20i Reseller Hosting

Future of Private Plates

Discussion in 'General Board' started by mat, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    I was thinking recently while looking at current private plate prices and the amount that many go for in the auctions, about the future of “plates” for vehicles.

    Say theoretically in the near future, with the advancement of technology and cars, what would happen if plates were no longer required for vehicles. When you think about it they are quite outdated and the car could be identified easily by some digital method without the need for a mark. The only reason I could see to keep them would be for members of the public to be able to identify the car, but even then in the future we may be able to identify the car through wearables or whatever is common tech in the future. (Think terminator just looking at the car and having all its info display haha) It may even be far better as will stop people cloning cars if the identity is deeply encrypted somewhere.

    What I was wondering is, legally could they turn around one day and say that plates are no longer going to be used on vehicles and effectively everyone who has spent £xx,xxx on a plate now has a worthless title. It just makes me wonder when I see the prices they are churned out at auction, but there is surely no guarantee that you will always be able to use it or even pass it down to children, grandchildren as a future investment…
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

    Joined:
    1999
    Messages:
    Many
    Likes Received:
    Lots
     
  3. Systreg

    Systreg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2008
    Posts:
    6,881
    Likes Received:
    144
    I don't think they'll be done away with, as you say, members of the public need to be able to take down a reg number in the event of a crime, if they don't have that option, by the time police arrive with their hi-tech gear to know all the car details, the car would be long gone.

    I expect all cars in the near future will be fitted with tech where they can be scanned as they pass points embedded in roads, so they'll be able to pinpoint the position of a car, would be good for crime solving to prove a car owner was in a place at a certain time etc

    Not everyone would use wearable tech, I know I wouldn't, but I am a dinosaur with things like that :)
     
  4. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    I feel exactly the same, but it is hard to predict what will be "normal" in the future. In the same way that you could refuse to have a phone number, but you will be severely limited in life now without one and it is quickly becoming the norm that every company and form assumes you have an email address.

    I think this thread needs @Edwin.
     
  5. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    Also the reason I find this interesting is that the same can be applied to domain names. They may be done away with in the future and cease to exist and we effectively do not own them, just the current right to use them.
     
  6. Systreg

    Systreg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2008
    Posts:
    6,881
    Likes Received:
    144
    Yeah, as the decades go by and new generations appear, things will change as old people like me die off haha, and I expect it'll be the norm that everyone will have some sort of wearable tech, and there will probably be a lot more implanted tech, and before you know it, people will be able to swim faster than a shark :D
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
    When cars are autonomous and self-driving, it's far less likely that there will be a need to be able to identify them visually, because they're going to be filled to the gills with high tech gadgetry, at least some of which is almost bound to want/need to communicate with other vehicles, road/sign sensors, etc. etc. There are also likely to be sophisticated "black boxes" built in so that there's 100% data availability and retention in case of an accident - these will record every scrap of information the myriad sensors are feeding them.

    So we may be 10-20 years away from the end of numberplates but it's hard to see them surviving beyond when people are no longer allowed to drive themselves. Because IF self-driving vehicles work, and work WELL, then that will be the final end-game: if in a world populated by self-driving and human-driven vehicles the most dangerous thing on the road by far is the "fleshy" behind the steering wheel then at some point there will be almost unbearable pressure for government to litigate and take that danger away. That's if soaring insurance premiums don't take the cars off the road first. And of course by 2040 internal combustion engines are goners anyway.

    Looking at the insurance aspect, if a car driver has an accident every million miles but a well-tuned, well-trained, well-optimised self-driving vehicle has one every ten million miles, then why would insurance companies continue to shoulder the risk of human drivers when there's a simple, much less dangerous alternative that will inevitably result in fewer accidents? And when every self-driving vehicle on the road monitors/records as a matter of course the position, speed and trajectory of every single other vehicle (as part of the computations required to keep it accident-free) then bad driving will stick out like a sore thumb. It's possible to imagine a future in which self-driving cars are programmed to "dob in" bad drivers (anyone who breaks the rules of the road and/or drives in a manner that is dangerous given the then-present road conditions) as a drive towards ever-greater safety.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  8. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
    Remember, once self-driving cars get "good enough" they will then get much, much better very quickly. Why? Because every self-driving car on the road (or at the very least, every self-driving car from that manufacturer) will be able to learn, in real-time or near real-time, how to deal with an ever-increasing number of "edge cases" i.e. unexpected/unusual/difficult driving conditions. Once that particular situation/problem is solved for one vehicle, it is consequently solved for every vehicle, for all time.

    Much like an artificially intelligent system can go from first principles to Chess grandmaster or Go champion level in a matter of days, so it will be for self-driving cars. And the total self-driving ecosystem is highly susceptible to positive network effects: add more self-driving cars, and EVERY self-driving car improves more quickly. That increases the attractiveness of self-driving cars, hence their uptake, hence their improvement rate, etc. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    The only way the above doesn't come true is if you believe that computers can NEVER drive a car better than humans can. It's irrelevant whether they can do so or not today. It's only relevant whether they will be able to do so in future. Because as soon as they do - or even come close - then positive reinforcement kicks in through collective learning.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    Really interesting Edwin.

    So do you think that its possible the DVLA could effectively turn around one day and just say that plates are no longer required and that the private plate you purchased from them 40 years ago is now worthless without any legal ramifications?
     
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
    On the insurance side of things, it's a slippery slope that will almost inevitably lead to full automation.

    For example...

    If self-driving cars are twice as good as human-driven cars then they are half as likely to have accidents. So the premiums on human-driven vehicles have to go up to compensate.

    But with much higher insurance premiums, more people see better value from owning (or more likely renting, either on a time or a per-trip basis) a self-driving car. So there are fewer human-driven cars on the road.

    But that makes the higher accident rate an even bigger anomaly. So insurance premiums are forced higher again. So more and more people surrender their right to drive in favour of being chauffeured. So insurance premiums rise again. And so on, and so forth.

    The more self-driving vehicles are on the road, the better the overall safety record will be. At 100% market penetration, we should expect a near-zero accident rate (since every car can talk to every other car and anticipate with 100% success rate what the other vehicles are likely to do). That will push the insurance premiums charged on the human-driven cars belonging to the roof to unprecedentedly stratospheric levels. You'd have to be a millionnaire just to sit behind a steering wheel.
     
  11. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
    Yes. The UK government has already said that in 2040 your internal combustion engine-equipped car could be so much rusty metal, because you likely won't be allowed to drive it on the roads (new IC cars will not be sold, but I imagine there will be huge pressure to scrap existing vehicles too - maybe not overnight, but soon - because otherwise the benefits of the transition to electric take too long to filter through).

    Given a long enough lead time governments can do pretty much whatever they like, and private citizens just have to lump it.

    When it comes to plates, the DVLA might decide to sit out the storm for a while e.g. by decreeing that no new plates will be issued after a certain date (assuming self-driving cars come to populate the market) and then there will be some kind of sunsetting period for existing plates.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
  13. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
  14. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    Maybe there will be a big market in the future for companies who will convert your valuable/collectable internal combustion engine car to a fully compliant electric-powered car, possibly using future engines from the same manufacturer of car.
     
  15. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
    Interesting. But unless they also convert it to self-driving at the same time, I imagine such conversions will have an extremely limited shelf-life.
     
  16. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2005
    Posts:
    9,362
    Likes Received:
    458
    BTW, if you think this kind of dizzying pace of change is somehow peculiar to our modern era, consider London at the turn of the 20th century...

    https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/visit/museum-guide

    Yes, that's all-horse transport to predominantly car transport in under 20 years. You can bet the talk in the coffee shops in the early 1900s was about those new-fangled motor vehicle things. "They'll never catch on", horse owners no doubt opined, nodding sagely to each other. "And besides, I'll never surrender my right to ride." But they did, and they did...
     
  17. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    Well there will be a period of time where people are having to buy electric powered cars that arn't self driving that will also have a limited shelf life.
     
  18. Systreg

    Systreg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2008
    Posts:
    6,881
    Likes Received:
    144
    I would never at any point, get in to a car where there's nobody driving and in control of it, end off. I can't actually get my head round that, I'd feel very uncomfortable and if it went above 20mph I'd want out.

    I don't think there will be loads of self driving cars on the road any time soon, simply because tech cannot be trusted not to break or get a virus etc, any number of things could go wrong. No matter how well you teach a car how to drive itself, it's always going to be open to computer failure, and as soon as there are accidents involving these cars, the shit will hit the fan.

    I think if anything, the car will be phased out over time and all roadways will have some type of electric/hydrogen shuttles on them.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    I guess with horse to car there was still the element of enjoyment that can be had with the control.

    I am sure people would be very excited about the prospect of cars that can also fly, but with autonomous cars probably the fear of losing the pleasure/hobby aspect. It will just become a method of transport, getting from A-B.
     
  20. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    The reality will be though that even in the small chance of something going wrong, it will be safer and react in a far more logical way than even your friend/spouse may react in a potential accident. Every day we get into cars as a passenger, with no control over how the person driving may react at any point.
     
  21. mat United Kingdom

    mat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2007
    Posts:
    3,877
    Likes Received:
    105
    I sh*t myself even having my wife drive me down the shops :D
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1