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Old 19th August 2016, 00:52   #16
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Default re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post

it seems that this technology is just 5 to 7 years away -
The technology is already there and might I add, working considerably well. I remember reading a journal a few days ago, I'm not sure of which company, maybe Volvo and Uber. Their studies and experiments stated accidents happen 1 in 2000. 1 in 2000 is like having quite literally no accidents as compared to the crashes on our roads. Though in this test a bloke did unfortunately die.

I don't think our country laws will allow this. Even simple radar based tech is prohibited on our roads, I highly doubt self driving cars to ever come in place out here. Perhaps in the future when people aren't driving anymore, hovering cars are around and flying automobiles are commonplace, that is when we'd be getting self driven cars. There is barely anyone obeying traffic laws. Im not talking about red light and 4 way round abouts. Im talking about lane changing bikers and spoilt kids driving their youths away. Bikers don't ever wear helmets, car drivers dont put on the seatbelt, aggressive breaking, excessive speeding, two way lanes on a strict one way road and then there are wild animals on our roads. The cubs and offsprings on these said animals, and then real human beings and then even their kids. Its an absolute disaster.

My sincerest advice is you get yourself a nice new car, Innova crysta is pretty good, but top model is incredibly overpriced. If budget allows, nothing is quite like the comfort of the Innova. You can look at Endeavour or the new Fortuner due soon. But best bet is to not even consider a self driven car here anytime soon. Perhaps our grandkids may see them driven down Mahatma Gandhi road one day, but not us.
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Old 19th August 2016, 13:50   #17
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

If you have the money, you can pony up the cash for a Volvo s90 which is going to launch shortly.

This has Level 3 autonomous driving tech and Volvo has committed to taking all liability when the car is self driving.

That's the closest you will get to a self driving car in India for now. Do note that Pilot Assist only works on well marked highways.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 19th August 2016 at 13:53.
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Old 19th August 2016, 16:15   #18
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
I could have probaly solved this equation myself, if not for this huge variable called 'Self-Driving-Cars'. I was under the assumption that this technology is a good 20 years away. However, it seems that this technology is just 5 to 7 years away -

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-new...g-2021-n632071
While I appreciate your optimism towards Self-Drive cars making their way in the main stream Indian market; however, I feel that is not anywhere close in sight as of now. We are still fighting over moot issues like what capacity vehicles run in which cities and how long some one can keep their cars on road etc. Add to that the utter chaos on city roads with all the two-wheelers, three wheelers, fours wheelers and no wheelers (Live stocks, dogs, cats and what not)

Had I been in your place, I would have picked up a pre-owned, carefully maintained Innova, which would take care of the depreciation issue as compared to the depreciation of a brand new car.

The second option which I can think of is, if your family size is like four adults and a kid, then even an brand-new Ertiga would be good enough.
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Old 19th August 2016, 16:19   #19
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

Others have already said a lot about the low chances of a self-drive car coming to our country in the next few years at least.

Aside from the Innova (now pricey to buy new) and the Ertiga, I would also suggest a pre-owned Innova as an option if pre-owned is an option for you. At almost the same price of a new Ertiga, the pros would be :

- Better ride comfort in the Innova
- Toyota's service and reliability levels
- Better build
- Better resale value (Innova resale is quite famous) whenever you wish to upgrade after a few years
- A lot more space than the Ertiga which might come in handy.
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Old 19th August 2016, 16:33   #20
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

Going by the replies of my fellow Team-BHPians, I am starting to feel that my optimism on self-driving cars is misplaced.
However, even if self-driving cars aren't going to come to India anytime soon (maybe owing to the roads, legislation etc), wouldn't the next generation cars in India be having an absolutely different level of gadgetry? Wouldn't auto-pilot, auto-braking, collision-aversion etc start to come as standard in the Rs. 20-30 lacs bracket cars in the next 5-10 years?
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Old 19th August 2016, 17:03   #21
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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For the not-so-enthusiastic driver in me, these are exciting and confusing times. Maybe it will take a lot longer to get the necessary infrastructure up in India, maybe not. But given that this technology is just round the corner, does it not make sense to buy the next car as a stop-gap solution instead of splurging, and instead save-up for the self-driving car which should be widely available in a few years time?
Even though the next big thing in the auto industry seems to be a self-driven car, it will take some time before it is available for everyday use, even in developed countries.
Consider at least a decade, before it actually hits Indian roads. I am sure, a decade is not very short time for a car's life, even though you would like to keep your cars as long as possible.
So, I would suggest go for the best possible car in your budget, instead of going for a stop-gap solution.

OT: Getting stop-gap cars can be a wrong decision, whatever is the reason. I bought my first about 1.5 years ago, just for practising driving - with an idea that I would replace it with a bigger car after I learn well. I got comfortable with driving much quicker than I actually expected, and now I find it to be too small for my family usage. I could have picked up a proper B2 hatchback like the i20 at that time itself. Now, I feel the car is too small, but also too early to replace.
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Old 19th August 2016, 20:00   #22
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
Going by the replies of my fellow Team-BHPians, I am starting to feel that my optimism on self-driving cars is misplaced.
It is, I was really surprised when I saw this thread, nothing could be farther from reality. Expecting a self-driving car launch in India isn't the unbelievable part, its the faith in this 'self-drive technology' that you've shown, knowing India and the truth around traffic, driving etiquette & infra.

It seems you've put too much faith in our country.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
However, even if self-driving cars aren't going to come to India anytime soon (maybe owing to the roads, legislation etc), wouldn't the next generation cars in India be having an absolutely different level of gadgetry? Wouldn't auto-pilot, auto-braking, collision-aversion etc start to come as standard in the Rs. 20-30 lacs bracket cars in the next 5-10 years?
While I could answer your question but waiting for 5-10 years for the next generation of cars is something that just doesn't make sense. Forget here, some manufacturers themselves wouldn't know what cars they'd be making 10 years down the line. I think if you can afford a Crysta right now just buy it and you'd be surprised what all is going to happen in this sector in the next 10 years.

EDIT: The panels in 2010 Swift had far better tensile strength than the new-gen 2016 Swift. Ask a denter and he'll confirm the same. In some cases cost cutting, Indian buyer mentality etc. is pushing manufacturers in making tin cans instead of safer cars so which direction will all this move into (also considering that Bharat NCAP is coming too) is anybody's guess.

Last edited by fine69 : 19th August 2016 at 20:12.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 09:37   #23
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
wouldn't the next generation cars in India be having an absolutely different level of gadgetry? Wouldn't auto-pilot, auto-braking, collision-aversion etc start to come as standard in the Rs. 20-30 lacs bracket cars in the next 5-10 years?
The million rupee question is - how well will they be adapted to India? You can be sure that manufacturers will err on the side of safety. That means they'll be more annoying than useful.

I drove the Volvo S60 T6 from Mumbai to Nasik. The safety systems & alerts went berserk in our driving conditions. We eventually switched them OFF.

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While some of the features have inherent value, the others are irrelevant to India. For instance, when driving within the city, keeping the gaps that us Indians are used to (and I mean, COMFORTABLE gaps), the beeps & alerts drove us crazy! A cycle passes from the front of the car = BEEP. A pedestrian is toward the front LHS of the car in a busy market place = BEEP. These systems definitely need to be localised for Indian driving conditions. In their current form, the sensors are hypersensitive & something or the other keeps beeping every 5 minutes. On the final leg of the drive, I switched most of the systems off.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 09:41   #24
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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The million rupee question is - how well will they be adapted to India?

I drove the Volvo S60 T6 from Mumbai to Nasik. The safety systems & alerts went berserk in our driving conditions. We eventually switched them OFF.
Actually they've removed many of the irrelevant systems now for the cars destined to India.

At least in my car, I only see Collision Auto-brake which has actually saved my skin once when a truck without brake lamps braked suddenly.

The driver support package which had cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, BLIS and radar guided cruise control is no longer offered in India AFAIK.

Smart decision to be honest - these will not work in India and have to be perpetually switched off.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 22nd August 2016 at 09:44.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 21:52   #25
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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Originally Posted by nishsingh View Post
Going by the replies of my fellow Team-BHPians, I am starting to feel that my optimism on self-driving cars is misplaced.
However, even if self-driving cars aren't going to come to India anytime soon (maybe owing to the roads, legislation etc), wouldn't the next generation cars in India be having an absolutely different level of gadgetry? Wouldn't auto-pilot, auto-braking, collision-aversion etc start to come as standard in the Rs. 20-30 lacs bracket cars in the next 5-10 years?
By this logic, one would never buy a car, a phone, a TV or anything related to technology as the models coming in a few years are bound to be more advanced.

Self driving cars are not likely to be a reality anywhere in the world for at least a decade barring some small test pockets. They are still being tested in a few select cities under ideal conditions with restrictions. India doesn't even have mandatory airbags or ABS even today, decades after they were made mandatory in the more developed nations. This shows how behind we are in car technology.

When I bought my Toyota Prius hybrid in 2004 in the US, a lot of people would look at it and ask silly questions for the first few years. It was only after about 5 years that the hybrids became common and there are still a lot of people who distrust them. A hybrid car is no different to drive than a normal one. Imagine the time it would take to accept a driverless car! It would take at least twenty years for such vehicles to arrive in India and even then they would work in only small pockets where (hopefully) the traffic conditions would be more streamlined. Unfortunately, I don't see any effort being made to rein in unruly traffic in India. People drive on the wrong side, don't follow the roundabouts, pedestrians cross where they want, stray animals roam the streets and no proper parking rules exist.

I love advanced gadgetry in cars and always seek to get the latest safety technology. I find collision alert, cruise control, side traffic alert etc. to be quite useful even in India. Still, I can't expect to use cruise control for 50 km nonstop. Technology will keep arriving in India and most of it would be useful but less so than the West due to our traffic conditions.

Last edited by Lobogris : 23rd August 2016 at 21:54.
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Old 25th August 2016, 01:42   #26
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Dear OP, other members

My view is that the driver-less car is going to be an evolutionary process - today we don't even have self braking, or collision warnings and these features will start getting mainstream in a couple of years.

Tell me this: Will a self driving car ever be able to change lanes from behind a slow moving truck on the Bangalore or Hyderabad airport roads? Will the honking and flashing of lights from the near lane ever allow the software to change lanes?

Will KR Puram ever allow the car to move by making the pedestrians stop?

What will the car do when another auto is coming in its lane from the wrong side, and the only next lane has cars speeding past?
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Old 25th August 2016, 05:12   #27
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

@nishsingh
Fellow BHPians have given sound advice on your dilemma(?). Here is my two bits:
  • The only thing that is constant in life is "change" - Meaning that there would be always something new, better, different, costlier, cheaper tomorrow. And if Murphy is active, then this would manifest just after you have committed to a decision.
  • The comfort, aspirations and delight of your family matters too.
  • Live the moment, albeit wisely.

Having said that, if there are no members in the family who drive, and since you don't like driving; it may actually be better if you employed a dedicated driver for the family - that is assuming that his (capacity) utilisation would justify the appointment and that affordability is not an issue. A dedicated driver, if selected and treated properly, would in fact have more ownership in the job, and hence the performance; than that of a reluctant driver with a wandering mind.

Last edited by earthian : 25th August 2016 at 05:13. Reason: house keeping
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Old 25th August 2016, 15:20   #28
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I drove the Volvo S60 T6 from Mumbai to Nasik. The safety systems & alerts went berserk in our driving conditions. We eventually switched them OFF.
This line almost single-handedly deflated my enthusiasm in the future of automobiles in India

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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
At least in my car, I only see Collision Auto-brake which has actually saved my skin once when a truck without brake lamps braked suddenly.
Before this post restored it.

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Originally Posted by Lobogris View Post
By this logic, one would never buy a car, a phone, a TV or anything related to technology as the models coming in a few years are bound to be more advanced.
I find collision alert, cruise control, side traffic alert etc. to be quite useful even in India. Technology will keep arriving in India and most of it would be useful but less so than the West due to our traffic conditions.
I agree. I bought my last car, my SX4 Zxi, mainly because it was laden with safety features (at that price-point) - Dual Airbags, ABS with EBD. But, 10 years on, if I choose an Ertiga (at the same price point), I don't get any additional safety features (well maybe, the reverse sensors and camera). Even if I spend around 3 times what I paid for my SX4 on the Innova Crysta AT, I only get a few more airbags and vehicle stability control.

After a decade since my last purchase, and with the willingness to pay 3 times over, I would have hoped to get at least a few of the new autonomous driving technologies that are only now beginning to show on the high-end cars such as Volvos and the 2017 Range Rover Sport. Clearly I was hoping for too much?
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Old 25th August 2016, 16:01   #29
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Even if I spend around 3 times what I paid for my SX4 on the Innova Crysta AT, I only get a few more airbags and vehicle stability control.



After a decade since my last purchase, and with the willingness to pay 3 times over, I would have hoped to get at least a few of the new autonomous driving technologies that are only now beginning to show on the high-end cars such as Volvos and the 2017 Range Rover Sport. Clearly I was hoping for too much?

What you are forgetting is that in these 10 years the innova crysta has evolved too. When you got your sx4 zxi, the innova was costing twice your car's price. That equation remains unchanged. Today the Ciaz (replacement of the sx4) costs half of the crysta. But if you compare the Innova then and now, They are pretty different. You get better engine options, interiors, exterior and more safety features.

Can you please list out the autonomous driving technologies you were hoping to get?
Similar cars abroad get nothing more than a blind spot sensor/camera in addition to ABS, EBD, ESP & multiple airbags.

IMHO 10 years is very short time to incorporate technologies associated to autonomous driving. Rest of the changes related to engines, gearboxes, suspension setups's and body frames are easily noticeable.

Asit
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Old 27th August 2016, 20:41   #30
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Default Re: Buy expensive car now, or save up for a self-driving car?

Self-driving car option is clearly ruled by BHPians.

But why only Innova or Ertiga. Can there be other options?

I am going through a similar situation. I have a large family and small car.

Ertiga fits my budget well. However, 1. It doesn’t appeal to my heart. 2. Recently, I witnessed an accident involving Ertiga. Though Ertiga driver was at fault. He was driving a fully loaded Ertiga too fast. He couldn’t brake in time and hit a truck. I felt Ertiga’s brakes were also to be blamed. I would surely think twice before buying an Ertiga now.

Innova Crysta is just too costly. With captain seats, top end model is only a six seater.

Other options that I am contemplating are:
  1. Buy another hatch/sedan. On positive side, I would get 10 seats. I would not have to drive around a large car in the city. I can buy a fund to drive, hot hatch. However, I would need another competent driver in the family, particularly on somewhat difficult journeys. Also, family doesn’t get to travel together in the same car.
  2. Whenever needed, use car rentals – Uber / Ola in the city and Zoomcar/Myles for outstation travel. Under this option I don’t block my money. I spend in a pay-per-use manner. I don’t need to worry about second parking or driver. But this option gives less freedom.
  3. Use combination of the above two
  4. Wait for some better suited cars to launch
  5. Wait, save and buy a large car like Innova Cyrsta. (Somehow, I don't like taking loans)
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