Monday July 25, 2022

26th edition of the 10th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter

  Baidu unveils autonomous vehicle without steering wheel

Reuters, July 16, “China’s search engine giant Baidu Inc on Thursday unveiled its new autonomous vehicle (AV) with a detachable steering wheel, with plans to put it to use for its robotaxi service in China next year.

Cost per unit will drop to 250,000 yuan ($37,031.55) for the new model, compared with 480,000 yuan for the previous generation, Baidu said in a statement.

“This massive cost reduction will enable us to deploy tens of thousands of AVs across China,” Baidu’s chief executive Robin Li said at the Baidu World conference. “We are moving towards a future where taking a robotaxi will be half the cost of taking a taxi today.” Read more Hmmmm… Really?? See video.  Where do I buy 10 for immediate delivery to New Jersey with option to buy 100 more by EoY’22 and 1st inline to buy 1,000 more by EoY’23.  eMail me!!!

While the design is certainly not ideal for “Trenton MOVES” or “Perth Amboy MOVES”  they would be good enough to get started with addressing the “Sociology Challenges” of MOVES-style deployments.  And the price is right if this isn’t total click-bait.  But… that is a really big if . 🙁  Alain

SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast Episode 276/ PodCast 276 w/R. Mudge, President, Compass Transportation

F. Fishkin, July 25, “Following the TRB gathering in California, what was accomplished?  Compass Transportation & Technology President Dick Mudge joins us for a look.   Plus the latest on Tesla, Cruise, Baidu, Zoox & more.   Smart Driving Cars episode 276 with Alain Kornhauser & co-host Fred Fishkin.”

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

  Electric cars to create digital map of Dubai for first driverless taxis

Staff, July 24, ” A digital map is to be created of Dubai to pave the way for the first driverless taxis, in a major step forward for the emirate’s autonomous transport strategy.

Two Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles, equipped with sensors and cameras, are to be used ahead of the wider introduction of high-tech taxis next year.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority said the public-private partnership with US company Cruise was the “first of its kind worldwide”.

The RTA said the Cruise vehicles would initially be used in Jumeirah and driven by specialist drivers…”  Read more Hmmmm…  I’m really jealous.  How do I get New Jersey to get in line to begin a similar initiative.  Even though we’re not as credit worthy, we do have customers who could fundamentally benefit from the technology and are right here in the US of A.  eMail me!!! (before Baidu 😁) Alain

  Tesla (TSLA) is surging and the shorts are hurting

F. Lambert, July 22, “Tesla’s stock (TSLA) is surging following its Q2 2022 financial results, and the shorts are hurting on what is surprisingly still the most betted against company in the world.

On Wednesday night, Tesla released its Q2 2022 financial results and beat market expectations by a considerable margin despite facing a lot of difficulties. The results have sent Tesla’s stock price surging by 9% yesterday, and it’s up another 3% this morning.

“That’s the highest Tesla’s stock has been since May:Tesla Inc (TSLA) reported strong second quarter results with 42% year-on- year revenue growth; strong vehicle demand (even as they raised car prices); and continued production forecast of 50% annual sales growth (even as gross margins slipped due to supply chain challenges). The end of “supply chain hell” may turn into a “short squeeze hell” for TSLA short sellers as Elon Musk says the firm has the “potential for a record breaking second half of the year.”

.”  Read more Hmmmm…  Impressive.  Alain

Trenton & PerthAmboy MOVES: Commencing the Deployment of autonomousTaxis throughout New Jersey

A. Kornhauser, J. He, “Presentation made @ TRB ARTS2022 Conference in Garden Grove, CA, July 18, 2022.” Read more  Hmmmm…  See  Nice. 😁 Alain

  Tesla surpasses 35 million miles driven on Full Self-Driving Beta, and pace is ramping up

F. Lambert, July 20, “Tesla is reporting that its fleet of customers driving with the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta has now surpassed 35 million miles driven, and the pace is ramping up.

FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times.

Since the responsibility lies with the driver and not Tesla’s system, it is still considered a level two driver-assist system despite its name, but it is the closest thing to a self-driving vehicle that is available to customers and not in a closed fleet operated by companies like Waymo and Cruise.

Because Tesla is putting those vehicles in the hands of customers in fairly large numbers, it is accumulating data at an impressive pace.

With the release of its Q2 2022 financial results, Tesla shared some rare numbers showing that FSD Beta has now driven over 35 million miles and the pace is increasing:….”  Read more Hmmmm…  If Tesla would only change the name.  Crowd sourcing this much information is really impressive. For Cruise to get this much experience/data in the UAE the labor charge will likely be more than $3/mile…  $100M. (although pocket change for the UAE) . Alain

  Amazon-owned self driving firm Zoox seeks to test robotaxi in California

Press release, July 10, “ZOOX, a self-driving technology firm owned by, said on Tuesday (Jul 19) it was gearing up to launch its robotaxi business, self-certifying that its vehicle with no pedals or steering wheel meets US federal regulations and applying for a permit in California to test-drive it.

“We really invested the extra time and resources to build a vehicle that doesn’t require exemptions and then that basically lets us control our own destiny and also deploy our vehicles at scale,” Jesse Levison, Zoox’s co-founder and chief technology officer told Reuters.

Zoox’s vehicle, called VH6, has room for 4 passengers, with 2 facing each other – a layout that looks like startup Cruise’s Origin vehicle unveiled in January 2020. Cruise is controlled by General Motors…”  Read more Hmmmm…  Seems like a good vehicle for “Trenton MOVES”.  I wonder how its price is going to compare to Baidu’s?  That was a rhetorical question.  😁  Alain

   Tesla found 1% liable in fatal crash of a teen it dedicated a feature to

F. Lambert, July 12, “Tesla has been found only 1% liable by a jury in a case over a fatal crash of a teen, and dedicated a feature to his memory.

In May of 2018, two Fort Lauderdale teens were killed and a third was injured after the Tesla Model S driven by 18-year-old Barrett Riley crashed into a concrete wall at 116 mph…

Tesla originally commented on the lawsuit:

Our thoughts continue to be with the families affected by this tragedy. Unfortunately, no car could have withstood a high-speed crash of this kind. Tesla’s Speed Limit Mode, which allows Tesla owners to limit their car’s speed and acceleration, was introduced as an over-the-air update last year in dedication to our customer’s son, Barrett Riley, who tragically passed away in the accident…..”  Read more Hmmmm…  If they aren’t, factory settings should be “9 mph over current speed limit (Teslas know or can read speed limits)” with each user-requested mile increase requiring an exponentially increasing required insurance premium.  Alain

  Tesla loses its head of AI and vision Andrej Karpathy – a big loss for the Autopilot team

F. Lambert, July 13, “.Andrej Karpathy, senior director in charge of AI and computer vision at Tesla, announced that he is leaving the automaker. It is a big loss for Tesla’s Autopilot team and self-driving effort.

Karpathy joined Tesla more than five years ago as a neural net and computer vision expert. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a big part of Tesla’s Autopilot team and the automaker’s effort to develop a full self-driving system.

As Tesla expanded its effort from self-driving to broader artificial intelligence, Karpathy was promoted to senior director of AI at Tesla….”  Read more Hmmmm…  This is a really big loss  Can’t wait to see where he re-emerges.  Alain

  Tesla’s new Full Self-Driving Beta (10.13) is about left turn, animal detection, speed limits, and more

F. Lambert, July 18, “Tesla’s new Full Self-Driving Beta update (10.13) is all about left turns, animal detection, speed limits, and much more. Here are the release notes.

FSD Beta enables Tesla vehicles to drive autonomously to a destination entered in the car’s navigation system, but the driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times.

Since the responsibility lies with the driver and not Tesla’s system, it is still considered a level two driver-assist system despite its name. It has been sort of a “two steps forward, one step back” type of program, as some updates have seen regressions in terms of the driving capabilities…..”  Read more Hmmmm…  driver needs to remain vigilant and ready to take control at all times. … so please change the name!  Since the acronym FSD is now emphasized, maybe FSD stands for “Fantom Self Driving” with phantom (appropriately misspelled, or “Fantasy Self Driving”).  Other suggestions , please. 😎 Alain