Credit: NHTSA

There’s a common claim that autonomous vehicles will definitely take over the market and we humans will essentially stop driving ourselves places (except to the extent that some of us still keep horses to ride on). There’s an often combined claim that people will give up auto ownership and use robotaxis instead.

Then there’s the perhaps equally common response: “nuh-uh.” Or: “I don’t see it happening. People like driving, like being in control, and treat having a car as a status issue.”

I haven’t staked a strong claim on either answer yet, but I do slightly assume we will switch to almost entirely autonomous vehicles. However, that assumption is based in part on the logic that they’d be better, safer (especially en masse), cheaper, and more convenient. The problem I have with that assumption is that my experience is people are illogical and don’t always choose better, safer (especially en masse), cheaper, and more convenient. They can, but they can just as well ignore those benefits for various status or sense of comfort reasons.

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