Waymo Makes A New Safety Case And Challenges All To Also Do So - But Is It Right?Submitted by brad on Wed, 2023-03-22 14:31
Today, Waymo released an extension of their previous safety frameworks where they promote what they call a "Case Credibility Assessment" — a way of examining whether any safety case is strong and should be believed. It's a complex situation, but the larger question is just who these safety cases are for, and how they will interpret them. In particular, what will regulators do?
Read more at Forbes.com in Waymo Makes A New Safety Case And Challenges All To Also Do So - But Is It Right?
Tesla Did Introduce The Model 2 This Week At $29,000, But Kept It QuietSubmitted by brad on Fri, 2023-03-03 13:56
Tesla’s “Investor Day” caused much disappointment — even tanking Tesla stock — because there was no big announcement as expected, notably of their new low-cost, next generation vehicle. However, they actually let out a number of important details abut the vehicle, most of what you need to know — other than when you will be able to buy it. I calculate the list price of the new car will be around $26,000 -- under $14,000 with rebates in some states.
Read more at Forbes.com in Tesla Did Introduce The Model 2 This Week At $26,000, But Kept It Quiet
Live Tesla Investor Day analysis show - starting soonSubmitted by brad on Wed, 2023-03-01 17:54
Tesla has done their investor day. No big announcements but tons of detail. About 20 minutes after it ends (it's still going at 4:50pm) Mario Herger and I will do a live post-show stream looking at highlights of the program.
Waymo And Cruise have Both Hit 1M Miles With No Driver, But Waymo Publishes Detailed Safety DataSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2023-02-28 10:07
Waymo has released impressive detailed safety data on their first million miles of operation with no safety driver. Cruise also just hit 1M miles but has less data to offer. I dig into Waymo's data and what it means.
Read more at Forbes.com in Waymo And Cruise have Both Hit 1M Miles With No Driver, But Waymo Publishes Detailed Safety Data
Telsa CCS ‘Magic Docks’ Revealed, But With Short Cords, Can Non-Tesla Cars Really Charge At Them?Submitted by brad on Thu, 2023-02-23 22:01
Tesla has tested some new Superchargers that will allow non-Teslas to use them. These stalls have the built in CCS adapter known as the "Magic Dock" but otherwise have the same short charging cord common to Tesla Superchargers — a cord that can’t readily reach the charging ports on many non-Tesla cars. We may see some fights.
Read more at Forbes.com in Telsa CCS ‘Magic Docks’ Revealed, But With Short Cords, Can Non-Tesla Cars Really Charge At Them?
Tesla To Open Up 10% Of Superchargers To Other Cars, But It’s More Complex And The Plan’s MisguidedSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2023-02-21 16:41
Should robotaxis drive backwards sometimes?Submitted by brad on Mon, 2023-02-13 12:50
The unusual thing about the Zoox is it is symmetrical -- it drives the same forwards and backwards. Now it's finally out on public roads. That's a good time to discuss whether it would be good for other, traditionally designed robotaxis to drive backwards for short stretches to get out of tight spots, to turn around, and to quickly get out when they discover a fire crew that will otherwise break their widows.
Self driving cars have trouble with Pick-up/Drop-off, and for the SuperbowlSubmitted by brad on Thu, 2023-02-09 13:24
Driving is the hard problem. But doing pick-up and drop-off turns out to have a lot of complications and it was not at the top of the todo list, so some companies are having issues with it with cities. We see some hints of this in Waymo's Superbowl-related service, too.
Read more at Self driving cars have trouble with Pick-up/Drop-off, and for the Superbowl on Forbes.com
Robocars Podcast: Hot issues of Jan 2023Submitted by brad on Sat, 2023-02-04 12:36
I have done an experimental podcast discussion show on the hot future-of-transportation issues so far this year.
You can watch it on YouTube, where I have chapter markers to let you easily find the topics of interest to you, as we spoke for almost one hour and 20 minutes. I was joined by Mario Herger of The Last Driver Licence Holder
San Francisco Fire Dept. Decided They Should Smash The Window Of A Cruise Robotaxi. Did They Overdo It?Submitted by brad on Tue, 2023-01-31 15:21
On Jan 21, SF Fire Dept. crews, worried a Cruise robotaxi was about to drive through their fire scene, smashed in its window. They said it wasn't stopping, and back when Cruise first began one of its cars did drive over a fire hose. Digging into the details though, Cruise said it had stopped after trying to pull over, and did what they expected. So what should it do, and does the fact that that Cruise takes the conservative approach in such situations of stopping and waiting for rescue constitute a big safety problem, or just a teething pain as they test and learn.
They will rent you an EV, but Avis, Hertz, Budget charge fat fees if you don't recharge it. Oops.Submitted by brad on Sat, 2023-01-28 12:37
Rental car companies are starting to rent EVs, which is great for many rentals. But Hertz and Avis/Budget have a fat fee if you don't return it recharged, and on some rentals that can be a real burden as you can't just "stop by the gas station for 5 minutes on the way to the airport." Though if your hotel has charging, it's even easier to refill than a gas car.
So I examine what all the rental companies do and what the fee means and how they charge the cars in this Forbes.com article.
An 8-Car Pileup Started By A Tesla In Autopilot Opens Up Many Complex IssuesSubmitted by brad on Thu, 2023-01-26 12:14
MIT/IEEE-Published Study Falsely Imagines Computing In Robocars Will Emit Lots Of Carbon. Relax, It’s UnlikelySubmitted by brad on Mon, 2023-01-23 19:43
An annoying paper argues that self-driving cars will use huge amounts of compute and thus have a giant carbon footprint. The boring way that it's wrong is that the compute load will not grow as they suggest.
The more interesting way that it's wrong is that self-driving EVs will draw most of their power from no-emission generation sources like solar and nuclear, even if they do use a lot of power.
I Get Back In A Waymo To Ride In San Francisco With A Top Waymo Developer And It’s Good (+Video)Submitted by brad on Mon, 2023-01-23 19:37
I recently took a ride in a fully autonomous Waymo vehicle in San Francisco. It was my first ride in many years — I had been a member of the early team while it was part of Google. My guide on the ride was Andrew Chatham, whom I had worked with back then. He is now a Distinguished Engineer, managing fleet logistics and many other things, and reporting directly to Waymo’s co-CEO.
New "Autonomap" maps self-driving services around the worldSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2023-01-17 11:44
I have started building a map of all the autonomous services deployed carrying passengers or cargo. The services must be available to the public and out in public or semi-public spaces.
Turns out there are a lot. Contributions are welcome.
More details and info on contributing can be found at the map page
Year end summary: Top Robocar stories of 2022Submitted by brad on Mon, 2023-01-09 13:13
Here's my annual summary of the top stories of the prior year. This time the news was a strong mix of bad and good.
Read the text story on Forbes.com at Robocars 2022 year in review
And see the video version here:
California Law Tries To Force Tesla To Rename ‘FSD’ Product But It May Not WorkSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2023-01-03 15:41
California recently passed a law that is obviously aimed at forcing Tesla to stop using the name “Full Self-Driving” to describe the expensive software add-on they sell for their cars which does not, at this time, provide self driving, full or otherwise. The ostensible reason for this is to avoid customer confusion and the potential danger that could come from people thinking they have a self-driving car when they don’t.
Meet Gatik, Which May Be The Leader In Self-Driving Trucks By Attacking The Middle MileSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2023-01-03 15:38
Many companies are working on self-driving trucks and delivery. As it became clear that robotaxi required a very large investment, teams looked for a more tractable problem. Most have gone after long-haul trucking on the interstate, but one leader has quietly gone after the “middle mile” while others go after long-haul and last-mile.
Waymo And Cruise Make Big Boosts In Robotaxi ServiceSubmitted by brad on Tue, 2023-01-03 15:37
Cruise and Waymo, the clear #2 and #1 (respectively) in the Robotaxi race, have recently expanded their service areas for public access rides and driving with nobody in the vehicle. It’s a continued positive milestone in a year that has seen many setbacks for self-driving projects.