Friday June 24, 2022

23rd edition of the 10th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter

    Princeton Fifth Annual SmartDrivingCars Summit

June 24, M. Sena “THE DISPATCHER, July 2022

Princeton Fifth Annual SmartDrivingCars Summit ………..
Safe, Equitable, Affordable, Sustainable, High-quality
Mobility for Everyone ……………………………………………….2
Dispatch Central……………………………………………………….9
Someone lit a fire under NHTSA …………………………………9
The Economist: Right analysis, wrong solution …………..12
Musings of a Dispatcher: Eyes on the Back Story………..15
The evolution of digital maps and ADAS ……………………15
Digital Maps for the Vehicle – 1970-2022 ………………….24  …

Read more Hmmmm… Another great edition and very well written summary of the 5th Summit.  Alain

   SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast Episode 273/ PodCast 273 Michael Sena, Editor The Dispatcher

F. Fishkin, June 23, “Smart Driving Cars episode 273: Getting Moves moving.  The June Princeton Smart Driving Cars Summit brought the players together.  Now the real game begins.  “The Dispatcher” publisher and consultant Michael Sena joins us for that plus…Einride’s autonomous electric transports, Cruise takes paying passengers and a critical checkpoint for Zoox.

Technical support provided by:

   New Type of Vehicle Developed by Einride Gets NHTSA Approval to Operate on U.S. Public Road

Press release, June 23, “Freight technology company Einride announced today that it has received approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to operate its Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) vehicles on U.S. public roads. With this approval, Einride will conduct a public road pilot to support operational flows for customer GE Appliances, a Haier company, showcasing the Einride Pod’s purpose-built functionality for future commercialization. The autonomous and electric Einride Pod’s design does not leave room for a driver on board and is instead remotely monitored by a Remote Pod Operator, marking this pilot as an industry first for this new type of vehicle….”   Read more Hmmmm… How have I become so clueless that I can’t believe what I am reading.  I searched for the fine print at NHTSA and could not find anything (That shouldn’t surprise anyone. I can’t find my glasses when they are on my nose.🙁 ). Alain

  Amazon’s Zoox completes ‘critical checkpoint’ in robotaxi testing and rollout

T. Bishop, June 22, “…Jesse Levinson, the Zoox co-founder and CTO, told the audience at Amazon’s re:MARS event here Tuesday night that Zoox “recently completed a critical checkpoint that we haven’t talked about publicly yet.”

Specifically, he said, the Zoox vehicle operated “with no one inside, no chase vehicle, and no emergency stop, all on open, private roads with non-Zoox agents, including pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trucks.”… 


Zoox expanded its testing to Seattle last year, using specially equipped L3 Toyota Highlanders with a safety driver on board. Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox was part of a larger push by the company into robotics, automation and electric vehicles.” Read more Hmmmm… That is a good check point, … maybe.  A better one would be to report a description of each of the justifiable disengagements that have occurred in their Toyotas that Zoox has been testing in Seattle.   If the justifiable disengagement rate is getting to be really small, then that is real progress!  


To be clear:

  • Testing without an attendant impresses no one (who matters) and the incremental cost of having an attendant is minuscule; therefore it should NEVER be done on public or private roads; with or without and police escort; …
  • The click-bait isn’t worth anywhere near the financial/social risk. 
  • Zoox… no need to ever do that stunt again.
  • The benefits of removing a driver only begin to accrue once one begins revenue service.  Being able to offer a high-quality mobility service at a substantially cheaper price and remain profitable is THE dominant, and only substantive reason, for removing a driver/attendant. 
  • Alain

      Ford CEO Jim Farley Says ADAS Revenue Stream Will Be Massive

    June 10, B. Foote, “Ford has big plans for connected vehicle services, a part of its business that it expects will net the company $20 billion in annual revenue by 2030, with another $45 billion coming from the new Ford Pro commercial business by 2025. Much of that revenue will come directly from Ford Pro services and ADAS – otherwise known as advanced driver-assist technologies – such as BlueCruise and ActiveGlide, which will be available for additional hardware and software costs plus a subscription. While speaking at the recent 2022 Alliance Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference, Ford CEO Jim Farley reiterated that he believes these services will be a massive source of revenue for the automaker moving forward….” Read more Hmmmm… From the beginning, ADAS, what I termed as the Self-driving car segment of SmartDrivingCars (Safe Driving was automation Safety focused automation (Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) that actually works in the background while you continue to do all of the driving) and Driverless focused on giving anyone a safe ride, no human driving allowed (Like taking a ride in a bus or airplane or … Driving is done by someone/something else.  Not you.), was, and remains. all about “Comfort & Convenience” of the driver.  I’ve always called it “the Chrome & Fins” of the vehicle automation age.  It sells cars just like “Chrome & Fins” sold cars in the 50s and 60s. 

    No OEM has even begun preaching “the Ultimate Riding Machine”.   They all preach and continue o sell “the Ultimate Driving Machine”.Alain

      Cruise is now charging for rides in its driverless vehicles in San Francisco

    A. Hawkins, June 23, Cruise, the autonomous vehicle company backed by General Motors, is now officially a commercial service. The company began charging for rides in its self-driving taxis in San Francisco this week, marking an important milestone for the company’s plans to expand its service.

    The company said that fared driverless rides are currently taking place with “most riders” in the Northwest section of San Francisco. Cruise will continue “expanding our paid service in alignment with the smoothest customer experience possible,” a spokesperson said.

    Cruise currently offers a range of services, from daytime rides in its autonomous vehicles with safety drivers behind the wheel to nighttime trips in its fully driverless cars. (The company is currently prohibited from offering rides in its driverless vehicles during daytime hours.) Cruise has been testing free driverless rides for the public in San Francisco since February.”…” Read more Hmmmm… A most important step!!  Without revenue from customers in return for services delivered none if this makes any sense and has no hope of capturing any return-on-investment.   Alain

      Cars by subscription? #Finn readies U.S. expansion: CEO Max Meier

    F. Fishkin, June 23, “Cars by subscription? Finn readies U.S. expansion. Founder and CEO Max-Josef Meier chats with Techstination’s Fred Fishkin about the benefits to consumers and overcoming challenges.”  Read more Hmmmm…  Interesting.  Alain

      Study Finds That Majority Of Drivers Distrust Hands-Free Driving Systems

    S. Bell, June 24, “Automakers are jumping into the field of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) with both feet, trying to stuff as many features into their new cars as they can. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though, wanted to find out what consumers actually want.

    The survey shows that the majority of consumers are pretty conservative when it comes to ADAS systems. After surveying 1,000 drivers on three partially automated driving systems (lane centering, automated lane changing, and driver monitoring), the IIHS found that consumers prefer systems where they are more in control that have more safeguards….”  Read more Hmmmm…  Not surprising..  I also suspect that “Feet-free” is more trusted than “Hands-free”.  Alain


    Calendar of Upcoming Events


    Garden Grove, CA

    July 18-21, 2022