Saturday August 13, 2022

29th edition of the 10th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter

  Tesla, GM Score Biggest Share of $1.2 Billion EV Order From Startup Autonomy

D. Hall, Aug. 9, “Tesla, GM, Volkswagen and Ford are among the automakers set to get big orders from Autonomy, a startup offering drivers the option of subscribing to an electric vehicle instead of buying one outright.

Autonomy plans to announce Tuesday that it’s ordering nearly 23,000 EVs from 17 different automakers for a total outlay of $1.2 billion. With chip shortages limiting production capacity at most automakers, it’s unclear how soon such a fleet could be amassed. The order represents 1.2% of the projected US electric vehicle production through the end of next year… .” Read more Hmmmm… While this is a very interesting play for an individual to acquire a subscription to have a “Drive-it-Yourself” (DiY) electric car that gives the individual anywhere & anytime mobility.  The subscription is acquired using a simple anywhere & anytime mobile phone app (the “autonomy” of the concept) that bundles, insurance, maintenance, taxes, the vehicle,… Essentially everything except the electricity.  Just DiY it and get from where you are to where you want to go when you want to “Just do It” (JdI).  All at an attractive monthly subscription charge when you consider all that is bundled.  This is DiY/MaaSS (Mobility as a SubscriptionService) for those that can DiY.

See the Bloomberg Video and well as SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 279 / PodCast 279 w/Scott Painter, CEO Autonomy

I can readily envision the extension of Autonomy‘s DiY/MaaSS to MOVES/MaaS where “MOVESMobility, Inc.” places a $n.m Billion RoboTaxi order with Tesla, (and/or GM, Toyota, VW, Benteler, Zoox, Baidu, Alibaba, AutoX, …) to deploy safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable, high-quality mobility for all 24/7/350+ throughout Trenton, Perth Amboy, Patterson, Newark, Camden, Atlantic City, Edison, New Brunswick, Scranton, Greenville, Newburg, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, .. and their environs’ Operational Design Domains (ODD).  😁  Alain


SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 279 / PodCast 279 w/Scott Painter, CEO Autonomy

F. Fishkin, Aug . 11, “After announcing it will spend 1.2 billion dollars on EVs and rapidly expand its vehicle subscription service, what does the future hold for Autonomy. Serial entrepreneur & CEO Scott Painter joins us for episode 279 of Smart Driving Cars.  Plus Tesla, Argo AI and more …”

Timeining Index:

Technical support provided by:

   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 initiative

  Ralph Nader’55 urges regulators to recall Tesla’s ‘manslaughtering’ Full Self-Driving vehicles

A. Hawkins, Aug. 10, “Ralph Nader, a former presidential candidate and nationally recognized consumer protection advocate, called on federal regulators to recall Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) driver-assist feature, calling its deployment “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades.”

Nader, who first came to prominence with the 1965 publication of the bestselling book Unsafe at Any Speed, a highly influential critique of the American auto industry, said that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) must use its recall authority to order that Tesla’s FSD technology be removed from every vehicle….”  Read more Hmmmm…  Agreed.  The names must be changed.  Elon could continue calling it FSD where F stands for Feeble or Frail.  I’d love to host a “crowd sourced” naming contest for autoPilot and FSD that clearly conveys what they do well and don’t do well or at all.  Winner gets a 5th Summit fleece.  (They are really nice.) 

See also ZoomCast 289 @t=2485 Tesla, Ralph Nader  Alain

  Tesla self-driving smear campaign releases ‘test’ that fails to realize FSD never engaged

F. Lambert, Aug. 10, “A Tesla Full Self-Driving smear campaign started by a California billionaire running for Senate has a new attack ad based on a FSD Beta “test,” where they failed to realize they never engaged FSD Beta during the test.

Earlier this year, we reported on Dan O’Dowd, a self-described billionaire and founder of Green Hills Software, a privately owned company that makes operating systems and programming tools….


Yesterday, the campaign, called The Dawn Project, released this ad titled “The Dangers of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Software.


As the video and its description explain, O’Dowd’s team claims that this is a test of Tesla’s “latest version of Full Self-Driving Beta software (10.12.2),” where the system crashes into a child-size mannequin:…

However, there’s a real problem with the test: They never activated Tesla’s FSD Beta in the test. …”  Read more Hmmmm… Total slime! 

  As self-driving car testing drives forward in Pa., experts and lawmakers turn their eyes to safety regulations 

N. Mateer, Aug. 11, ” … And as the Pennsylvania Senate prepares to consider legislation that could make it possible to conduct self-driving testing without a person behind the wheel, the issue is more important than ever….”  Read more Hmmmm…  No!!! please don’t explicitlypermit “self-driving (or any kind of) testing” without a person behind the wheel (or able to intervene immediately without latency and with complete perception of the driving situation) on any public roadway in normal operation.   


Zero net value is gained by testing without a alert and capable driver/attendant colsely overseeing the evolving process and fully capable to intervene immediately to avert a disaster. (One might be “penny wise” by foregoing some labor cost, but one would be “pound foolish” by incurring substatial unnecessary additional risk/liability exposure.)  Safety throughout an ODD is fully demonstrated by operating without human intervention in the driving task throughout an ODD without crashing, period!  Having or not having someone “behind the wheel” is totally irrelevant.  The risk is NOT worth it!  Just be honest about your testing throughout the ODD and the achievement of minimal disengagements.


Removal of the safety driver/attendant should only occur to make high-quality mobility affordable.  See also ZoomCast 289 @t=2657 Pittsburgh Post Gazette Alain

  Argo AI announces council to oversee safety standards of its self-driving cars

N. Mateer, Aug. 3, “Pittsburgh-based self-driving car developer Argo AI has announced the formation of a council that will oversee its autonomous vehicle safety.

The Argo Safety Advisory Council is made up of external experts who will advise the company on safety practices and building public trust in self-driving vehicles….”  Read more Hmmmm…  I thought that was what PAVE focused on.   Glad to see ARGO is all in on Safety.  See also ZoomCast 289 @! t=2892 Argo AI Alain

  U.S. House lawmakers look to jump-start self-driving legislative push

D. Shepardson, Aug. 8, “Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives are launching a bipartisan effort to help revive legislative efforts to boost self-driving vehicles.

Representatives Robert Latta, a Republican, and Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, told Reuters in a joint interview they are unveiling the bipartisan Congressional Autonomous Vehicle Caucus to help educate fellow lawmakers on the importance of self-driving vehicles as they work to revive legislation.

“We’re working hard to find that common ground to get something that we can pass,” Dingell said, adding the United States must update motor vehicle safety standards written decades ago assuming human drivers are in control and “cannot afford to have a patchwork of laws either across 50 states.”…” Read mo! re Hmmmm…  Maybe.  But they need to realize that the objective is the delivery of high-quality mobility that is equitable, affordable, sustainable, and safe.  The value is in the substantially improved mobility that automation can readily deliver (the “cake”) , rather than any improvement in safety (the “icing”). See also ZoomCast 289 @t=2967 Congressional push for AV legislation Alain

  Tesla Model 3 and Y beco! me best-selling vehicles in California, pushing EVs to new record 

F. Lambert, Aug. 9, “Tesla Model 3 and Model Y have become the second-best and best-selling vehicles in California, helping electric vehicle sales reach a new record in the state.

California has long been a leader in the US when it comes to EV adoption.

There are many reasons for that: state incentive, a general interest in new technology in the state, but also the fact that until recently, it was home to Tesla, the largest EV company in the world. Tesla holds massive market shares in the US electric vehicle market, which California is a big part of.

This week, the California New Car Dealer Association (CNCDA) released their Q2 2022 numbers that are giving us some insights into Tesla’s sales in the state.

CNCDA confirmed that Tesla Model Y and Model 3 are the two best-selling vehicles in the state for the first half of 2022:….” Read more  Hmmmm… Impressive.  Alain

  How the Zoox robotaxi predicts everything, everywhere, all at once

S. O’Neal, Aug. 9, “… The AI stack at the center of the Zoox driving system broadly consists of three processes, which occur in order: perception, prediction, and planning. These equate to seeing the world and how everything around the vehicle is currently moving, predicting how everything will move next, and deciding how to move from A to B given those predictions…” Read more Hmmmm… Yup.  That’s what needs to be done to delver MOVES-style mobility for all.   Alain

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Previous SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast/PodCasts

These editions are sponsored by the SmartETFs Smart Transportation and Technology ETF, symbol MOTO. For more information head to provided technical support

SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 278 / PodCast 278 Tesla 2022 shareholder’s meeting

F. Fishkin, Aug . 7, “Elon Musk talked about his vision for Tesla robo-taxis and more during his Q&A following the 2022 shareholders’ meeting.   Weighing in on that and more is Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser on episode 278 of Smart Driving Cars with co-host Fred Fishkin.  Plus TuSimple, GM Cruise, Lucid, Argo and more.”

Timeining Index:

SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 277/ PodCast 277 w/Michael Sena, Editor of The Dispatcher

F. Fishkin, July 30, “A look at cities & mobility, turmoil at VW, the cash problem at Cruise & more. “The Dispatcher” publisher Michael Sena joins Alain Kornhauser & Fred Fishkin for another spirited discussion on episode 277 of Smart Driving Cars.”

SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast Episode 276/ PodCast 276 w/R. Mudge, President, Compass Transportation

F. Fishkin, July 25, “Following the TRB gathering in California, what was accomplished?  Compass Transportation & Technology President Dick Mudge joins us for a look.   Plus the latest on Tesla, Cruise, Baidu, Zoox & more.   Smart Driving Cars episode 276 with Alain Kornhauser & co-host Fred Fishkin.”


Link to 275 previous SDC PodCasts & ZoomCasts