5th edition of the 7th year of SmartDrivingCars


A. Marshall, Jan 31, "In 2007, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, in a belated embrace of the 21st century, required that every taxi plying the streets of the five boroughs start taking credit card payments…. For the TLC, they made work more interesting, because along with those readers came GPS trackers that became a cornerstone of the agency’s growing data operation….axis provided insight into the city’s transportation ecosystem. Are cabs speeding along a certain stretch of street? Time to review the street design. Getting stuck at the same intersection every rush hour? Maybe rethink the traffic light timing.

And starting Friday, New York will start clawing in the same kind of data from the ride-hailing companies that have stormed its streets in recent years. … "  Read more Hmmmm…  It will be very interesting to observe the real behavior of Lyft & Uber, especially in the outer boroughs.  To date, the Lyft & Uber data have not divulged {O, oTime, D, dTime} of individual trips to the level of precision that the T&LC has been for years collecting from Yellow (and Green) cabs .  Can’t wait to look at precise individual {O, oTime, D, dTime} data of Lyft & Uber trips and compare/contrast with conventional cabs.  It will be very interesting. Alain  Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 87

Feb. 1, F. Fishkin,  , " New York begins data collection on Uber and Lyft rides, AutonomouStuff continues to grow, another arrest in alleged theft of Apple self driving secrets…and more in episode 87 of Smart Driving Cars. Join Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin and subscribe!"   Hmmmm…. Now you can just say "Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!" .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay.  Alain

3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
Save the Date; Reserve your Sponsorship

cid:<a”>   OEM De-fossilization and Automation Programs

M. Sena, Feb 1, "Dear Readers,  This issue of The Dispatcher was written during the middle of December and the end of January.  It seemed that what I wrote in the morning each day was out of date by the time I closed up shop in the evening.  Too much was happening too quickly.  I decided to take an even longer-term perspective than is usual for this newspaper.  In this and the upcoming issues, I will write about the car companies, where they have been and where it looks like they are headed with de-fossilization and automation.  As I see it, not all of them will make the cut that is coming.

The subject of Musings in this issue is ‘time’, and whether it is possible to waste it.  Hint: I don’t think so.  There is a piece on one of this year’s Nobel Economics Prize winners, William Nordhaus, and his calculations of the cost of saving life as we know it.  It not going to be cheap, and someone is going to have to pick up the tab.  That will be us.

Dispatch Central gives your editor’s perspective on a number of news items that you may have read elsewhere.  It includes an update on January’s article on Venice which may be of interest to those of you planning on visiting the city before it sinks into the Adriatic.

I hope to see many of you in Geneva at the ITU/UNECE Future Networked Car Symposium and in May at the Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit…." Read more Hmmmm….  Another excellent issue, Enjoy! Alain

cid:<a”>  AutonomouStuff January News

B. Hambrick, Jan 31, "
There is no question that 2018 was another huge year for AutonomouStuff, and growth was the overwhelming theme!

In 2018, we:
• more than doubled our physical infrastructure, adding a new operations facility in Morton, Illinois, and expanding our physical footprint in Beijing.
• dedicated an entire facility in Morton to engineering innovation.
• nearly doubled our staff.
• launched an innovation practice.
• built more than 200 custom platforms that are now being used for automated R&D.
• participated or exhibited in 55 events worldwide.
• experienced a nearly 40% growth in sales.

On top of all of this, we were acquired by Hexagon. Driving all this change is our fearless leader, Bobby Hambrick. He not only welcomes change, but seeks it out constantly, ensuring AutonomouStuff is ahead of the game and always preparing our customers and partners for the future of autonomy.  Read more Hmmmm….  Congratulations!! and read more on Bobby’s thoughts.  Alain

cid:<a”>  A second Apple employee was charged with stealing self-driving car project secrets

S. O’Kane, Jan 30, "The Federal Bureau of Investigation accused an Apple employee, who is a Chinese citizen, of attempting to steal trade secrets related to the company’s autonomous car project, according to a charging document that was unsealed on Wednesday. It’s the second time the FBI has charged an Apple employee for trying to steal intellectual property related to the project in the last seven months

…He was one of 5,000 Apple employees who was looped in on the company’s self-driving car effort, known as “Project Titan,”…  Furthermore, he was also one of 1,200 “core” employees who directly work on the project.  " Read more Hmmmm….  Apple had 5,000 employees on Titan, 1,200 "core"!  Really???   Can’t wait to see all of the court documents that come in on this one.  This will be better than bitter divorce transcripts. We’ll learn what Apple was really doing.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Benson, Zwicker & Lampitt Measure Creating Task Force to Study Autonomous Vehicles Clears Full Assembly

Press release, Feb 1, "Democrats Daniel Benson, Andrew Zwicker and Pamela Lampitt to establish a task force to evaluate autonomous vehicles was approved on Thursday by the full Assembly.

“As major auto companies explore developing semi and fully autonomous cars, we need to prepare for the day when we’ll see only self-driving vehicles on our roadways,” said Benson (Mercer, Middlesex). “The goal of this task force will be to assess how we can introduce autonomous vehicles to our roadways while keeping drivers safe.”

The measure (AJR-164) would create the New Jersey Advanced Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, comprised of eight members. The group would be responsible for conducting a study of autonomous vehicles and recommending laws, rules, and regulations that the state may enact to safely integrate these vehicles on the roads…"  Read more Hmmmm….  NJ is beginning to move to create a "Welcoming Environment" so that it can become a player and have the opportunity to improve NJ’s Quality-of-Life, economic strength and environmental stewardship.  Alain

cid:<a”>  U.S. sales of the Tesla Model 3 plunge 74% in January, according to outside estimate

R. Mitchell, Feb 1, ".S. sales of the Tesla Model 3 plunged 74% in January compared with December, according to a consumer website, lending credence to rumors that sales of the vehicle have fallen off a cliff.

The California-based carmaker sold 6,500 Model 3s in the U.S. in January, compared with 25,250 the month before and 1,875 in January 2018, according to InsideEVs…."  Read more Hmmmm….  Maybe it’s due to shipments abroad??  This journey requires ice in your veins. Alain 

cid:<a”>   How 10 leading companies are trying to make powerful, low-cost lidar

T. Lee, "…In recent years, dozens of lidar startups have been created to challenge industry leader Velodyne. They’ve all made big promises about better prices and performance. At the start of 2018, Ars covered the major trends in the lidar industry and why experts expected cheaper, better systems to arrive in the next few years. But that piece didn’t go into much detail about individual lidar companies—largely because most companies were closely guarding information about how their technology worked.

But over the last year, I’ve gotten a steady stream of pitches from lidar companies, and I’ve talked to as many of them as I could. Ars has now been in contact with senior executives from at least eight lidar companies as well as others involved in the industry as customers or analysts. These conversations have provided a lot of insight not only into trends in the lidar industry in general but also about the technology and business strategy of individual companies…. " Read more Hmmmm….  Very informative. Nice job, Timothy.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Robotaxis: can automakers catch up with Google in driverless cars?

P. McGee, Jan 31, "…“The collapse in auto sales in the coming years could be as severe as it was during the great recession,” says Bain partner Mark Gottfredson. “Only this time, the sharply lower demand will be permanent.”

…But there is hope. If carmakers play their cards right, they could be saved by what GM has called “the biggest business opportunity since the internet”. The potential saviour is the rise of shared, driverless “robotaxis”, which Bain expects to become mainstream in some large cities in six to eight years…."  Read more Hmmmm….  What???  This is crazy… Shared, Driverless aTaxis as a savior for auto OEMS???  Not so… at best their cars become commodities that are purchased in volume by fleets at wholesale prices and terms. (Did Hertz and/or "Avis" save GM from its previous bankruptcy???) and large cities aren’t the sweet-spot of OEM profits, suburbs and communities are.

Self-driving cars that require adult supervision are a whole different story because they are simply OEM’s 20th Century business model with 21st century "chrome & Fins".  Alain

cid:<a”>   Socioeconomic Impacts of Automated and Connected Vehicles  (2018)

Jan 31, "This document summarizes Socioeconomic Impacts of Automated and Connected Vehicles, a symposium held June 26–27, 2018, at the Hotel NH Brussels Bloom in Brussels, Belgium. Hosted by the European Commission and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies), it was the sixth annual symposium sponsored by the European Commission and the United States. The goals of these symposia are to promote common understanding, efficiencies, and trans-Atlantic cooperation within the international transportation research community while accelerating transport-sector innovation in the European Union and the United States…." 
Read more Hmmmm….  Interesting.  But needs to have independent assessments of impacts separately for Safe, Self and Driverless Cars.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Tempe faces $10 million claim in Uber self-driving vehicle fatality

R. Randazzo, Feb 2, "The family of the woman killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle last year has filed a $10 million claim against Tempe, stating the city created a dangerous situation by paving a median where people were not supposed to cross the road.

Elaine Herzberg, a 49-year-old woman…  The claim against Tempe was filed by Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience on behalf of Herzberg’s daughter, Christine Wood, and Herzberg’s husband, Rolf Ziemann.  Read more Hmmmm….  So much for Uber’s settlement.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Choosing not to drive: A transient or a permanent phenomenon?

M. Sivak, Feb 2, "In a 2011 article, Brandon Schoettle and I showed that the proportion of young Americans aged 16 to 39 years with a driver’s license decreased substantially from 1983 to 2008. (In contrast, the proportion of older persons with a driver’s license increased during the same period.) This article reports on two follow-up analyses. The first analysis is an update of the licensing trends through 2017. The second analysis provides information related to the degree of permanence of the decrease in licensure of young persons….

There are two takeaways from this study. First, the percentages of young persons aged 16 to 39 with a driver’s license in 2017 have increased from the values in 2014 for all age groups, but they are still substantially below those in 1983. Second, a majority of those aged 20 to 29 who did not have a license in 2007 have not acquired one by 2017."  Read more Hmmmm….  Not the best news.  We need to keep working. Alain

cid:<a”>See Jason Bateman as a unique elevator operator in Hyundai Super Bowl commercial

E. Brady, Jan 30, "There’s an old high school football cheer for when referees make a bad call: Elevator! Elevator! We got the shaft!  Hyundai offers a funny Super Bowl ad called "The Elevator" that’s premised on the times when we all get the shaft…."  Read more Hmmmm…. See video, Since I often use the "elevator analogy" to envision the fundamental aspects of on-demand, safe, affordable, 24/7 mobility for all and certainly not anything related to sophomoric old high school cheers. 

Eric should have written as a lead in to this commercial…

"Elevators with human operators are as last century as in having to not only buy, then have to drive, maintain and baby, your own mobility machine.  The 21st Century alternative is having an "automated horizontal elevator" just take you, and every once in a while, someone else, or so, where you want to go when you want to go and not have to worry about parking, maintaining, filling, washing, insuring, repairing, babying, …, that horizontal elevator that allows my street, in front of my house, to be used efficiently in an environmentally responsible manner by me and everyone in my community to go to where we want to go when we want to go and possible enjoy the company of one or two of our neighbors."   Alain

cid:<a”>  Mobility design of the future

Press release, Jan 30, "Design is playing an increasingly important role in the new mobility, including when it comes to boosting the acceptance of robots, drones or autonomous vehicles. In its exhibition “The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility”, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York presents current design projects that are all concerned with the future of mobility.   … " 
Read more Hmmmm…. Worth the visit.  Alain

cid:<a”>   Behind the Lion Air Crash, a Trail of Decisions Kept Pilots in the Dark

J. Glanz, Feb 3, "In the brutally competitive jetliner business, the announcement in late 2010 that Airbus would introduce a more fuel-efficient version of its best-selling A320 amounted to a frontal assault on its archrival Boeing’s workhorse 737.

Boeing scrambled to counterpunch. Within months, it came up with a plan for an upgrade of its own, the 737 Max, featuring engines that would yield similar fuel savings. And in the years that followed, Boeing pushed not just to design and build the new plane, but to persuade its airline customers and, crucially, the Federal Aviation Administration, that the new model would fly safely and handle enough like the existing model that 737 pilots would not have to undergo costly retraining…."  Read more Hmmmm…. Lessons to be learned here.  Alain

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

cid:<a”>Automation & Artificial Intelligence, How machines are affecting people and places

M. Muro, January, 2019, "…Which is where the present analysis aims to help. Intended to clear up misconceptions on the subject of automation, the following report employs
government and private data, including from the McKinsey Global Institute, to develop both backward- and forward-looking analyses of the impacts of automation over the years 1980 to 2016 and 2016 to 2030 across some 800 occupations. In doing so, the report assesses past and coming trends as they affect both people and communities, and suggests a comprehensive response framework for national and state-local policymakers. …"  Read more Hmmmm…. That is fine, but machines and automation appeared way before 1980 and did more to disrupt and affect people and places.  Examples… farming, mining, manufacturing, accounting, mobility.  Why wasn’t a longer perspective taken in this investigation?   Somehow society has invented ways to create more and better jobs for everyone.  What has changed to suggest that this long term trend is not the dominant and continuing trend?  Alain

cid:<a”>   Verizon successfully tests edge computing on a live 5G network, cutting latency in half

K. Schulz, Jan 31,  Verizon engineers have successfully tested edge computing – putting compute power closer to the user at a network’s edge – on a live 5G network, cutting latency in half. Low latency – the time it takes for information to make a roundtrip – is important today for applications like online gaming and video streaming, and will be increasingly vital as next generation wireless experiences emerge.

In a newly formed 5G test bed in Houston, Verizon engineers installed Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) equipment and MEC platform software into a network facility closer to the network edge, thus decreasing the distance that information needs to travel between a wireless device and the compute infrastructure with which that device’s apps are interacting. …"  Read more Hmmmm…. I guess that this is good, but "cutting latency in half", while a step in the right direction, doesn’t seem to be earth shattering nor worth the bother.  Is latency really a critical path item for any of the applications mentioned?  Just asking the question.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Mean streets: Self-driving cars will ‘cruise’ to avoid paying to park

UC-Santa Cruz, Jan 31, "If you think traffic in city centers is bad now, just wait until self-driving cars emerge on the scene, cruising around to avoid paying hefty downtown parking fees.

Even worse, because cruising is less costly at lower speeds, self-driving cars will slow to a crawl as they "kill time," says transportation planner Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz…."  Read more Hmmmm…. So bad!!  1st…  Self-driving cars require Adult supervision, which makes empty "cruising’ infeasible.  2nd… Driverless cars won’t be bought by the public because of "gotta drive every once in a while" anxiety.  This "cruising" concept is certainly non-optimal for any fleet manager.  Not even half-baked and not worthy of C’mon man! Pure Click Bait.  Alain

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

Calendar of Upcoming Events:

The Symposium on the Future Networked Car 2019

Geneva on 7 March 2019

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3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
Save the Date; Reserve your Sponsorship

Catalog of Videos of Presentations @ 2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
Photos from 2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

Program & Links to slides from 2nd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

September 4-6, 2019
Pocono Manor, PA

  On the More Technical Side