Have you bought your last MX5 ?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45786690                Perhaps we will only be allowed to " drive " on the roads at weekends? If we go this way you can bet there will be no more petrol stations.

Yes I saw that article on the BBC home page this morning, however in 20yrs time I would be 93yrs, so maybe not around…


Unless they bring out an electric NE (pun, sort of!) in the next few years, yes, as in 20 years time (if I’m still around!) I’ll be 95 y.o.a. and I’ll probably be 

In principle, and for a good deal of journeys, I’m all in agreement.


Don’t know about you chaps, but nearly all of my journeys are simply sat in traffic, typically trying to avoid issues caused by increasingly impolite driver standards (e.g. nose to tail, unwilling to let anyone out).

For the majority of those, I’d be quite happy if I could avoid having my own car, and simply call up an automated vehicle that would simply take me from where I am, to where I’m going to, then re-use itself for another journey, such that I have to wonder about parking.


Clearly what the idea doesn’t address is:

 - Ego of having the “biggest, latest and greatest”, as exemplified by the driving styles of some German vehicles

 - Those of us who actually wish to enjoy the journey, rather than consider it a chore to be smoothed over


I’d like to think that transport of the future will be a co-existence of mostly automated for the dull journeys, yet giving us the option for fun as required.

Unless my NC is written off in the next ten years, then for me the answer to the original question is Yes.

I expect senility (or my children) will have taken away my driving licence by then, and I’ll be grateful to be able to relax in a car something else is driving safely.

However, I don’t want to be in one where a previous passenger has been sick or smoked or put their dirty shoes on the seats or worse.  I was on the tube last night, and one carriage of the Met line train was empty; everyone had moved away from it because of the mess and smell etc.

Which suggests the increase in penetration of the surveillance society, merely to keep the transport civilised.  Pollute the sensor-riddled e-taxi and the clean-up bill is added to your fare.  After an excellent Indian meal such as we enjoyed last night at Rasa (W1S 1AD), a subsequent early morning commute in that e-taxi could incur quite a surcharge on air freshener/filter refills.

A decision I made when I bought my car in 2002, it would be the last car I ever owned. (I was 69 at the time)
Beginning to look like I’m going to lose my driving license soon, so my original thought that either I or the car would be dead at some point appears to have been unfounded. If so, it will be up for sale soon. With or without a license, work to do and more cash to spend before it goes. Passed it’s current MOT, but some advisories to clear before I sell it.

I might sell my new MX5 and buy another old MX5 so my answer is no plus I thought some major players were scrapping the driver less tech because they had killed a couple of people and where the hell do they put all those expensive scrap dangerous batteries not to mention scrapping all the old combustion engine cars.

Last MX-5, well my first one lasted 20 years so feasibly yes.

Last car, no. 

Sure, autonomous cars are coming and, when they do, cities will empty of conventional cars and fill with unmanned taxis, but what about outside cities?  “Don’t worry that rural areas will be left out. A vehicle could be parked in every village waiting for your order to come.” says the article.  One of the higher rated comments sums up the general reaction: “Quite a car to be able to deliver 200 people to work for 0900 hrs in twenty surrounding towns and villages, whilst collecting and delivering 40 schoolkids to the train station at the same time.”

In a city where existing public transport moves most people around, maybe this can become a reality in the next few decades but away from urban centres?  As another commenter remarked “we don’t even have mobile phone coverage yet”.

Not really a problem though is it? Silicon Valley and the AI fraternity intend to replace all workers with machines, or intelligent forms of communication. E.G - the medical  and legal  professions will be replaced by advice centers, and the warehouse and factory workers replaced by robots.

You will be paid (So they say) a generous salary to stay at home, or take vacations when and where you wish.

The key element is of course, something they overlook - boredom.  Is man or woman prepared to do nothing for the rest of their lives? I foresee trouble ahead - of the worst kind.


Reminds me a little of the “confident predictions” bandied about when I was growing up in the late 1960s & the 1970s - some of which were that, by the Year 2000, we’d all be travelling in our own Flying Car, we’d be controlling the weather, we’d own a robot to do the household chores & everybody would be working a 20 hour week before retiring at 40…!  Plus the colonies on the Moon & Mars of course.

They did get a few things right though - particular items which spring to mind include video 'phones & wall mounted flat screen TVs.

I also remember the voice-controlled household personal assistant “Soo” in the 1981 play “The Flipside of Dominic Hyde” - which now seems quite similar in terms of its abilities to today’s “Echo” & “Alexa” devices?

I think that essentially what I’m saying is “take this with a pinch of salt & wait & see”.  It is an interesting concept though!


Andy - while I agree with your optimistic thoughts, it will happen if you don’t resist it to start with. It’s virtually an accepted fact that science fiction today becomes the reality of tomorrow. and no doubt in my mind what could be - will be. Software is now making huge advances in intelligence, with software all ready being used in both medical and legal worlds to cut time, and make decisions faster than any human, or team of humans can do. Diagnosis and conclusions are not mans best talent.  There are options that skilled professionals often overlook, but software doesn’t. I walked round a Japanese machine demo factory near Worcester at least twenty years ago, totally automated with only a couple of technicians running it. Sales staff were also present - in the showroom. There was a documentary at least ten years ago, showing a factory in Japan that was totally automated, again staffed by a couple of technicians who were there just to makes sure nothing went wrong. Very little does in fact. Goods delivery (steel) was delivered outside - period. From that point on, nothing was touched by human hand. again till the finished articles were made, then picked up by a human driver. What I said in my previous post above is from an in depth investigation in silicon valley, by the Beeb, and the intention to turn the world into a machine environment is the stated intention of those interviewed. Frightening yes, but also a warning. It will take a second Luddite** revolution to stop it, they have the will and the money to push it through, for their own financial gain, and nothing will stop them except people, whose jobs are at stake.

*The Luddite revolution failed, weaving and lace machines were built, and many home workers lost their jobs. They even burned down the old Nottingham Castle, but that didn’t work either. As in most ‘civilizations’ it takes more than one burning building to stop so called progress.

A friend of mine is a skilled machinist, and a setter/operator - he can program a CNC milling machine, but it needs him to load bare steel into it, and to take it out afterwards. As he now operates a fully automated CNC milling machine (cost over £20K when new,) there’s nothing in automation now to prevent it also being loaded and unloaded by other means. As it is stands he has time t operate another simple CNC miller, but even so, he still spends hours standing and waiting for both machines to finish an operation. The new machine could easily be linked to a central computer, and told to run when necessary, (24 gours if necessary) with program changes done online. Even the basic capstan ,lathe, once set by a setter, can be used by an idiot without any knowledge at all, and they often are used in such  environments with girls and ladies doing the hard work. I witnessed that as a lad. Used one myself also. The capstan lathe is still used in some factories, but in more modern premises, it’s way out of date.

It’s a known fact that all auto factories are widely automated, doesn’t take much effort to change that to a fully computer run operation. Warehousing - a subject I know a lot about, having worked on automated conveyor systems for many years, is on the verge of changing, as automated pickers replace human hands to do the picking. Auto parts and white goods now go into automated warehouses where they are sent from the loading bay to a particular designation, stored in giant storage racks by an automated lift (replacing the fork lift drivers and cost of maintenance) and picked according to order and sent to the shipping bay, where they are loaded onto delivery trucks. Everything now relies on bar codes.

Nike has one such facility, white goods have several. Machines can handle goods better than humans, they don’t normally drop them or make mistakes. Outside contractors fix anything that goes wrong, so they don’t need huge maintenance staff either. So science fiction exists now, not tomorrow, or next year. Knowing that, is what bothers me about the future, which isn’t so far away. So - I’m 85, retired from S/E at 80 (the work dried up,) but i worry about anyone leaving school or Uni - none of whom I see has any future to look forward too. 

Only education of any value will be robotics, automation and system software. Medical science and surgery have changed dramatically in the lest thirty years, I had two inguinal hernias then, and they only fixed one of them. A full ‘cut and shut’ operation, leaving me with a scar about six inches long, which didn’t heal for a while, and led to complications. About ten years ago, they fixed the other one, now keyhole surgery, in and out same day, no problems. They are now using (somewhere) a computer aided robotic machine, guided by human hands and a TV screen to perform internal surgery to discreet inner parts of the body, which were almost impossible to do by human hands alone, They foresee “A great future” for this system. We haven’t got to the Star trek doctor yet, where surgery and diagnostics are performed by a hand held device, but it will appear one day. Memorable, in one scene where they came back in time to visit a hospital and the Doc expressed horror that they still used cut and shut surgery. AI is here now, they’ve just not made big deal out of it yet, but changes will happen to every hospital eventually. Mundane work like basic cleaning will be done by robots, and eventually they will handle nursing too, though time in hospital will be reduced. Hospital porters will be replaced by more robots, guided by your bar cone (hanging off your wrist!)

All of this is dependant on when and how they fix the NHS computerized system, which most staff hate it seems. Again - programming skill leaves a lot to be desired. (same on here then - - Ah’mm.)

To everyone’s relief, I just inadvertently deleted at least two more paragraphs, so I think I’ll end it now. Cia.

The media keep going on about driverless cars and how we all be in one in a few years, but they forget something.

Some of us drive for pleasure.

Sir Isaac Newton predicted that the world would end in 2060, probably about right the way humanity is hell-bent on destroying it themselves.  The only problem for me is I’ll be dead already. I’d really love to see THE END, that’d be something to tell the grandchildren about.


Well he didn’t actually. he said that to get 17th century trolls off his back. Lets not confuse his reglious beliefs with scientific observation.


And at The End, as you are quoting  Newton, Newton would believe that everyone will be at The End. So probably you won’t miss any of the exploding eyeballs and stuff.

Thanks for your post Saz, rich in condescension and lacking in humour, but I did know that it wasn’t one of his scientific papers and that it was part of his theological musings on the Biblical prophets esp. Daniel and the Second Coming of Christ as in the Book of Revelation.  It was a joke, hence the  at the end.

Nonsense. Utter nonsense. Are we supposed to believe the entire classic car world will disappear? and all those cars world wide some worth not just thousands but millions will do what just tucked away in storage or scrapped? Can you imgaine anyone agreeing to that, even if they compensated you, that would cost billions.

Of course not there will always be a place for classic cars, at least. Most MX5s already are classed as classics.

There will be petrol available for classics or they may have to be converted to something like or similar to LPG or hydrogen.

But they will still be around. Just in the minority. Yes average Joe public will drive around in something else everyday, but classics will still exist and still will be on the road. Looking even better and turning even more heads. Like when I ride a horse though a village in the road. People said same about horses, but they’re still around and people (like me) still have them and ride them. You just look eccentric that’s all. I’m eccentric anyway! 


you will be on a horse, if there are any still alive.

you will be on a horse, if there are any still alive.

you will be on a horse, if there are any still alive.