Saturday, October 5, 2019

  Your Tesla Can Now Pick You Up

R. Mitchell, Oct. 4, " Smart Summon is for parking lot use.  But drivers have other ideas.

Tesla unleashed the latest twist in driverless car technology last week, raising more questions about whether autonomous vehicles are outracing public officials and safety regulators.

…Using a smartphone, a person can now command a Tesla to turn itself on, back out of a parking space and drive to the smartphone holder’s location – say at a curb in front of a Costco store.."  Read more  Hmmmm…. Russ, great article. A must read! 

Elon, please stop.  StupidSummon was a bad Valley-entitled idea before you released it.  Now that it is out there it will ruin all that is good about Tesla, AutoPilot and Driverless cars.  The shorters are going to have a field day.  

While you are at it also remove all of the DistractTainment add ons or limit their use when AutoPilot is NOT on and drivers are engaged in driving.  Just go back to V09!  Along the way also get the Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) system to work properly (See NTSB below).  To do that, maybe you should take a serious look at Velodyne’s   new Tesla LiDAR.  It may be able to tell you if the stationary object in the lane ahead is high enough above the road surface before your AEB system decides to disregard it. Then Tesla’s may stop decapitating drivers.

If you don’t remove StupidSummon then at least be sure to limit its use to the Tesla owner’s own private property by responsible users.  (You know the GPS coordinates of where each owner lives, so you can geofence it.  You also know each irresponsible use (You get the videos).  Irresponsible use (use in the violation of the conditions spelled out in the user’s manual) should void its future availability in that car unless proper amend are made.  If not, then insurance companies should clearly state that insuring the use of this feature requires a substantial additional premium; else, you’re not covered.  Courts should view that use of this feature implies premeditated harm and demonstrates an extreme indifference to human life.  Parking Lot owners should install signs forbidding the use of this feature on their property to protect themselves from being dragged into the claims process. 

What is most disturbing about this feature is that its only value is to enhance the self-perceived manhood of Entitled Silicon Valley XXs and may well cause the public sector to over react and ruin to opportunity of responsible driverless mobility to substantially enhance the quality-of-life of those who can’t or choose not to drive a car, enhance the environment, subdue our energy use and reduce congestion.  Elon, shame on you. Alain

   Smart Driving Cars myPodcast Episode 127

F. Fishkin, Oct 6, "Tesla should park that new Smart Summon feature before it does some serious harm.  That’s the view of Princeton University’s Alain Kornhauser in the latest edition of the Smart Driving Cars podcast with co-host Fred Fishkin.   Plus..the World Safety Summit on Autonomous Technology, testing an autonomous fleet in the U.K. and more. "   Just say "Alexa, play the Smart Driving Cars podcast!".  Ditto with Siri, and GooglePlay …  Alain

  Tesla, Inc. "Enhanced Summon" Parking Lot Promotional Video 

Staff, Sept 27. "Engage ‘Smart … Stupid… Summon’ from the Tesla App by tapping on ‘Come to Me’ to bring the car top you… " See Video  Hmmmm…. StupidSummon.  This is Sooooooo Baddddddddddd.  Made exclusively for the most Entitled SiliconValley XX.  Alain


B. Dodge, Sept 30, "Tesla owners who paid extra for "enhanced" self-driving capabilities got the driverless "Smart Summon" mode, which uses GPS technology to pick up passengers, It was part of a major software package released last week that also included Netflix, Spotify Premium and navigation features to help drivers find good restaurants and local attractions.

The entertainment systems appear to be working fine so far, but the new driving capabilities are apparently not. Tesla drivers took to Twitter over the weekend to describe the damage done to their Teslas while using the technology, asking the internet for advice on filing what could be complicated insurance claims and warning other drivers just to walk the remaining 20 feet to their cars…."  Read more  Hmmmm…. See above.  Alain

See also:  F. Lambert, Sept 30  Tesla owners are already doing dumb things with ‘Smart Summon’

… This kind of behavior is why driverless features can not be made available to consumers and need to be banned from being used on public streets.   If you want to have your car drive itself on your private property, then go for it, although the discharge of firearms is illegal throughout many communities.

  Safety and People First On World Safety Automation Day

K. Pyle, Oct. 3. "Although the moniker for the World Safety Summit On Autonomous Technology is a great descriptor of the conference held on October 2nd at Levi Stadium in the heart of Silicon Valley, the overarching theme was about people. Sure, there were autonomous vehicle technology stalwarts, like Intel, Nvidia, and Cruise (GM) and start-ups like Voyage, AutonomouStuff, and Local Motors, but even they emphasized the importance of putting people first and delivering an excellent mobility experience.

One of the fathers of the industry, Aurora Cofounder and CEO Chris Urmson, emphasized the importance of safety as a given when he stated that “We must take the time and not rush it [autonomous vehicles] to the market, unreasonably.” His comments somewhat mirror those of Author and Mobility Expert Dr. Larry Burns who stated that the safety leader is going to be the market winner (see this interview with Burns).   … 

And a better experience isn’t just for the kids as, at the other end of the age spectrum, Dr. Alain Kornhauser, Transportation Program Director, Princeton Autonomous Vehicle Engineering, moderated a panel with several seniors who have experience with autonomous vehicle services….

Velodyne Lidar’s Vice President of Communications Sally Frykman, the organizer of this all-day event, provides further color about the panels and the exhibitors in the above interview."  Read more  Hmmmm….  Really excellent sessions.  See video.  Alain

    Human Factors in Automation, DSRC vs. CV2X, Safety Leader & Market Leader – an Impromptu Mini-Panel

K. Pyle, Oct 4, "An impromptu panel in front of Viodi’s video camera blossoms at the World Safety Summit on Autonomous Technology, as Princeton’s Dr. Alain Kornhauser leads a discussion with Diana Furchgott-Roth, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Sue Bai, Chief Engineer, Manager, Feasibility Study Department of the Automobile Technology Research Division for Honda R&D America’s, Inc.

Topics covered include mobility automation levels, vehicle to vehicle (and bike, pedestrian, infrastructure, etc.) communications, safety considerations and implications for the roadways. Click below for more details and timecodes to jump to that part of the video…." Read more  Hmmmm….  Really excellent sessions.  See video.  Alain

   World Safety Summit On Self Driving Car Tech Kicks Off At Levi’s Stadium

K. Do, Oct 2, "A gathering of autonomous vehicle industry leaders at the 2nd annual World Safety Summit in Santa Clara offered a glimpse into the state of the industry, and progress towards widespread rollout and mass adoption of self-driving cars.

The event, organized by Velodyne Lidar based in San Jose, convened various business, government and public safety entities to discuss topics including industry practices, public trust and consumer acceptance…" Read more  Hmmmm….  Really excellent sessions.  See embedded video.  Alain


Staff, "On Friday, March 1, 2019, about 6:17 a.m. eastern standard time, a 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric-powered passenger vehicle was southbound in the right through lane of the 14000 block of State Highway 441 (US 441) in Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, when it struck an eastbound 2019 International truck-tractor in combination with a semitrailer. The combination vehicle was operated by First Fleet, Inc. At the crash site, southbound US 441 consists of two through travel lanes divided from the northbound lanes by an earthen median (figure 1). A left-turn lane allows vehicles to change direction and enter the northbound lanes…."  Read more  Hmmmm…. Essentially identical to the Joshua Brown crash 3 years earlier.  Amazing that Elon hasn’t removed the "disregard stationary objects in the lane ahead" line of code in his Automated Emergency Braking system.  Shame on him!!  He has had 3 years to fix this and has over-the-air updating capabilities available to disseminate the fix (which I hope he will use to revert to V09 or disable the StupidSummon feature (See above)).  Alain

  Silicon Valley pioneered self-driving cars. But some of its tech-savvy residents don’t want them tested in their neighborhoods.

F. Siddiqui, Oct. 3, " Karen Brenchley is a computer scientist with expertise in training artificial intelligence, but this longtime Silicon Valley resident has pangs of anxiety whenever she sees Waymo self-driving cars maneuver the streets near her home.

The former product manager, who has worked for Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, wonders how engineers could teach the robocars operating on her tree-lined streets to make snap decisions, speed and slow with the flow of traffic and yield to pedestrians coming from the nearby park. She has asked her husband, an award-winning science-fiction author who doesn’t drive, to wear a shiny vest while cycling to ensure autonomous vehicles spot him in a rush of activity.

The problem isn’t that she doesn’t understand the technology. It’s that she does, and she knows how flawed nascent technology can be…

Brad Templeton, who lives in testing hotspot Sunnyvale, frequently sees the cars on the road. He worked on them, too, as part of Google’s self-driving car project roughly a decade ago. Most experts in the field say real-world testing is needed, he says, something he agrees with.

Templeton says a small number of crashes are acceptable when considering the eventual overall improved safety when human drivers are off the roads. He compares it to teenagers learning to drive…. " Read more  Hmmmm… Thank you Brad. Parks & Recreation Season 1 Episode 2, Canvassing    Clips of the worst town hall meetings from NBC’s “Parks and Recreation"


Sept. 28, "SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle is a fully, rapidly reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and anywhere else in the solar system. On Saturday, September 28 at our launch facility in Cameron County, Texas, SpaceX Chief Engineer and CEO Elon Musk provided an update on the design and development of Starship…." Watch Webcast  Hmmmm… Fundamentally impressive.  Some basic Elon Philosophies: Development timelines: "Long is wrong; Tight is right"; Everyone on the team is the "Chief Engineer" because everyone needs to understand and know the whole process; Framing/asking the right question is much more difficult than getting the answer; Breaking a process into departments and optimizing each department is not as good as optimizing the whole process  because the constrains that bind the processes together constrain how well each department could contribute to the whole process.  You may also want to watch A conversation with Elon Musk about Starship and  The History of Starship Super Heavy | Mini Documentary  Alain

  Tesla Q3 2019 Vehicle Production & Deliveries

Press release, Oct. 2, "In the third quarter, we achieved record production of 96,155 vehicles and record deliveries of approximately 97,000 vehicles.  In addition, we achieved record net orders in Q3 and are entering Q4 with an increase in our order backlog. As was also the case in Q2, nearly all of our Model 3 orders were received from customers who did not previously hold a reservation, solidifying the transition to generating strong organic demand. …" Read more  Hmmmm….  Not bad.  From Inside EVs, US Sales of Teslas are seen here. So far this year, Tesla are 58.6% of US Plug-in car sales.  Not bad.  Alain

  ‘It’s going to be a revolution’: driverless cars in new London trial

G. Topham, Oct 3, "Work to bring driverless cars to Britain’s streets has reached a milestone with the first demonstration of an autonomous fleet driving in a “complex urban environment” in London.

Ford Mondeos fitted with autonomous technology from the UK tech firm Oxbotica operated on public roads around the former Olympic Park in Stratford this week. Directors of the £13.6m Driven programme, a partially government-funded consortium, said it had “exceeded their initial plan” and was a significant step in confirming autonomous vehicles could operate in real-life situations in a large European city.

Oxbotica said first passenger trials of a separate venture, an autonomous ride-sharing taxi service planned with the cab firm Addison Lee in the capital, could now start in June 2020.."  Read more  Hmmmm….  Another article that uses Driverless and Self-driving interchangeably.  They are testing Drivered Driverless  (vehicles that may some day be Driverless but are being tested today with an attendant on-board).  Hopefully they’ll report their Disengagement rates during these tests so that we can have some idea as to how well these Drivered Driverless cars are doing.  If the Disengagement rate and/or At-Fault-Crash rate is finite, they are really Self-driving cars that are sold to individuals.

Or, is the Disengagement rate and the At-Fault -Crash rate infinitesimal so they can become Driverless Mobility Machines that can actually deliver societal benefits in this well defined Operational Design Domain.  Alain

Who’s Driving The Autonomous Drive Technology Jobs Market?

E. Niedermeyer, Sept. 30, "resident Donald Trump took a break from his duties today to tweet about an unlikely topic: Hyundai’s new $4 billion joint venture with Aptiv, aimed at developing "scalable autonomous driving solutions. In his tweet, Trump called the joint venture "BIG NEWS" and celebrated the fact that the partnership would mean "great jobs coming back to America." It turns out that jobs impact is already being felt, as the job search website Indeed recently reviewed its autonomous drive technology listings and Aptiv was the number one hiring company in the space.

ne of the things you learn talking to people at autonomous drive technology development companies is that they are constantly looking for talent, a fact reflected in the mind-blowing 844% increase in AD tech jobs listings on Indeed since 2015. The entire valuation of smaller startups can sometimes be based purely on the talent and experience of its engineers, and big players will occasionally "acquihire" those smaller firms for their talent alone, as Apple did with Drive.AI and Waymo did with Anki earlier this year. Outside of these deals, which we’ve been hearing more rumors about since venture capital for autonomous drive companies has started to dry up, recruiting is a "ground game" that takes up a surprising amount of resources for these firms…."  Read more  Hmmmm….  Tesla just did it with DeepScale:  Tesla (TSLA) Buys DeepScale to Develop Fully Autonomous Cars  Alain

  LAX ban on taxi, Uber and Lyft curbside pickups irks passengers: ‘It’s inconvenient’

A. Wigglesworth, Oct. 4, "…Starting on or about Oct. 29, travelers looking to catch a ride from the airport in a taxi or with Uber or Lyft will have to take a shuttle or walk to a parking lot next to Terminal 1, where they can then book their rides….  The decision is in response to worsening congestion at the airport, …"  Read more  Hmmmm….  Or because they are trying to pile onto Uber/Lyft and get people back to using their parking lots?  So bad!!  Alain

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

Simply ClickBait

 Calendar of Upcoming Events:

4th Annual Princeton SmartDrivingCar Summit

evening May 19 through May 21, 2020

On the More Technical Side