Thursday, March 31, 2022

13th edition of the 10th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter

  Taking our next step in the City by the Bay

The Waymo Team, March 30, “This morning in San Francisco, a fully autonomous all-electric Jaguar I-PACE, with no human driver behind the wheel, picked up a Waymo engineer to get their morning coffee and go to work. Since sharing that we were ready to take the next step and begin testing fully autonomous operations in the city, we’ve begun fully autonomous rides with our San Francisco employees. They now join the thousands of Waymo One riders we’ve been serving in Arizona, making fully autonomous driving technology part of their daily lives….”  Read more  Hmmmm… Conngratulations!  Enormous acomplishment and fundamental expression of confidence in your technology.  Please come to New Jersey where we are certain that you can actually delier “Safe, Equitable, Affordable, Sustainable, HIgh-quality Mobility” that will substantially improve the quality-of-life of many by transforming affordable housing into affordable living and more.

Let’s look at the back-of-the-envelope numbers…
Population: 90,000.

PersonTrips/Day (non-walking): 300,000

    IntraTrenton: 150,000

PersonTripLength (90%tile): 10 miles

    intraTrenton (100%tile) 5 miles

Operational Productivity:

    VehicleTrips/Day: 50

    Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO): 2

    PersontTrips/VehicleDay: 100

    PersonTrips/VehicleYear: 35,000

    100 vehicle fleet productivity: 10,000 PersonTrips/day (1/15th market penetration)

    50% market penetration Fleet requirements:  500 vehicles (AVO =2.5) for 60 PersonTrips/VehicleDay). 


    Depreciation/PersonTrip @ $200k/vehicle, 4 year life = $200,000/(4*35,000) = $10/7 = $1.43/PersonTrip

    Electricity + maintenance + management + … = $0.57/PersonTrip

    Cost = $2.00/PersonTrip


New Jersey:   
Population: 9+ Million

PersonTrips/Day (non-walking): >30 Million

    IntraNJ + NJT/Septa to/from NYC & PHL: 30 Million

PersonTripLength (90%tile): 10 miles

Operational Productivity

    VehicleTrips/Day: 60

    Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO): 2.5

    PersontTrips/VehicleDay: 150

    PersonTrips/VehicleYear: 50,000

    10% market penetration (3 Million PersonTrips/Day: Fleet requirements:  20,000 vehicles (AVO =2.5) for 60 PersonTrips/VehicleDay). 


    Depreciation/PersonTrip @ $200k/vehicle, 4 year life = 200,000/(4*35,000)= $10/7 = $1.43

    Electricity + maintenance + management … = $0.57

    Cost per PersonTrip = $2.00

Revenue:  (10% market penetration: 3M personTrips/Day)

    10% @ cost + 90% market pricing: 

        10% @ $2.00/PersonTrip (300,000*$2.00 = $600,000/day; $200M/year

        90% @ $3.70/personTrip (2.7M*3.70 = $10M/day; 3.5B/year (value poposition could hae the average market price even higher than $3.70/personTrip (+$1.70 over cost)

Profit:  $1.70 *2.7M = $4.6M/day = $1.5B/year


Seems to me that Waymo should have responded to the NJ DoT RfEI and shouldn’t be completely ignoring me.  I guess I’m missing something.  Maybe someone else will call me? 😎  Alain



 SmartDrivingCars  ZoomCast Episode 262/ PodCast 262 w/ Michael Sena

F. Fishkin, March 30, The latest from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car,  the UK investigates laws for driverless cars, cars….politics and Russia, Tesla and some big news from Waymo.   The Dispatcher publisher Michael Sena joins Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser & co-host Fred Fishkin for Smart Driving Cars episode 262.”


Technical support provided by:

   The SmartDrivingCars eLetter, Pod-Casts, Zoom-Casts and Zoom-inars are made possible in part by support from the Smart Transportation and Technology ETF, symbol MOTO.   For more information:  Most funding is supplied by Princeton University’s Department of Operations Research & Financial Engineering and Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (PAVE) research laboratory as part of its research dissemination initiative

   The Symposium on the Future Networked Car 2022 & More

M. Sena, March 31, “Everything positive that is happening in the world right now, as we emerge from two years of a pandemic, is overshadowed by the negative events in Ukraine, with the criminal actions of a state, Russia, that has become a pariah and a predator under its leader, who is now in his twenty-second year. The automotive industry was slowly clawing its way back to pre-pandemic sales levels, in spite of supply chain difficulties and semiconductor shortages, before the deplorable decision by Russia to invade its neighbor, ostensibly because it had the audacity to want to remain outside of Russia’s despotic sphere. The sanctions that have finally been placed on Russia after its aggressions which began over eight years ago are having impacts on all automotive companies with any activities in that country. One of the most heavily involved is Renault, with its majority ownership of AvtoVAZ, the largest producer of passenger cars in Russia. Read about its journey into the quagmire that is Russia in Musings of a Dispatcher.

This month’s feature article is an overview of the annual Symposium on the Future Networked Car sponsored by the International Telecommunication Union and the UNECE. It was fully virtual again this year. The hope is that next year it will be a live event, either in connection with a revived Geneva International Motor Show or on its own….”    Read more  Hmmmm… Another fantastic issue.  Hear about it in Zoom/Podcast 262 Alain

  FNC Symposium 2022

FCN, March 19, “The Future Networked Car Symposium examines the latest advances in automated driving, vehicle connectivity and automotive cybersecurity, sharing unique insight into associated implications for technology, business and regulation.. …”   Read more  Hmmmm… All the sessions are linked here,  Watch especially Michael Sena’s Session 2: Automated General Intelligence, and the session of Russ Shields: Wireless Communications.  Also watch Session 1 Government Authorities Coordination for Automated Driving; and  Session 3: Automated Driving Systems for Consumers; Alain

  ITU Standardization onIntelligent Transport System

FCN, March 19, “ITU is the UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). It allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly inter-connect, and strives to improve ac-cess to ICTs to underserved com-munities worldwide. For a full de-scription of its activities. …”   Read more  Hmmmm… Challenges of standardization.  It is never too early to start talking about standardization, but I question if it is too early to et standards.  Thank goodness DSRC didn’t become “the standard”, because something substantially better came along.  (I know standards don’t make standards, but they may well lock things into status quos.)   Alain

  Waymo expanding driverless taxi service to downtown Phoenix

J. Gifford. March 30, “Autonomous driving company Waymo — which has been operating in the East Valley in recent years — announced that it is expanding its driverless cars into downtown Phoenix….”  Read more  Hmmmm… More fantastic news.  See how easy it is to expand the Operational Design Domain (ODD) once you’ve started and you are confident that it is safe?  Come start in Trenton and before you know it, you’ll expand to all of Mercer County and begin to go beyond break-even.  Before you know it, you’ll scale throughout New Jersey and do very well, thank you and you’ll never Call me. 😎 Alain

Tesla Is Like Getting Three Companies for the Price of One, Says Bullish Analyst

A. Root, March 31 “There’s a third leg to his stool too. Tesla (ticker: TSLA) is also an energy company. “What we’re seeing emerge over the course of this year is Tesla as a renewable energy on-shore infrastructure company,” wrote Jonas in a Wednesday evening research report…”   Read more  Hmmmm… Very nice, Adam😎  Alain

Why Global Suppl  y Chains May Never Be the Same | A WSJ Documentary

C. Mims, March 23, “Every day, millions of sailors, truck drivers, longshoremen, warehouse workers and delivery drivers keep mountains of goods moving into stores and homes to meet consumers’ increasing expectations of convenience. But this complex movement of goods underpinning the global economy is far more vulnerable than many imagined….” Read more  Hmmmm…Another absolute MUST WATCH.  Extraordinarily well done.  I do suggest a different conclusion… Not the “worker shortage” implies Draconian inflation (my embellishment)  because there are only so many people willing to work for low wages.  Maybe, not so much…

My guess, and I hope someone can better inform me, that less than 10% of the price of that USB charger went to pay the workers that are highlighted in this documentary.  My impression is that each of those workers on the assembly line, on the cargo ship, in the warehouses, driving the trucks, making the delivery were each incredibly productive.  Each was supported by an incredible amount of machinery, cranes, conveyors, robots, infrastructure, algorithms, compute engines,….  20 individuals responsible for getting 10,000 containers across the pacific.  Not much more than a handful of workers in a million square foot distribution center.  One delivery person making, was it, 200 stops per day.  Now that’s a traveling salesman (the algorithm used to sequence his stops),…

Those folks are enormously productive!   More importantly, if the availability of their brains and dexterity weren’t so absolutely critical, they would have already been mechanized or automated out of the system.  Yet, I doubt that their share of the revenue is more than 10%.  All that machinery, … was not cheap.  The computers, energy, electricity, … is not cheap.  Taxes are being paid somewhere.  We know that the “CEOs” and the Investors  are doing quite well thank you.  All likely getting at least 90%, if not more of the revenue.  Leaving those highlighted workers with, my guess, less than 10%. 

Really…  doubling the less than 10% of their take of the revenue is going to be so inflationary that we shouldn’t substantially increase the wages of these absolutely necessary workers.  My guess is that if we doubled their wages, we’d also probably get 25% improvement in their productivity, if not more, for free (requiring less than a doubl;ing of their current less than 10% of the revenue.). 

Therefore, the conclusion of this documentary should be… we still desperately need people with brains, strength, dexterity, resilience, ingenuity, compassion, dedication, … to leverage all this incredible “machinery, cranes, conveyors, robots, infrastructure, algorithms, compute engines,…. “.  Shouldn’t we be rewarding them with respect, compassion, appreciation and a real living wage.  It really wouldn’t be substantially.   So what if the cost of the charger went up 5% or even 10% if we doubled their wages or increased their wages by 30% and gave them more lunch and bathroom breaks, better paid their health insurance and gave them a little more vacation?  Thoughts? Alain

‘Queen Lucy’ Was a Basketball Superstar. How Will We Remember Her?

L. Crouse, Feb 11, The daughter of sharecroppers. The only Black basketball player on a college team she led to three national championships. The first woman to score a basket at the Olympics. So good she was the first (and only) woman officially drafted by the National Basketball Association.

And yet for decades after Lusia Harris rose from a small town in Mississippi to become one of the best American athletes of the 20th century, her legacy had all but disappeared from public memory. The trailblazing basketball player died last month at age 66….”  Read more     Hmmmm… An absolute MUST WATCH: “The Queen of Basketball.”  2022 Oscar winner.  Alain

Making it Happen:  Trenton MOVES… a Framework for the Deployment of Safe, Equitable, Affordable, Sustainable, High-quality Mobility

A. Kornhauser, Jan 11, 2022 TRB, ” A slide deck describing the framework fora phased deployment of high-quality mobility in Trenton New Jersey that is envisioned to have wherewithall to naturally scale beyond Trenton in a fashion that can be replicated the more than 100 communities across the US that have similar demographic and travel demand characteristics.”  Read more  Hmmmm… Go through the slides in presentation mode to take advantage of the animations.  Alain

  4th Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit  It is over!!!  Now time to actually do something in the Trentons of this world.   

  Making Driverless Happen: The Road Forward (Updated)

K. Pyle, April 18, 2021, “It’s time to hit the start button,” is Fred Fishkin’s succinct way of summarizing the next steps in the Smart Driving Car journey. Fiskin, along with the LA Times’ Russ Mitchell co-produced the final session of the 2021 Smart Driving Car Summit, Making It Happen: Part 2. This 16th and final session in this multi-month online conference not only provided a summary of the thought-provoking speakers, but also provided food for thought on a way forward to bring mobility to “the Trentons of the World.”

Setting the stage for this final session, Michael Sena provided highlights of the Smart Driving Car journey that started in late December 2020.  Safety, high-quality, and affordable mobility, particularly for those who do not have many options, was a common theme to the 2021 Smart Driving Car Summit. As Princeton Professor Kornhauser, the conference organizer put it,…..” Read more  Hmmmm…. We had another excellent Session.  Thank you for the summary, Ken!  Alain


Ken Pyle‘s Session Summaries of 4th Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit:
15th Session    Making it Happen – Part One: Elected Officials’ Role in Creating a Welcoming Environment in the Trentons of this World

14th Session    What Will Power Safely-driven Cars

13th Session    Improving the Moving of Goods

12th Session    3/18/21 Human-centered Design of Safe and Affordable Driverless Mobility

11th Session    3/11/21  Incentivizing Through Regulation

10th Session    3/04/21  Incentivizing Through Insurance

9th Session    2/25/21  Can Level 3 be Delivered?

8th Session    2/18/21  Who Will Build, Sell and Maintain Driverless Cars?

    Michael Sena’s SlidesGlenn Mercer Slides

7th Session    2/11/21  Finally Doing It
6th Session    2/ 4/21   Safe Enough in the Operational Design Domain
5th Session    1/28/21   At the Tipping Point
4th Session    1/21/21  Why Customers are Buying Them

3rd Session    1/14/21  The SmartDrivingCars We Can Buy Today
2nd Session   1/ 7/21  A Look into the Future
1st Session: 12/17/20  Setting the Stage

Kornhauser & He, April 2021 “Making it Happen:  A Proposal for Providing Affordable, High-quality, On-demand Mobility for All in the “Trentons” of this World” 

Orf467F20_FinalReport “Analyzing Ride-Share Potential and Empty Repositioning Requirements of a Nationwide aTaxi System

Kornhauser & He, March 2021 AV 101 + Trenton Affordable HQ Mobility Initiative


Staff, Dec 6, “The New Jersey Department of Transportation (“NJDOT”), an instrumentality of the State of New Jersey, has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (“RFEI”) to identify experienced firms capable of introducing a safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable, and efficient on-demand automated vehicle mobility systems in and beyond Trenton, NJ.
NJDOT is soliciting written expressions of interest from qualified and experienced vendors to gain valuable insight from the private industry regarding the goals set forth in the Trenton MOVES (Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System) potential project and assess its viability.  If and when NJDOT elects to proceed with a potential project, NJDOT may issue formal
Request(s) for Qualifications or Proposals.

The RFEI is available to be downloaded at…”


Staff, March 2, “…” Read more  Hmmmm… Links to the 20 responses to NJ DoT’s Trenton MOVES RfEI.  Lots of very encouraging and enthusiastic respondents.  Thanks to NJ DoT for making the replies available to the public at large on a very timely basis allowing everyone to learn a lot and showing that there is broad and competent interest in deploying Safe, Equitable, Affordable, Sustainable, High-quality Mobility throughout Trenton and beyond.  Alain

Calendar of Upcoming Events

5th Annual Princeton  SmartDrivingCar Summit 


Thursday (evening), June 2, Welcome Reception @ Alain’s home (Registration required)

Friday, June 3, Equitable Mobility Innovation Forum @ Princeton University (Registration required)

June 4, Equitable Mobility Festival @ Mayor Donnely Homes, Trenton, NJ (Open to All)

Live in Person

On the More Technical Side

K. Lockean’s AV Research Group at U of Texas