Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023

40th edition of the 11th year of SmartDrivingCars eLetter 


  SPIA Reacts: Crisis in the Middle East

Staff,  Oct. 7, “…” Read  more  Hmmmm…. Another most informative panel.  If you haven’t, also watch: The Outbreak of War In Israel- A Geopolitical Update,  was given earlier this week by former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt & Israel, Daniel C. Kurtzer.



A book cover with a map of a city  Description automatically generated SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 339 PodCast 339 driverless communication, Gates invests, Tesla battery production

F. Fishkin,  Oct. 15, “Driverless car communication with pedestrians? On episode 339 of Smart Driving Cars, Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin chat about a report in The Verge on how Waymo is doing it. Plus Bill Gates invests in Glydways, Tesla battery production breakthrough, Model Y ridesharing in Tampa & more. Tune in and subscribe!

0:00 open

0:34 Princeton Scholars discussion on Israel and Gaza link in newsletter

1:56 The Verge report on How Will Driverless Cars Talk to Pedestrians-Waymo Has a Few Ideas.

4:42 Glydways gets investment from Bill Gates for electric robotaxis using dedicated lanes

13:09 Tesla officially releases API documentation for third party apps

15:15 Tesla Model Y vehicles being used by DASH in Tampa for affordable ridesharing service

19:55 Tesla breakthrough in battery cell production at Gigafactory Texas

26:27 Upcoming Podcar City Conference in San Jose

27:56 Publication coming soon for new book: The Real Case for Driverless Mobility by Alain Kornhauser and Michael Sena…and planning underway for 2024 Princeton Smart Driving Cars Summit



  How will driverless cars ‘talk’ to pedestrians? Waymo has a few ideas. 

Andrew Hawkins, Oct. 10, “ For years, developers have been working on ways for driverless cars to communicate intent to other road users, either through audio recordings or visual cues. Today, Waymo says it wants to be one of the first companies to put some of these methods into practice.

The Alphabet-owned company’s driverless Jaguar I-Pace vehicles will use their roof domes, which are wrapped in LED displays, to communicate messages to other road users. For now, the company is going with just two messages: for pedestrians in front of the vehicle, shifting grey and white rectangles meant to communicate that the vehicle is yielding to them, and for drivers behind the vehicle, a yellow pedestrian symbol to let them know there’s a pedestrian crossing.

The symbols join other visual and audio cues that Waymo employs to “talk” to other road users. The company has used its roof dome to display the initials of the customer who is hailing the ride and to signal to cyclists that a passenger intends to open the door. Waymo also uses external audio alerts to communicate with emergency responders or to explain what the vehicle is going to do next, like rerouting..….”   Read  more Hmmmm… Very interesting and constructive. Alain


 Revolutionizing Urban Mobility

Staff, Oct 12, “ A revolution in Personal Rapid Transit that provides ride hailing on demand.

Glydways is a new on demand, anytime, high capacity mobility system. It uses autonomous, personal Glydcars moving riders safely in dedicated lanes. It’s access for everyone, everywhere that costs a lot less – and it is ready now.….´ Read  more   Hmmmm… Great, but it clearly states that it requires “… dedicated lanes …”. PRT has been a great mobility concept for more than 50 years achieving  an unblemished safety record (Spectacular proof-of-concept J ); however, its dependence on “dedicated lanes” has enabled only three (3) systems to actually give rides to customers (Morgantown, Masdar & Heathrow).  Initial deployments with zero follow-on scaling (Abysmal proof-of-market L).  See Also ” Bill Gates has reportedly invested in PRT startup Glydways“,  Alain


Tesla releases official API documentation to support third-party apps

F. Lambert, Oct 12, “Tesla has officially released its API documentation to support third-party apps – after years of operating in a gray zone with an unofficial API.

For now, it is geared toward fleet management, but developers are hoping it is a first step toward creating a healthy app ecosystem….´ Read  more   Hmmmm… Very interesting. Alain


  Volkswagen EV Orders Below Target, Cybertruck Details, Teslapens

R. Mauer, Oct. 13, “ ➤ VW comments on EV orders, targets ➤ Kia EV day ➤ 4680 battery storage video ➤ Cybertruck measurement ➤ Tesla Semi event details ➤ New referral program prize ➤ Update on Tesla fire story ➤ CATL Shanghai factory ➤ New Tesla merchandise ➤ Falcon Heavy launch ➤ Calendar Read  more  Hmmmm…. Somewhat interesting;. 😁 Alain


Sorry, Elon! The Satellites of the Future Are Heading to Space Right Now

Christopher Sims, Oct 13, “.Elon Musk’s Starlink may soon face new competition from satellite companies offering internet service, available from anywhere on Earth where you can see the sky…

And last week Amazon launched the first two satellites of what the company has said will ultimately be thousands in a network that will go head-to-head with Musk’s offering….”  Read  more   Hmmmm… What??? Amazon launches “first two” last week and that makes them a potential competitor?  To launch 2 satellites  seems like  a really low bar to become a “potential competitor”.  Plus at what cost per satellite as compared the price “Elon” is paying per satellite in orbi?.  Plus Amazon didn’t use its own launch vehicle (Blue Origin. Which has yet to reach orbit, let alone reach orbit using a reuseable booster).  What??? C’mon Chris where’d that headline come from? C’mon WSJ Alain


  Now you can zip through neighborhoods of Downtown Tampa in Tesla Model Y SUVs.

Staff, Oct. 9, “The residents of Downtown Tampa, FL are now able to avail an affordable ridesharing option to move from one neighborhood to the other. This ridesharing service is named DASH (Downtown Area Shared Hubs).

To make DASH more appealing, exciting, and sustainable, the Tampa Downtown Partnership uses a fleet of 6 Tesla Model Y electric SUVs for the ride service.

A DASH ride can be availed at $2 per person and a pool of minimum of 2 persons is required for a ride. Maximum 4 persons (excluding the driver) are allowed to share a single Tesla Model Y ride using the DASH service. The rides can be booked using the DASH Tampa smartphone app for Apple iPhone and Android mobile devices (FAQs PDF below)….” Read  more   Hmmmm…  I love the service concept of simply giving affordable shared rides between fixed locations. Congratulations on getting the mobility concept started.  I’m looking to do it in larger Operational Design Domains with Driverless Cars.  Alain


  Tesla announces 4680 battery cell production breakthrough

F. Lambert, Oct 11, “Today, Tesla has confirmed a significant breakthrough in 4680 battery cell production at Gigafactory Texas as it produced its 20 millionth battery cell at the factory.…

It now gives us some idea of the production rate since Tesla announced the production of the 10 millionth 4680 cell at Giga Texas in June.

Therefore, we know that Tesla produced 10 million 4680 cells in the last 16 weeks.

That’s an average of 625,000 cells per week, but it is fair to assume that production is now well above this average. Let’s say 800,000 cells per week, just to play it safe.

Tesla’s 4680 cell is believed to have a capacity of about 26 Ah, though it might have improved recently – there’s no way to know.

This means that Tesla’s 4680 cells are roughly 100 Wh and that Tesla is producing about 80 MWh of 4680 battery cells per week at Gigafactory Texas. At a battery pack capacity of 65 kWh, that would be enough to produce over 1,200 vehicles per week.

We can slash that number in half for producing Cybertrucks with a battery pack of about 130 kWh, which is only an estimate of the potential battery pack capacity for the electric pickup truck…. ´ Read  more   Hmmmm… Very impressive! Alain


San Jose, CA
Nov. 30 -> Dec. 1, 2023



6th  SmartDrivingCar


May 29 (evening) -> May 31, 2024

Princeton, NJ