[log in to unmask]" class="" height="170" width="285">
23rd edition of the 5th year of SmartDrivingCars

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="28" width="203"> Users, Vehicles, Infrastructure

July 10-13, San Francisco.  "... Infrastructure..." Read more  Hmmmm...A very successful symposium attended by about 1,500 individuals all of whom paid a registration fee (i.e. no freebies).  Thank you Steve and Bob and especially Jane for assembling and orchestrating an even greater AV Symposium.  Looking forward to the 2018 version.

One very nice element in 2017 was that "Automated" was indeed the lead topic and didn't play 2nd fiddle to "Connected/DSRC".   As in the past, many of the plenary presentations are to be made available on the site in the coming weeks.  
The breakout sessions were closed to the press so as to engender more open discussion which certainly existed in Breakout 19: SHARK TANK-Change is coming: Who Will Survive . Summaries of those breakout sessions will also be posted on the Symposium site in the coming weeks.

The highlight presentations, from my perspective, were:
1. "Opening Keynote" where Dr. Gil Pratt, CEO, Toyota Research Institute announce a new Toyota early stage venture effort to stimulate the creation of of the technologies that will be needed for accelerate the successful deployment of Automated Vehicles.   
2. "Integrating Autonomous Drive into the New Automotive Reality"  where Dr. Maarten Sierhuis, Director, Nissan Research Center, Silicon Valley unveiled their concept of  a remote management center that would oversee self-driving and driverless operations and provide remote assistance in challenging situations.  While the example presented seemed overly simplified and may not scale, the concept of a remote assistance center seems to be an obvious and necessary element to address challenges, deadlocks and breakdowns at least in near-term deployments.
3.  "Global Scalability of AVs" where  Dr. Karl Iagnemma, CEO, nuTonomy, presented nuTonomy's experience in developing a Self-driving vehicle for the very different driving environments of Singapore (very nice and "easy") and Boston ("challenging").  Localization IS important.
4.  "Deep Learning and Highly Automated Vehicles" where Robert Seidl, Managing Director, Motus Ventures gave an excellent summary of the opportunities and challenges of using Deep Learning to safely drive AVs.
5.  "Systematic and Data-Driven Approaches to Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Certification"  where Michael Wagner, Co-Founder and CEO, Edge Case Research, extended some of Robert Seidl's comments on Deep Learning and the challenges of testing and certification of AV's based on Deep Learning.  My contention is that Virtual Reality simulations will play a very large role not only in the testing and certification, but also in the training (creation/teaching) and the enhancement (retraining/higher education) of the Safe-driving Deep Learning AI. 
6.  "Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Automated Highway Systems Demo '97" where Richard Bishop, Principal, Bishop Consulting; Kevin Dopart, U.S. Department of Transportation and Dr. Steve Shladover, University of California PATH Program reminded everyone that it had been 20 years since the AHS demos.  The basic difference from 20 years ago is that back then it was assumed that the roadway played an active part in the lateral control of the vehicles (magnets, conducting wire, ...) AND that the roadways were used exclusively by automated vehicles (no mixed use).  What may well be a better "1st" is Dean Pomerleau and Todd Jochem's "No Hands Across America" that performed the lateral  steering on unmodified  roads in 1995 (with human longitudinal control) .  It wasn't until the DARPA Challenges in 2004-2007 that the thought of operating AVs in mixed traffic on unprepared roads really emerged.  I prefer to use the DARPA Challenges as the "beginning" and equate that to the Benz Patent # 47435 of the automobile on January 29, 1886.  In comparing the evolutions:  the one  from buggy whip to steering wheel, using the Benz patent as the "start" and our current evolution from the Steering wheel to "being chauffeured" in aTaxis using the DARPA Challenges as its beginning, I'd then place us at about "1898" in the comparison and suggest that SmartDrivingCar's "Henry Ford" has not yet emerged. 
7. "Drones, Loops, and Robotaxis: A City Roadmap to Our Hyper-Uber Future" where Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, presented some real insight and extremely creative designs and uses of automated vehicle technology.  In my view this was the best of the many excellent plenary presentation and began to display some thought as to how AVs can begin to change urban design.   Anyone who is involved with urban planning today should look at the slides from this presentation.
8.  "Identifying and Addressing Non-Technical Key Research Questions: Infrastructure, where Shailen Bhatt, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Transportation, presented many of the issues facing DoTs in enabling and the deployment of SmatDrivingCars in Colorado.  Reference was made to Otto's demonstration of a driverless truck in Colorado.  Yes, it was a nice demonstration of a truck being able to drive on a freeway; unfortunately, it was totally INAPPROPRIATE for the trailer to be signed with a beer company.  Any,
even remote, implication that the technology driving the truck can drive you after you've been drinking is WRONG!!! Why wasn't it a Coca-Cola trailer, or a Starbucks trailer or a Dunkin' Donuts trailer, or???   Anything but an adult beverage trailer!!!  Colorado DoT should NOT have permitted it or been any part of it.  Absolutely the wrong product placement!!!  
9.  "Serving the Needs of All through Better Design" , where Dr. Edward Steinfeld, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director, IDeA Center, School of Architecture and Planning University at Buffalo, SUNY, provided many examples of real needs by mobility challenged individuals that can be served through better design of AVs from the beginning rather than as an afterthought.  All who are involved in the design of vehicles and services should be aware of the design concepts in this presentation.  Alain

[log in to unmask]" alt="">The Maturation of the Autonomous Vehicle Space

K. Pyle, July 14, "Reflecting upon the comments and insight from this week’s Automated Vehicle Symposium 2017, the automated vehicle space feels like the Video on Demand space did a couple of decades ago. The technology wizards are making great progress and its obvious the industry is maturing because there are multiple companies addressing both mainstream challenges, as well as corner cases. Still, like video on demand, technology will probably not be the biggest hurdle to autonomous vehicle adoption, but ease-of-use and trust in the technology will probably represent the biggest challenges...."  Read more  Hmmmm... A thoughtful reflection on the Symposium.  Thank you Ken.  Alain

[log in to unmask]" alt=""> SAE Level 5 Driverless Cars Are Not Just Around the Corner

M. Sena, July 2017, "...In my opinion, the harm occurs when we—you and I—start believing the hype, when fantasy and fiction become alternative facts. There are so many important and truly useful projects that could engage all the bright minds that are now focused on hitting the self-driving jackpot...
 ...The problem seems to be the careless use of all the various terms: autonomous; automated and highly automated; driverless; self-driving.  A vehicle can be self-driving, but that does not mean it can operate if there is no driver in the vehicle..." Read more  Hmmmm...Again are really thoughtful issue on SmartDrivingCars as well as "The Paris Agreement: Not Really the Real Deal" and "The Car and Truck Business is a High Stakes Game" that are must reads. Congratulations Michael.  Alain  

[log in to unmask]" alt=""> House subcommittee approves self-driving car legislation

H. Neidig, July 19, "A House panel advanced a bill on Wednesday that would ease restrictions on self-driving cars, allowing automakers to manufacture up to 100,000 autonomous vehicles a year.  The legislation, which passed the House Commerce consumer protection subcommittee by voice vote, would exempt that yearly allotment from safety standards and would also pre-empt state laws concerning driverless cars.

If it’s signed into law, the legislation would be the first to address the budding autonomous vehicle industry...." Read more  Hmmmm...Read the legislation.  It contains a lot more than just the "100,000 vehicle" exemption and it remains far from being passed by both houses, etc.  Alain

[log in to unmask]" alt="" height="45" width="54"> Uncovered: NHTSA Levels of 1900 (Satire)

B. Templeton, July 19, "I have recently managed to dig up some old documents from the earliest days of car regulation. Here is a report from NHTSA on the state of affairs near the turn of the 20th century.  National Horse Trail Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Regulation of new Horse-Auto-mobile Vehicles (HAV), sometimes known as “Horseless carriages.”.." Read more  Hmmmm... A small correction... It is New York State that requires the State Police to "serve as the preceding " ... footman waving a red flag or lantern to warn bystanders of the approach of the vehicle..."

On a more serious note, this piece highlights the caution that we should be taking with trying to impose legislation on a technology that is very much in its infancy.  As I have noted above, we are still in the 19th Century, ~1898, in our evolution from "steering wheel" to "driverless".  In office was the 55th Congress dealing with the sinking of the battleship Maine in Cuba which led tot he Spanish -American War. Neither the United States Senate Committee on Railroads,  the United States Senate Select Committee on the Transportation and Sale of Meat Products which dealt with pricing and collusion in the meat packing industry, nor the United States Senate Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard which focused on rail and waterway transportation, found it necessary to formulate or debate legislation about the emerging technological revolution in mobility.  Yet, Henry Ford was building a gasoline-powered horseless carriage in the shed behind his home in 1896, completing his 2nd vehicle in 1898 and founding the start-up, the Detroit Automobile Company, on August 4, 1899.  The reality of the ensuing automobile revolution was as impossible to imagine then as it is most challenging for us today to imagine the ramifications. both near term and long term. of driverless technology.  It is way too early to legislate and regulate other than erecting welcome signs and removing roadblocks.  Even in the most grim scenarios the downside is infinitesimal.  

Also, since Brad brought up the gender issue,
isn't it time for AUVSI to change its name.  My beef is with the term "unmanned." It is bad enough that the SmartDrivingCar field is overwhelmingly male (my guess is that attendance at the AV Symposium was more than 90% male), but why put gender in everyone's face with the antiquated term, "unmanned?" This technology has nothing to do with maleness or gender.  Why not use "driverless" or a similarly inclusive alternative? If there are others of you who feel the same way, please stand with me in encouraging the AUVSI board to modernize its name or for TRB to look for another partner for its AV Symposium.  I, for one, felt uncomfortable every time I experienced the name at the AV Symposium.  The term "unmanned" is unnecessary at best, offensive at worst and should simply be changed. Alain

[log in to unmask]" alt="">FCC approves new spectrum for vehicle radar systems

D. Shepardson, July 13, "... The FCC first approved 1 GHz of spectrum in 1995 for motor vehicles to use radar that allowed for the introduction of collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems that are credited with preventing tens of thousands of crashes annually.  Thursday's decision expands the band that vehicle radars can operate to 5 GHz of spectrum and will improve lane departure warning, blind spot detection systems, automatic braking and pedestrian detection, the FCC said.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency was giving automakers "the bandwidth needed" to allow "proven technologies that enable services like collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring, and lane change assistance" and allow for "new innovations."...The vote harmonizes vehicle spectrum with European rules that could allow automakers to bring technologies to the U.S. market faster, the FCC said...." Read more  Hmmmm...Excellent! Alain


J. Bughin, June 2017,  "In this independent discussion paper, we examine investment in artificial intelligence (AI), describe how it is being deployed by companies that have started to use these technologies across sectors, and aim to explore its potential to become a major business disrupter. To do this, we looked at AI through several lenses. We analyzed the total investment landscape bringing together both investment of large corporations and funding from venture capital and private equity funds. We also reviewed the portfolio plays of major internet companies, the dynamics in AI ecosystems from Shenzhen to New York, and a wide range of case studies. As part of our primary research, we surveyed more than 3,000 senior executives on the use of AI technologies, their companies’ prospects for further deployment, and AI’s impact on markets, governments, and individuals. This report also leverages the resources of McKinsey Analytics, a global practice that helps clients achieve better performance through data. The research was conducted jointly with Digital McKinsey, a global practice that designs and implements digital transformations...." Read more  Hmmmm...Very interesting; although, in the end, there may not be a bigger consumer of AI than SmartDrivingCars sharing existing roads with conventional drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.  Alain

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="24" width="156">Cadillac Super Cruise hands-free driving software takes on Tesla Autopilot

R. Mitchell, July 13, "...“This is the first system … where the car is doing the driving, and the human is overseeing it,” he said. “It’s an explicitly hands-off system.” 

Advanced as it appears to be, the system cannot be considered in any way “driverless.” The human driver remains responsible for the operation of the car — functionally, and legally.

Super Cruise includes a tiny camera that tracks eye and head movement to make sure the driver is paying attention to the road, ready to take control if needed. Look away from the windshield too long — 10 seconds or so — and the car will flash warnings and sound alarms with increasing urgency, and eventually ease to a stop if no action’s taken.  Tesla Autopilot and systems from Mercedes-Benz and BMW don't use head tracking. They require drivers to return hands briefly to the steering wheel for a few moments after a short passage of time to keep automatic steering engaged.

This week, Audi said it introduced what it calls the “AI Traffic Jam Pilot” on its top-line A8 limousine, capable of driving hands-free on in a single lane on divided highways at up to 37 miles per hour.   The Cadillac system operates at highway cruising speeds. For now, Super Cruise will be available only on the 2018 CT6, Cadillac’s flagship sedan. Dealers will start receiving those cars in September. Cadillac hasn’t priced the option yet, but competing systems run several thousand dollars. Already, an option-loaded CT6 runs near $90,000. 

....Cadillac invited the Los Angeles Times to try a CT6 sedan equipped with Super Cruise for an hour along Interstate 280 in Silicon Valley. A lot of time was spent with arms folded, looking down, sideways, and backwards at length to see when the warnings would kick in...The I-280 trip was too short to make a thorough assessment of the technology, but Super Cruise provided a silky smooth ride with no wobbling...."  Read more  Hmmmm...Very interesting and thorough report.  Unfortunately,  it still hasn't arrived in showrooms.  Alain

[log in to unmask]" alt="" height="17" width="117"> Faraday Future ditches plan for electric car plant

A. Noon, July, 11, "An electric car maker deserted its plan to construct a $1 billion manufacturing plant in southern Nevada in a move experts say could spell trouble for the company and the broader niche electric automobile businesses.   Faraday Future Chief Financial Officer Stefan Krause said Monday’s decision to scrap the plant was due to a shift in business strategy..." Read more  Hmmmm...  Does this surprise anyone??? Alain

Some other thoughts that deserve your attention

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="24" width="156"> United Airlines considers reselling seats to travelers who will pay more

 H, Martin, July 14, "United Airlines is considering a program that pays passengers to give up their booked seats so that the carrier can resell them for a higher price to other fliers..." Read more  Hmmmm...As of it isn't enough what they are doing now in the overbooking of flights for which every overbooked seat is being sold at the very highest price which has gained them extraordinary profits (an in my opinion has them delivering barely adequate service (I'm essentially a captive customer because of their market dominance Newark Airport)).  Oh well, I shall grin and bear it because alternatives are worse.  I can't wait for a long-distance Self-driving car.  No more flying on trips of less than ~700 miles!!  Alain  


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

[log in to unmask]" alt="" height="24" width="122"> How do the semi-autonomous systems in the new Audi A8 stack up?

S. Collie, July 12, "... The company is billing Audi AI as the first autonomous driving system to reach Level 3 capability, also known as Conditional Automation. That essentially means when the system is active, drivers (and we use that word advisedly) can flip through a magazine or compose an email, but they still need to be ready to retake control in case the car is flummoxed by particularly tricky road conditions.

At the moment, the Level 3 AI Traffic Jam Pilot operates in stop/start traffic up to 60 km/h (37 mph). It can only be turned on when the car is on freeways with a barrier separating traffic heading in the other direction, and handles the throttle, braking and steering...." Read more  Hmmmm..."first" what??? Good thing nobody understands what "Level 3" is.  How does one compose email and still be ready to retake control???  Is VW going to train the drivers of these A8s to perform this feat?  In comparison with the others, the Audi seems to be 3rd, not first (and maybe even 4th if one includes Cadillac).  Oh well, this is a marketing blurb and should be taken as half-baked.  I encourage you to go to a "showroom" and test drive what is actually available to buy.  Please send me your comparison which I will compile.  Alain 

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

Calendar of Upcoming Events:

  [log in to unmask]" alt="" class="">
20th Anon Risk Pooling Symposium 2017
July 23 -> 26
Albuquerque, NM
Step off the Gas – Slam on the Brakes:  Automated Vehicle Technology Pros and Cons

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="">
2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
May 16 & 17, 2018
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Save the Date

Recent Highlights of:

[log in to unmask]" class="" height="76" width="129" border="0">

Sunday, July 09, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class=""> Active Safety-Collision Warning Pilot in Washington State, IDEA Program Final Report

J. Lutin, May 19 "The Rosco/Mobileye Shield+ system is a collision avoidance warning system (CAWS) specifically designed for transit buses. This project involved field testing and evaluation of the CAWS in revenue service over a three-month period. The system provides alerts and warnings to the bus driver for the following conditions that could lead to a collision: 1) changing lanes without activating a turn signal (lane departure warning was disabled for this pilot), 2) exceeding posted speed limit, 3) monitoring headway with the vehicle leading the bus, 4) forward vehicle collision warning, and 5) pedestrian or cyclist collision warning in front of, or alongside the bus. Alerts and warnings are displayed to the driver by visual indicators located on the windshield and front pillars. Audible warnings are issued when collisions are imminent. ..."   Read more  Hmmmm... Very interesting.  This is the first substantive report of realities of retrofiring existing transit buses with active safety collision-warning technology.  Anyone in the public transit industry should be paying attention to this report.  This is the very beginning of actually implementing safety-oriented automated technology in transit buses and it was motivated and led by insurance (Jerry Spears & Al Hatten @ WSTIP + Mike Scrudato @ Munich Re). Insurance finally stepping up and leading. Alain

Sunday, June 25, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="53" width="51">NTSB Opens Docket on Tesla Crash

Press release, June 19, "As part of its ongoing investigation into the fatal 2016 highway crash involving a Tesla Model S and a tractor-semitrailer truck near Williston, Florida, the National Transportation Safety Board on Monday opened the accident docket, releasing more than 500 pages of information.

System performance data downloaded from the Tesla revealed that the driver was operating the car using automated vehicle control systems: Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer lane keeping systems.

The docket includes reports that cover various aspects of the investigation, including highway design, vehicle performance, human performance, and motor carrier factors. The crash reconstruction report, also included in the docket, provides a description of the crash sequence. The docket also includes interview transcripts and summaries, photographs, and other investigative material.  The docket contains only factual information collected by NTSB investigators; it does not provide analysis, findings, recommendations, or probable cause determinations. No conclusions about how or why the crash occurred should be drawn from the docket. Analysis, findings, recommendations, and probable cause determinations related to the crash will be issued by the Board at a later date.

The docket material is available at: https://go.usa.gov/xNvaE" Read more  Hmmmm... A few comments...
1.  Since lateral control (swerving) couldn't have avoided this crash (the truck is almost 70 ft long (6 lanes wide) stretching broadside across the highway) , it doesn't matter if Josh Brown ever had his hands on the steering wheel. That's totally irrelevant. 
Why didn't autobrake kick in when the tractor part of the tractor-trailer passed in front of the Tesla?
How fast was the truck going when it cut off the Tesla.  I couldn't find the answer in 500 pages.   
4.  With sight distances of greater than 1,000 feet, why didn't the truck driver see the Tesla?  Was it the drugs?
5.  This intersection invites "left-turn run-throughs" (no stop or yield and a 53 foot median and turn lane need to be crossed before one slips through a gap in two traffic lanes.  So you certainly roll into it, (plenty of room to stop if you see something coming) and if you don't see anything, you hit it.  If you're in the Tesla, you think you've been clearly seem, you expect the truck to stop, it doesn't, you can't believe it, BAM!  All in probably a second or so.
6.  The head injury description (Table 1 p2 of 3) certainly suggests that Joshua Brown was seated upright facing forward at impact.  The bilateral lacerations on the lower arm from the elbow to the wrist may indicate that he saw it coming in the last second and raised his arms in an attempt to protect his head.   The evidence reported doesn't seem to suggest he saw this early enough to bend toward the passenger seat and try to pass underneath. 
About 40 feet of tractor and trailer passed directly in front of the Tesla prior to impact.   Depending on how fast the truck was traveling, that takes some time.  Has NTSB run Virtual Reality simulations of various truck turn trajectories and analyzed what the truck driver and the Tesla driver could/should have seen?  Seems like a relatively simple thing to do.  We know what the Tesla was doing prior to the crash (going 74 mph straight down the road.) and we know where it hit the truck.  How fast the truck was traveling doesn't seem to be known.
8. Why wasn't there any video captured from the Tesla.  Didn't that version of the MobilEye system store the video; I guess not, :-( 
Anyway, lots to read in the 500 pages, but there is also a lot missing.  I'm not linking the many articles reporting on this because I disagree with many of their interpretations of the facts reported by NTSB.  
Please reach your own conclusions.   Alain

Monday, June 19, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="39" width="50"> Amazon Deal for Whole Foods Starts a Supermarket War

R. Abrams, June 16, "Shares of Walmart, Target, Kroger and Costco, the largest grocery retailers, all tumbled on Friday. And no wonder..  Grocery stores have spent the last several years fighting against online and overseas entrants. But now, with its $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon has effectively started a supermarket war.  Armed with giant warehouses, shopper data, the latest technology and nearly endless funds — and now with Whole Foods’ hundreds of physical stores — Amazon is poised to reshape an $800 billion grocery market that is already undergoing many changes...."  Read more  Hmmmm... Since Jeff Bezos doesn't need to have you impulse buy on your walk through the store while you get a quart of milk, he simply has to get you click on organic milk and he'll present you with everything you absolutely can't checkout without.  All he then needs is to get all those impulse buys (and the quart of organic milk) to your home from the hundreds of physical stores.  That's where low speed driverless local delivery vans come in (operating initially in the early morning hours when the streets connecting those stores to our houses are completely empty and simply drop off everything you'll need for the day ahead in your "Amazon Box" that's replaced your 20th Century mailbox).  So in the end it will be Jeff Bezos'86 battling Eric Schmit'76 for deploying the first fleets of driverless vehicles sharing our neighborhood streets. If they should decide to join forces and have these vehicles providing mobility whenever anyone wants to travel and moving groceries and other goods the rest of the time, watch-out!!! Then everybody wins!! (except Walmart, Target, Kroger and Costco)  See also..Amazon and Whole Foods and Self-Driving Cars    Alain

Sunday, May 28, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="">Rethinking Mobility: The 'pay-as-you-go' ca: Ride hailing, just the start

 S. Burgstaller, May 23,"The c.$7 tn global mobility market is speeding into the era of the “pay-as-you-go” car. Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Didi are pioneering a ‘cloud’ mobility system, which is using data to change
how the wealthiest cities move. In Rethinking Mobility, we model how the ride-hailing opportunity can grow to $285 bn by 2030, and is the precursor to a broader technological and social transformation.  We examine how the market might live up to the high valuations of its pioneers, why car sales may prove surprisingly resilient despite the change, and where automakers have a chance to transform their profitability as operators of fleets of autonomous cars...." Read more Hmmmm... Nice to see GoldMine Sachs finally weigh in.  The report is chock full of information and there is a lot here to absorb. 

The big impact will be if we ever get to Driverless without which you don't replace even one Uber driver.  
Without Driverless, the issue centers on the 8x penetration of hailing rides.  At 8x  only car rental and little else is effected.  At 80x it effects car ownership but there will not be enough gig workers to support it.  So it doesn't scale without Driverless.

With Driverless, then it is all about ridesharing as with elevators.  If it is as easy as elevators, then car ownership  diminishes greatly.

The report doesn't respect the enormous difference between Driverless and Non-driversless (Self-driving and Safe-Driving; Levels 0 -> 4).  It seems to  assumes Driverless, yet it does not deal with the likelihood that Driverless will be achieved and fails to realize/identify the enormous forces that may come to bear that will attempt to derail Driverless at all costs.  The strongest of which may well be the "GMs" of this world.  GMs are all about Self-driving which REQUIRES a driver ( thus consumer ownership) and perpetuates their 100 year old business model.  Driverless scales 'cloud mobility' beyond the '8x' limits of a gig economy and enables horizontal 'cloud mobility' to become as ubiquitous as the elevator is in vertical mobility.  Yes, there are still stair cases, and private 'cloud-mobility" elevators for the 0.01%, but the masses will just grin&share the on-demand 'cloud-mobility' elevators without a 2nd thought.  Driverless assuaged vertical mobility anxiety.
Driverless is the critical technological element that will assuage horizontal mobility anxiety and enable widespread horizontal 'cloud mobility'.

Communities may find, as tall buildings have found, that they really work best (even at all) if they accommodate shared 'cloud' mobility and provide it for 'free' simply because it is so effective in capturing the enhanced land values that are unlocked by such mobility.  We've always been able to walk up and down a couple of flights of stair, but once we were easily able to go (via on-demand 'cloud' mobility available 24x7x365) more than four or so, then the sky became the limit. Are similar horizontal land values waiting to be unlocked if they simply pick up the tab for that on-demand horizontal 'cloud' mobility?  If so, then the GMs of this world are in a heap of trouble.  Alain

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class=""> Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

May 18, Enormously successful inaugural Summit starting with the Adam Jonas video and finishing with Fred Fishkin's live interview with Wm. C Ford III.  In between, serious engagement among over 150 leaders from Communities at the bleeding edge of deployment, Insurance struggling with how to properly promote the adoption of technology that may well force them to re-invent themselves and AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the various technologies that are rapidly advancing so that we can actually deliver the safety, environmental, mobility and quality of life opportunities envisioned by these “Ultimate Shared-Riding Machines”.

Save the Date for the 2nd Annual... May 16 & 17, 2018, Princeton NJ  Read Inaugural Program with links to Slides. Fishkin Interview of Summit Summary and Interview of Yann LeCunRead Inaugural Program with links to Slides. Hmmmm... Enormous thank you to all who participated.  Well done!  Alain

Sunday, May 14, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class=""> Exploring the Bear Case: Distracted Driving + ADAS = $7 Trillion of Used Values at Risk

A. Jonas, Feb 1 "A sharp rise in traffic death & rapid growth of semiautonomous tech as standard equipment can accelerate the obsolescence of used cars, with potentially negative implications for secondhand values, auto credit & SAAR. We see elevated auto credit risk & avoid used car exposure....
...One could reasonably argue that if a technology can save 10k or 20k lives and hundreds of thousands of injuries per year in the US it should be (1) affordable and (2) not be optional equipment. Contrary to this, we found the majority of models currently available either do not offer active safety features or offer them only as optional equipment at prohibitively high costs. Our key takeaways are summarized below:..." Read More Hmmmm... First, sorry that I just saw this excellent report.  On top of the enormous substance, this report doesn't mention that some/many of these systems don't work as well as they should.  Some don't brake if the the object ahead is stationary, others get confused with white back-lighting, others only apply the brake after the driver starts applying the brake and others only apply the brakes up to a 50% level.  Here we are trying to let drivers take hands of wheels and feet off pedals, yet we don't have Safe-driving Cars that actually work (...experiencing essentially no false positives or false negatives) .  Alain

Monday, May 8, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="24" width="156"> Walt Disney World plans to deploy driverless shuttles in Florida

Thursday, April 27, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="39" width="50"> Waymo to Offer Phoenix Area Access to Self-Driving Cars

Tuesday, April 17, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="32" width="84"> Don't Worry, Driverless Cars Are Learning From Grand Theft Auto

D. Hall, Apr 17, "In the race to the autonomous revolution, developers have realized there aren’t enough hours in a day to clock the real-world miles needed to teach cars how to drive themselves. Which is why Grand Theft Auto V is in the mix.
The blockbuster video game is one of the simulation platforms researchers and engineers increasingly rely on to test and train the machines being primed to take control of the family sedan. Companies from Ford Motor Co. to Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo may boast about putting no-hands models on the market in three years, but there’s a lot still to learn about drilling algorithms in how to respond when, say, a mattress falls off a truck on the freeway....The idea isn’t that the highways and byways of the fictional city of Los Santos would ever be a substitute for bona fide asphalt. But the game “is the richest virtual environment that we could extract data from,” said Alain Kornhauser..."  Read More Hmmmm... Well...we have a slightly different view of history wrt to GTA5.  The 'Alain view' is that Chenyi Chen*16 independently started investigating the use of virtual environments as a source of Image - Affordances data sets to use as the training sets in a 'Direct Perception' approach to creating a self-driving algorithm.  Images of the road ahead are converted into the instantaneous geometry that is implied by those image.  An optimal controller then determines the the steering, brake and throttle values to best drive the car.  The critical element in that process are the Image - Affordances data sets which need to be pristine.  Chenyi demonstrated in his PhD dissertation , summarized in the ICCV2015 paper,  that by using the pristine Image - Affordances data sets from an open-source game TORCS one could have a virtual car drive a virtual race course without crashing.  More importantly, when tested on images from real driving situations, the computed affordances were close to correct.

This encouraged us to look for more appropriate virtual environments. For many reasons, including: "wouldn't it be amazing if 'Grand Theft Auto 5' actually generated some positive 'redeeming social value' by contributing to the development of algorithms that actually made cars safer; saving grief, injuries and lives".  Consequently, in the Fall of 2015, Artur Filipowicz'17 began to investigate using GTA5 to train Convolutional Neural Networks to perform some of the Direct Perception aspects of automated driving.  With Jeremiah Liu, he continued his efforts in this direction last summer which were presented at TRB in January.  Yesterday, he and Nyan Bhat'17 turned in their Senior Theses focused on this topic.

Indeed, GTA5 is a rich virtual environment that begins to efficiently and effective address the data needs of Deep Learning approaches to safe driving.    Alain

Monday, March 20, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="22" width="94"> Uber’s autonomous cars drove 20,354 miles and had to be taken over at every mile, according to documents

Friday, March 10, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="24" width="156"> Robot cars — with no human driver — could hit California roads next year

R. Mitchell, Mar 10, "California is back on the map as a state that’s serious about welcoming driverless cars.Truly driverless cars — vehicles with no human behind the wheel, and perhaps no steering wheel at all — are headed toward California streets and highways starting in 2018...
The regulations lay out “a clear path for future deployment of autonomous vehicles” in California, said Bernard Soriano, deputy director at the Department of Motor Vehicles...." Read more Hmmm... Congratulations Bernard!  This is fantastic news on the road to providing high-quality mobility for all.  It squarely addresses the fundamental need to efficiently re-position vehicles so that they can get to even those who can't drive.  This is a real turning point for automated vehicles from self-driving toys for the 1% to affordable, environmentally friendly mobility for everyone.  Alain

Friday, February 24, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="32" width="84"> Alphabet's Waymo Alleges Uber Stole Self-Driving Secrets

Friday, February 17, 2017

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="46" width="49"> Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2016 Estimated to be Highest in Nine Years

Press release, Feb. 15, "NSC offers insight into what drivers are doing and calls for immediate implementation of proven, life-saving measures...

With the upward trend showing no sign of subsiding, NSC is calling for immediate implementation of life-saving measures that would set the nation on a road to zero deaths:..." Read more  Hmmm..."Automated Collision Avoidance" or anything having to do with 'Safe-driving Cars' is not mentioned anywhere in the Press Release.  One of us is missing something very fundamental here!!  So depressing!!  :-(   Alain

Friday, January 27, 2017

[log in to unmask]" class="" height="50" width="44"> Serving the Nation's Personal Mobility Needs with the Casual Sharing of autonomousTaxis & Today's Urban Rail, Amtrak and Air Transport Systems

A. Kornhauser, Jan 14, "Orf467F16 Final Project Symposium quantifying implications of such a Nation-wide mobility system on Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO), energy, environment and congestion, including estimates of fleet size, needed empty vehicle repositioning, and ridership implications on existing rail transit systems (west, east, NYC) and Amtrak of a system that would efficiently and effectively perform their '1st mile'/'last-mile' mobility needs. Read more  Hmmm... Now linked are 1st Drafts of the chapters and the powerPoint summaries of these elements.  Final Report should be available by early February.  The major finding is, nationwide there exists sufficient casual ridesharing potential that a well--managed  Nationwide Fleet of about 30M aTaxis (in conjunction with the existing air, Amtrak and Urban fixed-rail systems)  could serve the vehicular mobility needs of the whole nation with VMT 40% less than today's automobiles while providing a Level-of-Service (LoS) largely equivalent and in many ways superior than is delivered by the personal automobile today.  Also interesting are the findings as to the substantial increased patronage opportunities available to Amtrak and each of the fixed rail transit systems around the country because the aTaxis solve the '1st and last mile' problem.  While all of this is extremely good news, the challenging news is that since all of these fixed rail systems currently lose money on each passenger served, the additional patronage would likely mean that they'll lose even more money in the future. :-(  Alain 

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="36" width="38">ODI (Office of Defects Investigation) Findings on Tesla AEB & AutoPilot

(Above link should work) Jan 19, "... Summary: ...     NHTSA’s examination did not identify any defects in the design or performance of the AEB or Autopilot  systems of the subject vehicles nor any incidents in which the systems did not perform as designed.  AEB systems used in the  automotive industry through MY 2016 are rear-end collision avoidance technologies that are not designed to reliably  perform in all crash modes, including crossing path collisions.  The Autopilot system is an Advanced Driver Assistance  System (ADAS) that requires the continual and full attention of the driver to monitor the traffic environment and be prepared to take action to avoid crashes.  Tesla's design included a hands-on the steering wheel system for monitoring driver engagement...
...  ODI analyzed data from crashes of Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles involving airbag deployments that occurred while operating in, or within 15 seconds of transitioning from, Autopilot mode. Some crashes involved impacts from other vehicles striking the Tesla from various directions with little to no warning to the Tesla driver.  Other crashes involved scenarios known to be outside of the state-of-technology for current-generation Level 1 or 2 systems, such as cut-ins, cut-outs and crossing path collisions.... 
...The Florida fatal crash appears to have involved a period of extended distraction (at least 7 seconds)..."
.Hmmm... nothing else is written about this nor is a basis given for  the 'at least 7 seconds'.  Possibly the most important information revealed in this summary is Figure 11, p11: "...  Figure 11 shows the rates calculated by ODI for airbag deployment crashes in the subject Tesla vehicles before and after Autosteer installation.  The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation...
...A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further examination of this issue does not appear to be warranted.  Accordingly, this investigation is closed. " 
Read more 
Hmmm... WOW!!! . Every word of this Finding is worth reading.  It basically exonerates Tesla, states that AEBs (Automated Emergency Braking) systems don't really work and aren't designed to work in some scenarios (straight crossing path (SCP) and left turn across path (LTAP), see p 2,3).  ...which suggests, to me, that DoT/NHTSA should be placing substantial efforts on making these systems really work in more scenarios.  And... there is the solid data that 'AutoSteer" reduced Tesla crashes by almost 40%!!! WOW!! Will Insurance now finally get on-board and lead?  Alai

Friday, September 23, 2016

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="25" width="27">[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="17" width="70"> Federal Automated Vehicles Policy: Accelerating the Next Revolution In Roadway Safety

September 2016, "Executive Summary...For DOT, the excitement around highly automated vehicles (HAVs) starts with safety.  (p5)

...The development of advanced automated vehicle safety technologies, including fully self-driving cars, may prove to be the greatest personal transportation revolution since the popularization of the personal automobile nearly a century ago. (p5)

...The benefits don’t stop with safety. Innovations have the potential to transform personal mobility and open doors to people and communities. (p5)

...The remarkable speed with which increasingly complex HAVs are evolving challenges DOT to take new approaches that ensure these technologies are safely introduced (i.e., do not introduce significant new safety risks), provide safety benefits today, and achieve their full safety potential in the future. (p6)  Hmmm...Fantastic statements and I appreciate that the fundamental basis and motivator is SAFETY.  We all have recognized safety as a necessary   condition that must be satisfied if this technology is to be successful.  (unfortunately it is not a sufficient condition, (in a pure math context)). This policy statement appropriately reaffirms this necessary condition.  Alain

"...we divide the task of facilitating the safe introduction and deployment (...defines “deployment” as the operation of an HAV by members of the public who are not the employees or agents of the designer, developer, or manufacturer of that HAV.) of HAVs into four sections:(p6) Hmmm...Perfect! Alain

"...1. Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles (p6)..."  Hmmm... 15 Points, more later. Alain

"...2. Model State Policy (p7)   The Model State Policy confirms that States retain their traditional responsibilities...but... The shared objective is to ensure the establishment of a consistent national framework rather than a patchwork of incompatible laws..." Hmmm... Well done.  Alain

"...3. NHTSA Current Regulatory Tools (p7) ... This document provides instructions, practical guidance, and assistance to entities seeking to employ those tools. Furthermore, NHTSA has streamlined its review process and is committing to..."   Hmmm... Excellent. Alain

"...4. New Tools and Authorities (p7)...The speed with which HAVs are advancing, combined with the complexity and novelty of these innovations, threatens to outpace the Agency’s conventional regulatory processes and capabilities. This challenge requires DOT to examine whether the way DOT has addressed safety for the last 50 years should be expanded to realize the safety potential of automated vehicles over the next 50 years. Therefore, this section identifies potential new tools, authorities and regulatory structures that could aid the safe and appropriately expeditious deployment of new technologies by enabling the Agency to be more nimble and flexible (p8)..."  Hmmm... Yes. Alain

"...Note on “Levels of Automation”  There are multiple definitions for various levels of automation and for some time there has been need for standardization to aid clarity and consistency. Therefore, this Policy adopts the SAE International (SAE) definitions for levels of automation. )  Hmmm... I'm not sure this adds clarity because it does not deal directly with the difference between self-driving and driverless.  While it might be implied in level 4 and level 5 that these vehicles can proceed with no one in the vehicle, it is not stated explicitly.  That is unfortunate, because driverless freight delivery can't be done without "driverless"; neither can mobility-on-demand be offered to the young, old, blind, inebriated, ...without "driverless".  Vehicles can't be "repositioned-empty" (which (I don't mean to offend anyone) is the real value of a taxi driver today).  So autonomousTaxis are impossible.

Also, these levels do not address Automated Emergency Braking  (AEB) Systems and Automated Lane Keeping Systems which are the very first systems whose on-all-the-time performance must be perfected.   These are the Safety Foundation of HAV (Highly Automated vehicles).  I understand that the guidelines may assume that these systems are already perfect and that "20 manufacturer have committed" to have AEB on all new cars, but to date these systems really don't work.  In 12 mph IIHS test, few stop before hitting the target, and, as we may have seen with the Florida Tesla crash, the Level 2/3 AutoPilot may not have failed, but, instead, it was the "Phantom Level 1" AEB that is supposed to be on all the time.  This is not acceptable.  These AEB systems MUST get infinitely better now.  It is a shame that AEBs were were not explicitly addressed in this document.

"...I. Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles (p11) A. Guidance: if a vehicle is compliant within the existing FMVSS regulatory framework and maintains a conventional vehicle design, there is currently no specific federal legal barrier to an HAV being offered for sale.(footnote 7)  However, manufacturers and other entities designing new automated vehicle systems
are subject to NHTSA’s defects, recall and enforcement authority. (footnote 8)   . and the "15 Cross-cutting Areas of Guidance" p17)

In sum this is a very good document and displays just how far DoT policy has come from promoting v2v, DSRC and centralized control, "connected",  focus to creating an environment focused on individual vehicles that responsibly take care of themselves.  Kudos to Secretary Foxx for this 180 degree policy turn focused on safety.   Once done correctly, the HAV will yield the early safety benefits that will stimulate continued improvements that, in turn, will yield the great mobility, environmental and quality-of-life benefits afforded by driverless mobility. 

What are not addressed are commercial trucking and buses/mass transit.  NHTSA is auto focused, so maybe FMCSA is preparing similar guidelines.  FTA (Federal Transit Administration) seems nowhere in sight.  Alain

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="21" width="113"> May 7 Crash

Hmmm...What we know now (and don't know):

[log in to unmask]" class="" height="50" width="44"> Extracting Cognition out of Images for the Purpose of Autonomous Driving

Thursday, March 17, 2016

U.S. DOT and IIHS announce historic commitment of 20 automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard on new vehicles

Sunday, December 19, 2015

[log in to unmask]" alt="" class="" height="63" width="96"> Adam Jonas' View on Autonomous Cars

Video similar to part of Adam's Luncheon talk @ 2015 Florida Automated Vehicle Symposium on Dec 1.  Hmmm ... Watch Video  especially at the 13:12 mark.  Compelling; especially after the 60 Minutes segment above!  Also see his TipRanks.  Alain

This list is maintained by Alain Kornhauser and hosted by the Princeton University LISTSERV.

Unsubscribe | Re-subscribe
[log in to unmask]" class="" height="88" width="106">  [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]" class="" height="92" width="238" border="0">[log in to unmask]">Mailto:[log in to unmask] [log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]" class="" height="57" width="248" border="0">

This list is maintained by Alain Kornhauser and hosted by the Princeton University LISTSERV.

This list is maintained by Alain Kornhauser and hosted by the Princeton University LISTSERV.

Unsubscribe | Re-subscribe