Olli @ 3rd Summit

Saturday, May 18, 2019
21st edition of the 7th year of SmartDrivingCars

cid:<a href=Making Smart Vehicles to Improve the Human Condition

K. Pyle, May 17, “3.5 million and 5+ million deaths per year are a couple of the statistics that stood out from the 2+ day, 3rd annual SmartDrivingCars Summit at Princeton. There are approximately 3.5 million individuals in the United States who never leave their homes and approximately 1.9M of those people have disabilities, according to Robbie Diamond, President & CEO of SAFE. He went on to say that, “Transportation is the biggest predictor of inter-generational upward mobility.”
His comments echoed the conference theme of improving mobility for all people, especially the mobility marginalized, to paraphrase Professor Alain Kornhauser. Kornhauser brought together participants from multiple disciplines and backgrounds to an event that is like no other. This year, he introduced a research element where there were a couple different opportunities to gauge the reactions of everyday people of varying abilities to various levels of autonomous vehicles….”  Read more  Hmmmm… Ken, thank you for such an excellent summary and all of the help.  Alain  Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 104 3rd Summit Anil Lewis & Katherine Freund

F. Fishkin, May 18,, “From the 3rd Annual Princeton Smart Driving Car Summit, join Professor Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin. In this special edition, the summit’s focus on mobility for all with guests Anil Lewis, Executive Director of Blindness Initiatives at the National Federation of the Blind and ITN America Founder Katherine Freund.”  Just say “Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!” .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain

Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 105 3rd Summit John Eggert & Kurtis Hodge

F. Fishkin, May 18, “At the third annual Princeton Smart Driving Car Summit, Velodyne execs John Eggert and Vidya Devarasetty outline the latest, lower cost LiDAR. And co-hosts Alain Kornhauser and Fred Fishkin hop aboard the autonomous Olli for more with Local Motors Economist Kurtis Hodge.”  Just say “Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!” .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Ala

Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 106 3rd Summit David Kidd & Cecillia Feeley

F. Fishkin, May 18, “From the 3rd Annual Princeton Smart Driving Car Summit, David Kidd from the Highway Loss Data Institute joins Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin and then on site preliminary research results on mobility for all with Cecilia Feeley and Andrea Lubin from Rutgers.”  Just say “Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!” .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain

Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 107 3rd Summit Leilei Shinohara & Staff Sergeant Terence McDonnell

F. Fishkin, May 18, “In this special edition from the 3rd Annual Princeton Smart Driving Cars Summit, Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin are joined by RoboSense VP Leilei Shinohara on the LiDAR’s benefits. And view of autonomous technology from law enforcement with New York State Police
Staff Sergeant Terence McDonnell.”  Just say “Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!” .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain

Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 108 3rd Summit Wrapup

F. Fishkin, May 18, “Wrapping up the 3rd annual Princeton Smart Driving Car Summit, Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin zero in on mobility for all and more. It’s just getting started. Plus the headlines from Nissan, Tesla, Uber and Lyft. Tune in and subscribe!”  Just say “Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!” .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain

imap:<a href=//”>  3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

A. Kornhauser, May 16,  Read more  Hmmmm… Program with links to the presentations Photos1, Photos2 , Pyle’s Summary. Other summary findings will be linked in future versions of the SmartDrivingCars eNewsletter.  Thank you to the many who made this a most successful Summit.  Alain

cid:<a href=On the radar: Nissan stays cool on lidar tech, siding with Tesla

N. Tajitsu, May 16, “Nissan Motor Co Ltd said on Thursday it would, for now, stick to self-driving technology which uses radar sensors and cameras, avoiding lidar or light-based sensors because of their high cost and limited capabilities…”  Read more  Hmmmm… Actually this is about as far as you should read without realizing that Nissan is NOT talking about Driverless and really means Self-driving (always adult supervision in the driver’s seat, none of this autonomusTaxi/roboTaxi, mobility for all stuff).  Yes, for OEMs, there is fundamentally two different futures… cars driven without adult supervision (Driverless) and those with (Safe-Driving… you can’t take your hands off the wheel or feet off the pedals (you can’t text!) and Self-driving… under certain well-defined situations you can relax and take your feet off the pedals and hands off the wheel; you can text! (but you must remain alert and ready to take over. In the beginning, you will need to take over often.)). 

OEMs are in the business of making and selling cars to consumers. Today, it is a lot easier and cheaper to make a car that requires adult supervision (… Not necessarily true in the future… The cost of steering wheels, pedals, displays, windshields, conventional crash mitigation, maintenance, insurance, …  may exceed the cost of sensors, actuators, computers, communications, maintenance, insurance, of a vehicle that explicitly excludes/prevents human intervention.  I again suggest the analogy with elevators and maybe even airport people movers, Personal Rapid Transit and conventional subways… automated elevators may well be cheaper to build than those required to be operated and supervised by human driver/operator.)

Sorry, I digressed… Nissan is simply “following the money” and realizing that there is not much of a business case created by eliminating the need for adult supervision. Once an adult is required to be in the loop, then it is all about saving money in achieving the perception that the driver/adult supervisor can text without having the OEM incur the responsibility/liability of having the driver fail his/her supervising responsibility because he/she was “texting”.  What Nissan is saying here is that LiDAR is expendable in reaching that business objective.  Which is basically the same conclusion that Elon expressed since it is clear that he is only promoting the perception of without adult supervision and not really the reality of it… All Teslas have a steering wheel and throttle and brake pedals.   Moreover, Nissan is probably in line with all other OEMs, except the Cruise part of GM.  I sense that they are all bailing from without.

On the Supply side,  without is left with Waymo, Cruise (maybe) and SoftBank, Local Motors, other shuttles and a bunch of startups, none of which have earned their first dollar of customer revenue that they can pin on the wall.  On the demand side without remains strong because it is a necessity for Lyft and/or Uber to survive without a 180 degree pivot (which is no longer a pivot.),  In the end, Without is so valuable that it can afford LiDAR.  (“Affording” is not the same as “needing”)

 What OEMs may have not realized in their with strategy is that in order to avoid the liability of enabling texting some of the time, Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) systems MUST work… be able to reliably determine if a stationary object (something with near zero speed in the approach direction) can be safely passed under, or not; if not, then don’t hit it.  These systems do NOT work well enough today.  See next article and David Kidd.   Seems as if the combination of radar, images and map data may not be sufficient and LiDAR may be needed to save the with strategy.  Alain  Autopilot was active when a Tesla crashed into a truck, killing driver

T. Lee, May 16, “A Tesla Model 3 had Autopilot active in the seconds before it crashed into a semi truck in March, killing the driver, the National Transportation Safety Board reported on Thursday.

Jeremy Banner was driving his Model 3 on a divided four-lane highway in Palm Beach County, Florida. As the car approached a driveway, a semi truck pulled out in front of the car, making a left-hand turn from the driveway to the opposite travel lanes.

The Tesla was moving at 68mph (110km/h) and slid under the truck’s trailer. The trailer sheared off the top of the car, killing Banner. The vehicle continued down the road for another 1,600 feet (500m) before coming to a rest in the median….

But it is not good at recognizing stationary objects (or objects, like a truck crossing the road, that are not moving in the car’s direction of travel)….”  Read more  Hmmmm… What??? Tim, did you write this??? Of course radar is good at detecting stationary objects if it isn’t tuned/programed to explicitly disregard them.  The problem here , as you’ve written before, that automated emergency braking (AEB) systems explicitly disregard objects whose motion, in the direction of the oncoming car, is zero (or close to zero), because they can’t confidently discern between object that will impede the car’s progress down the lane and objects that can be passed under (an overpass, overhead sign or a tree canopy that cars normally encounter as they go down the road). Consequently, the AEBs bet with the odds that these stationary objects can simply be passed under.  Brakes are not applied.  THESE SYSTEMS MUST BE IMPROVED.  Joshua Brown was number one, this was number 2.  OEMs, please fix this before we have number 3.  This is a problem with most/all AEBs.  If someone has solved this without using LiDAR, they should do society a favor and place the solution in the public domain.    Alain

cid:<a href=Highway Preliminary Report: HWY19FH008

NTSB, May 2019, “…Preliminary data from the vehicle show that the Tesla’s Autopilot system—an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that provides both longitudinal and lateral control over vehicle motion—was active at the time of the crash[1].  The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision. … Preliminary vehicle data show that the Tesla was traveling about 68 mph when it struck the semitrailer. Neither the preliminary data nor the videos indicate that the driver or the ADAS executed evasive maneuvers.”…”  Read more  Hmmmm…  My emphasis… ADAS and specifically the Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) system is at fault.  It disregards objects whose speed in the vehicle’s direction is essentially zero!!! Alain

cid:<a href=What Uber Left Behind in Asia

S. Ren, May2, “All it takes is a quick trip to Jakarta to realize that Uber Technologies Inc. missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Go-Jek Indonesia PT and GrabTaxi Holdings Pte, which started out as copycats of the U.S. ride-hailing pioneer, have morphed into something far grander. Not only are their main car-hire businesses thriving, the companies have turned into super-apps that can satisfy a range of personal needs, from paying bills and ordering food to finding house cleaners. That’s helped make them Southeast Asia’s two most valuable unicorns….”  Read more  Hmmmm…    Maybe; however, it is very unlikely that even the entirety of the gig economy could be valued at anything that could substantially contribute to Uber’s most lofty/greedy valuation expectations. Such profitability expectations should not be built on the backs of people desperately trying to feed their families. All gig-oriented businesses should be non-profit!   All of the profits should be returned to the gig workers. Note: Uber and Lyft haven’t been profitable.  Thank you for the contribution, investment community.  Nice!  However, Goldmine Sachs, JP Morgan and Wall Street have a problem post IPO. Both revenue and costs are proportional to #gigWorkers.  As scale increases the coefficient in front of #gigWorkers on the cost side goes up and on the revenue side goes down.  Neither are good fundamentals!!! Alain

cid:<a href= How the Promise of a $120 Billion Uber I.P.O. Evaporated

M. Issac, May 15, “Last September, Uber’s top executives were pitched by some of Wall Street’s biggest banks, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

The bankers’ presentations calculated Uber’s valuation almost identically, hovering around one particular number: $120 billion.

That was the figure the bankers said they could convince investors Uber was worth when it listed its shares on the stock market, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, and chief financial officer, Nelson Chai, listened and discussed the presentations, these people said. Then they hired Morgan Stanley as lead underwriter, along with Goldman Sachs and others, to take the company public — and to effectively make the $120 billion valuation a reality.

Nine months later, Uber is worth about half that figure. The ride-hailing firm went public last week at $45 a share and has since dropped to around $41, pegging Uber’s market capitalization at $69 billion — and officially crowning it as the stock market debut that lost more in dollar terms than any other American initial public offering since 1975…” Read more  Hmmmm…  Perfect for another block-buster movie about the greed of Wall Street: “The Ultimate Hustle” (Ultimate greed expected from the backs of those so much need.  So U…G…L…Y, It ain’t got no alibi… It’s UGLY, It’s UGLY, it’s UGLY.   More Ugliness… Uber stumbles in most-watched IPO since Facebook — Cramer and other experts on what’s next

What the article fails to highlight is that after Uber killed Elaine Herzber, it ceased becoming an “internet/digital” “mobility machine”/company but just a good old taxi company whose value and size is proportional to the extent to which it can enslave gig workers.  This is actually the antithesis of an “internet/digital” company.  So UGLY!  Alain

cid:<a href=Lyft says drivers tampering with surge pricing could be booted

S. Youn, May 18, “…The statement came after a report from ABC affiliate WJLA alleging that Lyft and Uber drivers at Reagan National Airport organized to turn off their apps until the prices for rides surged enough to deem the fares worthwhile.  “All the airplanes, we know when they land. So five minutes before, we turn all our apps off — all of us at the same time,” one driver, who did not want to identified, told WJLA on camera. “All of us, we turn our apps off. They surge $10, $12, sometimes $19. Then we turn our app on. Everyone will get the surge.”…”  Read more  Hmmmm…  More ugliness, now from the drivers.  This is on top of the recommendation that as a user you have CoPilot running on your phone to make sure that the driver doesn’t take the long way to your destination.  It has happened to me at least twice.  Alain

imap:<a href= App-Based Ride-Hailing versus PublicTransit: An Analysis of Modern Transportation Decisions in New York City

J. Magill’19, May 2019, “… An archive of over 300 million taxi and for-hire-vehicle trips in 2018 is used in tandem with a public transit travel time generation model to individually evaluate each ride-hailing journey and the time savings (or losses) it generated in comparison to the public transit equivalent. Various geographic and temporal aggregations are considered to try and find underlying patterns in the travel decisions of New Yorkers.  Citywide analysis suggests that approximately 15% of for-hire-vehicle trips and 18%of taxi trips were in fact longer in length than the equivalent public transit journey, and when just considering trips within Manhattan, those measures rise to 29% and 19% respectively…. ”  Read more  Hmmmm…  Look especially @ Figure 5.1, p 29.  Just data!  Alain

imap:<a href=Ridesharing and Autonomous Taxis: Analysis of a Multi-Modal Transportation Demand Model

L. Bao’19, May 2019, “,,,Using a data set of synthesized vehicle travel demand for the United States and various adjustable parameters, this thesis analyzes the nationwide potential for reducing vehicle miles traveled of car trips by using autonomous taxi trips with other modes of transportation, including walking, transit, and  flight. Using a multi-modal model with autonomous taxis, ridesharing holds enormous potential for drastically increasing nationwide AVO for the United States and substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions….”  Read more  Hmmmm…  Look especially @ Table 3.2 p 47 which states that transit ridership across the nation could potentially increase by a factor of ~2.5x through aTaxi abilities to address the “first&last mile” problem.    Alain

imap:<a href=aTaxis vs. Airlines: The Fall of Domestic Air Travel in an Autonomous Ridesharing Transportation System

H. Johnson’19 , May 2019, “The current transportation system in place in the United States is built around the interstate highway system and personal car ownership. The true potential and effi
ciency of the highway system in place has not been reached as a result of personal car congestion. The implementation of autonomous ridesharing programs would cut down congestion and increase the overall e
fficiency of the system. Without drivers behind the wheel, aTaxis will cut travel costs drastically, making long haul ground transportation more a ffordable. This change in pricing will shift the demand curve for short domestic air travel…” Read more  Hmmmm…   Look in particular to Figure 2. Cost Savings per flight Route Aggregated by Trip Distance Ranges, p29 . Alain

cid:<a href=Tesla driver gets license suspended after drunkenly falling asleep on Autopilot

F. Lambert, May 17, “…Last night, the police in Eemnes, a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, saw that a Tesla vehicle was strangely driving behind a slower truck even though there was no other traffic on the highway.  They decided to approach the vehicle and saw that the driver was asleep.

After attempting to stop the vehicle, the driver was finally woken up with the help of a siren.”  Read more  Hmmmm… At least AutoPilot kept him from dying.   Alain

cid:<a href=First look at Tesla’s new in-car driving visualization

F. Lambert, May 17, “…As we reported earlier this month, Tesla started pushing a new software update (2019.16) to its fleet with a bunch of updates to its Sentry mode and Driving Visualization features, as well as a few new features…”  Read more  Hmmmm…  This is NOT good enough to be released.  The thought is great… show what the software is “seeing” and display it to build user confidence.  The problem is that it is not good enough (see accompanying video) for prime time and may cause users to watch it instead of the road ahead.  It is nice that the display is high up so that some peripheral vision capabilities continue to function when it is gazed upon; however, it may be too enticing to watch causing the driver to not pay sufficient attention to the road ahead.  Again for Elon, great idea, but not yet ready for prime time and should only be used with extreme caution.  Alain

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

cid:<a href= Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road

E. Vaish, May 15, “esembling the helmet of a Star Wars stormtrooper, a driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road in Sweden on Wednesday, in what developer Einride and logistics customer DB Schenker described as a world first…

An operator, sitting miles away, can supervise and control up to 10 vehicles at once…

The T-Pod has permission to make short trips – between a warehouse and a terminal – on a public road in an industrial area in Jonkoping, central Sweden, at up to 5 km/hr, documents from the transport authority show.”  Read more  Hmmmm…   Remotely driven??? A public road (singular) @ 5 km/h  !?.  Maybe this is just Click Bait.  A (very) small step…  Alain

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

Simply Click Bait

 Calendar of Upcoming Events:

September 4-6, 2019
Pocono Manor, PA

imap:<a href=

4th Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

evening May 19 through May 21, 2019

On the More Technical Side