Uber vs. California - Robot cars not ready for roads?


I love self check-out. And I hate humans.

Bring on the driverless taxis!



No. Literally “jobs” didn’t enter into it. It was a safety/security question, asked of people between the ages of 21-39.


I’m curious what the question actually was. There’s a big difference, to my mind, between “Would you use a driverless taxi” and “Would you use a driverless taxi tomorrow/next year”. In principle, sure, I’m greatly looking forward to the driverless future. And I suspect women would feel safer in one too. But with currently available tech? On London streets? Hell no.


Well, on one hand, the machine isn’t going to distracted on their phone, like the Uber driver was doing in that Arizona fatality.

But, again, I won’t get in one of those until they’re fully autonomous. And by that, I mean, “Oh, there’s been an accident and police are routing cars around on the shoulder” or “I’m boarding a Washington State Ferry, which means it has to follow the instructions of the ferry personnel as to which lane to line up in.”


Depends on who is doing the checking out. The stuff that Amazon and now Sams Club is doing though… very different. It’s not traditional self-check out so it might solve the half-hour check out of the people who are not efficient enough to use a machine and be quick about it.


I was a cashier for much of my college life. I don’t want to be a cashier again.

And I hate when the machine freezes up and I have to wait for help.

Give me a cashier and short lines, and I will be happy. I never have any issues buying groceries at Aldi. That company does it right.


This is different though. This is Amazon style not choke point style.


Self check out blows chunks with my back. Way too much swiveling back and forth, bending, lifting, dropping. . . plus the little racks of bags are way too small at my local supermarket. Look y’all I’m gonna drop $130 on groceries, I need more than a single bag of space to work with at any given moment.

Nevermind that my local supermarket likes to let all but one lane close after about 8PM and most of my grocery shopping takes place late at night :(


That sucks!


But with these cashier-less stores it’s supposed to be different! I have low, very low, expectations from Sams Club because that’s Walmart, and they wouldn’t understand a good customer experience if it hit them in the face. But Amazon is paving the way and the fact Walmart is even paying attention… in theory it should be if you got in the cart, you’re good.


Yep. Armando’s experience in self-checkout precisely matches mine with the local Walmart, but you’re right; they’re paying attention and this gives me a little hope.


Sam’s club self checkout via the app (scan as you go) is amazing and I laugh every time I walk right past all the lines.

Self checkout at grocery stores is a pain in the butt and I rarely use them unless I only have a few items since they tend to have less lines.


The local superstore here in Michigan (Meijer) has started doing a different self checkout option. They give you a little scanner thing and you use it while you go around the store, then at checkout time all you have to do is pay. There’s a person who checks to make sure you didn’t blatantly cheat the system, but that’s about it for employee interaction.

It’s not replacing the regular checkout or normal self checkout, and it’s not full on “no checkout”, but something in between. Be interesting to see if it catches on.


Yeah, Waitrose has that here, and maybe some of the other chains too.


My Home Depot recently redid their self checkout and they are much improved. The screen is a big 24" lcd now and every station gets a wireless scanner gun to use. Looooove self checkout.


I just want an automatic car to deliver all my groceries to my house. I’d prefer they test it more thoroughly than have in the past so they don’t, you know, kill anyone on the way.


I think the problem with the current state-of-the-art (Waymo) is that the vehicles are so safe that they can’t get anywhere as quickly as a human driver would. When faced with any “competition” for the road resources they need to make progress-- the classic example is turning left with oncoming traffic-- they hesitate interminably. Without human intervention, they get where they are going eventually, but if you are a passenger in them or a human driver sharing the road with them, you get delayed and annoyed.


IDK, the bus is slow as hell too but it gets me where I’m going a lot more stress-free than driving does.


For delivery though, if I go to the store I lose a half hour. Then I lose a half hour or so and then I drive back, so a trip to the store could take 2 hours of my time. If it takes 3 hours of Waymo’s time but almost none of mine, why would I care if it takes longer, it saves a trip. That’s for delivery. Now for taxi like services, we don’t even have buses here and the buses in the rest of the area has a really limited run. If i new I could get a ride to an area that has little parking and then not struggle to get home… I might actually try it.


Prooooobably worth noting that the store I work at is currently attempting to serve the needs of three grocery stores’ worth of people, since we had two other stores in the area close within the last few months. We’re at a point where the only viable solution would be adding more registers, which would require closing the store for remodeling, because everything’s already packed in as much as possible. I’m not particularly down for any argument that involves simply hiring more cashiers (and I constantly hear them), because even when we have every register open, it’s often just not enough to handle the increased traffic.

Regardless of all of that, though, it’s always been exceedingly frustrating watching people act like because automation is bad and SELF-CHECKOUT TAKES AWAY JOBS (and, hey, while we’re on this topic, it’s worth noting that any jobs the current implementation of self-checkout in retail stores may have taken away were gone long before half the people currently working cashier jobs were old enough to hold jobs in the first place, and fully cashierless stores are years away for most people’s day-to-day shopping), the better solution is to complain loudly while waiting in line with three items and refusing to use any of the several open self-checkout registers. (Or complain that there aren’t any regular registers open two minutes before closing and leave without buying anything.)

My point with mentioning all of that in my previous post wasn’t to say “people won’t use driverless cars because they take away jobs,” but that the general “automation is bad” mindset is likely to have colored the responses. This may not mean much right now, because a negative response is quite justifiable with self-driving cars in general and driverless cars in particular, but will become more relevant as the technology advances.