The Problem Self-Driving Cars Would Solve

Misanthropic rich people who don’t view themselves as the kind of people who have chauffeurs–or are too cheap to pay for them (boldface mine):

“There is this premise that good things must be somehow painful,” he said onstage at a Tesla event on the sidelines of the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference in Long Beach, California, in response to an audience question about his take on public transit and urban sprawl. “I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.”

“It’s a pain in the ass,” he continued. “That’s why everyone doesn’t like it. And there’s like a bunch of random strangers, one of who might be a serial killer, OK, great. And so that’s why people like individualized transport, that goes where you want, when you want.”

When the audience member responded that public transportation seemed to work in Japan, Musk shot back, “What, where they cram people in the subway? That doesn’t sound great.” The CEO reiterated his preference for individual transportation, ie, private cars.

As much as I complain about the Metro (and before that, the MBTA), it’s not bad. It beats the hell out of driving. And we hoi polloi really aren’t bad travelling companions either…

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