3rd edition of the 6th year of SmartDrivingCars

Monday, January 29, 2018

Didi Chuxing looks beyond ride-hailing to help Chinese cities tackle transport challenge

M. Jing, Jan 25, “On Thursday the company launched an integrated solution for smart city traffic management by harnessing data generated by its platform that compiles roughly 25 million rides per day….More than 20 cities in China have already partnered with Didi to use the company’s transport solutions in their smart city development strategies. In Jinan, Shandong province, 344 sets of smart traffic signals – which change lights based on real-time traffic conditions – have been installed…” Read more  Hmmmm… For this to actually work, Didi must be making available not only the real-time location of each of their “drivers” but also their destination (which, of course, they know).  They know this continuously but more importantly they know it even before the rider’s ride even starts.  They know it as soon as a driver is dispatched  to a pickup.  This is enormously valuable information if you’re trying to anticipate congestion ahead and have any hope of doing anything to alleviate it.  You need a lot it and they have a chance at serving enough trips to actually make a difference. Very interesting!  Alain 

map:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 20

Come along for the ride! Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 20 with the faculty chair of autonomous vehicle engineering at Princeton University Alain Kornhauser and technology journalist Fred Fishkin. In this episode: Didi’s plans for data in China, autonomous crashes for GM and Tesla, Lighter colored vehicles to help Lidar? And Apple growing its self driving test fleet.

Real information every week.  Lively discussions with the people who are shaping the future of SmartDrivingCars.   Want to become a sustaining sponsor and help us grow the SmartDrivingCars newsletter and podcast? Contact Alain Kornhauser at!  Alain

Growth and Impacts of New Mobility Services

B. Schaller, Jan 2018, “We do know that AVs will be deployed in ride-service fleets where autonomous vehicles are mixed with human-driven vehicles.  These fleets will be deployed first in large cities where they can be used intensively and justify the high initial cost of the vehicles.

So it’s worth looking at experience with TNC growth and usage to peer ahead to what issues are arising now, and likely to intensify with the introduction of AVs….” Read more Hmmmm… Must look at slides and notes.  Likely the best paper at the 2018 TRB.  Comments from Dick Mudge: At TRB I was on a panel with Bruce Schaller, former deputy commissioner for NYC DOT.   His presentation (above) on transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft, etc.) contains some new data.  Slide six shows that TNCs (including taxis) will carry more passengers than transit buses by the Spring of 2018.  Slide 7 shows that almost two-thirds of urban core residents use TNCs – and one in six in rural areas.  Slide 19 shows that in NYC Uber pool and Lyft line car pool services are most heavily used in lower income areas – no big surprise.  Not in the presentation, but Bruce mentioned that Uber drivers make as much money in the outer boroughs of NYC than in Manhattan, trading off less time between rides for lower fares

Bruce’s message has changed from last year.  He admits that TNCs are succeeding because they provide better service than public transit.  He still would like to see more people in transit and one of his policy proposals is to impose a fee on all users of TNCs and then use these funds to support transit.  Governor Cuomo says he supports this idea.  Seems to me to be unfortunate… Something good shows up that is better than “transit” so let’s tax it to make it worse than ‘transit”.  Wouldn’t a better way be for “transit” to learn and embrace this improvement and have more people use transit because it is as good and even better than TNCs.  Why isn’t “transit” rising from the bottom rather than trying to push alternatives below it?

One of the unfortunate elements of this new form of airport access is that it is starting to be taxed in an effort to recoup the revenue lost from parking fees and rental car companies.  I guess that airports will also start charging family members and friends that drop off/pick up travelers at airports.  That certainly would throw cold water on the “Kiss& Ride” concept. It was so nice when they finally stripped out some surface waiting areas where one could conveniently wait to get a call that the bags had finally arrived on the carousel. 

Cry me a river airports.  I just can’t seem to feel sorry for them.  Just because your customers have found a better way to get to and from airport than being gouged by rental car companies or be charged atrocious parking rates unless you park “miles”  away and wait yet another “hour” for a shuttle, please don’t dampen a ray of sunshine.

It is a good thing that there is no alternative for trips greater than 300 miles, else no one would use what is arguably the worst “Transit System” in the world:
You have to schlep 10s of miles to access the terminals (airports have a 1st/last “10s of miles” access problem), where the flight frequency makes NJ Transit’s 606 bus look like on-demand service (unless you are flying between Newark and LAX, then the frequency is comparable).  Should you miss your flight, not only will the wait be forever for the next one, the airlines will charge you $200 to edit their computer files to put you on the next one  (must be the most profitable electronic transaction known to man).  Being a 99%er and risk averse, you get there at least 2 hours early, stand in line, take off your shoes, only to be gouged at the pretentious eateries and store fronts should that process be faster than expected.   And then you get crammed in a tube that makes you yearn for a hyper-loop.  The final insult is that invariably you have to “Change in Charlotte” … Only those that have absolutely no alternative, would submit themselves to such a dehumanizing experience.  (Anyone know of a good data source on US car trips > 200 miles??)
I know… our forefathers traveled from Newark to LA in covered wagons… I shouldn’t be complaining, but… just because we’ve discovered a much better way to get to and from airports so that I won’t have to pay Newark’s parking charge ever again and will never use my Gold Membership at Hertz ever again, please don’t find ways to sour the little happiness that I’ve gotten from this new service that alleviates this 1st/last 10s of miles access problem.  If you don’t screw it up, I may actually fly out of Newark instead of PHL (only went there because the parking was much cheaper and closer) and might consider flying to “Pittsburgh” instead of the 5 hour drive on the PA Turnpike.
But ATNs are only the precursors of aTaxis (autonomusTaxis).  Then many of us won’t own cars anymore, or if we do, we certainly won’t drive them to airports, just to leave them there.  Conventional Hertzes will have been Kodaked/Blockbusted, airports will have imploded their parking garages and ???  ATNs are just a glimpse into the airport’s future.

And there is the continuing harshness of United Airlines: She Boarded a Plane to See Her Dying Mother. Then Her Ticket Was Canceled Alain  

GM sued by motorcyclist in first lawsuit to involve autonomous vehicle

S. GIbbs, Jan 24, “General Motors is facing one of the first lawsuits to involve an autonomous vehicle, after a collision between its Cruise self-driving car and a motorbike in California….The accident happened on 7 December in heavy traffic in the Hayes Valley district of San Francisco, with the GM vehicle reportedly travelling at 12mph and the motorcycle 17mph…he report states that the autonomous vehicle was driving in the centre of three one-way lanes. It attempted to move into the left lane when the available space was truncated by braking traffic, causing the GM car to abort its move and return to the centre of the middle lane.

As the Cruise AV was re-centring itself in the lane, a motorcycle that that had just lane-split between two vehicles in the centre and right lanes moved into the center lane, glanced the side of the Cruise AV, wobbled and fell over…  The motorcyclist was determined to be at fault for attempting to overtake and pass another vehicle on the right under conditions that did not permit that movement in safety.”  Nilsson’s lawyer Sergei Lemberg disputed the report. He told Mercury News: “I don’t know what a police officer can tell, after the fact….”  Read more  Hmmmm… This is good.  We need a few court cases under our belt in order to really figure out how the data that the Cruise vehicle will bring to the table plays out in this case and future cases.  Of course…“I don’t know what a police officer can tell, after the fact.” and crashes will still happen.  We went through this type of thing and product liability when Anti-lock brakes were first introduced, but it got down to the issue that ABS does help, not harm and generally aren’t at fault.  In these cases, it may simply come down to “instant replay” (hopefully even better than the NFL is going it) and many, not all, situations will become clear cut and we can move on efficiently. Alain


J. Stewart, Jan 24, “WE ARE ENTERING a dangerous period in the development of self-driving cars. Today, you can buy a Cadillac, Volvo, Tesla, Audi, and even a Nissan that will do some of your driving for you, as long as you stay on top of things. It’s all part of the steady trek toward the fully autonomous vehicles that will let you fully check out, and catch an in-car movie or two on your way to wherever you’re going.

But we’re not there yet, and a growing body of evidence shows that these partially autonomous systems are lulling drivers into a false sense of security….   On Monday, a Tesla Model S smashed into a stopped firetruck that had responded to an accident on the freeway in Culver City, California. …
Over the weekend, a driver in another Tesla Model S sedan was arrested and charged with a DUI when he was found passed out behind the wheel on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. His blood alcohol content was two times the legal limit. He told the California Highway Patrol officers it was OK: The car was on autopilot.” …
And automakers need better ways to teach their customers that lesson. Better yet, they need to design a system that can’t be so easily abused.”  Read more Hmmmm… True, but just because someone’s excuse is “my dog ate my homework”, drivers need to be held responsible for the choices that they make.  Stupidity is not a valid excuse. This is simply bad behavior We can and should design systems that don’t let us misbehave.. no tailgating, no over-speeding, no passing on the right (oh my gosh, that’s the fast lane in New Jersey), no cut-in lane changes

the first thing that should be done is that Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) should be redesigned to actually work.  It may well have been that it was the AEB that didn’t work in the Tesla-Firetruck crash.  AEB didn’t work in the Joshua Brown Florida crash. … a large stationary object appears in the lane ahead and the AEB doesn’t stop the car to avoid the crash.  Why??? (see next)  Maybe it is because the “SAE design specs” are such that until the driver touches the brakes the AEB waits and won’t kick in until it is too late to stop completely…and in some cases will kick in at “half” brake force … but in the NHTSA tradition the AEB will do some “crash mitigation” … a nice way of saying “we knew you were going to crash unless the brakes were applied at full force; however, we were afraid this might be a false alarm and if you, the driver, is not seeing that this looks bad and are not touching the brake, then we’ll assume that you know best (even though you might just be clueless), so we’re just going to sit back and do nothing until it is way too late and then we’ll just help a little.”  Thanks, but NO THANKS!!!

What needs to be done is that this kind of design mentality MUST change.  The purpose of these systems is to give us a “get out of jail free card” if we, or our “AutoPilot” system, misbehaves for good or bad reasons.  If we, or the Self-driving system didn’t see, then it should STOP! or pull over.  The “NHTSA” mentality should be to AVOID crashes, not just MITIGATE them!  This is why we need to perfect AEB, or what I call Safe-driving Cars BEFORE we go all out with letting people take their hands and feet off the controls even for a little while, at certain times, or what I call Self-driving Cars.  And of course Safe-driving Car technology (AEB plus automated overrides of driver misbehavior (governors over excessive speeding, tailgating and dangerous lane changes)) must be substantially improved (they’ll never be perfect, nothing is) NOW before we get too many of these Self-driving Cars on the road.

As for Driverless Cars, which are very different from Safe & Self, normal risk management by both their producers and the fleet owners won’t risk their sale/deployment until their Safe-driving technologies are essentially perfect and their at-fault crashes are extremely rare.  Driverless Cars don’t have a fall guy.  There’s no driver, to blame if “the wheels come off”.  Also, Driverless Cars won’t be sold to the public (who really has no need/desire to by one), if no other reason than they are simply too irresponsible to properly maintain and oversee their operation.  Plus, their productivity as an asset is so much larger in the hands of a fleet operator than an individual private owner.  Alain


J. Stewart, Jan 25, ”  (Tesla’s)manual does warn that the system is ill-equipped to handle this exact sort of situation: “Traffic-Aware Cruise Control cannot detect all objects and may not brake/decelerate for stationary vehicles, especially in situations when you are driving over 50 mph (80 km/h) and a vehicle you are following moves out of your driving path and a stationary vehicle or object is in front of you instead.” …
Volvo’s semi-autonomous system, Pilot Assist, has the same shortcoming. Say the car in front of the Volvo changes lanes or turns off the road, leaving nothing between the Volvo and a stopped car. “Pilot Assist will ignore the stationary vehicle and instead accelerate to the stored speed,” Volvo’s manual reads, meaning the cruise speed the driver punched in. “The driver must then intervene and apply the brakes.” In other words, your Volvo won’t brake to avoid hitting a stopped car that suddenly appears up ahead. It might even accelerate towards it….
“You always have to make a balance between braking when it’s not really needed, and not braking when it is needed,” says Erik Coelingh, head of new technologies at Zenuity, a partnership between Volvo and Autoliv formed to develop driver assistance technologies and self-driving cars. He’s talking about false positives. On the highway, slamming the brakes for no reason can be as dangerous as not stopping when you need to….” 
Read more  Hmmmm… NO you don’t always…”  This is crazy!!!   The only purpose of Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) is to deal with emergencies and many, if not most, occur when the driver is clueless and is not hitting the brake.  So Erik, you’ve designed a system that doesn’t work exactly for the situations in which the system needs to work.  Please stop and go back to the drawing boards and do a better job!  Design and make AEBs that better minimizes the chances of false positives.  C’mon SAE !! and where is NHTSA in fixing this situation?  Alain

Doug DeMuro’s Semi-Autonomous Systems Round-Up Is Beyond Stupid—It’s Potentially Dangerous

A. Roy, Jan 18, “Automotive YouTuber/entertainer Doug DeMuro recently wrote the dumbest, most misguided and irresponsible article I’ve read since Motor Trend’s foolish Audi A8 story. That’s saying a lot, because the landscape of idiotic self-driving media coverage is vast… DeMuro just published “7 Best Semi-Autonomous Systems Available Right Now” on Auto Trader—a publication that can afford to hire someone with actual technical knowledge to cover topics outside its wheelhouse—and it’s everything wrong about legacy media’s auto-tech content, all wrapped up in 1,000 words of press release “journalism”. …The bigger the audience, the greater the responsibility to tell the truth

Technology is only as good as our understanding of it. Semi-autonomous driving systems are comprised of multiple safety sub-systems. How, when, and where those systems work, and whether they work in harmony, is everything.

No one has yet come up with a comprehensive method of testing and comparing the usefulness, safety, and efficacy of semi-autonomous driving systems. (I took a stab in my Cadillac SuperCruise vs Tesla Autopilot comparo, a comparison of two systems that required 7,000 words.) Mandatory criteria would have to include: What follows is an excellent critique of each of the 7 systems.”   Read more  Hmmmm…   Must read.  Thank you Alex!  Alain

Waymo heads to Atlanta to test its self-driving cars

D. Etherington, Jan 22, “Waymo continues to expand the pool of locations where it’s testing its autonomous vehicle tech, and the latest destination is metro Atlanta. The former Google self-driving car company revealed the news on Twitter, noting that it’s expanding considerably its geographic testing footprint now that it’s got fully driverless test vehicles on the road in Phoenix.

Its test cars in cities outside of Arizona still have safety drivers at the wheel, but the more places it can get its Pacificas with autonomous tech on roads, the better for building an autonomous driving “brain” that can handle anything it encounters. Atlanta has some specific challenges, including bad traffic (commute and traffic issues are ranked among the worst locations in the U.S.) and one of the more dense greater metro areas in the U.S., and temperatures that regularly reach a humid 80+ degrees Fahrenheit.

Metro Atlanta marks Waymo’s 25th test city in total, including its recent return to San Francisco. Its testing so far has consisted of mapping the city with manually driven Waymo vehicles ahead of launching its testing program in full….” Read more  Hmmmm… Nice that the geographic scope is increasing, but the real hurdle before reality/commercialization is to do all of this without the “safety driver” in the car at all.  Until that happens, all of this is just techno-jerk hype that does nothing for the 99%ers who have better more affordable mobility options (conventional  Didi, Lyft, Uber, for example) and is totally boring to the 1%ers who have zero interest in having a Waymo attendant in the car with them.  They much prefer their normal chauffeur.   Alain

Highly Automated Vehicles

J. Lynott, Jan 2018, “The Policy Book:  AARP Public Policies 2017-18.  ….  This disruptive technology offers an opportunity to correct some of the systemic problems with the US transportation system, which today often  …”usually” would be a better word… requires people to own and operate their own personal vehicles for mobility. This leads to problems for the one-third of people living in the US who do not drive. Moving forward, shared-use mobility—such as car-sharing …”only addresses the ownership side not the operating side…, ride-sharing, ride-splitting—may be a tool to influence development patterns and individual travel choices…

  • bar the use of partially automated vehicles on non-controlled access roads, such as city streets;…” …This recommendation is really unfortunate for seniors, and everyone else, who can use all the help they can get to safely operate their vehicles.  Partial automation such as automated braking and lane centering on all roads can be of enormous help to Seniors and everyone else.

Read more Hmmmm… Also see video.  Safety IS the centerpiece of ALL AV developments and it deserves the strong support and oversight of AARPAlain

MIT 6.S094: Deep Learning for Self-Driving Cars 2018 Lecture 2 Notes

S. Bhutanim Jan 21, “MIT6.S094  This class is an introduction to the practice of deep learning through the applied theme of building a self-driving car. It is open to beginners and is designed for those who are new to machine learning, but it can also benefit advanced researchers in the field looking for a practical overview of deep learning methods and their application, Instructor: Lex Fridnan

Read more Hmmmm… very nice. Take a good look.  Alain

Uber boss says driverless cars are at least a decade away

J. Titcomb, Jan 22, “Uber’s boss has predicted that driverless cars are at least a decade away, despite the ride-hailing app putting millions into developing the technology.  Speaking at a technology conference in Germany, Dara Khosrowshahi said it would take 10 to 15 years for “full autonomy” to happen. ..” Read more Hmmmm…   He may be right.  If he is, Uber is worth even much less than SoftBank’s valuation.  Then he also says:   Uber CEO hopes to have self-driving cars in service in 18 months… Which is it???  Alain

  Teamsters Tell UPS: No Drones or Driverless Trucks

 P Ziobro, Jan 24, “…That was one of the labor union’s initial demands as it kicked off high-stakes contract talks with UPS this week. The Teamsters also want the parcel giant to eliminate late-night deliveries and add another 10,000 workers to the ranks, among other things…” Read more Hmmmm…  Tough position to take because this doesn’t stop a new company (say Amazon) from using driverless local delivery trucks at night when no one else is using the roads thus Kodaking/Blockbustering UPS.  Alain

After 61 Years, America’s Busiest Highway Is Almost Complete

R. Meyers, Jan 20, “…Interstate 95, the country’s most used highway, will finally run as one continuous road between Miami and Maine by the late summer. The interstate’s infamous “gap” on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey border will be closed, turning I-95 into an unbroken river of concrete more than 1,900 miles long. In so doing, it will also mark a larger milestone, say transportation officials—the completion of the original United States interstate system…Interstate 95, the country’s most used highway, will finally run as one continuous road between Miami and Maine by the late summer. The interstate’s infamous “gap” on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey border will be closed, turning I-95 into an unbroken river of concrete more than 1,900 miles long. In so doing, it will also mark a larger milestone, say transportation officials—the completion of the original United States interstate system….

Hopewell residents had fought against the proposed interstate nearly from its first proposal. “I’ve lived in Hopewell Township for 26 years, most of which have been fighting I-95,” a local man said at a 1976 public meeting, according to The Times of Trenton. That same year, the state’s governor made a last-ditch push to build the route.

That’s when Alain Kornhauser, a professor of operations research and financial engineering at Princeton University, got involved. He believed the highway was too important to the region not to build. He was also ready with ideas: …”  Read more Hmmmm…  Always ready with ideas…. 🙂  Alain



Some other thoughts that deserve your attention 



  On the More Technical Side

Capsule Networks (CapsNets) – Tutorial

map:<a href=Assessment of RideSharing, Empty Vehicle Management Needs and ‘Last-Mile’ Ridership Implications on the Existing Rail Transit, Amtrak and Airline Networks Associated with Having autonomousTaxis Efficiently Serve the Billion or so PersonTrips Taken Throughout the US on a Typical Day… Final Project Description

 NorthEast Region Assessment of aTaxi Ridesharing and Empty Vehicle Management

Plains Region Assessment of aTaxi Ridesharing and Empty Vehicle Management

 West Region Assessment of aTaxi Ridesharing and Empty Vehicle Management

A. Kornhauser, Jan 13, “… What if no one owned a personal car or truck any more?  What operational characteristics would a fleet of autonomousTaxis (aTaxis), operating nation-wide, need to have to deliver a comparable level-of-Service (LoS), in conjunction with existing Rail Transit, AmTrak and Airline networks (with appropriately enhanced LoS between existing stations/airports)?  How many of what size would be needed? How would they need to be managed?  What would be the fundamental economics in order to adequately serve the Billion or so person trips that take place on a typical day across the US?  Because details matter, we synthesized each of the 310 or so, million people in the US.  For each we synthesized their mobility needs throughout a typical day to accomplish their activities such as get to and from work/school/play/shopping/entertainment/…  Preliminary results include…

  • In order to deliver a Level-of-Service (LoS) comparable to that offered by today’s conventional automobile in its service of the roughly 1 Billion trips that take place on a typical day across the USA would requite a fleet of approximately 35 million autonomousTaxis (aTaxis). 
  • In serving those trips throughout the day, those aTaxis would travel almost 50% fewer vehicle miles than today’s road vehicles if:
  • people traveling from about the same place at about the same time to about the same place agreeing to ride together, much as they do today in elevators,  (shared-ride),  accounts for more than 50% of the reduced vehicle miles. 
  • The remainder comes from offering a reliable and attrative LoS to/from the existing fixed rail transit systems and, surprisingly, to and from existing AmTrak stations but assuming that the assistance of extremely improved AmTrak frequencies if service. 
  • It is amazing how, across the country,  so many segments of the AmTrak network could be of service to so many 100-400 mile trips that take place on a typical day.  If these trip makers had a reliable, convenient and affordable way to get from their origin to the nearest AmTrak station AND to their destination from that nearest AmTrak station, then the ridership potential on numerous segments of the AmTrak system beyond the NorthEast Corridor (NEC) would justify a LoS that is even better than what exists today on the NEC. 
  • If this preliminary result holds up under closer scrutiny (there isn’t an error someplace), this opportunity may be this study’s most significant finding.  There is little literature on “long auto trips” yet, because they are “long” they log a significant amount of daily VMT on existing highways.  Many of these trips today essentially parallel the AmTrak network. By providing convenient “first 1 – 20+ mile / last 1 – 20+ mile” accessibility to AmTrak’s existing stations AND by having AmTrak provide a high-quality LoS, the a significant percentage of these travelers would become AmTrak customers.  

Very interesting… aTaxis Save AmTrak!!  🙂 More later.  Alain
Read more Hmmmm…  Most interesting!   We hope to have a draft of the final report for all of USA out soon.  Alain





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

  Most Americans wary of self-driving cars: Reuters/Ipsos poll

P. Lienert, Jan 28, “Two-thirds of Americans are uncomfortable about the idea of riding in self-driving cars, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, underscoring one of many challenges for companies spending billions of dollars on the development of autonomous vehicles….” Read more  Hmmmm… Most Americans were wary of Horseless Carriages also.  And what about the Electromagnetic Radiation all around a cell phone that’s going to fry your brain.  Alain

Navigant Research Leaderboard: Automated Driving Vehicles

Jan 2018 “Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 19 Companies Developing  Automated Driving Systems
2017 saw a continuing acceleration of the pace of development in the automated driving sector, as many of the companies involved have shifted from a R&D stance to production engineering. With concerns about driver distraction mounting, automated driving is increasingly seen by many as the best solution to eliminating this dangerous trend on the world’s roadways. The number of automated ride-hailing pilot programs has also increased since it has become increasingly clear that mobility as a service will be the primary means of deploying automated vehicles, particularly in the early years of commercialization…. This Navigant Research Leaderboard evaluates 19 companies developing automated driving systems. These players are rated on 10 criteria: vision; go-to market strategy; partners; production strategy; technology; sales, marketing, and distribution; product capability; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; and staying power…”  
Read more  Hmmmm… The report is non-inexpensive,  Given the chart that shows the bottom line of how the criteria are weighted, for Navigant to end up rating GM first and Tesla last says more about the fatal flaws in their weighting system than anything else.  It’s all about how the apples, bananas and tea leaves are added together to enable Navigant to plot points on their graph. One set of weights gets points plotted one way, another set another way.  There is a set of weights that will give you any ranking that you want. For example:  How many units of “technology” is worth one unit of “staying power”???  Please, this isn’t simple, but once plotted, the results have to at least pass the sniff test.  My sniff test has Waymo way out in front, Apple, who has yet to really do anything except restart over and over again, near dead last and Tesla at least trying hard in the middle.  Unfortunately, the Navigant chart fails miserably the sniff test.  Don’t waste your time.  See Alex Roy’s article above.  Alain

Glasses could prevent motion sickness in self-driving cars

J. Fingas, Jan 21, “…University of Michigan researchers have patented a system that could use glasses or a headset to prevent a disconnect between your sense of motion and what you see. The approach would use a set of sequentially activated light pipes that would imitate the movement of the autonomous vehicle in your peripheral view, giving your body a frame of reference while freeing you to check your phone without getting sick…”  Read more  Hmmmm… What does this have to do with Self-driving cars?  I assume that in Michigan, there’s only one person in each car and certainly no one riding buses or trains.  Since there’s no market for these things, let’s do Driverless Cars and create a market just for these glasses.  By the way, in New Jersey some people ride trains and many are reading while riding and they don’t seem to be getting sick.  Whatever.  You can’t make up this stuff.  Alain

A 10-lane highway and Colorado’s first autonomous vehicle lane could be prescription for west-suburban Denver traffic jams

J. Aguilar, Jan 21,  “Transportation planners are unveiling an ambitious blueprint to unsnarl traffic jams in Denver’s western suburbs — one that could more than double the size of C-470 near Morrison, expand Highway 93 south of Boulder to four lanes and, along the beltway, embrace the future of self-driving vehicles with a first-in-the-state lane designation for their use….”  Read more  Hmmmm… What???  Colorado has real Road Builders!  They’ll go to any extreme to build another lane.  No one, Not GM, Not Ford, Not BMW, Not Waymo, Not… is designing/building/testing an “autonomous vehicle”, whatever that is, that will need an “autonomous vehicle lane”.  Reason… no one, and in the end, not even Colorado, could in any sense of any imagination justify the expense. Alain

Self-driving cars and AI will leave a ‘THIRD of the population unemployed’ and cause people to slip into a meaningless life of misery, expert warns

J. Pinkstone, Jan 23, “That’s according to Dr Subhash Kak, a computing expert at Oklahoma University, who claims AI and self-driving cars will lead to mass unemployment. … Read more Hmmmm…  Really half-baked.  Self-driving always has someone behind the wheel, so there is no unemployment there… Alain



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



Calendar of Upcoming Events:

map:<a href=

2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
May 16 & 17, 2018
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Save the Date



Recent PodCasts

map:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 19

Episode 19 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with Princeton University’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin. In this edition: The White House Infrastructure Plan, driverless transportation for seniors in Florida, Waymo coming to Metro Atlanta, Uber’s big promise and more. 

map:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 18

Episode 18 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with Princeton University’s Alain Kornhauser, co-host Fred Fishkin and guest research engineer Steven Shladover of UC Berkeley. Topics: General Motors, Waymo, the Transportation Research Board, CES, nVIDIA and how #MeToo may impact ride sharing technology in the future.

map:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 15

Episode 15 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast.  Hosts Fred Fishkin and Princeton University’s Alain Kornhauser are joined by leading expert Michael Sena from Sweden in a wide open and most entertaining chat ranging from the impact of Ralph Nader to the insurance industry’s role, to the latest from Ford, Lyft, Uber and China’s Didi.

map:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 14

Episode 13 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with host Fred Fishkin and Princeton University Professor Alain Kornhauser. This edition In this edition Fred and Alain are joined by Bernard Soriano, the Deputy Director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles. On the agenda: Waymo’s CEO says real driverless testing is coming soon.; Waymo’s autonomous fleet now has traveled four million miles; Lyft gets the green light from California to test self driving on public roads

map:// Driving Cars Podcast Episode 11

Episode 11 of the Smart Driving Cars Podcast with host Fred Fishkin and Princeton University Professor Alain Kornhauser. Fred and Alain are joined by leading expert and Internet pioneer Brad Templeton. Waymo makes some history, Thee tech needed to make it work..cameras…lidar or both? Navya bringing new robotic vehicles to Paris. And an accident…as a self driving shuttle is launched in Las Vegas.