Thursday, September 29, 2022
35th edition of the 10th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter
Batteries: Theme of the Next Mad Max Dystoposeries
Sept 28, M. Sena, “IN THE PAST, when a country believed it was not receiving enough of a resource that it felt it needed and deserved, it went to war to take it. Gold, silver, tea, spices, cotton, cod, coal, grain, oil and many other commodities have been the causes of nations attempting to steal land and seas from other nations. There are countless numbers of movies that show us the horrors of war, but the postapocalyptical MAD MAX film series gives us a glimpse of what it could look like after all the big wars have been fought and lost. Warlords and their gangs prey on survivors of the wars that caused societies everywhere to collapse. They battle each other over gasoline, water and food. Are we trading wars over oil for wars over lithium, cobalt, nickel and rare earth metals, jumping from one frying pan into another? As governments continue with their policies to dramatically increase demand for these commodities, the chances for expanded conflicts increase. In many areas, they have already begun. …” Read more Another excellent issue. Enjoy! Also watch or listen:ZoomCast 285 /PodCast 285 Alain
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 285 /PodCast 285 w/Michael Sena, Editor of the Dispatcher
F. Fishkin, Sept 27, “Will the world be facing a Mad Max scenario for battery components as electric vehicles fill the roadways? The Dispatcher publisher Michael Sena has some advice for decision makers on episode 285 of Smart Driving Cars with Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin. And more on the EV tax credits, tire pollution, a tech solution to railroad crossing dangers and some hood ornament nostalgia. Or listen.. “
1:18 Battle over batteries
15:53 Electricity generation and electric vehicles
22:28 Tech to solve ungated railroad crossing dangers
26:11 Pollution from tires
32:23 Sean Connery’s Aston Martin
34:08 Some hood ornament history
40:00 South Korean wants half of all cars autonomous by 2035
43:22 Why don’t you have a self driving car yet? Brad Templeton writes in Forbes
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: www.motoetf.com. 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
What to expect from Tesla’s AI Day event
A. Hawkins, Sept. 28, “Tesla’s AI Day event kicks off September 30th, during which the company is expected to highlight its ongoing efforts to develop its advanced driver-assist features that Elon Musk has promised will eventually lead to fully autonomous cars.
But this year, Tesla’s cars and self-driving projects are likely to take a backseat to a robot named Optimus. Musk announced the “Tesla Bot” at last year’s AI Day, promising that it would be “friendly” and potentially revolutionize the company’s assembly line and manufacturing business.
Since then, Musk has gone on to hype the robot as “the most important product development we’re doing this year,” predicting that it will have “the potential to be more significant than the vehicle business over time.” Future applications could include cooking, gardening, or…” Musk said. Production could start as soon as next year….” Read more A must watch. 9pm EDT Sept 30 -> 2 am EDT Oct 1 Digital Ticket https://twitter.com/richkwiat/status/1574847754106380288?s=20&t=xtveyxRSbBwfbh6OFKKxSQ Alain
How to watch Tesla AI Day
L. Larsen, Sept. 30, “…Tesla hasn’t publicly announced details on the specifics of the event yet, but according to the tickets that have been posted online, we may be in for something entirely different tomorrow.
A digital ticket that has been posted on Twitter reveals some juicy — and downright strange — details about the event tomorrow. It’ll supposedly take place in Palo Alto and last from 5 p.m. PT to 11 p.m. PT, which is a very odd time to hold an event. Also, a six-hour event? If you thought last year’s nearly three-hour event was long, get ready for a lot more. Clearly, this isn’t a standard press event — then again, Tesla has never been known to play by the rules….” Read more A must watch. 9pm EDT Sept 30 -> 2 am EDT Oct 1 Digital Ticket https://twitter.com/richkwiat/status/1574847754106380288?s=20&t=xtveyxRSbBwfbh6OFKKxSQ Alain
Stuck on the Streets of San Francisco in a Driverless Car
C. Metz, Sept. 28, “It was about 9 p.m. on a cool Tuesday evening in San Francisco this month when I hailed a car outside a restaurant a few blocks from Golden Gate Park.
A few minutes later, as I waited at a stoplight, a white Mercedes pulled up next to me. Three teenagers were sitting on the edges of its open windows, their heads bobbing above the roof. One of them pointed at the empty front seat of my car.
“Who’s driving?” he yelled.
“No one,” I yelled back.
I was riding in a driverless car operated by Cruise, a company backed by General Motors that is now offering low-cost rides to a limited number of lucky and notably brave people in San Francisco.
For a good decade now, a number of companies have been promising that, in just a few years, driverless cars that can be hailed with the tap of an app will hit city streets. Those few years, it seems, are always a few more years. And, as these companies struggle to perfect their vehicles, I can’t help but wonder if they’ll ever actually turn their work into viable businesses given the enormous cost of building and operating the cars….” Read more This is a ‘MUST READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE’. This is a fair assessment of the reality of where we are today. There was no attendant in the car, nor support vehicles nor smoke & mirrors. Just the facts.
Kyle: thank you for letting Cade have a real ride without the ‘smoke&mirrors’. Now that you’ve reached this level of accomplishment in essentially the harshest road environment, I hope that you’ll take seriously our invitation to come to New Jersey’s cities. You are now in position to provide extraordinarily valuable and equitable MOVES-style mobility to many whose lives will be improved.
Cade: thank you for a straight-forward reporting of what is really an enormous accomplishment which, like everything else in life, can still benefit from more improvement. This is a darn good reality. If I had been doing the driving, I may not have done as well and not respected the pedestrians as they should be, etc. Alain
China’s Flood of New Electric Cars Cost 20% More to Insure than Fuel-Powered Cars
Staff, Sept. 27, “In general, the insurance premium for new energy cars — which includes electric — is about 20% higher than it would be for comparable traditional fuel-powered cars, said Wenwen Chen, director at S&P Global Ratings, who leads the firm’s research for China insurance.
Many factors go into determining pricing. However, Chen said insurance companies find that the loss ratio — a measure of cost for insurers — tends to be higher for new energy vehicles than for internal combustion engine cars.
One of the main reasons she cited for a higher loss ratio is more accidents, especially more costly ones — since new energy vehicles often use parts that aren’t mass-produced yet.
In the U.S., insurance for electric cars also tends to be about 15% more expensive than that for combustion engine cars — primarily because electric cars in the U.S. tend to be luxury vehicles, according to Chase Gardner at Insurify, which compares car insurance rates in the U.S….” Read more Unsettling. Alain
Tesla FSD Beta Tries to Escape!
D. Tesla, Sept. 26, “…” Watch video Hmmmm… After watching this video my opinion is that FSD 69.2.2 must be absolutely fantastic, since it was able to find its way out of a parking lot without even a low-resolution digital map of the space.
On a separate note, these kinds of “challenges” miss the mark. Why focus on gimmicky stunts in order to “catch out” this technology at such a micro level? As I have been saying and will continue to proselytize, the promise, the potential impact of FSD is to provide safe, equitable transportation solutions for everybody – not provide entertainment for the few. When put in practice, FSDs are going to do the maximum good within their limits. They cannot do everything perfectly. Again, people who deliberately try to foil FSD capabilities and then seemingly trumpet this “acheivement” are not adding any value to the cause. These stunts are only that – stunts, and they are not cute. My opinion. Alain.
MIT Mobility Forum Public Transit in the US : Challenges & Opportunities
Sept. 23 @ noon EDT , Jim Aloisi & Fred Salvucci “The MIT Mobility Forum showcases the groundbreaking transportation research occurring across the Institute. Faculty members and researchers present their latest findings, ideas, and innovations, followed by a lively discussion. The Forum is online and open to all. Please register at Zoom beforehand. ” Read more An absolutely excellent lineup, every Friday, which started on Friday, Sept. 16th with Prof. Susan Handy’84, UC Davis. Alain
Automated Vehicles Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Maybe)
R. Mudge, Sept. 28, “Lessons learned from the past re the role of public versus private sector and re the economic and social implications of AVs. The World of Hype was fun, we are now in the World of Skepticism. Will we ever reach the World of Reality? My opinion: Yes, but it will differ from the two previous Worlds…. Read more Excellent Presentation! Alain
California’s EV charging network could use a jolt, a trip down I-5 shows
R. Mitchell, Sept. 22, “A trip from the Bay Area to Southern California highlights the miserable state of the charging network available to many electric vehicle drivers….” Read more Not Pretty! Alain
Waymo pitted its autonomous vehicles against a virtual superhuman driver to see which was safer
A. Hawkins, Sept. 29, “Waymo’s latest effort to prove that autonomous vehicles are safer than silly, accident-prone humans involves creating a virtual representation of a hyper-attentive driver and then pitting this fake person against its own AVs in a series of simulated tests to see which is better at crash avoidance.
(Not to spoil it or anything, but the Waymo vehicle did better.)…” Read more Impressive! Now let’s deploy all of these impressive accomplishments where they can deliver substantial societal benefits.
(Not to spoil it or anything, but come to New Jersey). Alain
Automatic emergency braking is not great at preventing crashes at normal speeds
A. Hawkins, Sept 29, “…Automatic Emergency Braking does well at tackling the limited task it was designed to do,” said Greg Brannon, director of AAA’s automotive engineering and industry relations, in a statement. “Unfortunately, that task was drawn up years ago, and regulator’s slow-speed crash standards haven’t evolved…” Read more Not to suggest that i have the answer, but AEB is an independent system that is NOT coupled with Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) (except maybe in the upcoming Xpeng vehicles. ICC slows you down well in advance of what could end up being a crash. Unfortunately, it is NOT on all the time so that it can’t begin to gently slow you down before you are “1.6 seconds to collision” which is when AEB goes nuts trying desperately to keep you from crashing.
Unbelievable that those two systems aren’t designed to work together. Shame on you Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
What is even worse is if I turn on my ICC and then tap my brakes, that action is interpreted by SAE as meaning “turn off ICC” as opposed to “turn off the acceleration function but don’t turn off the braking function should I need more braking in order to continue to slow down and not get to a point where my AEB needs to go nuts in order to save my butt”.
Thank you AAA for pointing out that “automotive engineers” need to up their game. Alain
Tesla Semi electric trucks spotted being shipped around ahead of deliveries
F. Lambert, Sept. 26, “.Several Tesla Semi electric trucks have been spotted being shipped around the country ahead of the long-awaited start of deliveries.
Tesla Semi, an all-electric class 8 truck, was unveiled back in 2017. At the time, it was supposed to come as soon as 2019.
The vehicle program was delayed for years, and until recently, it wasn’t expected to go into production until 2023.
However, Elon Musk surprisingly announced last month that the Tesla Semi would actually start shipping later this year. ” Read more Hmmmm… If they also have FSD, then … Alain
May Mobility, Via launch wheelchair-accessible autonomous shuttle service
R. Bellan, Sept. 28. “Autonomous ride-hail and shuttle service May Mobility and transit tech provider Via are launching a small fleet of wheelchair-accessible autonomous vehicles in Grand Rapids, Minnesota….
The startup announced its plans in April to partner with BraunAbility, an American Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant van manufacturer, to modify its fleet of Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) vehicles to be wheelchair-accessible. The Grand Rapids project marks both the first time ADA-compliant autonomous shuttles will be put into deployment in the U.S., as well as May’s commercial debut of its Sienas.
When May’s service launches Wednesday, anyone within the 17-square-mile service area, which covers much of the small, rural city of Grand Rapids, will be able to book a free, on-demand, shared ride from one of five Sienna AVs using the May Mobility app. Riders who don’t have smartphones can also book a ride by calling 211…
a human safety operator will be present in each vehicle…” Read more This is significant because it is rural, and it involves the equity aspects of wheelchair accessibility. Alain
Internationally Recognized Transportation and Safety Expert Dr. Mark Rosekind to Lead the CMC
Press release, Sept. 21, “The California Mobility Center (CMC) publicly announced today that Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., has taken the position as the first Chief Executive Officer of the 18-month-old mobility innovation and commercialization center starting on October 3, 2022. The announcement was made at the ITS World Congress in Los Angeles, CA, an event that brings together diverse stakeholders in the intelligent transportation systems industry.
CMC Board Chair Arlen Orchard made the announcement, stating, “Mark’s career includes decades of diverse experiences in complex, high-performance environments that required innovation, data-driven strategies, and strong leadership. It’s this combination that has led to an impressive set of achievements. His skill set, experiences, and expertise developed in academia, NASA, the NTSB, NHTSA, and autonomous vehicles brings to the CMC an unparalleled set of tools and knowledge at a time when we are ready to expand the CMC’s impact, scale, and reach.”…” Read more Mark: Congratulations!! Alain
Why Don’t You Have A Self-Driving Car Yet? This 2-Part Series Explains The Big Remaining Problems
B. Templeton, Sept. 26, “…Some feel the fact they don’t have or ride in a robocar in 2022 means development is way behind schedule. In reality, there never was a serious schedule, only hopes, but in fact, this list of problems bodes optimism, because these remaining problems seem generally tractable. Hard work and money, not breakthroughs are needed to deal with most of them….” Read more Driverless cars are not at all likely to become a consumer product before the widespread production of electricity using fusion reactors. Just another way of saying essentially never. There is little desire to own a car that one doesn’t drive. Insurance for these cars is likely to be extremely expensive. Fleet operators of such vehicles will be able to manage these vehicles so as to improve their productivity by 10x and thus be able to offer mobility at service level that rival personal ownership at extremely attractive prices that will decimate attempts to sell these vehicles to private individuals. Finally, insurance and inspection regulations will be so onerous that a consumer market for driverless vehicles will not emerge for a very long time, if ever. Alain
South Korea Hopes to Have 50% Autonomous Cars by 2035
K. Shaw, Sept. 26. “South Korea officially feels it has out-punted its goals and is setting a new one: the government wants half of its domestically-built cars to be fully autonomous by 2035. That’s Level 5 automation, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers, meaning these cars will drive themselves in all conditions….” Read more This has to be totally irresponsible reporting and/or totally irresponsible expectations by “South Korean officials”. Level 5’s Operational Design Domain is everywhere. I’ll bet the ranch on the under! Total click-bait. Alain
Pony.Ai and SAIC AI Lab to Develop Fully Driverless EV Robotaxi
Press release, Sept. 27, “Pony.ai, a leading global autonomous driving technology company, today announced that it is collaborating with SAIC AI Lab, a division of SAIC Motor (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), China’s largest auto manufacturer to jointly explore and advance driverless technology. Together with SAIC AI Lab, Pony.ai launched a concept vehicle based on the SAIC Marvel R model and will build out a fleet of autonomous vehicles equipped with Pony.ai’s L4-level driverless solutions, over time…” Read more Operative words here are “… to develop…” and “… over time…”, meaning this is talk and it will take a while. Pretty much click-bait. Alain
Regulations to Respond to the Potential Benefits and Perils of SelfDriving Cars
Y. Freemark, Sept. 2022, ” Executive Summary
The mobility system in the United States is unsafe, inequitable, and environmentally destructive. Most Americans rely on personally owned, individually occupied, and gas-powered cars—a status quo that leads to tens of thousands of people dying each year in collisions, creates barriers to employment and other opportunities for people of color and people with low incomes, and maintains a resource intensive transportation system that contributes to climate change and spurs sprawling land uses that destroy ecologies. Autonomous vehicles (AVs)—self-driving cars that can travel along publicly accessible streets some or all of the time without human involvement—could help mitigate these problems, if they are implemented in a thoughtful, well-regulated manner. However, if deployed haphazardly with inadequate oversight and regulation, they could produce even worse inequities than those caused by the current system. … “Read more If such a definitive opening paragraph turns you on, then read the report, as it does have some useful information. Unfortunately, the Conclusion is largely devoid of substance other than “… these problems require substantial investments and thoughtful solutions… and “More research is needed…” So shallow and disappointing. Alain
Previous SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast/PodCasts
These editions are sponsored by the SmartETFs Smart Transportation and Technology ETF, symbol MOTO. For more information head to www.motoetf.com
https://www.cartsmobility.com/ provided technical support
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 284 /PodCast 284 w/Danny Shapiro, VP Automotive, nVIDIA
F. Fishkin, Sept 22, “What will NVIDIA’s DRIVE Thor mean for companies looking to deliver autonomous mobility? VP of Automotive Danny Shapiro joins us for episode 284 of Smart Driving Cars. Plus the Biden administration is funding Smart Transportation Technology, GM Cruise aims to develop chips for self driving and the NTSB pushes tech to combat impaired and reckless driving.”
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 283 /PodCast 283
F. Fishkin, Sept 11, “The strategy for survival at Aurora, new Detroit testing for Mobileye, NVIDIA’s coming virtual developer conference and another AI upcoming for Tesla. Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin share the latest on those stories and more on episode 283 of Smart Driving Cars.”
https://youtu.be/nBl1pD2BFcI?t=948 MIT Mobility Forum
https://youtu.be/nBl1pD2BFcI?t=1031 GM BrightDrop
https://youtu.be/nBl1pD2BFcI?t=1072 GM Cruise
https://youtu.be/nBl1pD2BFcI?t=1446 Uber Nuro
https://youtu.be/nBl1pD2BFcI?t=1589 Lucid Nikola
https://youtu.be/nBl1pD2BFcI?t=1648 Tesla AI Day
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 282 /PodCast 282 w/ Michael Sena, Editor of The Dispatcher
F. Fishkin, Aug. 31, “Is there really a battle over building and maintaining roads? “The Dispatcher” publisher Michael Sena on the history and outlook on episode 282 of Smart Driving Cars with Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin. Plus… the Saudi linear city plan, GM, #Tesla, Baidu, Waymo and more.”
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=106 Michael Sena ..battle over roads
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=2004 Michael Sena Saudi linear city plans
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=2456 Aluminum makes cars…China makes aluminum
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=2759 Teslas banned from Chinese Communist Party retreat
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=2951 GM’s mandator OnStar option
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=3333 Gatik partners with Pitney Bowes
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=3416 Waymo reported seeks to withhold trip level data in SF
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=3538 GM president on autonomous vehicle strategy
https://youtu.be/F1qDhRqAA5c?t=3619 Baidu says automous EV rides in China have surpassed one million
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast281 /PodCast 281
F. Fishkin, Aug. 28, “A new step for Tesla FSD with Beta 10 69 release and the company’s “Occupancy Network”. Princeton’s faculty chair of autonomous vehicle engineering, Alain Kornhauser, weighs in on that plus oversized EVs, Toyota’s view of autonomous mobility, Pittsburgh’s Guaranteed Basic Mobility Program and some excitement surround SpaceX and NASA and more.”
00:42 new Tesla FSD Beta 15:37 Tesla AI Day coming 19:07 Space X Launch 21:06 NY Times Essay on oversized EVs 24:18 California to ban gasoline cars by 2035 25:43 Toyota Research Institute says AVs not imminent 31:35 Tesla acts agains Dawn Project and O’Dowd 32:19 Pitssburght Guaranteed Basic Mobility 38:24 Waze shutting carpooling service 41:09 NASA readies Artemis
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 280 /PodCast 280 w/Cade Metz, NY Times
F. Fishkin, Aug . 22, “How can Tesla data help with the understanding of car crashes? NY Times reporter & author Cade Metz joins Alain and Fred to explore the latest Tesla news, including the new higher price for FSD. Plus NHTSA reports a continuing rise in traffic deaths, Lyft in Vegas, Cruise and Waymo. And Princeton and NBA great Brian Taylor joins us to remember legendary basketball coach Pete Carril.”
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 279 / PodCast 279 w/Scott Painter, CEO Autonomy
F. Fishkin, Aug . 11, “After announcing it will spend 1.2 billion dollars on EVs and rapidly expand its vehicle subscription service, what does the future hold for Autonomy. Serial entrepreneur & CEO Scott Painter joins us for episode 279 of Smart Driving Cars. Plus Tesla, Argo AI and more …”
@t=47 Autonomy CEO Scott Painter
@t=2485 Tesla, Ralph Nader
@t=2635 Anti-Tesla ad campaign
@t=2657 Pittsburgh Post Gazette
@t=2892 Argo AI
@t=2967 Congressional push for AV legislation
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 278 / PodCast 278 Tesla 2022 shareholder’s meeting
F. Fishkin, Aug . 7, “Elon Musk talked about his vision for Tesla robo-taxis and more during his Q&A following the 2022 shareholders’ meeting. Weighing in on that and more is Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser on episode 278 of Smart Driving Cars with co-host Fred Fishkin. Plus TuSimple, GM Cruise, Lucid, Argo and more.”
@ t=55 Musk vision for autonomous taxis
@ t=728 When and where first robo-taxis will be deployed.
@ t=1177 What about the role of Musk’s Boring Company?
@ t=1530 Musk responds to Autopilot suggestion
@ t=1941 Alain on automatic emergency braking
@ t=2230 California acts against Tesla for using terms Full Self Driving and AutoPilot
@ t=2357 TuSimple blames human error for crash
@ t=2456 Barron’s reports When the Lawyers Come for Autonomous Vehicles
@ t=2552 GM President talks safety
@t=2722 Losses at Lucid
SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 277/ PodCast 277 w/Michael Sena, Editor of The Dispatcher
F. Fishkin, July 30, “A look at cities & mobility, turmoil at VW, the cash problem at Cruise & more. “The Dispatcher” publisher Michael Sena joins Alain Kornhauser & Fred Fishkin for another spirited discussion on episode 277 of Smart Driving Cars.”
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.”
Link to 275 previous SDC PodCasts & ZoomCasts
Recent Highlights of:
Thursday, September 22, 2022
Thor for Autonomous Vehicles, Robotics, Medical Instruments and More
J. Huang, Sept 20, “…In today’s vehicles, active safety, parking, driver monitoring, camera mirrors, cluster and infotainment are driven by different computers. In the future, they’ll be delivered by software that improves over time, running on a centralized computer, Huang said.
To power this, Huang introduced DRIVE Thor, which combines the transformer engine of Hopper, the GPU of Ada, and the amazing CPU of Grace.
The new Thor superchip delivers 2,000 teraflops of performance, replacing Atlan on the DRIVE roadmap, and providing a seamless transition from DRIVE Orin, which has 254 TOPS of performance and is currently in production vehicles…” Read more Hmmmm… Watch Jenmsen’s keynote @ 2022 GTC. Watch: Nvidia Explains Self-Driving Car Vision at GTC 2022. See how the XPeng G9 utilized nVIDIA. Watch the G9’s version of “FSD” called X Alain
Saturday September 10, 2022
Self-Driving Tech Company Floats Possible Sale to Apple or Microsoft
D. Welch, Aug. 30, “Aurora Innovation Inc.’s chief executive officer recently laid out a range of options for the self-driving company to respond to worsening market conditions and partners pushing out timelines, including a possible sale to Apple Inc. or Microsoft Corp., according to a document seen by Bloomberg.
Chris Urmson, who co-founded Aurora after running Google’s self-driving car project, also outlined cost cuts and floated measures including taking the company private, spinning off or selling assets and pursuing a small capital raise in a memo labeled “board discussion pre-read” and dated Aug. 3. Urmson inadvertently sent this to staff and asked them on Aug. 9 not to open it, the document shows. …” Read more Hmmmm… Realistic but not good news. With revenue at zero all of these companies are struggling. The annual addressable market of new class 8 trucks in the US is about 275,000 units. Given the large number of competitors addressing a limited market that has yet to yield any revenue for any of them suggests that this is a really tough business, especially if first revenue remains a year or more in the future.
What may be even more daunting is competition from a TeslaSemi with “FSD.Class8”, not to mention the Waymo Via initiative. They both can cross subsidize their driverless Class 8 initiatives with their driverless people movement investment.
I still contend that there is a substantial near-term revenue opportunity Advanced Professional Driver Assistance focused on improving Professional Driver workplace. OSHA should be mandating such technology. Aurora could be generating revenue from it today. CEOs of trucking companies could be paying for it today and pocketing extremely attractive RoIs. Professional Drivers would be happier campers. So much so that the driver shortage might disappear. Alain
Thursday September 1, 2022
Funding Roads: Pay for the Effect or Pay for the Cause
M. Sena, Aug. 30, “The September 2022 Issue in Brief
Funding Roads: There was a time when the main problem with roads in the U.S. and Europe was that there were not enough of them to keep drivers from getting stuck in traffic. Then, environmentalism, NIMBYism, anti-feceralism and anybody-with-a-beefism put the breaks on all infrastructure. They shifted the debate to how to pay, rather than what do we need to stay competitive with the countries where the rulers decide what gets built where and how. Is there a way forward for democracies to have a functioning infrastructure, or must we look on with envy at countries where totalitarian governments build infrastructure like it’s the 1950s in the West?
Dispatch Central: A new city in the desert is an old idea – The de facto head of the Saudia Arabia government has designed a city with one stroke of the pencil. One very long stroke.
Aluminum: Another brick in the Wall of China – Governments required higher fuel efficiency. OEMs lowered car weights to comply. China cornered the market on the material that was needed to make it happen: aluminum. Sound familiar?
Some countries actually do something about Tesla – China (again) seems to be the only country that can tell Tesla to “Heel?”, and Tesla heels. We don’t wonder why this is so.
GM looking for money in all the wrong places – Making something like OnStar a ‘standard option’ is like telling parishoners they need to put money in the collection basket in order to get into mass. …” Read more Hmmmm… Another fantastic issue. See ZoomCast 282/PodCast 282 for a discussion of the content. Alain
Sunday August 28, 2022
Tesla Releases FSD Beta 10 69 With New Occupancy Network
Tesla Daily, Aug. 22, ” Looking at first impressions from Tesla’s release of FSD Beta 10.69…” Read more Be sure to watch Ashok Elluswamy’s “Occupancy Networks” keynote presentation at CVPR on June 20, 2022. Very impressive, especially the use of training videos and it realization in FSD 10.69
Also pertinent are video demonstrations of:
- Tesla FSD Beta V 10.69 Dominates Downtown Driving
- FSD Beta 10.69 (2022.16.3.10) Release Notes
- FSDBeta v10.69 – HEAVY TRAFFIC – Unprotected Left Turns… Amazing that such turns are legal let alone FSD’s routing algorithm deicing that this is on the best way to go. Safety must not be part of its objective function C’mon Elon.
- FSD Beta V 10.69 Initial Impressions. My impression is that 10.69 drove better than this tester who seemed intent on driving aggressively and not wanting to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Hopefully no one at Tesla pays attention to this guy.
- Bullish News From Giga Berlin Tours, Production Rumors, Terrible Toyota
- The Tesla Semi Is Officially Here!
My takeaway from the above is that FSD 10.69 is impressive but not near “Full” anything, especially if put in the hands of some individual who themselves may well be a menace on the road.
While not being near “Full” anything, FSD may be nearing the point in which it is FSD within some useful Operational Design Domain.
It is one thing to be able to safely negotiate a trips segment: safely drive straight down a well marked lane in clear weather, safely make an unprotected left, safely stop behind a stop line at a stop sign, … Each is an important achievement.
It is a whole other challenge to be able to safely go from some origin to some destination thus delivering useful mobility to some person or some thing safely without any disengagements. The ensemble of these origin-destination pairs would define the ODD for FSD. To date that ODD has been essentially null. The challenge for subsequent releases of FSD may well be to begin to explicitly identify FSD’s ODD sand assess the extent to which these ODDs have emerged from the null state to begin to safely provide some useful mobility to the general public. Alain
Asking FSD to be “Full” everything, everywhere to everyone is simply a naive unachievable objective. To me a better question may well be in which Operational Design Domain is FSD indeed Full Self-Driving?
Once that ODD is determined, restrict FSD to operate ONLY in that ODD.
Tesla must accept the responsibility allowing FSD to be engaged ONLY when the car is operating in Operational Design Domain where Tesla has certified that FSD drives safely. Else, FSD safely pull over, stop disengage and turn the responsibility of continuing on to the human driver. It should be Tesla’s responsibility to allow FSD to be turned on and the determination of when and where it ceases to move because Tesla must be held responsible and liable if it something bad happens when it is driving. If I’m driving I’m responsible and liable. Not my passenger who may or may not be paying attention to what is going on. If FSD is driving it must accept that responsibility and not expect the passenger to help out. The word “Self” implies “Full”; else the product should be called Partnership-driving or Team-driving or ??? Alain
Monday August 22, 2022
Can Tesla Data Help Us Understand Car Crashes?
C. Metz, Aug. 18, “Shortly before 2 p.m. on a clear July day in 2020, as Tracy Forth was driving near Tampa, Fla., her white Tesla Model S was hit from behind by another car in the left lane of Interstate 275.
It was the kind of accident that occurs thousands of times a day on American highways. When the vehicles collided, Ms. Forth’s car slid into the median as the other one, a blue Acura sport utility vehicle, spun across the highway and onto the far shoulder.
After the collision, Ms. Forth told police officers that Autopilot — a Tesla driver-assistance system that can steer, brake and accelerate cars — had suddenly activated her brakes for no apparent reason. She was unable to regain control, according to the police report, before the Acura crashed into the back of her car.
But her description is not the only record of the accident. Tesla logged nearly every particular, down to the angle of the steering wheel in the milliseconds before impact. Captured by cameras and other sensors installed on the car, this data provides a startlingly detailed account of what occurred, including video from the front and the rear of Ms. Forth’s car.
It shows that 10 seconds before the accident, Autopilot was in control as the Tesla traveled down the highway at 77 miles per hour. Then she prompted Autopilot to change lanes…” Read more We’ve been calling for an independent analysis of the Tesla data for some time. Privacy is easy to protect. There is no need to know who owns or was operating each Tesla. Also see ZoomCast 280 Alain
Saturday August 13, 2022
Tesla, GM Score Biggest Share of $1.2 Billion EV Order From Startup Autonomy
D. Hall, Aug. 9, “Tesla, GM, Volkswagen and Ford are among the automakers set to get big orders from Autonomy, a startup offering drivers the option of subscribing to an electric vehicle instead of buying one outright.
Autonomy plans to announce Tuesday that it’s ordering nearly 23,000 EVs from 17 different automakers for a total outlay of $1.2 billion. With chip shortages limiting production capacity at most automakers, it’s unclear how soon such a fleet could be amassed. The order represents 1.2% of the projected US electric vehicle production through the end of next year… .” Read more Hmmmm… While this is a very interesting play for an individual to acquire a subscription to have a “Drive-it-Yourself” (DiY) electric car that gives the individual anywhere & anytime mobility. The subscription is acquired using a simple anywhere & anytime mobile phone app (the “autonomy” of the concept) that bundles, insurance, maintenance, taxes, the vehicle,… Essentially everything except the electricity. Just DiY it and get from where you are to where you want to go when you want to “Just do It” (JdI). All at an attractive monthly subscription charge when you consider all that is bundled. This is DiY/MaaSS (Mobility as a SubscriptionService) for those that can DiY.
See the Bloomberg Video and well as SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 279 / PodCast 279 w/Scott Painter, CEO Autonomy
I can readily envision the extension of Autonomy‘s DiY/MaaSS to MOVES/MaaS where “MOVESMobility, Inc.” places a $n.m Billion RoboTaxi order with Tesla, (and/or GM, Toyota, VW, Benteler, Zoox, Baidu, Alibaba, AutoX, …) to deploy safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable, high-quality mobility for all 24/7/350+ throughout Trenton, Perth Amboy, Patterson, Newark, Camden, Atlantic City, Edison, New Brunswick, Scranton, Greenville, Newburg, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, .. and their environs’ Operational Design Domains (ODD). 😁 Alain
Saturday August 6, 2022
Tesla’s 2022 Shareholder Meeting with Elon Musk
E. Musk, Aug. 4, .” Read more Hmmmm… Watch the Q & A portion starting about an hour in from the start. Watch especially the comments about his vision of the Tesla RoboTaxi (aka driverless cars, what I prefer to call autonomousTaxis or aTaxis, the new “Modern Transit”). The key visions are:
@ t=6375 … the issue of how he sees these driverless vehicles being operated (deployed).
While I don’t agree with the option of owning your own and renting it out “AirB&B -style where B&B = Mobility”. It is easier and more likely to begin by having a Professional entity managing a fleet of Tesla RoboTaxis that provide mobility to the everyone in the community. This will be the the “Modern Public Transit”. An example being Trenton MOVES using a fleet of Tesla RoboTaxis.
For these RoboTaxis to be attractive to a fleet operator, they will need to be styled differently than consumer versions that are sold to individuals. The RoboTaxi will need to be easy to get in and out and interface well with wheelchairs. They’ll need to accommodate ride-sharing (personTrips are the source of the revenue, not vehicle sales). They should have 4-wheel steering so they will never need to back up in stub-end operation. He has re imagined the pickup truck. Certainly, he can re-imagine a car focused on providing safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable high-quality mobility throughout a community.
At the end of addressing the future of Robotasis he states …” assuming we do all these things, I think, probably, Tesla will be the most valuable company in the world.“
@ t=7057 Elon is asked “when will Tesla launch the first pilot city for the RoboTaxi business?
Elon dodged the question by stating that he is focused on doing driverless everywhere, even in every imaginable simulation of the real world. Consequently, once achieved, it could be released everywhere al at once.
While a great vision, this is simply not realistic. He started selling Teslas in California, not throughout the whole country. He fully understands that one must crawl before one walks, before one runs.
As you might suspect, I have the ideal “California” for him to first deploy his RoboTaxis and its not California or Arizona. It is New Jersey: Trenton, NJ or Perth Amboy, NJ or Patterson, NJ or many other cities in New Jersey where the mobility offered by Tesla RoboTaxis would be life changing to many while becoming an interesting alternative to everyone else. DoJo can more readily regress the coefficients to deliver safe driverless operation within any one of these Operational Design Domains (ODD) rather than trying to do them all simultaneously. Coefficients can/should be tied to ODDs rather than having one “magical” set that works in all ODDs. It is trivial for the Operating system to load the coefficients that work best in theRoboTaxi’s current ODD. This should allow RoboTaxis to demonstrate their technical, economic and societal virtues much sooner in these communities. Market success will fuel expansion and replication in the delivery of safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable, high-quality mobility so that is spreads beyond New Jersey to California and beyond just like the purchase of the first Teslas spread from California to New Jersey and beyond.
@ t=7417 Elon is asked about the Boring Company.
True, if one could bore tunnels inexpensively, it would be great for longer distance travel. Certainly, all of the freeways in and around cities would be placed underground. High Speed rail on the NorthEast Corridor can only go underground for long stretches. Bringing the Dinky to a Nassau Street terminus must be done underground. By the way Washington Road should be underground eradicating the cancer that it is as a surface street severing the Princeton Campus. Then there is Rt. 29 that devastated Trenton by barricading the western part of Trenton from the Delaware River and Rt. 129 that severed neighborhoods; a scenario that was repeated in essentially every city to accommodate through-moving surface travel. They should all go underground. There is much good that could be done. The challenge is the above if.
@ t=6665 “when disengaging autoPilot with the wheel, the accelerator stays on. Please fix it!”
Maybe… touching or not touching the steering wheel has little in common with acceleration (and braking) which is (are) controlled by the feet. The steering control should be readily overcome by input of a torque on the steering wheel; however, the steering control should revert to dominance if the driver ceases to exhort a torque on the wheel. Moreover, torquing the steering wheel should not disengage the brake or the throttle.
With respect to the driver actions on the brake and throttle:
Driver input from the throttle should have precedence over “intelligent cruise control (ICC)” input to the throttle and brake and should NOT turn off the system simply because the driver touched the accelerator pedal.
For the brake, it is a little different. Tapping the brake should turn off the acceleration function of the ICC. Acceleration should remain off until the driver explicitly re-engages it. Moreover, driver input to the brake, if less than what the ICC calls for, should always be dominated by the ICC’s desire to brake. Tapping of the brakes should not turn off the braking function of the ICC. That intelligent brakig function should continue to keep m fro getting to close to the vehicle in front of me. The acceleration function has been turned off so I won’t accelerate into the back of the car ahead of me and the braking function should continue to do its best to keep a proper separation between me and the vehicle ahead. Turning the whole system off placing me completely in control should require an explicit action by me that indicates I’m knowingly usurping responsibility.
I believe ICC should be on all the time. Driver sets the speed and separation (or it is done automatically relative to the speed limit, weather conditions and road curvatures). Driver can choose to override the throttle and override the braking at any time; however, in the absence of overrides, the ICC is in charge. Alain
Saturday July 30, 2022
GM’s Cruise robotaxi unit drives deeper into the red
Reuters, July 26, “General Motors Co (GM.N) has lost nearly $5 billion since 2018 trying to build a robotaxi business in San Francisco, and now as the automaker’s Cruise unit starts charging for rides, the losses are accelerating.
GM said on Tuesday it lost $500 million on Cruise during the second quarter – more than $5 million a day – as it began charging for rides in a limited area of San Francisco. … that may be the case for the last quarter, but the chart below from GM’s 6/30/222 10-Q Shows ($800M) for the last 6 months or $4.38/day when divided by 182.625 Whew!😅…
Cruise’s costly effort to transform autonomous driving technology from a long-term research project to a profit-spinning business comes as investors are backing away from riskier bets on technology, and reassessing how soon robot vehicles of any kind will be deployed in large scale on public roads.
Shares of autonomous vehicle technology company Aurora Innovation Inc (AUR.O), for example, are down 80% for the year to date. Shares of robo-trucking company TuSimple Holdings Inc (TSP.O) have lost more than 70% of their value. Some automakers, including Ford Motor Co (F.N), have scaled back investments in automated vehicle units, or taken on partners to share the costs….
Cruise’s losses for the first six months of the year deepened to $900 million from $600 million during the same period in 2021 – when Cruise was not charging for rides. Higher compensation costs to keep staff on board after putting aside plans for an IPO were one factor in the results, GM executives said.
Chief Executive Mary Barra said on Tuesday she is still bullish on Cruise, and reaffirmed a forecast that the unit could generate $50 billion a year in revenue from automated vehicle services and technology by 2030. .” Read more Hmmmm… Nice optimism. The source of the reality check above comes from GM’s 6/30/222 10-Q. Start reading from page 41. then on page 43:
Whoa! The only nice thing that can be imagined is by assuming that they’ve had essentially zero revenue, the operating costs have “only” been $800M for the last 6 months. That is non-small.
I’d like to suggest that the strategy of trying to create a profitable driverless mobility service for folks that already have 2 or more cars in their garage, have excellent public transit service or travel on expense accounts when wanting to go to between the airport and “downtown” may not be the wisest way to launch such a mobility service. There is little opportunity to be substantially better or even equivalent to what those potential customers already have. Little opportunity to get loyal and repeat customers. The focus to date has been too heavily weighted on getting the technology to work for folks who already have more mobility options than they know what to do with. Great for click-bait; challenging for the 10-Q. What must Waymo’s 10-Q Cash Flow chart look like?
Capturing loyal and repeat customers is really tough when the competition is excellent and entrenched. While pricing can be high, volume is almost non-existent even with nominal pricing. Except for the novelty, the marketplace in the Chandlers and SFs is essentially non-existent. To date those markets have been quiet, at best. What must Waymo’s 10-Q Cash Flow chart look like?
It astonishes me that to date none of the leading driverless companies have spent any money trying to serve the needs of folks that don’t own cars, aren’t traveling using someone else’s money, nor have access to a good public transit system focused on their mobility needs.
These folks definitely can’t pay as much for a ride as those that are being chased by Cruise & Waymo, but there are more of them. Moreover, its almost trivial to provide them with a mobility option that is substantially better than what they have today for many, if not most, of their daily personTrips.
This is the market that we’ve found in New Jersey; in Trenton & Mercer County, Perth Amboy & Middlesex County and Patterson & Passaic County. We haven’t even begun looking in Newark, Camden, Atlantic City and the rest of New Jersey.
The excuse seems to have been that it would be too expensive to deal with NJ’s bad weather, even though, we’ve made it clear that New jersey is not interested in a 365.25 days/yr. mobility solution. We’d be more than pleased with a 350 days/yr. operation. New Jersey has more than 350 good days a year. We aren’t so entitled that we can’t wait for the hurricane to blow through, the snow to be shoveled or the fog to lift before we go about our normal business. We enjoy the “snow day” at home. We are convinced that is actually easier and cheaper to capture recurring and loyal NJ customers.
The rule-of-thumb for a Trenton-MOVES style operation is: a vehicle needs to serve at least 100 personTrips/day. With slightly better ride-sharing and time-of-day pricing, one might be able to get to 150 personTrips/day. To cover a fleet of 100 vehicles, ridership needs to be about 10k to 15k personTrips/day. This kind of utilization leads to per personTrip capitalization costs of less that $1/personTrip for vehicles costing upwards of $150k @ interest rates upward of 7.5%. That is to say, $1/personTrip readily covers the vehicle capital costs even at moderate scales.
Given that trips on-average are less than five miles, vehicle operating costs are less than $1/personTrip.
Management costs are largely fixed. With volume the per personTrip burden decrease enormously, and can’t be more than $0.50/personTrip.
Break-even fare is thus roughly $2.50/personTrip.
An average market fare of $3.50/personTrip delivers a profit of >$1.00/personTrip, >$100/vehicle-day.
A fleet of 100 vehicles delivers a profit >$10k/day, >$3.0M/yr. in the Trenton ODD serving 10k personTrips/day.
From where do these 10k personTrips/day materialize?
Essentially all the riders of NJ Transit rail would love a simple reliable convenient way to get to & from the train. By on-demand service within the community around the train station, loyalty upwards of 80% could be achieved for anyone wanting to go to NYC or within walking distance to any other NJ train station. For Trenton that represents a marketplace of 8,000 personTrips/day that currently drive to & from the station every day and those that currently don’t use the train that would if it was easy and reliable to them to get to AND from the station, when they wanted to get to and from there. Half of the 10k would easily come from serving the Trenton Train Station.
Trenton Central HS has 1,800 students. More than 1,500 live more than a 10 minute walk to the TCHS. Truancy is proportional to how far a student has to walk to school. Trenton MOVES could readily serve 1,250 of these students every day. That’s 1/4 of the needed 10k.
We only need another 2.5k personTrips and we haven’t even begun dealing with getting people to & from work in Trenton, doctors, shopping visiting friends, etc. needed by the 70% of Trenton households who have access to one or zero cars. 100 vehicles serving 10k personTrips/day making >3.0M/year @ an average fare of $3.50/personTrip is just the start of a profitable business. Employing 200 vehicles costing at most $100k at interest rates of less than 7.5% serving 150 personTrips/day at fares of $3.00/personTrip makes way more than $5M per year.
Expanding Trenton MOVES throughout Mercer County giving the opportunity to increase average fare (because of the longer personTrips) to maybe $5/personTrip keeping utilization @ 150 personTrips/vehicle-day of a fleet of 1,000 vehicles and doing a little better on interest rates and cap costs can lead to profits of >$10M/year for Trenton/Mercer MOVES. There are at least 10 replications of Trenton/Mercer MOVES that could be done in NJ by 2030 utilizing a fleet of at least 10,000 vehicles leading to a profit of >$100M/year.
This kind of success leads to having many more people leave their cars at home and frequenting NJ-MOVES as their mobility system. This could lead to a NJ-Moves fleet of >100,000 vehicles is generating a profit of >$1B.
If Mary expects this to be achieved by 2030 and replicated in the 50 other states (on average) as the Universe she expects to exist in 2030, I’m hopeful but skeptical. My point is, that starting with Trenton MOVES as the big bang that achieved her vision seems to me to be a lot clearer that where Cruise/Waymo have chosen to try to create a Big Bang. Seems as if she and Kyle should be taking Trenton and New Jersey much more seriously. Please call me! Alain
Monday July 25, 2022
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
Saturday July 16, 2022
MAY MOBILITY CLOSES $111 MILLION SERIES C FUNDING, BEGINS PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT ON TOYOTA’S NEXT GENERATION MOBILITY PLATFORM
Press release, July 12,”May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today closed a $111 million Series C round of funding. Additionally, the company plans to continue to pursue its deployment programs using the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platform while beginning development on another vehicle design centered around mobility, Toyota’s e-Palette, signaling the next potential milestone as it seeks new ways to bring equitable mobility solutions to the masses….” Read more Hmmmm… Hopefully this will enable May Mobility to take seriously Trenton MOVES and other MOVES-style deployment initiatives in New Jersey and beyond. Alain
Saturday July 9, 2022
U.S. agency probing self-driving Cruise car crash in California
D.Shepardson, July 7, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a special investigation into a recent crash of a Cruise self-driving vehicle in California that resulted in minor injuries, the agency said on Thursday.
The auto safety agency did not identify the specific crash, but a Cruise vehicle operating in driverless autonomous mode was involved in a crash involving minor injuries on June 3 in San Francisco, according to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. … ” Read more Hmmmm… The police report indicates that the Cruise vehicle stopped while making a protected left turn, yielding to avoid being T-boned by a speeding Prius that might run its red. Instead the Prius changed to its left turn lane and broadsided the Cruise vehicle. I can’t wait to see the Cruise 360 video of that crash. Hopefully the Prius’ insurance company will reimburse the Federal Government for its expenses incurred in its special investigation of the crash that it caused. Alain
Saturday June 11, 2022
Princeton Fifth Annual SmartDrivingCars Summit
June 24, M. Sena “THE DISPATCHER, July 2022
IN THIS ISSUE
Princeton Fifth Annual SmartDrivingCars Summit ………..
Safe, Equitable, Affordable, Sustainable, High-quality
Mobility for Everyone ……………………………………………….2
Someone lit a fire under NHTSA …………………………………9
The Economist: Right analysis, wrong solution …………..12
Musings of a Dispatcher: Eyes on the Back Story………..15
The evolution of digital maps and ADAS ……………………15
Digital Maps for the Vehicle – 1970-2022 ………………….24 …
” Read more Hmmmm… Another great edition and very well written summary of the 5th Summit. Alain
Saturday June 18, 2022
NHTSA Releases Initial Data on Safety Performance of Advanced Vehicle Technologies
June 15, Press release, “Today, as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts to increase roadway safety and encourage innovation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published the initial round of data it has collected through its Standing General Order issued last year and initial accompanying reports summarizing this data.
The SAE Level 2 advanced driver assistance systems summary report is available here, while the SAE Levels 3-5 automated driving systems summary report is available here. Going forward, NHTSA will release data updates monthly…” Read more Hmmmm… This is a good start; however, as NHTSA repeats many times, this is just a start and there are many “data limitations”. The most severe may well be the possibility of substantial “sampling bias“, the most severe of which is that each OEM sourced the reported data very differently. That makes the data between OEMs incomparable.
Also un reported is any measure that would enable a “crash rate” for an OEM to be determined. One only has a numerator value but no denominator value.
Finally, 392 crashes of “Level 2” cars were reported during the “10” month period of July 2021 and May 15, 2022. About 12 million vehicles are involved in traffic crashes every year among the 283 million vehicles that operate in the US. Assuming any one vehicle is unlikely to be involved in more than one crash per yer, it means that each vehicle, on average is involved in 12M/283M = 0.0424 crashes per year. Thus, if these ADAS cars were involved in crashes at the average rate, and had their ADAS on all the time, the 500 vehicle crashes per year contained in these data would expect to be generated from a fleet of only about 11,800 vehicles (or 0.0042% of the vehicles (“everything being equal”, ADAS on all the time.).
Consequently, either, …
- These system outrageously reduce crash probabilities, and/or
- maybe some, but we’re probably not much luckier.
- very few of the cars in use during that “10” month period had Level 2 capabilities, and/or
- unfortunately, the VIN number doesn’t identify these cars and only Tesla announces how many sold (I may have missed the reportings)
- very few of the drivers of those cars rarely engaged the Level 2 features, and/or
- likely. Only Tesla releases data on the utilization of its level 2 features but does so only in aggregate terms that don’t allow for correction of sampling bias associated with engagement in “easy” driving conditions versus “challenging” driving conditions.
- enormous under counting
- likely, only Tesla has the opportunity to either “know all” or sample effectively because of their OtA monitoring of its vehicles. Everyone else has conveniently kept their heads in the sand. Mercedes didn’t report any; however, during that period I think my Intelligent Cruise Control and Lane Centering were engaged when I hit a deer. Mercedes must not have been watching me, I didn’t report it and I didn’t get the memo that informed me to do anything.
Anyway. It is a start and at least to me the numbers are not startling.
What needs improvement is sourcing of the incidents. Maybe OtA should be mandated. At minimum, the VIN should specify the existence of theses capabilities. Then normal police reportings can begin to “automatically” access the “black box event recorders” (see also Accident data recorder and NHTSA) that are in most cars today. Unfortunately, privacy concerns makes this not-easy. So here we are. It wont be easy to do much better, but we should continue to try.
What the data do point out is that a substantial number of the crashes involved the rear ending of a stationary object. I have pointed out repeatedly that the source code of these systems explicitly disregard stationary objects in the lane ahead. Justifying this explicit process is that current sensors incur unacceptable false positives when trying to determine if sufficient headroom exists under detected stationary object in the lane ahead. Thus, to avoid braking in response to these rare false positives, stationary objects in the lane ahead are all assumed to be “pass under-able”.
As one drives, one encounters many stationary objects in the lane ahead. These are readily sensed and precisely located ahead. Readily sensed are overpasses, signs, tree canopies, traffic lights, … all of which can usually be readily passed under. (As can vehicles ahead that come to rest in vehicle-follower mode. These are not disregarded because one is in vehicle-follower mode.)
But when one is in vehicle-leader mode and one encounters a stationary object ahead, I believe, most, if not all “Level 2” systems disregard that object and assume the car can pass underneath. So if you are in vehicle leader mode and come over the crest of a hill to be confronted with a stopped object ahead, your system will disregard that object. Similarly, if the vehicle that you are following changes lanes forcing you to become a leader, any stationary object ahead will be disregarded. Alain
Saturday June 11, 2022
3 minute Promo: https://youtu.be/q5Ov_dPuRV4
The 5th Summit: https://www.cartsmobility.com/summit
Dr. Steve Still’s Tribute to Heywood Patterson
S. Still, June 3, “… Heywood Patterson, 67, He often drove members of his church to Tops, helping them load their groceries into his car and then taking them home. “That’s what eh did all the time,” Deborah Patterson said. “That’s what the loved to do”. …” Watch Video Hmmmm… A principal reason for “Trenton MOVES”-like deployments is to do what Heywood Patterson “loved to do” for the many. Alain
Saturday May 28, 2022
The Evolving Business of Powering Our Vehicles
M. Sena, May 24, “New Car Assessment Programs (NCAPs) all around the world have created a separate and unequal set of standards for vehicle safety operating in parallel with the Type Approval processes in most countries and the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and their equivalents in other countries. One standard is enough. In this month’s the lead article, I look at why this has happened, why it is not a good idea, and what should be done to correct the situation.
There is no Musings in this month’s issue. Instead, I have put my musings energies to work in Dispatch Central. You can see the topics below. The section ends with a notable quote from the CEO of Stellantis on the topic of battery electric vehicles.
Enjoy your June issue of The Dispatcher. All comments are welcome, whether you want to take exception to something I have written or you just want to let me know that you got something out of reading it. …” Read more Hmmmm… Every month, great reading. Enjoy! Alain
Sunday May 15, 2022
From pricing carbon to fighting opioid abuse, ORFE showcased top senior projects
A. Nathans, May 11, “When Serena Ren presented her senior thesis on using machine learning for art appraisals last month, she hoped to see her friend, Joyce Luo, present her thesis on fighting opioid addiction. But since all students in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering present their theses in parallel sessions, this was impossible.
But on May 4, Ren and Luo finally got to see each other’s presentations in a classroom in Sherrerd Hall, thanks to the department’s first-ever event in which selected students present their thesis work to the whole department…. ” Read more Hmmmm… I’m so proud! Hopefully we’ll be able to release the video so you can enjoy. Keep trying the link:
Princeton ORFE Class of 2022 Senior Thesis Symposium “Best 8”
- Isabelle Grosgogeat “Impact of women and minority ownership on private equity“
- Joyce Luo “Equitable data-driven resource allocation to fight the opioid pandemic“
- Caroline Noonan “The impact of carbon price on power plant dispatch, production costs, and total emissions“
- Hari Ramakrishnan “Lighting up dark pools“
- Serena Ren “Automatic art appraisals“
- Mitchell Stroebell “A comparison of advanced player statistics for the NBA“
- Jack Woll “Pairs trading and volatility“
- Andre Yin “Equity trading strategies based on macroeconomic event analysis“
Saturday May 7, 2022
PAVE VIRTUAL PANEL “AVS AND PUBLIC GOOD: TRENTON MOVES”
PAVE, May 4, “Autonomous vehicle technologies offer incredible potential: they could make our highways safer, they could offer new mobility options for people who can’t drive, and they could help create a more equitable transportation system for those who are not well-served by our current system.
During the month of May, we are highlighting places where AVs are in use — today — being deployed, tested, and used for public good. We want to look at examples of the technology being used to serve food deserts, to expand access to rural communities, to offer new accessibility options, and more.
We are starting with the Trenton MOVES initiative, which is the first large-scale urban transit system in America based entirely on self-driving shuttles. The shuttles, which carry four to eight passengers, serve traditionally underserved Trenton neighborhoods, where 70% of households have limited access to a single automobile, or no access at all. Our panelists will detail the program, describing how it works, the results it has achieved, and their vision for the future……” Read more Hmmmm… Very nice. Be sure to watch video 😁 and see ZoomCast 267 Alain
Friday, April 30, 2022
NJDOT Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti and the Trenton NJ MOVES Program
P. Keller, April 29, “New Jersey recently announced a $5 million grant for the Trenton Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System or MOVES Project. The grant to the City of Trenton will support the planned start up and eventual deployment of 100 Autonomous Vehicles that will provide an on-demand automated transit system to serve the 90,000 residents of Trenton…..” Read more Hmmmm… Very nice. 😁 AlainSaturday, April 23, 2022
April 21, “CARTS Executive Director Jerry He explains to the audience at #CoMotionMiami that:
Hmmmm… Yup! See ZoomCast265 Alain
Thursday, April 15, 2022
Musk promises ‘dedicated robotaxi’ with futuristic look from Tesla
H. Jin, April 6, “Electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA.O) will make a “dedicated” self-driving taxi that will “look futuristic,” Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Thursday, without giving a timeframe.
The 50-year-old billionaire, wearing a black cowboy hat and sunglasses, made the comments at the opening of Tesla’s $1.1 billion factory in Texas, which is home to its new headquarters.
“Massive scale. Full self-driving. There’s going to be a dedicated robotaxi,” Musk told a large crowd at the factory….” Read more
Hmmmm… Wow! It was brilliant for Elon to begin focusing his EVs on rich Californians who already have a stable full of cars to go all the way to grandma’s house and back and were really looking for a neat toy.
Elon followed the graceful rollout of his Supercharger infrastructure which enabled the upper-middle class that doesn’t have a backup fleet and needs to have a toy and reliably go back and forth to grandma’s house. Viola!!! No longer just a toy. Seamless evolution to “Massive Scale” scale and Massive Profitability.
RoboTaxis’ evolution to “Massive Scale” is turning out to be different. Starting with rich WesternStaters doesn’t seem to be working sociologically for Waymo. The rides offered seem to be taken for entertainment and side-show purposes rather than valued enablers of enhanced quality of life. Nice for selfies, but not much more.
Recall fundamental value is to provide a safe, high-quality ride from A to B. “Safe” is “safe”, but “high-quality” is relative to what one now has readily available. For the rich, that’s where they’ve already put a lot of money to create for themselves something really nice. The chances someone is going to offer something better to an individual that has crafted something perfect for themselves is slim-to-none. Consequently, the service is used primarily for taking selfies.
For those that don’t have their own car for whatever reason (can’t drive, don’t want to, too young, too old, and/or too poor) their mobility options are simply dreadful. Absolutely trivial for an aTaxi service to be viewed as the quality winner and used to provide customer accessibility, improved quality of life, endearment, respect, love, appreciation, loyalty, and use.
Consequently, if Elon is really serious about achieving “Massive Scale” then he should basically flip his Tesla strategy and start by focusing on serving the mobility needs of those that will fully appreciate and gain the most personal value from his market offering;
- those that don’t already have a stable full of their own personal mobility options.
- those for which his aTaxi can substantially change their lives for the better.
These are the customers of Trenton MOVES; only about 50,000 of Trenton’s 90,000 population; but 50,000 that will really appreciate you. Start by only serving Trenton’s 8 square mile area with about 100 vehicles and only during the best 350 days out of the year’s 365.25.
They’ll be so appreciative and you will have provided the spark that will allow your aTaxis to go viral! You’ll quickly serve Mercer county, Newark, Camden, Atlantic City, New Brunswick, Toms River, Perth Amboy, all of New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, New York City (except Manhattan), Long Island, …..
That’s the natural road to “Massive Scale” for Mobility for all. Start with those in most need and evolve to convert those that will leave their own cars parked in their driveway.
“Massive Scale” starts with Trenton MOVES. Alain
Thursday, March 31, 2022
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… Congratulations! Enormous accomplishment 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…
PersonTrips/Day (non-walking): 300,000
PersonTripLength (90%tile): 10 miles
intraTrenton (100%tile) 5 miles
Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO): 2
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
Population: 9+ Million
PersonTrips/Day (non-walking): >30 Million
IntraNJ + NJT/Septa to/from NYC & PHL: 30 Million
PersonTripLength (90%tile): 10 miles
Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO): 2.5
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
Moving Forward with Trenton MOVES
K. Pyle, Feb. 9, “Dr. Alain Kornhauser’s vision of bringing equitable, sustainable, and affordable mobility to the people of Trenton took another step forward with the February 9th, 2022 announcement (Facebook) of a $5 million NJDOT Local Transportation Planning Fund Grant for the Trenton Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System (MOVES) Project (PDF). The significance of this event goes beyond the grant announcement…” Read more Hmmmm… Ken, thank you for the kind words. Alain
Smart Driving Cars Extra: Trenton MOVES gets moving
Feb. 11, “The New Jersey DOT is providing 5 million dollars to get Trenton MOVES moving. The goal..autonomous, affordable, safe mobility for all. This is a video of the event held on February 9th.” Read more Hmmmm… Fantastic even with challenging audio. Turn on Closed Caption. The substance is in the quality of the words from the Mayor, Commissioner and Superintendent. All from the heart. Very worth absorbing. Alain.
Friday, February 4, 2022
W. Skaggs, Feb. 3,”We are excited to invite you to join Mayor Gusciora, N.J. Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, and Trenton Public Schools Superintendent James Earle to celebrate a $5 million award from the NJDOT Local Transportation Projects Fund for an unprecedented public transportation project right here in the Capital City. The project is called the Trenton Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicular Equity System (MOVES) initiative.
Originally announced by Governor Murphy and Commissioner Gutierrez-Scaccetti in December, TrentonMOVES seeks to provide a safe, equitable, and affordable high-quality on-demand mobility service to Trenton residents. The effort is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office, NJDOT, the City of Trenton, and Princeton University.
The $5 million award is a huge milestone for the project. This will be the first large-scale urban transit system in America to be based entirely on self-driving shuttles. Each vehicle will carry four to eight passengers at a time. The AVs will be low-cost to users in underserved neighborhoods. The high school will be one of the central destinations on the first routes.
The event will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022 in the Trenton Central High School auditorium. Members of the press will be invited to attend. ….” Read more Hmmmm… Another real milestone.
The Trenton MOVES RfEI closed February 25, with 20 submittals. Next comes the 5thPrinceton SmartDrivingCar Summit June 2 -> 4, 2022 in Princeton & Trenton, NJ. The Summit will be focused on enabling Trentonians to get a first glimpse at technology and mobility systems that can deliver Trenton MOVES’ mobility objectives (Safety, Equity, Affordability, Sustainability,..) and, very importantly, enabling technology and mobility companies to learn the market opportunities available to be captured in Trenton, the rest of Mercer County, and throughout New Jersey.
Trenton MOVES is a win-win opportunity for the citizens of New Jersey (The Public) and the shareholders of mobility provider(s) (The Private), who can come together in a Trenton MOVES Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) that will be created through a Request for Proposal (RfP) process commencing shortly after the close of the Summit. 😁 Alain
Alain L. Kornhauser, PhD
Professor, Operations Research & Financial Engineering
Director of Undergraduate Studies, ORFE
Director, Transportation Program
Faculty Chair, Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering
229 Sherrerd Hall
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