Sunday, December 21, 2014

Share |


Daimler Chairman Dr. Dieter Zetsche to Deliver Keynote Address at 2015 CES


Arlington, VA – 10/06/2014 – "The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced that Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, will deliver a 2015 International CES® keynote address focused on the latest advances in autonomous vehicle technology. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2015 CES, the global gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, will run January 6-9, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Dr. Zetsche will discuss autonomous vehicle technology and its impact on society, mobility and environment, as well as raise ideas and questions for the future. In addition to his insights on the future of Daimler Intelligence Drive, Dr. Zetsche’s 2015 CES keynote will feature the world-debut of a new car concept. His address is slated for 8 PM Monday, January 5 at the Chelsea Theater within the Cosmopolitan." Read more Daimler will have a Level 4 Research Car at their booth on January 6 ONLY!  Alain


Senate Passes Kean Bill to Make NJ a Hub for Driverless Vehicles


"The state Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean to make New Jersey a hub for the development, testing and implementation of driverless vehicles.


“The people of New Jersey, our workforce and economy have a lot to gain from being at the forefront of such innovation, and the implementation of driverless vehicles will make our roadways much safer and less congested,” said Kean (R-Union, Somerset, Morris). “This legislation sends a strong message to innovators, entrepreneurs and job creators that New Jersey is not afraid to create waves of the future, and that New Jersey is the perfect home for them to develop and grow. I urge the state Assembly to immediately advance this legislation to Gov. Chris Christie for consideration.”...


“As we have heard from the testimonies of Mr. Kornhauser and driverless vehicle developer Mr. Mathur, this legislation is essential to attract and retain new jobs, innovation and entrepreneurship in New Jersey, as driverless vehicle efforts here continue to progress,” Kean said. “We have great locations and resources for research, development and testing, such as Fort Monmouth.”  Read more  see also Hmmmm... It passed 35-0!  :-)  Alain


Florida Becomes Early Adopter of AV Technology

Dec 14,  "One of the best ways to promote understanding and knowledge of a new technology or system is to lead by example. To take that leading role in automated vehicle technology, Florida leaders have cemented their dedication by making Florida one of the first states to adopt and deploy the technology. This early adoption will mainly take root in commercial and mass transit vehicles, in hopes that it will soon spread to passenger vehicles as well.


To promote this movement, the FDOT Central Office and District 7 have combined efforts on a pilot project that focuses on the installation and operation of the MobilEye Advanced Driver Assistant System, which is comprised of a series of sensors that alert drivers to pedestrians, potential collisions, lane departures, and so on. The system will be installed on a wide variety of vehicles, including sedans, buses, vans, and mass transit vehicles to determine its effectiveness for all drivers. GeoTab has provided the telematics system that will be used to measure the effectiveness of MobilEye for each vehicle. As a basis for comparison, 50 additional vehicles were outfitted with the telematics system alone..."  Read more


£10m project to provide specialist facilities for development of transport


A £10million project has been unveiled at Cranfield University to provide specialist support facilities.


The university has been awarded funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to provide a new centre for teaching programmes on intelligent mobility and transport systems at the campus.


The £10 million Integrated Transport Systems Engineering Centre, jointly funded by HEFCE, South East Midland Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Cranfield, will provide a dedicated space with specialist facilities. The teaching centre and ‘virtual’ hub will support teaching, training and executive education development for the burgeoning intelligent mobility and transport systems sector.

Read more


Some other thoughts that deserve your time:



Michael Sivak, Dec 2014 UNTRI-2014-36 "...The present report examines the relationship between road transportation and economic activity since the end of the Second World War. The two measures of interest were distance driven per inflation-adjusted GDP and fuel consumed per inflation-adjusted GDP.  The main finding is that distance driven per GDP reached its highest values in a broad plateau from the early 1970s through the early 1990s, and then decreased steadily. By 2012, the value of this measure decreased by 22% from its absolute maximum, which was reached in 1977. Some of the factors that likely contributed to the recent decline in the value of this measure are the decreased amount of personal transportation, decreased contribution to GDP of truck transportation, and the increased contribution to GDP of data services, information processing, and e-commerce.  The amount of fuel consumed per GDP peaked in the early 1970s, and then decreased by 47% by 2012. The relatively steep decline in the value of this measure reflects the added contribution of the improvement in vehicle fuel economy from the 1970s on..."  Read more  Hmmm Very interesting!  Alain


Auto Dealers Adjust to Click-and-Drive Trend

12.16.2014 (Beijing) – Online retail websites in China are paving a wider sales path for new vehicles by catering to increasing numbers of "click-and-drive" car buyers.


Tmall, the retail division of e-commerce giant Alibaba, reported explosive growth for new-vehicle orders on the Chinese shopping-holiday Single's Day, November 11. Some 50,700 shoppers clicked a booking through its website, representing an estimated 500 percent increase from online demand on the same day in 2013.


Other retail websites reported similar spikes. A website that sells cars called registered bookings for some 530,000 vehicles November 11, compared to around 90,000 cars on the same day 2013.


One auto industry analyst who asked not to be named said more Chinese consumers are switching from browsing inside dealer showrooms to browsing the web before clicking on a car of their choice. Many have found online shopping more efficient and effective than traveling from showroom to showroom in search of a new set of wheels.  Read more


When there is no driver, car interiors can go wild


Dec 15, 2014 "It's time for a complete rethink of the car interior of self-driving cars. Here are some ideas..."  Read more


Driverless cars: a retrospective from the year 2035 on what went wrong – video


A nice video just for fun!!  :-)  Alain


Jaguar Concept Gives Drivers 360 Degree View (VIDEO)

Dec 17, 2014 Matt Mercuro "The U.K.-based Jaguar Land Rover smart concept car has a "smart" windscreen that displays hazards and projects a "ghost car" in order to assist drivers when weaving their way through traffic, according to a company press release.


The vehicle has cameras fitted to the outside frame of the vehicle in order to provide a live feed onto screens on the pillars inside the vehicle, according to the automaker. This basically makes them see-through, with the feed kicking in when the driver moves their head over their shoulder or approaches a junction.


The technology, which is still in concept form, could reduce the amount of accidents that take place around the globe..." Read more


Comment: UK-based innovators could harvest 5G windfall


UK-based innovators operating in fields outside of mobile telecommunications are already working towards a chance to benefit from the 5G standard, ahead of the introduction of the new mobile network by 2020.


5G, the fifth generation mobile network, has a number of exciting aims, which have not yet been fully agreed or defined. As well as improving usage and download speeds for mobile internet users, it is hoped that the 5G network will be more efficient in the way it uses energy and the radio spectrum. It will also be more joined up – facilitating greater simultaneous usage and, importantly, allowing space for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, which will open the door to the ‘Internet of Things.." Read more


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

Autonomous Cars Will Require a Totally New Kind of Map


Greg Miller 12.15.14 "...Autonomous cars will require maps that differ in several important ways from the maps we use today for turn-by-turn directions. They need to be hi-def. Meter-resolution maps may be good enough for GPS-based navigation, but autonomous cars will need maps that can tell them where the curb is within a few centimeters. They also need to be live, updated second by second with information about accidents, traffic backups, and lane closures. Finally, and this was the point Skillman was trying to make with the 1720 road atlas, they’ll need to take human psychology into account and win the trust of their passengers. “The key to making autonomous driving work is to not forget about the driver,” Skillman said...." Read more


Hmmm... Of course, I beg to differ.  Systems designed to require centimeter accuracy of "curbs" are doomed to failure.  The car itself will not be able to reliably tell where it is in this "centimeter accurate coordinate system".  Consequently, "knowing precisely" curb locations is useless if you don't also know where the car is at each instance of time.  To reliably avoid hitting the curb, the car will need to "see it" relative to itself, while requiring only some vague notion of where it is in absolute terms.  Often we are pretty clueless about where we are precisely, yet, because we "range" things relative to where ever our nose happens to be, we do a pretty good job not running into things.  :-)  Alain


BMW reveals new self-parking autonomous technology


 Greg Kable  15 December 2014 "BMW has revealed an advanced new laser scanning system that promises to take the pain out of parking in tight multi-storey garages - and save you time doing so to as well. .. Based on a modified version of the i3, the new BMW uses four state-of-the-art laser scanners to continuously examine its surroundings and provide guidance to a separate operating system that oversees the primary autonomous driving functions of propulsion, steering and braking.


All the driver has to do is pull up at the entry to the parking garage and active the Remote Valet Parking Assistant app.


In combination with the latest in millimeter exact digital mapping technology, the new lasers are able to guide the i3 into multi-story parking garages floor-by-floor and fully autonomously until it detects a free parking space, at which point the Remote Valet Parking Assistant then parks the i3 without any assistance from a physical driver whatsoever...does not require expensive changes to the infrastructure of existing parking garages."  Read more

Hmmm ... I can't wait to see this, because if true (that it "... does not require expensive changes to the infrastructure of existing parking garages.") then why is it being touted to operate in parking garages, rather than flawlessly negotiating local streets???  NYC parking garages are non-trivial for even professionals to negotiate. What's the catch???   Alain


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


Testimony provided in opposition to S-734 by Google and Honda

C'Mon Man  Why do they think that we are so clueless in New Jersey???  Alain



Calendar of Upcoming Events


January 6 - 9, 2015

Las Vegas, NV

Daimler Chairman Keynote on Evening of January 5

"Level 4" Mercedes "Research Car" @ Daimler Booth on January 6 ONLY



2015 Princeton University TRB Banquet

Tony Chen's Seafood Restaurant


Tuesday, January 13, 2015



Automated Vehicle Founder's Meeting @ Fort Monmouth


Bringing together the Region's Decision Makers to Cooperatively









Prof. Alain L. Kornhauser

Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (PAVE)

Princeton University





Heathrow Operational PodCar


Only Steering, Inside

Audi Jam-Assist Demo

Pedestrian Recognition

Lane-Keeping w Brakes

Masdar PRT

Mining Application

Economist Cover Story