Sunday, December 25, 2022

47th edition of the 10th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter


      Autonomous Vehicles Reality Check Part 2: Moving People

R. Bishop, Dec. 22, “ Recent reporting/blogging about AV’s can be maddeningly confusing, because the days of saying anything meaningful about “AV’s” as a singular entity are long past. What’s going on depends on what kind of AV you’re talking about. Writers and pundits can pontificate about “the trouble in AV City” if they want, but they must first explain what AV sector they’re referring to. To make sweeping statements is meaningless; the dynamics of the technical, operational, and business factors are too diverse. Thus this three-part article series, my shot at describing the great breadth of today’s AV’s and providing color commentary.

A fundamental AV distinction regards what’s inside the vehicle: people or freight? This Part Two article focuses on moving people. Part Three will focus on moving goods.

Two Distinct Domains: Private or Commercial?  ….”  Read  more  Hmmmm….. Excellent, must read that among other things makes clear the distinction between what are largely orthogonal markets: Private (selling a vehicle) and Commercial (selling a ride)  .


What is missing, especially in the “selling a ride” coordinate is appreciation for the diversity of the “people” being moved.   The spectrums spanning poor -> rich; young ->old; able-> dis-able; conservative -> liberal; ….  that reflect not only on when & where each of those individuals choose to go but also on their choice as which commercial AV deployment they’ll choose to make the trip that today isn’t made or switch from the way they are going today. 


As we know from the movement of goods, one size doesn’t fit all; one deployment doesn’t fit all.  Pick-ups do well for haulin’ some of your own stuff, Class 8’s for big valuable stuff.  Then there are flatbeds, tankers, cements, choo choos, boats, … and so on for very specific stuff.  It ends up really mattering what good it is when it comes to figuring out what and how to deploy something to best move it. 


My point is the discussion about deployment along the private and especially the commercial domains has failed to recognize the diversity of the customer set and is failing to deploy near-term capabilities to be better serve the mobility needs of individuals that would be best served by that deployment. 


Moving people is a “big-dimensional” market characterized by foudomains: {P, A, B, t} where P = people; A = from location; B = to location; t = time.

Deployment must address not only the diversity of A, B and t but also that of P.  In order for an AV deployment to capture a customer it needs to be the best for that customer when that customer wishes to go from A to B at time t.  That’s the deployment challenge .  The diversity of P is certainly as important as that of A, B and t.  To date the deployment focus has been one-size to fit all that has fit very few in the deployed Operational Design Domain.  Alain

  SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 296 / PodCast296 w/ Jeff Brandes, term-limited Florida State Senator & visionary of all 10 annual Florida Automated Vehicle Summits

“F. Fishkin, Dec. 17, “The driving force behind Florida’s 10th annual Automated Vehicle Summit, former State Senator Jeff Brandes, joins Alain and Fred for a dive into the progress to date and what’s to come. Plus Waymo, Uber Eats, TuSimple and more. 0:00 open 1:00 Jeff Brandes background 5:50 Is technology being used to provide some societal good 7:51 Highlights from 10th annual Florida Automated Vehicle Summit 24:24 Brandes on what is next for him 34:34 NY Times: Once You See the Truth About Cars 37:13 Waymo doing airport transportation in Phoenix 39:11 Uber Eats will use sidewalk deliver robots in Miami 40:30 TuSimple reportedly will lay off many in coming week”  732-928-4691

Technical support provided by:  a 501c3 dedicated to Safe & High-Quality Mobility for All.  Tax-deductible donations are most appreciated @ Support CARTS’ mission to provide safe & high-quality mobility for all



  The 2022 FAV Summit at Omni Amelia Island Resort


    Robocars and Cities FAV 22

B. Templeton, Dec 15, “….”  Go through slides  Hmmmm…  Excellent! Most well done!  Look for Brad making a video of this presentation.  Alain


  Autonomous Transit Networks in Florida – Jacksonville MOVES and Tallahassee MOVES

J. He, Dec 13, “On the occasion of the 10th Florida Automated Vehicles Summit ’22, CARTS released our study for the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for a MOVES-type, city-wide deployment of autonomous transit network (ATN) for Jacksonville, FL and Tallahassee, FL.….”  Read  more  Hmmmm…  Very interesting!  Alain


  Cruise’s driverless robotaxis are accepting passengers in Phoenix and Austin

A. Hawkins, Dec. 20, “Cruise is delivering on its promise to expand its robotaxi service to two new markets before the end of the year. For years, Cruise has operated its autonomous ridehail service exclusively in San Francisco. But earlier this year, the GM-backed company said it would launch in Phoenix, Arizona, and Austin, Texas, before the end of 2022.

On Tuesday, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt tweeted a short video of passengers from those two cities raving about its fully driverless vehicles as proof of a promise delivered. “Folks, we are entering the golden years of AV expansion,” he added.…”  Read more  Hmmmm… Excellent.  Congratulations Kyle.  Alain


  Elon Musk’s giant payday on trial: everything he said in court

T. Sottek, Dec. 22, “These days Elon Musk is always on trial in the court of public opinion, but occasionally he’s also on trial in actual court. On Wednesday, November 16th, Musk testified in the Delaware Court of Chancery in the legal trial over his $56 billion pay package from Tesla. You might recall that this is the same court (and judge) Musk would have appeared before if he had not completed his takeover of Twitter, so it was kind of like a peek into an alternate simulation. Even Musk seemed to think so:. …”  Read more  Hmmmm… . Whew!  Interesting.   Alain


   Trimble to acquire transportation management platform Transporeon for $1.9B

J. DiNapoli, Dec. 16,”Technology solutions provider Trimble Inc. has announced it will acquire German logistics company Transporeon, which uses a cloud-based TMS to connect carriers, logistics service providers and shippers.

The all-cash deal unveiled Monday is valued at $1.98 billion and expected to close in the first half of 2023.

Rob Painter, Trimble’s president and CEO, said digital software solutions are in high demand in the commercial transportation market and the acquisition of Transporeon represented a great opportunity.

“We’ve kept our eyes on this business for years,” Painter said during a call to discuss the deal with analysts and investors on Tuesday. “We are building a business for the long term and assets like this don’t come along often. We kept our balance sheet in a position to be able to act on opportunities like this. So when we got approached, we quickly engaged.”

Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) is a Sunnyvale, California-based supply chain technology provider for trucking companies, freight brokerages and 3PLs. Its transportation division provides services such as enterprise, mobility, final-mile, mapping and maintenance solutions….” …”  Read  more  Hmmmm… Wow, I should have stayed in the business.  🙂 Alain


BC joins growing number of colleges banning electric scooters on campus

Staff, Dec. 25, “ Boston College will ban electric scooters and other electric transportation devices, including hover boards and electric skateboards, from campus beginning December 22.

According to a December 7th letter sent to the BC community from Vice President for Student Affairs Shawna Cooper Whitehead, Vice President for Human Resources David Trainor, and Executive Director of Public Safety William Evans, the decision was made to help ensure the safety of all members of the BC community.  ….”  Read  more  Hmmmm….. Yea!!  Alain


California passes law banning Tesla from calling software FSD

J. Crider, Dec. 23, “ California passed a new law banning Tesla from calling its software Full Self-Driving (FSD). Although Tesla has never claimed that FSD was fully autonomous, the electric–maker is developing the technology for fully autonomous vehicles.  Until its vehicles are fully autonomous, drivers must be alert and ready to take over at all times when engaging FSD or Autopilot.

California lawmakers, however, disagree with the labels of FSD. Senate Bill 1398 was one of the hundreds that Governor Newsom signed into law. The new law takes effect in 2023 and specifically targets Tesla’s name for its software. The bill was sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez, who claimed that Tesla falsely advertised its tech and that doing so was a safety issue ….”  Read  more  Hmmmm….. Yea, I hope that we can now move on.  Alain


Tesla China Rumors, Wedbush Cuts Price Target, Discount Impact, PCE

R. Maurer, Dec. 23, “ New rumors and reports on Tesla in China
PCE report
Wedbush cuts TSLA price target
US discounting drives inventory down
Megapack leak
Twitter CEO report ….”  Read  more  Hmmmm….. Interesting.   Alain