12th edition of the 7th year of SmartDrivingCars

cid:part6.63C6A058.9070A74C@princeton.eduAutomated vehicles could provide mobility to the ‘mobility disadvantaged’

A. Kornhauser, March 13, "The following testimony was provided to the New Jersey State Assembly’s Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on Monday, March 11….

What we need, what my ask is, that we create in New Jersey a “welcoming environment” for the research, testing and demonstration of this technology and work to focusing it on improving the mobility of the mobility disadvantaged…

While such a demonstration is not prohibited in New Jersey, it is not permitted.  

Consequently, this provides excuses and hurdles to bringing such mobility to our communities and tarnishes any other welcoming efforts aimed at enabling New Jersey to lead instead of follow in what may well address the fundamental objective of this hearing."  Read more  Hmmmm….Seems so simple. I have found it so incredibly hard. Alain  Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 95

March 18, F. Fishkin, "Autonomous vehicles and a new world of mobility for those who need it most. That plus a new poll from AAA, the grounding of Boeing’s Max 8 aircraft, Lyft’s IPO and more in this edition of the Smart Driving Cars podcast with Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin. "  Just say "Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!" .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain


GPU Technology Conference

March 17 -> 21

Silicon Valley

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3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
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cid:<a”>Tech in the City

Jeull Stewart, January 2019, "Hundreds of technology companies have made  he Bay Area their home. Because of their unique position as a fulcrum of innovation, San Francisco and other cities in the region are on the front lines of dealing with the many challenges associated with the fast growing list of platforms. In many ways, we are all the beneficiaries of that geographical hub of innovation—the efficiency, optimization, and opportunity that comes from rapid technological advancement—but locally there are losers, too. Income disparity, growth management challenges, housing shortages, and mounting unaffordability put a profound strain on the Bay Area.

These real-world issues force cities to balance the tech world’s nominally utopian ideals and equitable policy making. Fortunately, city and regional governments are becoming savvier about introducing regulatory levers designed not only to capture the economic benefits of new technology but also to mitigate its negative effects…  " Read more  Hmmmm….V ery interesting and very pertinent to establishing a "Welcoming environment".  I like to use the imagery of a Welcome Mat.  You are Welcome, but wipe your feet!  The benefits of the technology must be delivered in a responsible manner.  A "Lawyer up" attitude might get things started, but isn’t going to be sustainable.  As with commercial goods carriage, a "common carrier obligation" must go along with the mobility being offered.  Alain

cid:part25.11AF6914.09C61A5A@princeton.eduLyft IPO could raise $2.1 billion at $18.5 billion valuation

C. O’brien, March 18, "
Ride-hailing startup Lyft hopes to raise up to $2.1 billion in its IPO as it launches a roadshow to drum up investor support.

Starting this week, the company will begin meeting directly with large investment funds to answer questions and ease concerns that the company is bleeding massive amounts of red ink, even as ridership increases…"  Read more  Hmmmm…. @ an $18.5B valuation it is not completely crazy; however, in order to scale and be profitable, Lyft needs to become Driverless.  Alain

cid:<a”>Ethiopian Airlines Black Boxes Showed ‘Clear Similarities’ With Lion Air Crash

G. Steinhauser, March 17, "“Clear similarities were noted between Ethiopian Air Flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which will be the subject of further study during the investigation,” Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said. Both flights were on Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Ms. Moges declined to give details of the similarities that had been identified, …  "  Read more  Hmmmm…. Soon the data MUST be released.  Also, there were "thousands" of Max 8 flights between these two crashes. How many involved similar behaviors but the pilots were able to "save" the airplane from crashing.  Why aren’t these incidents being studied and reported.  What is being covered up?  This is not only bad for the airline industry it is devastating for the autonomousTaxi industry.  Alain 

cid:<a”>  Waymo is reportedly looking for outside investors

M. Matousek, March 11, "…Alphabet is seeking a valuation for Waymo much larger than $15 billion and is not likely to offer a stake equal to or greater than 20% to outside investors, The Information reports…. The company is reportedly targeting Volkswagen and other European automakers.

Alphabet spends a minimum of $1 billion each year on Waymo, according to The Information, which cites former Waymo employees and executives at other companies. Waymo’s annual cost is not financially prohibitive for Alphabet, but Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat has reportedly encouraged the company’s subsidiaries to reduce costs and become more efficient. Other Waymo units, like Verily and Makani, have received investments from outside firms…"  Read more  Hmmmm…. ???  Some of these numbers don’t make sense to me.  Spends $1B/year???  That is about $1M/vehicle-year.  Seems like that is very hard to do. 

Valuation of $15B when Lyft is IPOing at about the same valuation.  Since scale & profitability are both dependent on achieving Driverless and Waymo is the unquestioned leader in Driverless, either Waymo is low or Lyft is high or both. 

Partner with VW when one of the absolute requirement of this technology is that integrity is paramount.  DieselGate has therefore rendered VW an unsuitable partner in the quest for Driverless mobility. Alain

cid:<a”>  The Moore’s Law of Self-Driving Vehicles

(updated comments)

E. Olsen, Feb 27, "… For this post, let’s measure the performance of a system in terms of the number of miles per disengagement. A disengagement, roughly speaking, is when the technology fails … I’d prefer to say… it is when the attendant perceives that the technology may be failing sufficiently such that a crash may occur… There is only one reality, so we must resort to simulations to estimate what would have occurred… would a crash have occurred?  How sever?   We’ll guesstimate some values later..   and a safety driver must take over. A great self-driving vehicle will have a big number — that means that the vehicle can drive a lot of miles and only infrequently fail.

The critical question is: “how good does the system need to be?” Let’s assume that the goal is to match human performance. Humans are actually tremendously good drivers; only one fatality per 100 million (10⁸) miles! Between human performance (10⁸ miles per fatality) and the best-reported self-driving car performance (10⁴ miles per disengagement) is a gap of 10,000x. Put another way, self-driving cars are 0.01% as good as humans… What??? This requires that each disengagement results in a crash that has a fatality.  C’mon man!!  … " Read more  Hmmmm…. Deaths are completely different than disengagements.  Since Waymo has only had one 2 mph "crash" that may not even have been its fault, one can’t deduce that Waymo attendants just activate disengagements to avoid violent crashes.  Since fender benders haven’t been encountered, then disengagements must be avoiding those. Moreover, some attendants may have been "fooled/spooked" that a crash was about to occur, yet nothing bad would have occurred had the non-disengagement reality played out.  

Since attendants are trained to error on the side of safety and the world is watching, not all of the disengagements would have resulted in crashes.  Not even fender benders, let alone deaths.  With human drivers, about 2 out of 1,000 crashes involve a death, where a crash is defined as a collision even as low as 2mph.

So the challenge here is the extent to which disengagements averted crashes.  At worse it was 1-to 1, then Waymo may be 5% as good as humans in averting road deaths. If only every other disengagement averted a crash, Waymo would be at 10% human, …  That really is pretty darn good and should continue to get better.

However, much of this discussion is moot because Waymo actually has much more information on how safe it is than it is revealing.  We know that Waymo has created simulation capabilities that are able to do parametric analyses over all sorts of driving situations.  Waymo must be using those simulation capabilities to re-create each of their disengagements.  Consequently, Waymo knows the crash likelihood of each of their disengagements.  Plus they know the drive profiles of each mile they have driven and must have a very accurate estimate of how representative their miles driven are to the nation’s driver.  So they actually know very well how safe they are relative to the nation’s drivers.  Waymo should tell us!  

Yes it is complicated and yes there are details, but they know how good they are and they need to become transparent enough to tell us. It shouldn’t take a regulatory imposition and shouldn’t be a public relations campaign.  It should be .. just the facts ma’am.

Since they know, the only reason they wouldn’t tell us is because the number is not that good  (maybe they only reported disengagements that would have led to a crash or have purposely driven easy miles so as to improve their stats or ???).  We shouldn’t have to wait for a whistle blower to tell us the truth. Alain

cid:<a”>  AAA Poll Reveals Almost 3/4 Americans Have Doubts About Self-Driving Cars

D. Bartolotta, March 17, "A new poll by AAA reveals most Americans have a negative impression of self-driving cars — almost three-quarters to be exact.  The survey shows public trust in autonomous vehicles has declined by 11 points over the last year.

“Whenever there are high-profile incidents involving self-driving vehicles or the testing of them, we see that consumers then…their level of fear as far as these vehicles are concerned, increases,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic…. " Read more  Hmmmm….  At some point this becomes a real problem.  The irresponsibility of Uber may be largely the blame.  This is why the industry MUST collaborate on Safety!  Else implementation will not flourish yet alone get off the ground.  Alain

cid:<a”>Here’s what autonomous vehicles could mean for the Washington region’s future — good and bad

 Faiz Siddiqui, March 9, "The one thing that’s certain about the autonomous future heralded by executives in Detroit and Silicon Valley, a future that’s either years or decades away depending on which experts you consult: It will entail more driving.

By the year 2040, the nation’s capital could be a bustling network of autonomous vehicles, with better access to jobs on its eastern and western extremities. Traffic would glide smoothly on freeways — the cars automatically keeping a safe distance by “talking” to one another — with no empty seats in the roving fleet of vehicles. The system would complement a healthy Metro that shuttles passengers between commuting hubs in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

Under another scenario, however, bumper-to-bumper traffic stretches for miles and hits the poorest neighborhoods and communities of color hardest. More people opt for the seeming comfort of a solo car ride even if it takes them longer. Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are left in a cloud of vehicle emissions. And Metro, with the sudden shift toward cheap car commuting further depleting its ridership base, is a system on the brink.  "  Read more   Hmmmm….  Yup!  Unless we get to Driverless, Share-ride, it will not be pretty. See also following article… Alain

imap:<a href=//”>  Autonomous vehicles could be an environmental boon or disaster, depending on public policy

M. Seltzer, March 6, "Widespread use of autonomous vehicles (AVs) could either massively increase or drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions depending, in large part, on public policy, according to new research from Princeton University…. " Read more  Hmmmm….  Automation without Ride-sharing is a disaster.. more VMT. more congestion, more pollution. more energy consumption, and the Mobility Disadvantaged get left even farther behind.  Alain

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

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

Simply Click Bait

cid:<a”>  Donald Trump is reportedly no fan of self-driving cars

V. Savov, March 18, "US president Donald Trump, a man habituated to being driven everywhere he goes, is reportedly not a fan of self-driving car technology. Citing four sources who’ve seen and heard Trump commenting on autonomous vehicles   " Read more  Hmmmm….  Good.  Who care’s about the views of folks who have driven around with a Chauffeur all of their lives.  These systems are NOT being designed for them, nor should they be.  This is total ClickBait. Shame on you Verge! Alain

 Calendar of Upcoming Events:

GPU Technology Conference

March 17 -> 21

Silicon Valley

25% Discount Using SmartDrivingCar VIP Code: NVDASHAPIRO

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3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit
evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
Apply to Participate; 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