SmartDrivingCars ZoomCast 353 / PodCast 353 Danny Shapiro, VP Automotive, nVIDIA, CES 2024 and more
F. Fishkin, Jan. 13, “NVIDIA VP for Automotive Danny Shapiro joins Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and Viodi’s Ken Pyle for an interview from CES 2024. With AI, Kia, LG and more making headlines at CES, Alain and Fred look at the innovations, plus Hertz, a letter to the editor of the NY Times from Alain and more. Tune in and subscribe.
0:40 Interview with NVIDIA’s Danny Shapiro
11:00 Alain’s letter to the editor of the NY Times
15:00 A look at the Las Vegas Loop
19:35 Kia PBV at CES
20:10 Hertz unloading many electric vehicles
23:55 Skwheel One electric skis at CES
25:40 AI everywhere at CES with Rabbit and more
26:20 Smart glasses and Apple Vision Pro
27:50 LG shows transparent OLED screen
31:00 The Real Case for Driverless Mobility arriving this month
33:00 More thoughts on CES
Las Vegas Loop
K. Pyle, Jan. 9, “The Las Vegas Loop is an all-electric, zero-emissions, high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported to their destination with no intermediate stops. Also known as “Teslas in Tunnels!” CES is famous for highlighting the outlandish, the uncompromising, and the immobile in the auto industry, but props to Kia for thinking more practically with its latest concept.
The South Korean automaker unveiled the PBV, or Platform Beyond Vehicle, which utilizes a flexible chassis to support a variety of vehicle types designed for businesses and individuals. How flexible? Kia is thinking of at least nine different vehicle variations built on the same platform….” Read More Hmmmm…. Elizabeth and I rode it this year @ CES. Its stations are emblematic of MOVE-style kiosks, and if it became Driverless, it would become a modern Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system. In fact it could readily become a “Dual Mode” version of PRT in that it could readily extend Operational Design Domain using surface streets as it does now using human drivers in getting vehicles to & from its surface depot. Alain
A Not So Boring Ride with Dr. Kornhauser and Dr. Monroe – #ces2024
K. Pyle, Jan. 13, “A joy ride is one way to describe this video that documents Dr. Kornhauser’s first adventure through the Boring Company’s Las Vegas tunnel. This brief sojourn under the massive Las Vegas Convention Center at CES2024 provides a glimpse of things to come, as this is the start of a larger network, as outlined in this previous Viodi article and video..” Read More Hmmmm…. You can tell how excited I was. J Alain
Kia’s ‘Platform Beyond Vehicles’ is a family of modular electric minivans for businesses
Andrew Hawkins, Jan. 8, “CES is famous for highlighting the outlandish, the uncompromising, and the immobile in the auto industry, but props to Kia for thinking more practically with its latest concept.
The South Korean automaker unveiled the PBV, or Platform Beyond Vehicle, which utilizes a flexible chassis to support a variety of vehicle types designed for businesses and individuals. How flexible? Kia is thinking of at least nine different vehicle variations built on the same platform….” Read More Hmmmm…. Interesting for autonomousTaxis. If Tesla offered something similar with FSD, life ahead would be really interesting. Alain
The Grandma of Robotaxis Is Winning
J. Karl, Jan. 9, “…The Alphabet-owned robotaxi company recently announced that it plans to unleash its cars onto the Phoenix freeway soon. The news is a game changer for Waymo employees, some of whom use the cars to get to work. Until now, riders could only take surface streets to get to their destination.…
In a few years, who knows what other cities will allow Waymo to compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft. Will people prefer the comfortable silence of a driverless car over the awkward chitchat you endure with other rideshare businesses? …
“the newly uncovered video showed the Cruise car dragged the woman 20 feet at 7 miles an hour before coming to a stop — on top of her.” In contrast, Waymo’s robocars have traveled 7.1 million miles and have caused less than a handful of minor injuries.” Read More Hmmmm…. What a simply horrendous piece. Touting Waymo for spending who knows how many billions to create a competitor to an existing mobility service (Uber/Lyft/taxis) for which its most salient feature is “comfortable silence”? Really?! Every Lyft/Uber driver I’ve interacted with has been politely taciturn or interestingly engaging. Slamming thousands of working people as awkward chit-chatters seems unfair, at best. More importantly, if that’s the best advantage Waymo has to offer, no chit-chat, it has zero chance of being successful in the marketplace. I also wonder why the writer (I won’t say reporter) takes the lazy route in failing to mention that the woman who was struck was flung in front of the Cruise vehicle by a hit-and-run human driver, and that it is only by the grace of god that it wasn’t a Waymo vehicle at that location at that time? Not much, if any, of the substance of what happened would have changed.
Hot take? This “opinion piece” is purposely misrepresenting what happened in the incident by only reporting about the dragging. Is everything else in Bloomberg so misrepresenting of its real context? Shame on you, Bloomberg! Alain
[Elizabeth also wants me to protest the author’s perpetuation of the sexist and ageist description of cautious driving as “Grandma.” Are you for real? Our grandmothers were bold, brave, and incredible role models. Dissing careful driving as “grandmotherly” is a low blow on so many levels.]
Hertz is selling 20,000 EVs so it can buy more gas guzzlers
Andrew Hawkins, Jan 11, “Hertz went from scaling back its electric vehicle ambitions to selling off its actual EVs in the span of three months. The rental car agency said in a regulatory filing today that it will sell 20,000 vehicles, or roughly one-third of its global EV fleet, and use that money to buy gas guzzlers.
The decision was made after Hertz reported higher depreciation and damage than expected to its EVs, amounting to $245 million in costs for the company. Also, Hertz apparently couldn’t find enough customers for the EVs in its fleet, so selling a huge chunk of them will “better balance supply against expected demand of EVs,” the company said. The company had previously set a target for 25 percent of its fleet to be electric by the end of 2024.
All of which is to say: if you’re in the market for a used EV, now would be a really good time to pop over to Hertz’s sales page and start browsing. Tesla Model 3s can be had for as little as $20,000, used Chevy Bolts are going for $21,000, and there’s one BMW i3 that lists for a little less than $17,000. I’m not seeing any Polestar 2s or Ford Mustang Mach-Es, but I’m guessing they’ll start showing up there soon….
Hertz’s problem is a bit unique. Of the 100,000 Teslas acquired by Hertz, half were to be allocated to Uber drivers as part of a deal with the ridehail company. And while drivers said they loved the Teslas, they also tend to drive their vehicles into the ground. This higher rate of utilization can lead to a lot of damage — certainly more than Hertz was anticipating.” Read More Hmmmm…. Lol! They assumed EVs would not wear out, and insurance upsells weren’t as ridiculously profitable as they are for ICEs. I see what is going on here. J Alain
Skwheel One electric skis set out to turn urban streets into alpine slopes
B. Coxworth, Jan 9, “People looking for an ebike alternative can already choose between electric scooters, skateboards and roller skates. With the debut of the Skwheel One system, they now have another option – electric skis.
Designed by Parisian startup Skwheel (pronounced “Skywheel”), the Skwheel One package consists of two motorized “skis” along with a wireless handheld remote.
Each ski has one wheel at the front and one at the back, along with a carbon composite deck, front and rear running lights, a quick-swappable lithium-ion battery and a snowboard-style binding. Each wheel in turn contains a 600-watt hub motor, giving both skis a combined power of 2,400 watts.
The wheels are clad in pneumatic all-terrain tires, allowing the skis to be used both on- and off-road. What’s more, the front wheels pivot relative to the deck, reportedly mimicking the carving sensation of downhill skiing. Riders accelerate, brake and monitor battery life via the remote….” Read More Hmmmm…. See video. Maybe. Certainly for certain warehouse personnel and possibly for some mail carriers and security personnel. Maybe. Alain
Rabbit sells out two batches of 10,000 R1 pocket AI companions over two days SpaceX Starship Update 2024
E. Roth, Jan 11, “The R1, the pocket-sized AI gadget from Rabbit that’s supposed to use your apps for you, has already sold out of its first batch — and its second batch, too….
Rabbit introduced the R1 during CES on Tuesday, which comes with a small 2.88-inch touchscreen that runs on the company’s own Rabbit OS. It uses a “Large Action Model” that works as a “sort of universal controller for apps,” according to my colleague David Pierce, who got to try out the device during the showcase. This allows it to do things like play music, buy groceries, and send messages through a single interface without having to use your phone. It also lets you train the device how to interact with a certain app.” Read More Hmmmm…. Interesting, I certainly need something to manage my stuff, but is that another piece of hardware or a master app on my phone? And is this “AI”? Alain
SpaceX Starship Update 2024
E. Roth, Jan 13, “Elon Musk held a private SpaceX company all hands meeting at Starbase, TX where he gave and update on Dragon, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Starship! Read More Hmmmm…. Enormous accomplishments in 2023. Alain
Apple won the CES headset game without showing up
J. Peters, Roth, Jan 12, “Apple isn’t at CES, but it had a huge presence anyway. On Monday, just before a string of CES keynotes were set to kick off, the company announced that its Vision Pro headset would be launching on February 2nd. Apple had already promised that the headset would launch early this year. So the stage was set for its rivals to compete by making CES 2024 a showcase of new ideas about virtual and augmented reality.
Ultimately, that didn’t pan out. Lots of companies showed up with AR and VR tech. A lot of the headsets offered similar functionality to the Vision Pro, like an AR / VR monitor for your computer or a substitute TV. But none were as impressive a package as Apple’s headset, nor were most arriving nearly as soon.
That’s not to say what was shown at CES wasn’t interesting: …” Read More Hmmmm…. Headsets may make a dent in needing to travel? Folks have been working on that future for almost 60 years: Sword of Damocles (1966) – First augmented reality head-mounted display … Five or so years longer than I’ve been working on automated mobility for cities J without much more success L Alain
Nvidia’s RTX 4080 Super arrives on January 31st at a more reasonable $999
T. Warren, Jan. 8, “Nvidia is introducing three RTX 40-series Super cards this month that offer more performance at price points that are similar or better than existing cards. Pricing of the RTX 40-series has been a sticking point for gamers, particularly for the RTX 4080. Nvidia is replacing this GPU with the RTX 4080 Super and cutting the price to $999 when it launches on January 31st.
The $200 price cut will put a lot of pressure on AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XT ($899) and XTX ($999) cards. Before the RTX 4080 Super launches, there’s also the RTX 4070 Super on January 17th priced at $599 and the RTX 4070 Ti Super, with some interesting changes, on January 24th at $799. Nvidia is also phasing out the RTX 4070 Ti but keeping the RTX 4070 around at a lower $549 price point….” Read More Hmmmm…. What a big week for nVIDIA. Up 10% over previous high. See my interview with Danny Shapiro’87, VP of nVIDIA Automotive. Also see as background. Alain
I’ve looked through LG’s new transparent OLED TV and seen something special
C. Welch, Jan. 8, “Transparent display prototypes have had a presence on the CES show floor for many years. They’re a guaranteed way to wow people and showcase the unique capabilities of an OLED panel. But LG has seemingly decided that the time has come to ship a real, bona fide transparent TV that people will actually be able to buy this year. At some undisclosed date. For what’s certain to be an exorbitant amount of money.
The company has announced the OLED Signature T (you can guess what the T stands for) here at CES 2024. The product that LG demoed for press in Las Vegas isn’t exactly “final.” The 77-inch display won’t be changing at all, but the company hasn’t decided whether it’ll come bundled with all the side furniture you see in these photos or if it’ll sell those items separately.
….” Read More Hmmmm…. Watch the video. Whatever. Alain
Cybertruck Non-Employee Impressions, Tesla Cuts China Prices, Point-of-Sale Credit
R. Mauer, Jan. 12, “0:00 TSLA 0:26 PPI 1:42 Cybertruck first impressions 5:12 Point-of-sale credit 6:39 China price cuts 8:39 Piper Sandler note 9:15 Voice assist update 10:29 Covered vehicles at Texas 11:27 FSD Beta v12.1.1 11:55 Rivian impact report 12:31 SpaceX company update 13:25 Calendar” Read More Hmmmm…. Interesting, especially the FSD v12.1 rollout. Alain
May 29 (evening) -> May 31, 2024
Save The Date!!