Saturday, March 13, 2021
10th edition of the 9th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter

    General Motors Aims to Transform Auto Insurance Industry with OnStar Insurance

Press Release, March 11, “GM announced it will take its relentless focus on safety and delivering a world-class customer experience one step further with OnStar Insurance. …  OnStar Insurance Services intends to leverage its unique understanding of the vehicles GM produces to offer…” Read more  Hmmmm…. See Kornhauser’s Automated Driving of Road Vehicles 101: Why, What, Where, When.  Also:
Given that:
1.  “>90%” crashes involve driver misbehavior;

2.  OEMs are including more SmartDriving technology in cars.  That technology comes in two part:

    a.  SafelyDriven technology which “works” essentially everywhere, all the time to avert crashes by mitigating driver misbehavior, see #1 above.. 

        i. Examples: anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, automated emergency braking, blind spot warning, …)

       ii. Liability/Insurance implications: the better these work the lower the expected liability, the lower the expected LOSS and the happier the company that insures their owners. 😁!

        iii. OnStar/GM Insurance Advantage: They know earlier and better how well these systems can be expected to work. They designed and tested the systems before they put them in the showroom and have “the data” to compute better expected liabilities by driver characteristics and thus be better able to craft and price an insurance product for each purchaser of a GM vehicle.  Simply, they will be better able to “know when to hold ’em .. know when to fold ’em … they can better know what’s comin‘”.

    b.  SelfDriving technology which works only some of the time and some of the places  (Don’t worry, as soon as they work all of the time and all of the places it will be a very big deal and you’ll know it, but don’t hold your breath.)


Nor do any of them perform better than an average driver that is not misbehaving.  Again, don’t hold your breath.  Consequently these systems are Comfort & Convenience features that, at best, should not degrade safety.  To not degrade safety, these systems must work properly when engaged by the driver and the driver must not engage them when and where these systems aren’t going to work properly. (… Drivers must not misbehave in the use of these systems (… Use these systems outside their certified Operational Design Domain, ODD)).

            i. Examples: Cruise Conroe (Feet-off , but required the driver to steer (Hands-on), be aware and alert (Eyes-on) and be seated in the driver’s seat (Butt-in), and available only in a certain speed range, lane-grade range, doesn’t respond to traffic signals, doesn’t work if there is a stationary object in the lane ahead, …); Automated lane keeping ({Feet-on, Hands-off, Eyes-on, Butt-in}, but only if proper lane markings exist); Automated parking ({Feet-off, Hands-off, Eyes-on, Butt-out} all starting from speed zero in an area that is recognized by the systems as a parking opportunity); StupidSummon ({Feet-off, Hands-off, Eyes-on, Butt-out}, but only available within the driver’s own property), “Level3” ({Feet-off, Hands-off, Eyes-off, Butt-in}, but only on some certified in real time road segments.)

            ii. Liability/Insurance implications: To date these systems have been sold on a “buyer beware” basis in that all liability implications of their use fell on the shoulders of the driver and their insurer.  Consequently, misuse of these systems was the driver’s/insurer’s “problem”.  Unfortunately, misuse of these systems and the resulting degradation of safety can be expected to cause regulators to insist that future versions of these SelfDriving technologies must include monitoring systems that preclude them from being available, let alone be used, outside of their real-time Operational Design Domain(ODD) for which their functionality has been “certified by the OEM” to not degrade safety.  This “floor” for safety can be expected to be that experienced by an average non-misbehaving driver in similar driving situations.


This implies that if a crash happens during the use of one of these systems, it is 1. one of these “rare” events in which the driver was not misbehaving.  The insurer is dragged in and may well be liable (This is what insurance is supposed to be all about), or 2. the system failed in its automated driving function.  The OEM is dragged in and may well be liable  from a product liability standpoint or 3. the driver was mis-behaving in the use of the system.  This means that the system failed in precluding the system’s use.  The OEM is dragged in and may well be liable from a product liability standpoint.


3.  Implications on Insurer:   Let:

$Aij be the distribution of expected expenses of “being dragged in and possibly having to pay  damages” if driver i of GM car with features j gets involved in a “Rare events” crash, or crashes, over the duration of the insurance policy.

    (This expense distribution is largely a function of the kinds of driving driver i is going to do.  Its estimation is independent of any proprietary product information held by GM.  OnStarInsurance is not advantaged.)


$Bij be the distribution of expected expenses of “being dragged in” if driver i of GM car with features j gets involved in a crash, or crashes, resulting from the failure of features j to avoid the crash when driver i was misbehaving.

    (This expense distribution would arise from situations in which GM’s SafelyDriven technology didn’t perform perfectly. Given all of the testing that GM conducts on each of its technologies prior to their placement for sale in showroom, having access to those testing data allows OnStarInsurance to more accurately estimate this distribution.  OnStarInsurance is substantially advantaged.) 


$Cij be the distribution of expected expenses of “being dragged in” if driver i of GM car with features j gets involved in a crash when the System was engaged  and the incident occurred outside the System’s certified ODD.

     (This expense distribution would arise from situations in which GM’s automated Comfort&Convenience features either didn’t perform as well as a well-behaving driver inside the feature’s certified ODD, or driver i was able to mis-use the system by engaging it outside its ODD.  Again, given all of the testing that GM conducts on each of its technologies prior to their placement for sale in showrooms, having access to those testing data also allows one to more accurately estimate this distribution.  OnStarInsurance is substantially advantaged.)


In pricing insurance, the insurer must estimate the distribution of expected expenses associated with the crashes driver i can be expected to have in car with features j over the life of the policy and price that insurance product accordingly.  


For an outside insurer, call them WB: the expenses expected to be incurred over the life of the policy to insure Driver i in the purchase of a GM car with features j = $WBij = {$Aij}wb + {$Bij}wb + {$Cij}wb

For GM: the expenses expected to be incurred over the life of the policy to insure Driver i in the purchase of a GM car with features j = $GMij = {$Bij}gm + {$Cij}gm (They get dragged in to all of the “non-rare” crashes because of product liability responsibility


For OnStar Insurance: the expenses expected to be incurred over the life of the policy to insure Driver i in the purchase of a GM car with features j = $OSij = {$Aij}os (Since GM is already dragged in, no need for OnStarInsurance to also be drawn in to defend themselves.).


Consequently, OnStar has a fundamental pricing advantage because $OSij << $WBij.  Plus OnStar/GM can better estimate the $Bij and $Cij distributions. Thus OnStar “knows when to hold ’em..” in the insurance pricing game.


Finally, it is very much in GM’s interest to get its SafelyDriven technologies as perfect as possible so as to minimize {$Bij}gm on every vehicle GM sells and to forbid, as best as possible, the mis-use/availability of it SelfDriving Comfort&Convenience features outside their ODD to minimize {$Cij}gm on every vehicle GM sells.  


The above is an extraordinarily strong financial incentive for GM to make its SafelyDriven and Comfort&Convenience automated driving technologies as good as possible and, if they are going to do that, GM might as well also be in the insurance business.  Alain

  Safety First at the “Fully” Smart Driving Car Summit

K. Pyle, March 13, “It is important to distinguish between those features that enhance safety versus those that provide safety and convenience is how Princeton’s Dr. Alain Kornhauser set the stage for the Smart Driving Car Summit session, Incentivizing Through Regulation. Regulations must ensure that the comfort features, such as Automatic Cruise Control (ACC), do not degrade safety. He also believes that consumers should not have to “read the fine print” to understand the Operational Design Domain (ODD) limitations of a given feature…..” Read more  Hmmmm…. We had another excellent Session.  Thank you for the summary, Ken.  Alain


Ken Pyle Session Summaries of 4th Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit:
10th Session    3/05/21  Incentivizing Through Insurance

9th Session    2/25/21  Can Level 3 be Delivered?

8th Session    2/18/21  Who Will Build, Sell and Maintain Driverless Cars?

    Michael Sena’s Slides, Glenn Mercer Slides

7th Session    2/11/21  Finally Doing It
6th Session    2/ 4/21   Safe Enough in the Operational Design Domain
5th Session    1/28/21   At the Tipping Point
4th Session    1/21/21  Why Customers are Buying Them

3rd Session    1/14/21  The SmartDrivingCars We Can Buy Today
2nd Session   1/ 7/21  A Look into the Future
1st Session: 12/17/20  Setting the Stage

  SmartDrivingCars Pod-Cast Episode 203, Zoom-Cast Episode 203

F. Fishkin, March 13, “.GM’s move to transform auto insurance through OnStar Insurance:   Is it a win, win for all?      Is adaptive cruise control prompting some drivers to speed?     And what does Tesla really mean by “full self driving”?   Just some of the questions tackled  in the latest edition of Smart Driving Cars with Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser & co-host Fred Fishkin.” Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!“.  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain


4th Annual Princeton  SmartDrivingCar Summit

12th Live Episode: Live on Zoom

Human-centered Design of Safe and Affordable Driverless Mobility

What makes safely-driven and driverless mobility better for ALL users?

noon ET, Thursday, March 18

Video Summary of 1st Session:  Setting the Stage

   The SmartDrivingCars eLetter, Pod-Casts, Zoom-Casts and Zoom-inars are made possible in part by support from the Smart Transportation and Technology ETF, symbol MOTO.   For more information:  Most funding is supplied by Princeton University’s Department of Operations Research & Financial Engineering and Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (PAVE) research laboratory as part of its research dissemination initiatives.

  Adaptive cruise control spurs drivers to speed

Staff, March 11, “Drivers are using adaptive cruise control (ACC) as a tool for speeding, possibly undermining the feature’s potential safety benefits, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found.

Drivers are substantially more likely to speed when using ACC or partial automation that combines that feature with lane centering than when not using either technology, the study showed. When selecting a speed to “set and forget,” many drivers choose one that’s over the limit.

“ACC does have some safety benefits, but it’s important to consider how drivers might cancel out these benefits by misusing the system,” says IIHS Statistician Sam Monfort, the lead author of the paper. “Speed at impact is among the most important factors in whether or not a crash turns out to be fatal.”…

Nevertheless, an analysis of insurance claims data by the IIHS-affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute and other research indicate that ACC may lower crash risk…” Read more  Hmmmm…. As was argued above, ACC is NOT a SafelyDriven Automated system intended to enhance Safety.  It is a SelfDriving automated system intended to enhance driver Comfort&Convenience,  As such, it must not diminish safety below that which could be achieved if the driver was alert, capable of driving and not mis-behaving. The Operational Design Domains for each system needs to include {Min, Max} speed ranges that are dynamically set depending on local environmental and road surface conditions.  These systems should only be available to assist the driver their certified ODD and the driver remains alert to conditions ahead (Eyes-on) and remains seated in the driver’s seat (Butt-in).  Alain

  Bears in our midst: familiarity with Level 2 driving: automation and situational awareness of on-road events

A. Mueller, March 2021, “This study presents a novel paradigm to evaluate driver situational awareness (SA) when using Level 2 (L2) driving automation. An oversized pink teddy bear was mounted to the back of a study vehicle that overtook participants three times while they drove another study vehicle, a 2019 Mercedes-Benz C300 equipped with a L2 system, for approximately 1 hour. The L2 system was turned on or off for the drive, depending on the assigned condition, and participants varied in their familiarity with L2 systems. Post-drive surveys measured SA about the bear and road by asking participants to recall the bear and the number of bear presentations as well as landmarks along the route. Cameras recorded participant eye glance behavior. Results show that the driving automation support only gave participants familiar with L2 systems an advantage for greater bear SA. Unfamiliar participants were at a disadvantage when assisted by the L2 system, having poorer bear SA compared with unfamiliar participants who drove with the system off. Better bear SA corresponded with better landmark recall and wider on-road gaze dispersion. Our findings support the effectiveness of this paradigm to measure a driver’s SA of the road objectively and unobtrusively when using a L2 system under real-world conditions….”   Read more  Hmmmm….All about what it might mean to have the ODD require “Eyes-on”.  A basic question might be to what extent does “Looking at” mean “Seeing”.  “Looking at” can be remotely sensed.  “Seeing” can’t be readily sensed.  An alert driver needs not only to “look at” the situation ahead, but also needs to “see” the situation ahead.  “Seeing” implies “Looking at”, but “Looking at” does not imply “Seeing”.  Alain

   Luminar, Volvo subsidiary partner to sell automated driving systems to automakers

K. Karosec, March 11, “Luminar Technologies has deepened ties with Volvo Cars to develop and eventually sell an automated driving system for highways to other automakers. The partnership, announced Thursday, is between Luminar and Volvo’s self-driving software subsidiary Zenseact.

The two companies are combining their tech to create what Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell described as a “holistic autonomous vehicle stack”  made for production vehicles. Volvo will be the first customer. Russell and Zenseact CEO Ödgärd Andersson said Thursday they plan to also offer this system to other automakers.. …”  Read more  Hmmmm…   I suspect that this stack includes both the always-on SafelyDriven automated features that mitigate Driver misbehavior and SelfDriving confront and convenience features whose ODD includes Eyes-on and Butt-in Provisions.  It will be the “size” of their ODD that will determine if they can be competitive in this market place. Note the size of that ODD will need to be conservative, else product liability claims will more than offset any market success.   Alain

  Tesla touts self-driving to consumers. To the DMV, it tells a different tale

R. Mitchell, March 9, “For years, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been telling the public that fully autonomous Teslas are just around the corner, no more than a year or two off.

The company has been telling regulators a very different story.

In official correspondence with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Tesla lawyers recently admitted the $10,000 option that Tesla sells as Full Self-Driving Capability is not, in fact, capable of full self-driving. “Currently neither Autopilot nor FSD Capability is an autonomous system,” Tesla attorney Eric Williams said in a Dec. 28 letter to the DMV, although that could change, he added.

Not soon, though. Musk has been tweeting plans for a major Full Self-Driving software release. But Williams told the DMV that “we do not expect significant enhancements” that would allow full self-driving, and that the “final release” of a current feature package that lets Teslas stop at traffic lights and turn left and right without human input “will continue to be an SAE Level 2, advanced driver-assist feature.” In plain English, that means the vehicle cannot drive itself, at any time, without constant attention from a human driver.

The emails were revealed after a public records request from the transparency advocacy organization Plainsite. They show the DMV questioning Tesla about its claims around Full Self-Driving technology and asking the company why it has not applied for a driverless vehicle test permit, as six other automakers and tech companies have done…..” Read more  Hmmmm… Again, whatever Tesla wishes to call something, it is a Comfort&Convenience feature that needs to be made available within an Operational Design Domain specified and controlled by Tesla.  If crashes occur within the ODD, then it is a Tesla product liability concern.  If a crash occurs outside the ODD with the product engaged; then again, it is a Tesla product liability concern for allowing the system to be used outside of its ODD.  These requirements will quickly encourage Tesla to create conservative ODDs and to stop enabling the mis-use of these systems outside of their ODD; else, liability claims will offset most, if not all, of Tesla’s profitability.    Alain 

  Lordstown Motors accused of faking EV truck pre-orders by short-seller firm Hindenburg Research

K. Karosec, March 11, “Hindenburg Research, the short-seller firm whose report on Nikola Motor led to an SEC investigation and the resignation of its founder, is targeting another electric vehicle company. This time it’s Lordstown Motors, the Ohio electric automaker that went public after merging with special-purpose acquisition company DiamondPeak Holdings Corp., with a market value of $1.6 billion.

Hindenburg said in a report Friday that it has taken a short position on Lordstown Motors, causing shares to plummet 21%. Shares have recovered slightly and are now down about 15% from the previous day’s trade. Hindenburg’s short position is based on a company that it says has “no revenue and no sellable product, which we believe has misled investors on both its demand and production capabilities.”

In a report issued Friday, Hindenburg disputes that the company has booked 100,000 pre-orders for its electric pickup truck, a stat shared by Lordstown Motors in January.  …”  Read more  Hmmmm…  This looks UGLY.  Here we go again.     Alain

  Tesla removed drivers who weren’t paying attention from Full Self-Driving beta as it expands

F. Lambert, March 12, “Elon Musk says that has Tesla removed from the Full Self-Driving Beta drivers who they determined weren’t paying enough attention……”  Read more  Hmmmm…   This is only the very first step, that needs to be completely expanded.  Since “Paying attention” means that FSD’s ODD includes “Eyes-on” as well as “Butt-in”, then Elon must enforce those conditions/constraints on FSD, or whatever he wishes to call it, and Elon MUST be held liable for crashes that happen when FDS is active and the crash isn’t a result of really rare events like a bolder crashing down on the road or a bridge collapse, or…. Note… the real difference between FDS and Waymo’s driver in “Chandler” is that Waymo’s is Eyes-off, Butt-out in its “Chandler ODD” whereas Tesla’s FSD’s Eyes-off, Butt-out ODD is empty as is its Eyes-off, Butt-in ODD.    Big difference!!!! Alain

Waymo is disclosing more autonomous vehicle data for research purposes

A. Hawkins, March 10, “Waymo is publicizing more data from its autonomous vehicles, which it says is for the benefit of the research community. Building on the trove of data it released in 2019, the Alphabet company is calling this latest batch “the largest interactive dataset yet released for research into behavior prediction and motion forecasting for autonomous driving.”

This “motion dataset” includes over 100,000 segments, each around 20 seconds long, of objects like cars and people and their trajectories, as captured by Waymo’s sensor-laden vehicles. The company has included corresponding 3D maps and geographic details in each segment to provide researchers with context for their prediction modeling. In total, Waymo says it is releasing 570 hours of “unique data.”…” Read more  Hmmmm…   this is actually very valuable data if one is building simulation capabilities.  Alain

  Waymo simulated real-world crashes to prove its self-driving cars can prevent deaths

A. Hawkins, March 8, “In a bid to prove that its robot drivers are safer than humans, Waymo simulated dozens of real-world fatal crashes that took place in Arizona over nearly a decade. The Google spinoff discovered that replacing either vehicle in a two-car crash with its robot-guided minivans would nearly eliminate all deaths, according to data it publicized today.

The results are meant to bolster Waymo’s case that autonomous vehicles operate more safely than human-driven ones. With millions of people dying in auto crashes globally every year, AV operators are increasingly leaning on this safety case to spur regulators to pass legislation allowing more fully autonomous vehicles on the road….” Read more  Hmmmm…   this is actually very valuable data if one is building simulation capabilities.  Alain

  Via buys mapping startup Remix for $100 million

K. Karosec, March 9, “Remix, the startup that developed mapping software used by cities for transportation planning and street design, was born out of a hackathon during a Code for America fellowship. Nearly seven years later, the San Francisco-based startup is being acquired by Via for $100 million in cash and equity.

Remix will become a subsidiary of Via, an arrangement that will let the startup maintain its independent brand. Remix’s 65 employees and two of its co-founders — CEO Tiffany Chu and CTO Dan Getelman — will stay on..  …”  Read more  Hmmmm…  Wow, I should start another “mapping company”.  I can’t imagine that “Cities pay anyone for ‘transportation mapping services’ amounts that would make them worth $100M”.  So, maybe the details are in the “cash and equity”.  My over/under might be “5% cash/95% (over-valued) equity”.  While better “mapping” might help Via, it doesn’t become self-sustaining until it can become Driverless, just like Uber/Lyft.   Small cities/communities might contract them because they are cheaper than conventional bus service, but the margins will be small, the head-aches large, the “minimum waging” of workers essential and the despair of dealing with small villages that have essentially no budgets will be large.  If Hindenburg Research ever gets to Via, then watch-out.  Alain

  Remembering Allan McDonald: He Refused To Approve Challenger Launch, Exposed Cover-Up

H. Berkes, March 7, “On Jan. 27, 1986, Allan McDonald stood on the cusp of history.

McDonald directed the booster rocket project at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol. He was responsible for the two massive rockets, filled with explosive fuel, that lifted space shuttles skyward. He was at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the launch of the Challenger “to approve or disapprove a launch if something came up,” he told me in 2016, 30 years after Challenger exploded.

His job was to sign and submit an official form. Sign the form, he believed, and he’d risk the lives of the seven astronauts set to board the spacecraft the next morning. Refuse to sign, and he’d risk his job, his career and the good life he’d built for his wife and four children.

“And I made the smartest decision I ever made in my lifetime,” McDonald told me. “I refused to sign it. I just thought we were taking risks we shouldn’t be taking.”…

In retirement, McDonald became a fierce advocate of ethical decision-making and spoke to hundreds of engineering students, engineers and managers. He and Chapman University’s Maier held leadership and ethics seminars for corporations and government agencies, including U.S. Space Command.

Maier says that one of McDonald’s key moments in his talks helps explain his ability to reconcile his brush with history.

“What we should remember about Al McDonald [is] he would often stress his laws of the seven R’s,” Maier says. “It was always, always do the Right thing for the Right reason at the Right time with the Right people. [And] you will have no Regrets for the Rest of your life.  It’s Really that simple if you just keep it focused that way,” McDonald told me in 2016.”… ” Read more  Hmmmm…  The seven R’s.  What a great legacy Alain

What Full Autonomy Means for the Waymo Driver

E. Ackerman, Mar 4, “In January, Waymo posted a tweet breaking down what “autonomy” means for the Waymo Driver, which is how the company refers to its autonomous driving system. The video in the Tweet points out that Level 1, 2, and 3 autonomy are not “fully autonomous” because a human driver might be needed. Sounds good. The Waymo Driver operates at Level 4 autonomy, meaning, Waymo says, that “no human driver is needed in our defined operational conditions.” This, Waymo continues, represents “fully autonomous driving technology,” with the Waymo Driver being “fully independent from a human driver.” … ” Read more  Hmmmm… Unfortunately, the IEEE want to continue to debate the defnitions.  who care???  What is important is how the technology can actually deliver benefits to society.  Can it in fact deliver better mobility at a cheaper cost so that it has even just a small chance of being sustainable… lasting beyond some totally irrelevant “test” phase. 

Sure, Waymo may fall short of IEEE’s ‘manhood’ definition of ‘Full’, but who cares???  What is important is.. does what XXXX develop provide the opportunity to deliver mobility to those whose “quality-of-life” can be most enhanced by that offering and has the opportunity to be sustained as time goes on.  That is the challenge and the IEEE should be focused on that challenge and not some pre-teen playground issue focused on the meaning of “full”.  Alain

ITE  The Revolutionary Development of Self-Driving Vehicles and Implications for theTransportation Engineering Profession

Lutin/Kornhauser/Lam, July 2013, “Highway travel is about to undergo a dramatic transformation that is unprecedented in the history of transportation, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and its membership will face both opportunities and challenges that will reshape the future for our discipline.

As this paper is being written, the rapid development of autonomous vehicles—self-driving cars—is under way, and there is some urgency for the transportation engineering profession to become actively engaged in dialogues and partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, including software and systems developers, auto manufacturers, and regulatory bodies….”  Read more  Hmmmm…  Can’t believe almost 8 years have past since we wrote this and I’m in my 9th year of writing this eLetter (almost 400 issues).  Plus we’re more than half way through our 4th SmartDrivingCar Summit and Fred and I have done more than 200 SmartDrivingCar PodCasts. A lot has happened, yet we are still at the very beginning.  Whew!!!  Alain

   4th Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit  12th Episode at noon on March 18, 2021 TO BE followed by 8 more weekly episodes  through to April15, 2021.  Each episode starting Live on Zoom @ noon Eastern (Princeton Time) and lasting for 1.5 hours or until Discussion with audience ends. 

A. Kornhauser, Feb 6, “The focus of the Summit this year will be moving beyond the AI and the Sensors to addressing the challenges of Commercialization and  the delivery of tangible value to communities.  We’ve made enormous progress with the technology. We’re doing the investment; however, this investment delivers value only if is commercialized: made available and is used by consumers in large numbers.  Demos and one-offs are “great”, but to deliver value that is anywhere near commensurate with the magnitude of the investment made to date, initial deployments need to scale.  We can’t just have “Morgantown PRT Systems” whose initial deployment has been nothing but enormously successful for 45 years (an essentially perfect safety record, an excellent availability record and customer valued mobility).  Unfortunately, the system was never expanded or duplicated anywhere.  It didn’t scale.  It is a one-off.  


Tests, demos and one-offs are nice niche deployments; however, what one really needs are initial deployments that have the opportunity to grow, be replicated and scale.  In 1888, Frank Sprague, successfully deployed a small electric street railway system in Richmond, Va.  which became the reference for many other cites.  “… By 1889 110 electric railways incorporating Sprague’s equipment had been begun or planned on several continents…” Substantial scaled societal benefits emerged virally from this technology.  It was eventually supplanted by the conventional automobile but for more than 30 years it delivered substantial improvements to the quality-of-life for many.  


In part, the 4th Summit will focus on defining the “Richmond” of Affordable Shared-ride On-demand Mobility-as-a-Service.  The initial Operational Design Domain (ODD) that safely accommodates Driverless Mobility Machines that people actually choose to use and becomes the envy of communities throughout the country. ” Read more Hmmmm… Draft Program is in flux.  Consider all named individuals as “Invited yet to be confirmed”. Alain

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

Sunday Supplement



Calendar of Upcoming Events:s


4th Annual Princeton  SmartDrivingCar Summit

12th Live Episode: Live on Zoom

Human-centered Design of Safe and Affordable Driverless Mobility

What makes safely-driven and driverless mobility better for ALL users?

noon ET, Thursday, March 18

Video Summary of 1st Session:  Setting the Stage



On the More Technical Side

K. Kockelman’s AV Research Group at U of Texas