Instigator / Con

There will be more cars after 20 years than now


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With 2 votes and 11 points ahead, the winner is ...

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Round 1
Let's define "Car", and the definition of the term will determine my perspective within the issue.

Car: a road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.

The dictionary says this, as the definition was copy-pasted above this sentence.

"Road vehicle": While we can move from sea to land to air to even space, cars will be outdated because its most prominent form of travel is on land. All cars travel on land and most cars travel on land only. Since Land is separated by oceans, mountains, deserts, swamps, forests, and et cetera, traveling only on land(Which amphibian cars are not popular at all, and flying cars are so scarce it is made into a joke) would mean that the cars will meet obstacles that prevent them from traveling from South Africa to Canada, because there is a big ocean apart of these two. Traveling by air is easier because there are no such restrictions and planes are less likely to crash into space trash and they, on average, kill fewer people per a number of people, at least less than cars. So, in 20 years, there will be "flying cars", which are just private planes.

"Internal combustion engine": Internal combustion engines are harmful to the environment because it emits CO and CO2, which are harmful chemicals and can get people lung cancers. In some countries, gasoline cars were discouraged, and electric cars are sold. due to that electrical motors aren't internal combustion engines, thus electric cars aren't cars anymore according to the definition. Because flying and electric cars(or even a "car" that satisfy both criteria) aren't cars by definition but still upgrades or even replace cars in general, thus cars are discouraged to have because it can't fly and it is harmful to nature.

Flying cars are already made into prototypes all around the world(although they are not sold), and electric cars are already sustainable in economic standards(Tesla, General Motors, Faraday Future, NIO), thus they will replace standard cars by 20 years, and there will be less so-called cars in about 20 years.

Thanks, User_2006 for a great topic!


OBJECTION:  CON failed to define CAR in the description portion of this debate, where any controversial debate terms ought to be presented.  If PRO had understood that flying cars and electric cars would not count as cars, excluded by overly narrow definition as non-cars, PRO would not have accepted this debate.  CON is new to DART and so merits forgiveness on this point but PRO reserves the right to fault CON's definition as insufficient, which PRO does intend to argue.

BoP:  WiKiPEDiA offers:
  • "When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim
    • PRO interprets CON's thesis to mean that CON must prove that there will be fewer cars in the world by the year 2040.  PRO's job is to argue this prediction is probably false (after all, we can't really know the future)

  • For all we know, a 93-yr old Trump might still be our President and coal burning combustion engines mandated by constitutional amendment.  We cannot prove any future outcome must be true [there will be less cars],  the best we can do is to suppose what might be likely

  • CON defines
    • CAR as "a road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people"
    • The definition is manifestly insufficient
      • For example, flying cars are clearly cars
      • For example, cars without internal combustion engines are clearly still cars
        • Electric cars are still cars
        • The Tesla Model X, for example, does not have an internal combustion engine but we still call it a car
          • "In 2016, the Model X ranked seventh among the world's best-selling plug-in cars"
          • The word is derived from the Latin for chariot and use precedes the internal combustion engine by centuries
            • Train cars, subway cars, elevator cars may lack internal combustion engines but are still called cars
    • The advantage of Mirriam-Webster's definition is that most of the things that are obviously cars are defined as cars:
      • CAR [noun] is "a vehicle moving on wheels"
  • PRO recommends this definition as an improvement in accuracy

  • PRO argues flying cars will replace standard cars in 20 years
    • because
      • demand for intercontinental travel
        • PRO assumes intercontinental travel will resume its former popularity after our present emergency wanes
        • Coronaviruses alone that might profoundly limit the popularity of international travel over the next two decades.  If COVID-19 keeps coming back or there's a SARS-3 or a COVID-26 in our future, international travel might well become a heavily regulated public health concern with little demand or opportunity for unrestricted personal flights. We might want to limit traffic to well tracked planes
      • won't crash into space trash
        • traditional ground cars are at least as unlikely to be impacted by space trash as flying cars
      • fewer deaths
        • Says who?  Either everybody who flies has to meet present training level (Flight school costs $5-16,000 so not likely) or we fill the air with insufficiently trained drivers.
          • Think of all the cars we've seen on the side of the road with flat tires or out of gas or broken down.  Now place all those maintenance and planning failures 3 or 4 thousand feet in the air.  Fewer deaths?
  • CON argues that there are too many unknown variables to predict but popular adoption of flying cars in just 20 years seems very unlikely.
    • All the current trends are toward denser, more vertical residential living to leverage greater efficiency in utilities.  Flying cars trend the wrong way.  Where do we store all these winged cars?  Where will all those runways fit?
    • Wikipedia offers:
      • "The need for the propulsion system to be both small and powerful can at present only be met using advanced and expensive technologies. The cost of manufacture could therefore be as much as 10 million dollars"
        • Even if we get the cost down to one-hundredth that in 20 years- that's still 3 times the present cost of a car
    • Almost every model of flying car under consideration still uses an internal combustion engine, which PRO argues won't be around in 20 years.

  • PRO argues that electric cars will replace internal combustion engines in 20 years because pollution harms the environment and people
    • PRO and CON agree that the present level of pollution put out be cars is unsustainable however demand for cleaner tech is no guarantee that cleaner tech will be invented.
      • Present electric car technology requires mineral resources which the Earth simply lacks in sufficient known quantities
        • The UK, with 3.25% of the world's cars,  plans to mandate electric only by 2035.  Leading researchers evaluating the environmental impact of such a move advise:
          • "To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles, assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate, at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper
          • This represents, just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018. Even ensuring the annual supply of electric vehicles only, from 2035 as pledged, will require the UK to annually import the equivalent of the entire annual cobalt needs of European industry"
            • In other words, the planet lacks sufficient rare metals to replace the whole internal combustion fleet with electric cars
      • The most optimistic reports expect electric vehicles to represent 57% of the [new] passenger car market by 2040
      •  So, by 2040, Electric cars may be more than half of the new car market, providing we resolve the the scarcity of essential metals, but the majority of cars will still be old internal combustion cars.
        • Credit Suisse estimates that about a quarter of the total cars on the road in 2040 will be electric

  • The real number of cars in the world is expected to double 2016 estimates to over 2 billion cars world wide.
    • "Cars are projected to reach the two billion mark by 2040, while air travel kilometers are set to hit 20 trillion in the same period.  Bernstein said it expects most of this transport growth to happen in emerging markets like China and India, as global populations are set to rise by another two billion over the next 25 years to 9.2 billion"
    • So, even if we accepted CONs unacceptable assertion that electric cars and flying cars do not count as real cars,
      • 2 billion cars minus an anticipated one-fourth (500 million) electric car is 1.5 billion cars
        • let's also subtract a very generous 15 million flying cars selling at around $100,000 a pop (based on white paper estimates of $1.5 trillion market)
          • to get an estimated total 1,485 million internal combustion engine cars on the road in 2040
          • 1,485 million is still a greater number than the estimated 1,200 million on the road today
    • Even including CON's overly narrow definition of cars, CON's main assertion is shown to be false. 
      • If CON argued that electric cars would outnumber internal combustion engines by 2050, the odds on being right increase significantly but depend heavily on available resources, developments in internal combustion efficiency, developments in battery size, weight, and capacity and the prevalence and efficiency of autonomous driving tech

  • Flying cars still count as cars.  The word car is even in the word (see CON1)

  • Electric cars still count as cars.  The word car is even in word (see CON1)

  • By either definition, CON failed to prove that there will be fewer cars in the world by the year 2040.   Most experts estimate about 2 billion cars in 2040- nearly double 2016 numbers.  We can't know the future, but expert consensus refutes CON's thesis
I look forward to CON's R2 response


Round 2
Refutation 1:

Pro defines Flying cars as cars, which are not exactly correct. Pro explicitly gave the example of the phrase "car" inside the term "flying car", which is not completely correct.
Flying cars are as much a car as it is an airplane if it is not more the latter. Flying cars are planes that just have better wheels(preferably 4 instead of 3 sets). 

I would give an example of "what is in the name DOESN'T make the object that bears the whole name automatically classified to what that name is classified to".

Check the name "sea horse". Are sea horses HORSES? nope. 
  • Sea horses live in the sea while horses live on land.
  • Sea horses are not in the same family of Horses. 
Thus, it is a fact that Sea horses aren't horses, despite bearing the name containing the term "horse".

Now let me prove why Flying cars are more of an aircraft than they are cars. 
  • Flying cars implement the main feature that has never been on cars before, and the more new and distinct things there are added, the less "original and pure" it is. If you add too much water to an oil tube, at one point it can barely be even called an oil tube. Flying cars too. It added something that has only been on aircraft before. 
  • On the contrary, Flying cars implement nothing new(just enhancements. Flying cars to a plane is like a video game console to a video game console with motion control, and flying cars to a car is like a video game console to a TV that just so happens to play games). Other than more movable wheels(which has been on planes since commercial flights were a thing), flying cars has ALL qualities of a private aircraft, apart from that it can maneuver lands easier. Aircraft, like usual, can maneuver lands already(from the middle of the airport to the borders of it), and flying cars are just a few more than that. No new techniques implemented, and flying cars are closer to aircraft than to cars. Thus it is better to categorize flying cars to aircraft than to cars.
  • That still doesn't take account of hovercars, in which they are ALWAYS flying and are also more aircraft than a car.
Train cars, subway cars, elevator cars may lack internal combustion engines but are still called cars.'
Yeah, you know what? Suppose, unrealistically, I kill off all horses(like the ones you'd ride at a derby, or the ones the Mongols rode to conquer Estonia) and reproduce all the sea horses to a population of a trillion, then I will tell you that the horses' population is a trillion, except the entire population, is made up of organisms that aren't horses! So if I banish all "cars", diesel, gasoline, electric, solar, steam... except for elevator cars, they aren't cars by YOUR definition, as it still has to have wheels. An elevator car requires no wheels, and unless you count the entire system in which there are wheels on the top, then they aren't elevator "cars" anymore.

As well, seeing your other definition, planes are "cars" consider they have wheels and they are meant for moving the kilometer from the end of the airport to the terminal, so they are partially cars, but no one calls them cars. Of course, that will make flying cars, but how would you call a lawnmower, a shopping cart, a wheel(evidence: Still is a simulation and a game, but do you call this a car? Moreover, a wheel that moves on gravity, and/or a bicycle are cars?) Calling planes cars just so contradicts your argument as no one calls them Plane Cars. As to this, because no one calls planes cars, and flying cars are just enhanced planes, flying cars aren't cars!

So to your definition, Bicycle, shopping carts, planes, and even unicycles are cars? No one calls them cars!

Another definition I would state contains: That a car has to be used to carry people and a small number of people. This eliminates buses, self-driving trucks, and self-driving "cars" from becoming cars. You need to justify why your Marriam-Webster definition stands because otherwise a unicycle from the circus, as well as a lawnmower and a self-driving truck will be considered cars.

I did state:

Car: a road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.
While you say otherwise, your Marriam-webster definition is considered by me, too broad as circus unicycles are considered cars, as well as wheelchairs. Our definitions are equally correct, but your judgments of "no one calls bikes cars but someone calls elevators cars" would mean your definition for that is too broad. 

You did not disprove my definition, and that definition is the first result that comes up when I search up "car definition". Give me a reason why the top definition of the entire internet is wrong. Since you didn't completely prove that electric cars are cars, and 57% of the "cars" in 2040 will bear no combustion engine, and there are more cars in 2020 than in 2016, thus if the cars will have less double, that means more than today's car population will be "electric" and aren't cars. Thus there will be fewer cars in 2040 than now.

Conclusion: Since con did not completely disprove my definition, I can keep using it, and that would mean flying cars and electric cars aren't cars.
Thanks, User_2006


  • CON has made no objection to BoP.  CON must prove to VOTERS' satisfaction that there will be fewer cars in the world by the year 2040. 


  • PRO has made no reply

  • Going by CON's definition of CAR, experts predict there will be 1.485 billion CARS on the road by 2040
  • We can argue about definitions of CAR all day but using either definition CON loses this debate.  Either number represents MORE CARS on the road than the present 1.2 billion
    • CON argues that because sea horses aren't horses, flying cars must not be cars
      • PRO still wonders why the sci-fi movies all call flying cars CARS then
    • More important to our thesis, will flying cars replace ground cars and in what numbers?
      • In R1, PRO offered 15 million flying cars and called that a generous estimate.  CON did not counter the number so let's let that number stand- just 15 million flying cars to offset an increased demand of 800 million.  CON fails to show that flying cars will replace CARS by 2040.

  • CON argues that because electric cars don't have internal combustion engines, electric cars must not be cars.
      • Here is Car and Driver magazine call a Tesla Model 3 a CAR
        • "We're not exaggerating when we say that the Tesla Model 3 has an interior unlike any other car on the market today"
          • Tesla Model 3's don't have an internal combustion engine
          • Car and Driver still counts electric cars as cars.

  • CON offered an overly narrow definition late
    • PRO objected
  • VOTERS need not resolve the question of the definition of CAR, since PRO has shown that CON's thesis fails using either definition.  There will be more CARS by 2040.

  • CON argued flying cars will replace standard cars in 20 years because of increased demand for intercontinental travel
    • PRO countered that coronavirus will increase intercontinental regulation and more limits will likely restrict demand
      • CON made no response
  • CON argued flying cars will replace standard cars in 20 years because flying cars won't crash into space trash
    • PRO countered that present ground cars seem just as safe or safer from space debris
      • CON made no response
  • CON argued flying cars will replace standard cars in 20 years because flying cars will give us few deaths.
    • PRO asked for evidence.  What are the training challenges of flying cars?  If more complicated than a ground car (as a flying car would certainly need to be) we have to assume less demand or higher death rates from untrained drivers.  PRO assumes more death, not less as people run out of gas five thousand feet above a playground.
      • CON made no response
  • PRO argued flying cars would be hard to store, against the current trend towards smaller footprints.
    • CON made no response
  • PRO argued flying cars will cost three times a regular car, driving down demand
    • CON made no responase
  • PRO argued flying cars depend on internal combustion engines, which CON predicts will be phased out.  What other engine technology supports flight?  We're nowhere near getting electric cars that much power.  Consider how lightweight that flying car would have to be and consider how lightweight frames offer less protection against impacts- see more deaths above
    • CON made no response

  • CON argues that electric cars will replace internal combustion engines in 20 years because pollution harms the environment and people
    • PRO showed that the planet lacks sufficient rare metal to support a mass transition to electric
      • CON made no response
    • PRO showed that that the electric cars will at best represent one quarter of all cars by 2040
      • CON made no response

  • VOTERS should award ARGUMENTS to PRO: By either definition, CON failed to prove that there will be fewer cars in the world by the year 2040. 
  • Thanks to User_2006 for a good debate
  • Thanks to VOTERS for their kind consideration