Sunday, May 5, 2019
19th edition of the 7th year of SmartDrivingCars

3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

Achieving Safe, Inclusive,

Affordable, Energy Efficient, & Environmentally Responsible, On-Demand 24/7 Mobility for All People ,

especially the Mobility Marginalized

evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
Register; Sponsor

Latest Draft Program

cid:<a”>  VW Inclusive Mobility aims to make sure tech takes care of everyone

A. Krok, May 2, "You can’t please all the people all the time, but Volkswagen wants to make sure that when it moves into the next era of mobility, it won’t leave any groups behind. 

Volkswagen this week unveiled its Inclusive Mobility Initiative, which sees the automaker working directly with outside groups to ensure that its future vehicles are capable of catering to people with disabilities…"  Read more  Hmmmm…This is fantastic and may well be in line with the focus we’ve taken with the upcoming 3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit 10 days from now.  Our focus is on all people who have been marginalized by the unnecessary/non-inclusive/exclusive designs of our current forms of mobility, .  These designs are especially irresponsible when one no longer needs a person to drive… to keep the car from crashing while on its way from where people are to where the want to go.   What an enormous opportunity to be of service to so many that for what ever reason don’t want or can’t perform that task.  Yes, there are situations in which a professional is required.  At times, we all need we all need that the help of a professional.  But for all of those situations in which a professional is not needed, we have an enormous opportunity to be so much more inclusive by removing the other unnecessary exclusivities  that have consciously or unconsciously crept into our cars and transit systems.  Our mobility systems no longer need to be big and hold many people to make them affordable, no driver needs to be paid.  They no longer need to be constrained to only go between the few places than many want to go between at only certain times.  They can readily serve where only a few, even one, want to go between at whatever time.  The skill set needed to use and be served diminishes to the skill set needed by the easiest to use elevator. And so on…

Be sure to look VW’s Inclusive Mobility Initiative.  Hopefully it encompasses and levels the mobility field  for the people that its cars have marginalized for 100 years.  Alain  Smart Driving Cars Podcast Episode 102

April 26, F. Fishkin, "VW unveils an Inclusive Mobility Initiative to help make future transportation better for all…a major theme of the upcoming Smart Driving Car Summit at Princeton. The University’s Alain Kornhauser and co-host Fred Fishkin tackle that…plus the latest of Uber, Tesla and more in Episode 102 of the Smart Driving Cars podcast!"  Just say "Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!" .  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain


3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

Achieving Safe, Inclusive,

Affordable, Energy Efficient, & Environmentally Responsible, On-Demand 24/7 Mobility for all People,

especially the Mobility Marginalized

evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
Register; Sponsor

Latest Draft Program

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

M Sena, May 2019, " THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY is in the throes of wrenching changes. These changes eventually will alter the way we build, buy and use vehicles. They will redefine all the services which these vehicles provide to their drivers and passengers as well as the services that are provided to the vehicles. In the February issue of THE DISPATCHER I gave a summary of what BMW, DAIMLER and VW have announced as their short-term program to meet their stated long-term goals.  In the March issue I looked at FIAT, FORD and GM. In this issue I look at the British car industry. My objective is to try to determine which companies are likely to still be around in ten years, which companies will find it necessary to merge with rivals or allow themselves to be absorbed into businesses that have business models better adapted to the direction the world seems to be taking with mobility, and which companies are likely to just go away…. "  Read more  Hmmmm…  Just another great read.  Enjoy!   Alain

cid:<a”>  Toyota abandons plan to install U.S connected vehicle tech by 2021

D. Shepardson. April 26, "Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it was halting plans to install Dedicated Short-Range Communications technology on U.S. vehicles aimed at letting cars and trucks communicate with one another to avoid collisions.  Automakers have been divided over whether to proceed with the DSRC system or use a 4G- or 5G-based system in the United States. Toyota’s announcement is a major blow to advocates of DSRC….

On Friday, it said in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that “unfortunately we have not seen significant production commitments from other automakers.”… "  Read more  Hmmmm…  The final nail in the DSRC coffin?  Alain

cid:<a”>   The Uber I.P.O. Is a Moral Stain on Silicon Valley

F. Manjoo, May 1, "In 2010, I received an email from an ecstatic employee at a start-up called UberCab. “What our tiny company is doing for San Francisco right now is huge,” he told me. The employee’s joy was contagious. Back then, as a naïve, baby tech pundit, I was prone to spinning out elaborate visions of tech-abetted progress, and the more I learned about UberCab’s bold idea, the more deeply I swooned.

Car ownership is a financial and environmental blight. Cars are one of the most expensive products we buy, but they barely get any use (most cars spend most of the day parked). UberCab — which shortened its name to Uber — was using technology to push a radical new urban vision, and it quickly became a poster child for Silicon Valley’s messianic vision. Allowing strangers to share their cars sounded crazy, but if it took off, Uber might reduce the need for car ownership and increase the utilization of each car. It could make transportation cheaper and far more environmentally friendly, and it might create sustainable jobs for many drivers….

There’s a lesson here: If Uber is really the best that Silicon Valley can do, America desperately needs to find a better way to fund groundbreaking new ideas…."  Read more  Hmmmm…  Sobering.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Tesla Model 3 remains the most popular electric vehicle in the U.S. — by far

R. Mitchell, May 1, "The Tesla Model 3 remained the bestselling electric car in the United States last month by far, according to estimates from website Inside EVs. Tesla sold 10,050 Model 3s in April, the website said; the runner-up, the Toyota Prius Prime, notched only 1,399 sales.

But Model 3 sales were flat compared with March. That presents another challenge for Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, who pledged that sales would get a significant boost this quarter. Tesla reports quarterly figures, not monthly ones, but Inside EVs’ estimates have proved fairly accurate.

The 10,050 Model 3s it said Tesla delivered last month was a big jump from April 2018, when the car was hitting the market amid production problems and 3,750 were delivered. But last month’s deliveries were down from 10,175 in March…." Read more  Hmmmm…  Is AutoPliot the biggest difference between Teslas and all other EVs?  You get the possible implications.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Why Tesla is taking a different approach to self-driving cars

R. Water, May 4, "…Elon Musk does not mince words when rejecting the technologies that other companies are relying on to control their driverless cars.  “The two main crutches that should not be used — and, in retrospect, will be obviously false and foolish — are Lidar and HD maps. Mark my words,” the Tesla chief executive said recently…

The “crutches” that Mr Musk complained about involve two of the most common ways for autonomous vehicles to understand the world around them….  Read more  Hmmmm…  Not much new here but a good description of the issue.  I would add that it is usually very easy to see where you should drive in snow because of the tracks made by the cars ahead of you.  Of course, if you are the very first, then it is tough, but you should be going slowly anyway and you should wait to follow the snowplows.  On a cost-benefit basis, it is very hard to justify HD maps are really hard to justify based on them letting you go a little faster when you are the first one the road after/during a snow fall.  Also, after a heavy snow, the HD maps are not HD anymore because your LiDAR can’t reliably tell precisely where you are.  Snow covered some of your reference points.  Knowing where something is precisely is useless; unless, you know precisely where you are.  Driving is all about relative position and relative velocity which is why vision works so well.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Uber Cheers as Florida Legalizes Self-Driving Cars That Could Cut Jobs From Humans

J. Lannelli, May 1, "The Florida Legislature today passed a bill legalizing the use of self-driving cars statewide. The bill also stipulates that Florida residents will be allowed to hire self-driving cars through, ahem, some digital phone apps.

Naturally, Uber — which could save gobs of money by replacing human drivers with robots — is quite pleased. The company released a statement today thanking Florida lawmakers for their work. The bill now awaits Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature…

The Senate bill, SB 932, legalizes not only automated vehicles but also "on-demand autonomous vehicle networks," defined as a service that uses "a software application or other digital means to connect passengers to fully autonomous vehicles, exclusively or in addition to other vehicles, for transportation, including for-hire transportation and transportation for compensation."…"  Read more  Hmmmm…  A substantial step, not yet signed into law, but Florida has been moving toward this point for some time.  Uber should be careful what they wish for.  The App software is the easy part.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Carmakers face pressure to set self-driving car rules

K. Laing, April 29, "…Nathan Kokes, mobility communication manager for Toyota, said the manufacturers behind the newly formed Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium want to see self-driving cars on the road as much as Silicon Valley darlings like Musk. But he said they want to make sure the technology is developed safely….

"Instead of treating the public like guinea pigs," Friedman continued, "Tesla must clearly demonstrate a driving automation system that is substantially safer than what is available today based on rigorous evidence that is transparently shared with regulators and consumers, and validated by independent third-parties."" Read more  Hmmmm…  Is Friedman implying that Elon doesn’t want to make sure… Whatever… What Carmakers may well want is political/regulatory cover in case something happens.  Crashes occur with conventional cars and it is rarely the responsibility or fault of the Carmaker. 

Also… Why "substantially" safer?  How is it OK for someone to continue to sell a legacy product that is less safe rather than a new one that could be sold to them?  Alain

cid:<a”>  Driverless vehicle trial underway at Lendlease Elliot Gardens retirement village

G. Cardozo, April 26, "…Aurrigo’s director of autonomous programs (Asia Pacific), Roger van der Lee, said the opportunity to meet a demand for mobility services for senior citizens in a range of retirement living situations, using driverless technology, was vital.

"This trial will provide user feedback on the real-life experience of an autonomous mobility service and the performance of the pod, which will contribute to future service and technical developments," he said.  "Our aim is to improve the quality of life by providing a mobility service which enables social interaction in every community where we operate." Read more  Hmmmm…  Nice.  Alain

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

cid:<a”>  Distracted by Tech While Driving? The Answer May Be More Tech

P.  Stenquist, May 2, "Driving while distracted is nothing new, but new distractions for drivers pop up all the time. While carmakers and tech companies have worked to keep drivers from checking their phones, the most effective safety features may be the technology that is laying the foundation for autonomous cars.

This advanced driver-assistance technology can automatically bring a vehicle to a stop when a collision is imminent,... Unless you are going over X mph, where X is small, then the system is programmed to be disregarded because its false alarm rate is too high and brakes would be going on too often for no valid reason….  Three years ago, four teenagers were driving home from spring break in Texas when their Hyundai Elantra suddenly veered … let’s be clear here, the driver veered the Hyundai… into the lane of oncoming traffic, where an 18-wheeler slammed into it, killing three of them … absolutely tragic!  (If these lane centering systems really do exist, why hasn’t NHTSA required them in all new cars?  Why didn’t Hyundai build them into each car they’ve made? Why haven’t NHTSA’s safety ratings made it clear to all parents of teenage drivers that such systems exist and can save their children? Why didn’t Insurance offer discounts to parents who would include these features?  Such discounts would also help their bottom line?  Why haven’t stockholders demanded that insurance executives focus on the bottom line, rather than the top line?  Why…?   What happened in the seconds preceding the crash? The driver glanced at a navigation app on her cellphone…  Read more  Hmmmm… Wait a minute.  The problem is glancing down, not the reason for glancing down.  Phone navigation systems are supposed to be mounted high so that a glance can readily capture the needed information while still maintaining peripheral perception on the road ahead.  Where have OEMs placed radio, heater buttons & screens?… Down! Where do each of us glace at our phones to do whatever?… Down!  (so that a cop can’t see the phone that we are glancing at).  Drivers should be liable for glancing down while driving.  As I’ve previously written in SDC, the location of screens is the source of the problem.  The Apple Play, Android Auto and the like seal the deal by requiring the use of your eyes while driving.  Alain

cid:<a”>  Are 175 Million Americans Right About Driverless Cars? Remarkably, Yes

L. Eliot, May 3, "…Results released recently by a study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) indicated that 71% of United States drivers said they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car. If you extrapolate that 71% to the entire estimated number of licensed drivers in the U.S., it comes out to about 175,000,000 Americans with that qualm…"  Read more  Hmmmm… I’m afraid to drive and I’m afraid of anything that is referenced with a high threat level.  All this discussion is total gibberish.  Except for one in Texas and a few in Arizona, there have been zero driverless rides given to anybody down a public street operating under normal conditions.  So all of these feelings are responses to descriptions of an unknown experience created by people who have not even themselves experienced a real driverless car ride. I’m actually thrilled that 125 million Americans aren’t afraid. That’s not a small market. Again…. Half Baked.  Alain

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

cid:<a”>  Rack ‘Em Up, Driverless Cars Surprisingly Will Be A Boon For Auto Repair Market

L. Eliot, April 29, "Rack ‘Em Up, Driverless Cars Surprisingly Will Be A Boon For Auto Repair Market…"  Read more  Hmmmm… On the other hand, please don’t.  Given that we’re barely @ the Kitty Hawk stage of Driverless cars, it is completely foolish to debate the implications on the "Auto Repair Market", let alone use an image of guys dropping an internal combustion engine, when the likeliest aspect of Driverless Mobility Machines is that they’ll be power by electric motors.  Also, Forbes continues to mix terminology between Driverless, Self-driving when they are so different  Why not throw in Horse ‘n Buggy, (and suggest that they’ll be more manure to sweep up) maybe you’ll get a few more clicks.  C’mon Forbes, what happened to all of the excellent reporting done by Chunka Mui on SmartDrivingCars? So depressing.  🙁 Alain

Simply Click Bait

 Calendar of Upcoming Events:

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3rd Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

Achieving Safe, Inclusive,

Affordable, Energy Efficient, & Environmentally Responsible, On-Demand 24/7 Mobility for All People ,

especially the Mobility Marginalized

evening May 14 through May 16, 2019
Register; Sponsor

Latest Draft Program

September 4-6, 2019
Pocono Manor, PA

  On the More Technical Side