Uber and Lyft

Relied on Uber and Left to get around in San Diego last week and every ride was a positive experience. Never waited more than 8 or 10 minutes for a ride; drivers were all courteous; cars were very clean. And in almost every instance, the driver took Uber and Lyft hails. The little emblem in the windscreen had Uber logo on one side and Lyft on the reverse.

I had a problem (with my credit card) the first night and had to call a local taxi. Took half an hour to get picked up. I find myself taking more trips than I would if relying on taxis. Just don’t see how taxis can compete. There’s something about opening the app and seeing how near or far the Uber and Lyft cars are, then watching as it approaches my location.

San Diego Automotive Museum

San Diego’s Balboa Park is home to a number of museums. I spent part of an afternoon looking at vintage vehicles. The current exhibit was JAPANESE STEEL, A collection of classic Japanese vehicles.

San Diego

San Diego is beautiful. Without a doubt. The beach (from the pier) is everything you’d expect from a Southern California beach. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I’m just not a beach/water guy. Everybody said I had to see La Jolla (about a $40 Uber ride from my hotel) and watched the tourists and the seals frolic. Spectacular view and even better, no doubt, at sunset.

How self-driving cars could change real estate

Driverless cars could become a reality in five years, and will profoundly affect real estate within eight or nine years. A few possibilities:

  • Roughly 15 to 20% of your living space constructed in the average home is devoted to the garage
  • Each urban area will have a hub, but it won’t be in the expensive part of town — it will be in the cheaper part of town, right off the freeway
  • Fewer parking lots. In 2016, in the D.C. area, commercial underground parking garages added 10-12% to the cost of office construction. In residences, each additional parking space increased the cost of development per unit by 25%. Driverless cars could make these parking lots a relic of the past
  • There are 125,000 gas stations in the United States in prime real estate, you won’t need those anymore

Flying about to change completely. Because of cars.

10 to 15 years from now, the flying experience could look vastly different because of self-driving cars. Co.Design »

In Europe, high-speed rail wins 50% of all traffic when the journey length is less than 4.5 hours, according to the French National Railroads, and wins 90% of traffic when the journey is two hours or less.

Bags will get picked up in the city and travel separate from you and land at your destination. People won’t be traveling with their luggage. Perhaps it’s picked up by a self-driving car or a specific baggage robot instead.

And if an airline is controlling your ground transportation, it’ll be able to provide other services as well. “They come pick you up, they load your baggage, and potentially, your bag will be screened while sitting in the vehicle.

State Farm Drive Safe & Save Mobile

If you don’t know this about me already, I’m not very concerned about privacy. I think you should have it if you want it and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get it, but it’s not a high priority for me. Might be someday. Not today. As Estelle Costanza said, “I’m out there, Georgie!” I’m willing to give up some (a lot of) privacy to get some conveniences.

That said, today I activated State Farm’s Drive Save & Save program. Keep a little Bluetooth beacon in my car that works with an app on my iPhone to track my driving. According to their website the track acceleration; braking; turns; mileage; speed and time of day (rush hour, late night, etc)

According to the marketing material (and my local agent) I’ll get an immediate 5% discount and another 20% if I don’t go above the national average of 12,000 miles a year. “More small discounts may be tallied if you prove to be a safe motorist, do not drive over 80 mph and avoid driving between midnight and 4 a.m.” I think I meet all of those goals but we’ll see.

I found this while googling around: “State Farm warns that some drivers already getting a low-mileage discount may see a rate hike. “If you currently receive a premium reduction for low estimated annual mileage (under 7,500 miles annually for personal use) and your vehicle is actually driven more than that, your premium may increase at a future policy renewal period.”

I know this kind of thing freaks a lot of people out. But not me. I’ll try it and if I don’t like the results I’ll stop. And if State Farm fucks me over, I’ll just switch providers.

Update (5/22/17): A couple of months ago I mentioned adding a little gizmo from my insurance company (State Farm) that tracks my driving and — depending on my grades — lowers my rates or saves me some money or something. As you can see from the screenshot below, I’m doing fine in a couple of categories and not so good in some others. I do jump off the line and brake too hard but was unaware of my hard turns. I put that on the MINI which handles so beautifully. I do zip around corners. So far all of this has saved me about $11 and change. But I am going to work on my starts/stops/turns.