis better to wear out than it is to rust out.

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