Wednesday, October 10, 2014

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Inaugural Automated Vehicle Summit @ Fort Monmouth


Press release.Oct 9, 2014 Princeton, NJ "New Jersey’s first summit meeting on creation of a center for research, certification, and commercialization of automated vehicle technology took place on October 3 at former Army base Fort Monmouth in Oceanport.  The purpose of the meeting was to bring together stakeholders with a vested interest and the wherewithal to place New Jersey at the forefront of research into potentially life-saving technology.


More than 60 invited participants to the summit included representatives of: the insurance industry, automakers, wireless communications industry, motor vehicle regulators, public transit industry, and universities.  State Senators Jennifer Beck, Thomas H. Kean, Jr., Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr., and Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, Jr. represented New Jersey’s legislative bodies..." Read more  Hmmm..Progress!  Alain


A Driverless Alternative: Fleet Size and Cost Requirements for a Statewide Autonomous Taxi Network in New Jersey

Chris Brownell and Alain Kornhauser "... Given recent advancements in the field of vehicle autonomy, a potential solution to the car’s growing problems has presented itself: an autonomous taxi network (ATN). Drawing from the classic personal rapid transit model as well as Mark Gorton’s idea of smart paratransit, two potential designs for an ATN are presented and compared with one another, and the viability of the ATN concept is explored in view of statewide transportation demand in New Jersey. With travel demand as generated by Talal Mufti in 2012, the smart paratransit model emerges as the more economically viable implementation, requiring a fleet size between 1.6 and 2.8 million six-passenger vehicles to meet the state’s travel demand in its entirety, at a cost to consumers of $16.30 to $23.50 per person per day."  Read more Hmmm... Interesting. Alain


Impacts of Future Vehicle Technologies on Infrastructure and Design


Alain Kornhauser, September 29, 2014 "...Good paint, Good N surface, Good signs, Safe havens.  othing more.  Certainly can't justify public investment in "technologies" that are anything but useless to all existing drivers and, at best, may some day be useful to those that have to outfit themselves with even more technology before the expensive technology has any chance of being useful.  The public sector simply isn't that rich.   ..."  The Slides


America’s 10 Best Cities f or Commuting on Public Transit


Alex Davies  10.09.14 "...The rankings are included in a new report from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies, which used a novel approach to score cities based on how many jobs they offer that are accessible by public transit.

The above maps show how many jobs can be reached in half an hour, without using a car.


The report, by Andrew Owen and David Levinson, defines accessibility as “the ease of reaching valued destinations,” in this case jobs. Simply put, it’s an examination of how easy it is for people to get to work.


Each metro region is ranked by how long it takes people to get to work: Jobs that can be reached within 10 minutes are worth more than those accessible with 20 minutes, and so on, up to 60 minutes. Data for job locations is drawn from the Census Bureau, and the time it takes to get there is measured using “detailed pedestrian networks” and full transit schedules for weekdays between 7 and 9 am.


The method accounts for things like how long it takes to walk from a transit stop to a destination and transfer times from one bus or subway line to another. Importantly, it also factors in service frequency and includes the time people spend waiting for a bus or train to arrive.  Read more  Hmmm,... This is REALLY interesting!!! Read the report.  Alain


What Old Transit Maps Can Teach Us About a City's Future


Kyle Shelton 10/10/2014 "... Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles are three of America's most notoriously car-dependent metropolitan areas, but each has taken steps of late to counter highway-first development patterns with more sustainable ones. Houston is expanding its light rail system, improving walkability, and considering an enhanced bus plan. Atlanta has pushed transit-oriented development with its BeltLine project and may soon add a new county to its MARTA system. Los Angeles remains committed to a 30-year, transit-intensive, multi-modal plan funded by voters in 2008.


The transportation futures of these cities will largely be defined by whether these new efforts pan out or fall flat. Before elected officials and transportation authorities in these cities look too far ahead, they might be wise to glance back. During the past 50 years, citizens in Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles rejected transit plans only to see elements of those same plans re-emerge in today's growing systems. By delaying the development of mass transit within their most densely populated corridors, in some cases for decades, all three cities missed opportunities to expand mobility, contributing to many of the problems they face today.


To illustrate this point, I've undertaken an analysis of historic transit maps from each of these cities to highlight many of these once-rejected, later-constructed routes. ..."  Read more

Hmmm Interesting; however, the opportunity to offer mobility unburdened by labor costs to essentially everyone may well make many of these systems obsolete even before their ribbon cutting. We may well be achieving something that we should have achieved 50 years ago.  Then it would have delivered full value, but tomorrow it may well be completely out of phase and we should just sit back and say that we missed the opportunity whose whose virtues had a finite time in the sun, but are now about to be supplanted by an even better form of mobility.  Alain


Mercedes Is Making a Self-Driving Semi to Change the Future of Shipping


By Alex Davies  10.07.14 "  n the Future Truck, which Mercedes unveiled at a commercial vehicle conference last month, the driver becomes a “transport manager.” He gets the truck onto the highway and merges into traffic. At 50 mph, he’s prompted to activate the “Highway Pilot” and relax. He can pivot his seat 45 degrees away from the wheel, and doesn’t even need to check Google Maps, since the truck has a navigation system ( hopefully CoPilot :-)  ) to independently find the best route. If the truck approaches construction, or it’s time to get off the highway, it flashes a visual alert to tell the driver to get his hands back on the wheel. If he doesn’t comply (maybe he’s asleep?), the truck sounds an alarm, and if necessary can bring itself to “a controlled emergency stop.”..."  Read more  Hmmm reported on this on July 8.  This is somewhat a repeat, but one that deserves to be taken seriously.  The savings in top-line self-insured liability expenses, insurance premiums and the possibility of expanding "hours-of-service" makes this technology very interesting to each Motor Carrier CFO, CEO and shareholder.  Alain


Jaguar joins the race to driverless cars


 Jonathan Hawley October 3, 2014 "...Jaguar Land Rover is well on the way to delivering with a car that will drive itself within the next decade.   Speaking at the Paris motor show, JLR's director of research and technology Dr Wolfgang Epple said the advanced technology added to its new XE sedan meant it was prepped and ready to start the first steps towards fully autonomous driving.  "For Jaguar Land Rover it will happen within the next 10 years," he said..." Read more  Hmmm... Why so cautious? Alain


Restating NHTSA’s NMVCCS for Automated Vehicles


Oct. 1, 2014 "NHTSA concluded its National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) in 2008. The NMVCCS analyzed the events leading up to a motor vehicle crash to determine what was causing automobile accidents. This study, which found that 93% of accidents are caused by human error, is often referenced to justify and quantify automated vehicles’ accident reduction potential. However, this study was never intended to be applied to automated vehicles. ... To this end, the Task Force has re-evaluated the NMVCCS in the context of an automated vehicle world. It found that automated vehicles can be expected to address up to 51% of accidents, not the 93% that is commonly referenced. The safety of automated vehicles should not be determined by today’s standards; things that cause accidents today may or may not cause accidents in an automated vehicle era. Rather, things like the vehicle’s failure rate  (after accounting for any fail-safes, infrastructure investments, and driver interactions) and unavoidable accidents (e.g., falling rocks) should be the gauge by which they should be measured.  Safety metrics should also consider additional criteria that would not be part of today’s standards and safety concerns, as automation introduces additional risks to consider. ..."  Read more

Hmmm... This is a major turnaround and one that needs detailed peer review.  I have not done that but will try to get to it.  If the best that we can hope to get out of automation is a halving of the accidents, not an order of magnitude reduction, then Volvo has no chance of coming anywhere close to ... "no one shall be... by 2020" .  We all need to look very carefully at this report." Alain


Is 'talking' to your car DANGEROUS?


Jonathan O'Callaghan 7 October 2014 "Study finds tech significantly distracts drivers - and Apple's Siri is the worst offender.Many car manufacturers and phone makers rave about the smart systems in cars that are designed to help drivers safely use their devices at the wheel.

But in a study, researchers found that such systems were actually dangerous, as drivers were distracted by misunderstood requests or poor service.  On a scale of one to five, five being most distracting, Apple's Siri rated the worst at 4.14 while others such as Chevrolet's MyLink also ranked highly at 3.7..."  Read more Hmmm...Not at all surprising.  Alain



Half-baked stuff that probably doesn't deserve your time:


Tesla Model S P85D AWD and auto-pilot demo

Hmmm  Easy to do with good paint (highly illuminated lane makings).  I see Hype! Alain


Re-Programming Mobility


August, 2014 "After decades of anticipation, digital technologies are beginning to have a major impact on the way Americans travel – from deciding when and where to take trips, to selecting modes and planning routes, and coordinating with others while on the go. Behind the scenes, these technologies are also being used to rewire infrastructure and services that enable transportation networks to function.


Investments in these technologies dwarf spending on conventional transportation solutions – for instance, as much private capital has been poured into cellular networks as public capital was spent on the entire Interstate Highway System, about $500 billion in current dollars. But transportation planning is only beginning to grapple with the far-reaching impacts of these rapid shifts. How will services like e-hailing, autonomous vehicles, and electronic road pricing impact the way people travel, land use patterns, and the management and planning of transportation itself?..." Read more 


Hmmm... very interesting, but they fail to observe the implications of the availability of mobility on-demand without incurring a cost-of-labor.  automatedBusRapidTransit (aBRT),  with its implied schedule, fixed routes and multiple intermediate stops, is totally inferior to on-demand shared autonomousTaxis that are managed so as to have the right sized aTaxi at the right place at the right time in order to accommodate all who wish to travel to compatible destinations at that time. Alain


Town Built for Driverless Cars

By Will Knight on October 3, 2014  "Tricky intersections and rogue mechanical pedestrians will provide a testing area for automated and connected cars."  Read more Hmmm...Is the objective here to build intersections that automated cars can't negotiate.  If so, that's easy.  Why is what being built? Alain


C'mon Man! (These folks didn't get/read the memo):


Tesla's D-Day: Hype vs. reality


Phil leBeau 10/10/2014 Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk turned a product upgrade announcement into a major media event, building anticipation over the course of a week by dropping a few clues on social media and dancing around questions about "Unveiling the D".   Watch the video  Hmmm  My vote is Hype! Alain







Prof. Alain L. Kornhauser

Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (PAVE)

Princeton University





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