5th edition of the 6th year of SmartDrivingCars

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Before lawsuit, Uber fell out with ‘big brother’ Google, Kalanick testifies

D. Levine, Feb 7, “Just a few years ago, Uber Technologies Inc saw itself as the little brother to Alphabet Inc, but that cozy bond quickly dissolved into a turf war and ultimately a high-stakes legal battle, a jury heard on Wednesday.  Former Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick described how his own relationship with Alphabet Chief Executive Larry Page deteriorated as their companies competed in ride-hailing and autonomous car development, producing a tense rivalry that eventually led to a lawsuit and trial in San Francisco federal court.

Alphabet’s self-driving car unit Waymo sued Uber [UBER.UL], a year ago saying that former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 confidential documents in 2015 before leaving to found a self-driving startup that Uber snapped up in 2016.  Waymo has estimated damages in the case at about $1.9 billion, which Uber rejects. Levandowski is not a defendant in the case.

Kalanick’s testimony showed the personal nature of the lawsuit, which is as much about big personalities at wealthy technology companies as it is about the technology itself. Uber was once a prized investment for Alphabet, whose venture capital arm made a $258 million bet on Uber in 2013….

Charles Verhoeven showed Kalanick a text message in which Levandowski told Kalanick: “I just see this as a race and we need to win. Second place is first loser.”

As part of the Otto deal, Uber agreed to indemnify Levandowski against any legal action, Kalanick said. He conceded that the legal battle makes hiring Levandowski “not as great as what we thought it was at the beginning.”

Kalanick was shown in court an email from another executive, which said the “X factor” of acquiring Levandowski’s company was the “IP in their heads.”

The trial is expected to continue through next week….”   Read more  Hmmmm… A little bit Juicy. See also: Waymo v. Uber trial looks at Kalanick’s push for ‘cheat codes’  Alain

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 22

Episode 21 of the Self Driving Cars podcast is ready to roll. Waymo’s big deal with Fiat Chrysler for thousands of self driving mini-vans, GM’s push to keep up, ex-Google employees create Nuro for self driving deliveries, does AI need to be perfect for self driving cars and the Congressional train crash.

Real information every week.  Lively discussions with the people who are shaping the future of SmartDrivingCars.   Want to become a sustaining sponsor and help us grow the SmartDrivingCars newsletter and podcast? Contact Alain Kornhauser at!  Alain

2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

May 16 & 17, 2018

Registration NOW OPEN

Tesla crash highlights a problem: When cars are partly self-driving, humans don’t feel responsible

R. Mitchell, Jan 25, “Was Autopilot on when a Tesla Model S smashed into the back of a parked Culver City fire truck on the 405 Freeway on Monday in broad daylight?…” Read more  Hmmmm… Unfortunately, that may not be the right question.  The right question may be: Does Tesla have a functioning Automated Emergency Braking System (AEB)?  And by “functioning” I mean: does its AEB keep it (the Tesla)  from crashing into a stationary object in its lane ahead.  If it did, then the Tesla would NOT have crashed  into the firetruck .  I believe that the answer to the right question is NO!  It doesn’t have a functioning AEB in that the brakes are not automatically applied if a stationary object is detected in the lane ahead UNTIL AFTER the driver taps the brakes him/her-self, or UNTIL IT IS SO LATE that a crash is NOT avoided but simply mitigated!   So, even if you are driving the car yourself, hands, if the car that you are following changes lanes because there is a fire truck stopped in your lane ahead, or brick wall or anything stationary, your AEB won’t slow down and stop your car in order to not crash into the firetruck, unless you push your break pedal early enough.  If you act early enough then the AEB will increase the brake force enough for you to stop, even if you don’t.  Great!!  But if you don’t touch the brakes for whatever good or bad reason, you’ll end up crashing into the firetruck.  This lack of functionality has ZERO to do with whether or not you even have self-driving capabilities.  This is a FUNDAMENTAL DESIGN SHORTCOMING (aka FLAW) in AEB.  In more simple terms, AEBs don’t work in the situations where they are most needs. 

It is NOT unreasonable for an owner/user of Self-driving conveniences to assume that the car also has an AEB that actually works.  My goodness, even the SAE in characterizing these technologies in levels implies that higher levels are built on top of lower levels.  Why else characterize these technologies in levels???  This problem has been caused by SAE and SAE needs to fix it sooner rather than later.  Alain

Amazon Begins Grocery Delivery from Whole Foods Market with Plans for Expansion in 2018

Press Release, Feb 8, “Amazon and Whole Foods Market today announced the introduction of free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now, with plans to expand across the U.S. in 2018. Starting today, Prime customers in neighborhoods of Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach can shop through Prime Now for bestselling items including fresh produce, high quality meat and seafood, everyday staples and other locally sourced items from Whole Foods …Prime members receive two-hour delivery for free and ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more….”  Read more  Hmmmm… Here we go!!  A perfect fit with Lyft/Didi/Uber drivers during the mid-day lull to get me hooked by serving my immediate needs.  But then to be followed, just in time, with DriverlessVan Amazon Prime Deliveries in the overnight hours doing the “heavier lifting” deliveries of the staples so that grocery stores, especially the “BigBox” varieties, and physical shopping carts become relics of the past.  So that’s why my nearby Sam’s Club just closed. It wasn’t the new Costco.  “Sam” saw “Jeff” coming.  Can Costco’s days  be numbered, too? Wow!! This is moving fast!  Alain

Renaul t-Nissan and Didi plan self-driving ride service in China

S. Dent, Feb 7, “Didi, the company that purchased the rights to Uber in China, plans to build an electric, autonomous ride-sharing service with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and other automakers. The two companies are currently in the exploration stages, but Renault said it will launch “robo-vehicle ride-hailing services” with Didi as part of its Alliance 2022 strategic plan.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi previously announced that it will build 12 pure EVs that share platforms and components, along with another 40 autonomous cars. As part of that plan, it will supply Didi with autonomous EVs for its ride-hailing program, according to Reuters. “This cooperation fits with the alliance’s expansion in vehicle electrification, autonomy, connectivity and new mobility services,” Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Senior VP Ogi Redzic said in a statement….” Read more  Hmmmm… I’ll assume that “robo-vehicle ride-hailing service is ride-hailing using Driverless vehicles; else why would Didi waste its time?  Alain

A self-driving truck just drove from Los Angeles to Jacksonville

L. Kolodny, Feb. 6, “Embark, a San Francisco start-up, completed a coast-to-coast test drive of its autonomous semi-truck, the company announced on Tuesday. It drove from Los Angeles to Jacksonville, Florida, in the test drive, covering around 2,400 miles without relying on a human driver on the freeway….(Embark) created a self-driving system that can be integrated into Peterbilt, and possibly other vehicles….Embark uses machine learning software and data from the sensors on-board its trucks to map its surroundings in real-time and avoid obstacles….” Read more  Hmmmm… A reasonable accomplishment; however, it would have been nice if “without relying on a human driver” was precisely defined.  If it means “without any disengagements as per the California Standard”, then this is a substantial accomplishment, even though the freeway drive from LA to Jacksonville is not particularly challenging. 

What remains a challenge for any start-up that “integrates” automation into existing cars, trucks or buses is  future liability.  By augmenting the OEM platform, one effectively assumes at least part of the liability should anything go wrong.   Since that potential liability is essentially unbounded, the risk of ruin, especially to a startup, makes the business case of aftermarket integration not for the faint-hearted.  🙁 Alain

Why cops won’t need a warrant to pull the data off your autonomous car

C. Farivar, Feb 3 “…As such, Tesla’s terms and conditions—like those of other non-automotive tech companies, including Apple, Google, and more—say that the company will hand over data to law enforcement when legally compelled to do so. Waymo did not respond to Ars’ multiple queries for clarification its position, so how far that assistance will go is anyone’s guess.

For now, federal law and Supreme Court precedent dictates that law enforcement has the authority to legally monitor anyone in public. The basic idea is that none of us have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when we are in public. So just as the police can capture us with video cameras and license plate readers, so, too, could they contract with AV automakers to simply get at vast quantities of future AV data. And if the companies don’t want to play ball, such data can be accessed with a mere court order (known as a “d-order”) under the Stored Communications Act of 1986.

This is the exact legal issue at the heart of a case currently pending before the Supreme Court, known as Carpenter v. United States.  The case involves phone company records and a string of robberies in Michigan around 2010, but Carpenter essentially asks, does law enforcement need a warrant to be able to access potentially intimate location information? Or, as the government has claimed, is such data easily accessible to law enforcement under the increasingly-anachronistic third-party doctrine?…”  Read more  Hmmmm…Yup!! Alain

NVIDIA will power Continental’s self-driving car platform

D. Lumb, Feb 5, “… NVIDIA will provide the Xavier chips, operating system and software from its DRIVE suite, while Continental will contribute its security certification know-how along with its own radar, LiDar and camera products….Continental is far from NVIDIA’s first autonomous driving partner. Despite losing a deal with Tesla, the company announced agreements throughout 2017 with Audi, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen and even Chinese tech giant Baidu to collaborate on different self-driving projects….” Read moreHmmmm… Pairing up continues! Alain

imap:<a href=Charges reinstated against engineer in Amtrak wreck

S. Chris, Feb 7, “A judge in Philadelphia on Tuesday reinstated criminal charges against the engineer in the fatal 2015 derailment of Amtrak Northeast Regional train 188 that killed eight passengers and injured more than 150… Bostian may have become disoriented by reports of rocks being thrown at a nearby SEPTA train.   Bostian, who remains free on bail, now faces more than 200 counts of reckless endangerment, eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, and one count of causing a catastrophe…”  Read more  Hmmmm… I repeat what I wrote previously on this… Why isn’t “Amtrak management” being held responsible for this crash since they are the one who didn’t implement PTC which would have likely prevented this crash.  The geometry of the track is fixed.  F=ma, Newton’s Law is well known, it is easy for an automated system to keep the train from over speeding at this location, train engineer’s job is very difficult/stressful and he/she needs help.  Why isn’t/hasn’t OSHA required that that a train engineer’s work environment be improved with automation?  Where is the railway union in  support of better working conditions for its train engineers, …?  The finger should NOT be pointed at the engineer, it should be pointed at management, labor, OSHA, FRA.  Alain


imap:<a href=As I (don’t) understand it

D. Schanoes, Feb 6,  “As I understand it, communications and signals work was under way on CSX’s Columbia Subdivision at Cayce, S.C., when Amtrak 91, the Silver Star, collided with unattended locomotives and autoracks placed on the siding across from an automobile loading/unloading facility.

As I understand it, the CTC/automatic block signal system had been taken out of service so upgrades for future PTC operation could be installed.

I understand…”  Read more  Hmmmm… See also UPDATED: Amtrak Silver Star wreck claims two, injures 116.  I understand… it must be the Engineer’s fault, but can’t arrest him/her because his/her workplace is really dangerous (OSHA where are you??) . (Amtraks are crashing on tracks w/o PTC.  Amtraks are crashing on tracks for which PTC is being installed.  If Amtraks crash on tracks with PTC, then I give up!)   Alain

imap:<a href= Amtrak Acela Express breaks apart at high speed

Smart Mobility is the simple solution to the complex issues surrounding auto risks. Smart Mobility’s systematic approach in evaluating our clients’ needs for mobility-based auto insurance solutions includes:

– Conducting a detailed LossDetectTM analysis of a client’s auto book of business
– Reviewing a client’s insured fleet characteristics and existing safety measuresS. Chirls, Feb. 6 “The incident occurred about 6:30 a.m. as northbound train 2150 was moving at a reported 125 mph. A photo from the scene showed the drawbar between two cars disconnected, with only air hoses remaining intact. The cause of the drawbar separation appears to have been failure of a connecting pin bolt, a device similar to that of a coupler knuckle pin. ” Read more  Hmmmm… I know it is tough running trains, but… Alain

Smart Mobility

M. Scrudato, Feb 2018, “Smart Mobility is the simple solution to the complex issues surrounding auto risks. Smart Mobility’s systematic approach in evaluating our clients’ needs for mobility-based auto insurance solutions includes:
– Conducting a detailed LossDetectTM analysis of a client’s auto book of business
– Reviewing a client’s insured fleet characteristics and existing safety measures…”
Read more  Hmmmm… Finally, some insurance options focused on SmartDrivingCars.  See also Autonomous Vehicles Alain

Hyundai Showcases World’s First Self-driven Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle

Press Release, Hyundai Motors, Feb 3, “A fleet of Hyundai Motor Company’s next generation fuel cell electric cars have succeeded in completing a self-driven 190 kilometers journey from Seoul to Pyeongchang. This is the first time in the world that level 4 autonomous driving has been achieved with fuel cell electric cars, the ultimate eco-friendly vehicles. … The demonstration started in Seoul on Feb. 2 with the ‘CRUISE’ and ‘SET’ buttons being pressed on the autonomous-driving steering wheel of each vehicle, at which point the cars immediately switched to self-driving mode and began the 190 km journey to Pyeongchang. Entering the highway, the vehicles moved in response to the natural flow of traffic. They executed lane changes and overtaking maneuvers, and navigated toll gates using Hi-pass, South Korea’s wireless expressway payment system….”   Read more  Hmmmm… Nice Self-driving demo a la Tesla AutoPilot and Cadillac Super Cruise. (video) Alain

The Cyclist Problem

C. Bonnington, Feb 3, “Autonomous cars have a potentially fatal flaw: They struggle to detect and react to cyclists on the road. …It’s a multifaceted problem. Some drivers haven’t been educated as to how to properly share the road with cyclists, some cyclists don’t know how they’re supposed to behave, and infrastructure in many places doesn’t facilitate peaceful coexistence on the same roadways..One solution presented by Ford, Tome Software, and Trek Bicycle at CES last month is a concept known as bicycle-to-vehicle communications. … Did Ford really present this at CES?  Haven’t they heard that the Connected Vehicle concept is out of favor, even at US DoT??… Forcing cyclists alone to strap a sensor onto their backs feels like a crutch, a cop-out. In truth, some not any more…  envision that the only way an autonomous car future will work is if everyone—vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, pets—are connected to the same system, an idea known as V2X, or vehicle-to-everything….”  Read more  Hmmmm… Please…  V2X is DoA.  The AI will simply need to be better or else Driverless won’t (and Self-driving shouldn’t) happen on roads that also permit cyclists.  And we need AEB that actually works  Alain

  Ehang flying taxi shown lifting passengers into the air for the first time

N. Lavars, Feb 6, “Ehang has been a little coy about its taxi drone since bringing a grounded prototype to CES in 2016. While we have been treated to footage of competing aircraft in action, like the Volocopter and Passenger Drone, the folks behind the Chinese company have mostly kept their progress under wraps. Today we’ve gotten our best look yet at the Ehang 184, with footage for the first time showing it carrying out test flights with people onboard…”  Read more  Hmmmm… See video.   OK but Sikorsky Helicopters  have been around for a long time and remain a very small niche player in the mobility game. I don’t see the big picture here.  Alain

Intel leads $100 million in new funding for Joby’s tilt-rotor flying taxi

N. Lavars, Feb 6, “…Appearing to share that belief are a host of new investors, led by Intel and including Toyota, who have handed Joby US$100 million in Series B funding to continue development of its aircraft, which it now says has been flight-tested. Just like other air taxi concepts, such as the Intel-backed Volocopter, Passenger Drone, Vahana and eHang, Joby hopes to cut down on traffic and pollution in urban centers, and offer city folk a faster, cleaner and safer way to travel…”  Read more  Hmmmm…They (Intel/Toyota/…) can’t be serious!    “city folk”… What???  Maybe the 0.001%ers, but they already have Gulfstreams and Airbus H155s.  Alain



Some other thoughts that deserve your attention

imap:<a href=Falcon Heavy, in a Roar of Thunder, Carries SpaceX’s Ambition Into Orbit

K. Chang, Feb 6, “From the same pad where NASA launched rockets that carried astronauts to the moon, a big, new American rocket arced into space on Tuesday. But this time, NASA was not involved. The rocket, the Falcon Heavy, was built by SpaceX, the company founded and run by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.  “It seems surreal to me,” Mr. Musk said during a news conference after the launch…” Read more  Hmmmm… A non-trivial accomplishment and what is sure to become an iconic image .  Also see: The best photos and videos of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch . He might not be able to produce 5,000 Model 3s per week but he can pull off an essentially perfect mission on its 1st try (The middle booster of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket failed to land on its drone ship ).  Kudos to Elon and the SpaceX team. Alain





Half-baked stuff that probably doesn’t deserve your time

A New Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York

M. Wachs, Dec 2017, “The Port Authority Bus Terminal (PABT) in Manhattan is the busiest bus terminal in the world and is a major contributor to the economies of New York and New Jersey. On a typical weekday, a quarter of a million commuters and intercity passengers arrive or depart via 8,000 buses—some 620 buses depart during the afternoon peak hour ….These numbers don’t make sense because it would mean that there would be more than 10 afternoon peak hours. Maybe the PA has passed out 8,000 EZ-Pass bus accounts that sometimes uses the facility, but the bulk of the service is provided by about 3,000 buses, some make only one in-bound trip in the morning.  Few make more than three (3).  Same in the evening.  So the 8,000 may well be “sum of bus-trip ends”    This becomes important later.    …..Peak demand is from Jersey via the XBL & Lincoln Tunnel in the morning. The terminal is convenient to employment centers in Midtown Manhattan,…Exclusive ramps connect the terminal to the busy Lincoln Tunnel, which features reversible bus lanes to and from New Jersey, connecting to an exclusive busway west of the tunnel …XBL operates only in the morning and it is only one lane…  . According to forecasts, the already cramped and congested terminal will serve approximately 337,000 people and 9,000 buses per day by 2040.
…Design and Deliverability Objectives.. 1. … 14. ….  …none of which even come close to mentioning any possibility of Buses themselves undergoing a technological metamorphosis… (Erie Canal boats will continue to dominate)….
…Realistically welcoming technological change. During the decade or more for completing the construction of a new terminal, advances in technology and vehicle designs—from electronically connected vehicles and automated buses to dynamic gate assignment—could completely transform bus operations. …finally some mention about the possible evolution of the terminal’s #1 customer: buses.  Wow!  However…    Yet the trajectory of technological change is uncertain, and relying too heavily on expected changes that may not eventuate—or that may take longer to realize than their proponents predict—would be irresponsible. …”  Read moreHmmmm… …What??? Having today’s PANY&NJ, take chances would be irresponsible!  What ever happened to the John Ramseys and  Austin Tobins of the PANYNJ.  How irresponsible was it for them to envision the future decide to build a GWB or lease Idelwild Airport? And in the process, make the envisioned future happen! 

From my perspective… Today:  the bus terminal’s main customers are NJ residents that commute to NYC largely from Park&Ride lots spread throughout NJ.  That service in constrained by the “495-viaduct” connecting the NJ Turnpike with the Lincoln Tunnel.  The inbound commute volume is more compressed than the evening, but is better accommodated because of the XBL which operates only in the morning.  Variations in human abilities driving buses down a very challenging single-lane ellipse results in large headway variances with wrong-side tails that can’t be made up.  Thus, the XBL’s max throughput is really limited to about 700 buses per hour (~35,000 commuter seats per hour, 5 second average headway).  It is THIS constraint to which the current PABT is tuned.

Now consider retrofitting the current fleet of about 3,000 buses that currently use the PABT, plus say another 1,000, to have the sensors/actuators/compHardware/software that is in GM’s SuperCruise, or Tesla’s AutoPilot, or MB’s DystronincPlus, or …  These are existing, proven technologies that couldn’t cost more than $10k/bus to install.  That’s $40M; call it an even $50M or even $100M because its NY/NJ. 

What would that give you?  This would allow buses to operate at a 3.5 second average headway and increase peak hour bus flow by 50% thus delivering an additional ~15,000 NJ commuters to Manhattan in the peak hour.  (This is comparable to the peak-hour seats that would be created by new “Amtrak rail tunnels“; costs ~$14B??).  However, if the new PABT is designed to only “serve” today’s 700 peak-hour buses, because it would have been irresponsible to contemplate technological change (which already exists) that would deliver such an increase in business, then those extra buses have no place to deliver their riders.  So those extra ~15,000 NJ commuters that might have enjoyed a single-seat, non-stop shared-ride from convenient Park&Ride lots throughout NJ will just have to continue to drive&pollute, wait for the new tunnels or be miserable all day because getting and from work is such a hassle.   Alain



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

Ford wants to patent a driverless police car that ambushes lawbreakers using artificial intelligence

P. Holley, Jan 31, ” Imagine a police car that issues tickets without even pulling you over.  What if the same car could use artificial intelligence to find good hiding spots to catch traffic violators and identify drivers by scanning license plates, tapping into surveillance cameras and wirelessly accessing government records?

The details may sound far-fetched, as if they belong in the science-fiction action flick “Demolition Man” or a new dystopian novel inspired by Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” but these scenarios are grounded in a potential reality. They come from a patent developed by Ford and being reviewed by the U.S. government to create autonomous police cars. Ford’s patent application was published this month….Although experts claim autonomous vehicles will make driving safer and more rule-bound, Ford argues in its application that in the future, traffic violations will never disappear entirely.  Read more Hmmmm…  C’mon Ford, wouldn’t it be better for you to place enough AI in your cars and the F-150 so that the driver couldn’t misbehave.  I understand that a lot of the way cars have been sold in the past is to hype and fantasize driver misbehavior, especially speeding and reckless driving. Wouldn’t it be better to use AI to ensure good  driver behavior and to have as an objective: Ford drivers get zero tickets because Ford drivers never violate traffic laws.  C’mon Ford!!  Alain



  On the More Technical Side

Capsule Networks (CapsNets) – Tutorial

imap:<a href=Assessment of RideSharing, Empty Vehicle Management Needs and ‘Last-Mile’ Ridership Implications on the Existing Rail Transit, Amtrak and Airline Networks Associated with Having autonomousTaxis Efficiently Serve the Billion or so PersonTrips Taken Throughout the US on a Typical Day… Final Project Description

·         NorthEast Region Assessment of aTaxi Ridesharing and Empty Vehicle Management

·         Plains Region Assessment of aTaxi Ridesharing and Empty Vehicle Management

·         West Region Assessment of aTaxi Ridesharing and Empty Vehicle Management

A. Kornhauser, Jan 13, “… What if no one owned a personal car or truck any more?  What operational characteristics would a fleet of autonomousTaxis (aTaxis), operating nation-wide, need to have to deliver a comparable level-of-Service (LoS), in conjunction with existing Rail Transit, AmTrak and Airline networks (with appropriately enhanced LoS between existing stations/airports)?  How many of what size would be needed? How would they need to be managed?  What would be the fundamental economics in order to adequately serve the Billion or so person trips that take place on a typical day across the US?  Because details matter, we synthesized each of the 310 or so, million people in the US.  For each we synthesized their mobility needs throughout a typical day to accomplish their activities such as get to and from work/school/play/shopping/entertainment/…  Preliminary results include…

  • In order to deliver a Level-of-Service (LoS) comparable to that offered by today’s conventional automobile in its service of the roughly 1 Billion trips that take place on a typical day across the USA would requite a fleet of approximately 35 million autonomousTaxis (aTaxis). 
  • In serving those trips throughout the day, those aTaxis would travel almost 50% fewer vehicle miles than today’s road vehicles if:
    • people traveling from about the same place at about the same time to about the same place agreeing to ride together, much as they do today in elevators,  (shared-ride),  accounts for more than 50% of the reduced vehicle miles. 
    • The remainder comes from offering a reliable and attrative LoS to/from the existing fixed rail transit systems and, surprisingly, to and from existing AmTrak stations but assuming that the assistance of extremely improved AmTrak frequencies if service. 
    • It is amazing how, across the country,  so many segments of the AmTrak network could be of service to so many 100-400 mile trips that take place on a typical day.  If these trip makers had a reliable, convenient and affordable way to get from their origin to the nearest AmTrak station AND to their destination from that nearest AmTrak station, then the ridership potential on numerous segments of the AmTrak system beyond the NorthEast Corridor (NEC) would justify a LoS that is even better than what exists today on the NEC. 
      • If this preliminary result holds up under closer scrutiny (there isn’t an error someplace), this opportunity may be this study’s most significant finding.  There is little literature on “long auto trips” yet, because they are “long” they log a significant amount of daily VMT on existing highways.  Many of these trips today essentially parallel the AmTrak network. By providing convenient “first 1 – 20+ mile / last 1 – 20+ mile” accessibility to AmTrak’s existing stations AND by having AmTrak provide a high-quality LoS, the a significant percentage of these travelers would become AmTrak customers.  

Very interesting… aTaxis Save AmTrak!!  🙂 More later.  Alain
Read more Hmmmm…  Most interesting!   We hope to have a draft of the final report for all of USA out soon.  Alain





Calendar of Upcoming Events:

March 26-29, 2018
San Jose, CA

Self Racing Cars
March 24-25, 2018

Thunderhill Raceway

Willows, CA

imap:<a href=

2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
May 16 & 17, 2018
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Save the Date

Registration NOW OPEN



Recent PodCasts

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 21

Episode 21 of the Self Driving Cars podcast is ready to roll. Waymo’s big deal with Fiat Chrysler for thousands of self driving mini-vans, GM’s push to keep up, ex-Google employees create Nuro for self driving deliveries, does AI need to be perfect for self driving cars and the Congressional train crash.

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 20

Come along for the ride! Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 20 with the faculty chair of autonomous vehicle engineering at Princeton University Alain Kornhauser and technology journalist Fred Fishkin. In this episode: Didi’s plans for data in China, autonomous crashes for GM and Tesla, Lighter colored vehicles to help Lidar? And Apple growing its self driving test fleet..

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 18

Episode 18 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with Princeton University’s Alain Kornhauser, co-host Fred Fishkin and guest research engineer Steven Shladover of UC Berkeley. Topics: General Motors, Waymo, the Transportation Research Board, CES, nVIDIA and how #MeToo may impact ride sharing technology in the future.

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 15

Episode 15 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast.  Hosts Fred Fishkin and Princeton University’s Alain Kornhauser are joined by leading expert Michael Sena from Sweden in a wide open and most entertaining chat ranging from the impact of Ralph Nader to the insurance industry’s role, to the latest from Ford, Lyft, Uber and China’s Didi.

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 14

Episode 13 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with host Fred Fishkin and Princeton University Professor Alain Kornhauser. This edition In this edition Fred and Alain are joined by Bernard Soriano, the Deputy Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. On the agenda: Waymo’s CEO says real driverless testing is coming soon.; Waymo’s autonomous fleet now has traveled four million miles; Lyft gets the green light from California to test self driving on public roads

imap:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 11

Episode 11 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with host Fred Fishkin and Princeton University Professor Alain Kornhauser. Fred and Alain are joined by leading expert and Internet pioneer Brad Templeton. Waymo makes some history, Thee tech needed to make it work..cameras…lidar or both? Navya bringing new robotic vehicles to Paris. And an accident…as a self driving shuttle is launched in Las Vegas.