The Future of the TAC

Yesterday my partner got her vehicle registration notice. It includes a significant fee for the Traffic Accident Commission, 58% of what she pays goes to TAC. These funds go toward supporting victims of traffic crashes in the costs associated with recovering from traffic-related injury.

She noted that in the future when there are driverless cars, the need for this sort of fund will decrease. That the number of people dying or being injured on the roads will decrease with reduced human error. 

It might be hard to imagine self-driving cars being less accident prone but they are far more equipped to detect and respond to threats than our ability to process information on the road. Our brains only process 40 bits of information per second, computers by definition compute at a far faster rate than we do. Cars and driving them are huge parts of our identity, looking forward to getting your license when you’re young and dreading losing it when you’re old. It’s associated with freedom and independence.

Can you imagine the freedom of your car service picking you up and taking you to your destination like a taxi but without the stress of the potential for human error? Can you imagine having the option to choose a transport service that is social, where people actually talk to each other and want to talk to each other.

Can you imagine the point where the evidence of human error being so great that it starts a debate about if we should stop letting humans operate large machinery like cars? I wonder what will happen to the TAC then.



This post is day 21 of 45 posts for 45 years.

My travel hacking: Frieght hopping

[Day 27] What’s your best travel hacking story to date?

Freight hopping along the west coast of the US was the best travel hacking experience I’ve ever had. This does not fit neatly into what is considered travel hacking but that’s often how it is in my world. In terms of how I define it, this is the ultimate.

In 1995 I and a handful of activist friends departed Victoria BC for San Francisco for the Food Not Bombs conference and 20-year anniversary. We’d heard about freight hopping and wanted to try it. Lucky for us one of the people also staying at our billet was an experienced freight hopper. One day I will write a book about these adventures but for now I will give you the abbreviated version.

Our first time, there was nearly 10 of us. Not obvious at all! We managed to get caught very quickly but weren’t easily deterred. We split up and headed inland, this was before cell/mobile phones! We went through the Columbia River Gorge and across the top of Idaho and up into Montana as far as Glacier National Park and later back to the West Coast of BC and south to San Diego.

Our adventures included being rained on when there was no shelter on the back of a train car and going through an unexpected tunnel that lasted for Continue reading