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Driverless Cars / Trucks

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Autonomous vehicles: Now on a more voluntary yet still uncertain glide path

Sep 13, 2017 by Sean Kilcarr in Trucks at Work


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Can rules be too rigid? The answer the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is providing to that question – at least where the issue of self-driving vehicles is concerned – is a firm “yes.”

The DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) yesterday released new federal guidance for Automated Driving Systems (ADS): A Vision for Safety 2.0, which is designed to provide a regulatory roadmap for the development of self-driving cars and trucks.

Again this is “voluntary guidance,” which is much different than the top-down regulatory control envisioned previously by the Obama administration, which focused on just Levels Three through Five as defined by SAE International, a global association of vehicle engineers formally known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. The five levels within the international standard for automated driving are:


  • Level Zero: No Automation. The human does all the driving all the time.
  • Level One: Driver Assistance. The vehicle’s system provides assistance with steering or acceleration and braking in certain circumstances, such as when something blocks the road.
  • Level Two: Partial Automation. The system performs steering, acceleration and braking with a human monitoring the road and environment.
  • Level Three: Conditional Automation. The system performs the driving tasks and monitors the environment while the human stands by to intervene if the system requests it.
  • Level Four: High Automation. The system performs all driving tasks and can continue do so even if a human driver fails to intervene if requested.
  • Level Five: Full Automation. The vehicle does all driving all the time.
As automated technologies advance, so will the DOT’s guidance, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao noted in a speech yesterday; guidance that “is intended to be flexible and to evolve as technology does,” she said.

Despite all the usual platitudes about the wonders of technology – “The safe deployment of automated vehicle technologies means we can look forward to a future with fewer traffic fatalities and increased mobility for all Americans,” Chao said in her speech yesterday – the truth is we’re really in unknown territory.

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Think about it: self-driving vehicles are literally the stuff of science fiction books and movies; literally. And now we’re actually moving into a position where this technology may become an everyday reality, with all sorts of seismic shock waves emanating from it.

Think about the truck drivers in this country for a second; a labor pool that totals some 3.5 million people, with 3.1 million of them commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. What happens to them if trucks start driving themselves?

Chao herself touched on what a momentous point in time we’ve reached in terms of the development of autonomous vehicle systems in a speech she gave earlier this year.

“This is my third time back at the department [and] when I first came so many years ago, smart phones and drones were part of the Star-Trek universe. Well, they’re not science fiction anymore! Today, we are seeing a technological revolution that will change the way we work, live, travel, and conduct commerce,” she explained.

“Technology – the great disruptor—is creating a new type of transport based on digital, not human, command and control,” Chao pointed out. “In the future, computers, not people, will be in the driver’s seat. That means ‘self-driving’ cars, trucks, railroad cars, ships and drones. This technology has the potential to change our lives in ways we can’t imagine.”

No truer words were ever spoken, especially where autonomous vehicles are concerned.

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Senate told of safety, efficiency benefits of autonomous trucks

DOT releases updated set of autonomous vehicle guidelines
Sep 13, 2017 Neil Abt

Text of prepared testimony and a full replay of the hearing can be found at this link.


Navistar’s Troy Clarke told senators an autonomous vehicle could be with mixed vehicles, while the driver sitting in his or her seat is managing the controls and monitoring several platooning trucks. (Photo: Navistar)


Related Media

Nevada officials say autonomous-truck era drawing near


A Senate hearing on autonomous trucks offered little new information for anyone who has monitored the rapid developments in recent years. It did, however, illustrate the increased attention the issue is receiving by Congress.

“Automated vehicle technology holds great promise to transform transportation in this country,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said in his opening statement. “But the most exciting aspect of this transformative advancement is the potential to save thousands of lives every year on our nation’s roadways.”

Thune is chairman of Senate Committee on Science, Commerce & Transportation, which called the Sept. 13 hearing on Capitol Hill. It was held as the Senate considers legislation that could give the Department of Transportation (DOT) the ability to set performance standards for autonomous vehicles.


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A House version passed earlier in September excluded vehicles over 10,000 lbs. The Senate panel has not decided if whether it will attempt to include commercial vehicles.

The panelists testifying before the committee generally expressed support for linking all motor vehicles as any federal standards and regulations are developed.


Hernandez (left), Clarke, Hersman, Spear and Hall at the hearing (Photo: ATA)

Chris Spear, president of American Trucking Associations, said while he was not “pushing for more regulations,” on this particular issue it was critical the federal government take the lead, rather than letting each state create different rules for cars and trucks.

“Preserving a seamless set of safety standards across the country will help to minimize disruptions to the economy and the national supply chain, and support the development of new technology,” he said in prepared testimony.

Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters union, was the most cautious of all the panelists, expressing concern whether the technology could wipe out millions of truck driving jobs.

Yet, he and Spear were in general agreement when asked if they would support in the near-term regulations on lower levels of automation – thus ensuring that a driver would be needed in every vehicle.

Spear stressed that very few in the trucking industry believe a true driverless truck – Level 5 automation - will be a reality in the “foreseeable future.”

Besides the potential risk to jobs, cybersecurity and training needs were frequently cited by the senators on the committee.


Thune rides in an autonomous car earlier in 2017. (Photo: U.S. Senate)

At the same time, there was consensus the safety benefits are far too great to ignore.

“This is a game-changer for highway fatalities,” Deborah Hersman, president of the National Safety Council, said in a response to a question from Thune on the technology’s potential.

It was a sentient shared by Troy Clarke, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar Inc.

“We believe that these greater levels of self-driving technology will help reduce human error, which accounts for approximately 94 percent of all motor vehicle accidents,” he said.

Clarke also touted safety and fuel economy benefits of truck platoons, where two or more trucks are electronically linked.

Col. Scott G. Hernandez, chief of Colorado State Patrol, who participated in last year’s autonomous beer delivery in the state with Otto, assured senators the technology does “advance safety for trucks.”

“The proof of concept in Colorado indicates that self-driving vehicles will play a critical role in improving traffic safety and may reduce congestion in the future,” he said.

The role technology can play in reducing highway accidents was a main theme of DOT’s updated guidelines on autonomous vehicles, issued on Sept. 12.

“In the transportation sector, where 9 out of 10 serious roadway crashes occur due to human behavior, automated vehicle technologies possess the potential to save thousands of lives, as well as reduce congestion, enhance mobility, and improve productivity,” DOT said.


DOT's Chao meets with Sen. Thune earlier this year. (Photo: U.S. Senate)

Secretary Elaine Chao released the updated document about one year after the Obama administration issued the first-ever guidance for autonomous vehicles.

The document includes 12 priority safety design elements for consideration, including cybersecurity, human machine interface, crashworthiness, consumer education and training, and post-crash ADS behavior.

The document also dives into the responsibilities state governments will have, even as the federal government takes some level of oversight into the emerging technology.

In particular, DOT said states will remain in charge of numerous areas, including licensing, enforcing traffic laws, conducing inspections and regulating vehicle insurance.

At the hearing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was critical of the guidelines, calling them “anemic” and “a give away to the industry.”

ATA's Spear fired back, calling the document “a first step” and “a good foundation.”

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Automated trucks and the role of the commercial driver

ATA’s Cammisa explained autonomous technologies will be implemented to make truck drivers safer and more productive.
Sep 26, 2017 Cristina Commendatore



Michael Cammisa, ATA's vice president of safety policy, connectivity and technology, discusses technology, policy and businesses perspectives as they relate to driving change in automated trucking during TU-Automotive's Connected Fleets 2017. (Photo: Cristina Commendatore / Fleet Owner)


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ATLANTA. In a world where trucks are able to fully drive themselves, there still will be a role for the commercial driver. But that role is going to change.

Michael Cammisa, vice president of safety policy, connectivity and technology, for the American Trucking Assns., discussed technology, policy and businesses perspectives as they relate to driving change in automated trucking during TU-Automotive’s Connected Fleets conference here in Atlanta.

With growing freight demand, a demand for more trucks, and a projected driver shortage of up to 175,000 by 2024, Cammisa said the industry is looking to automation to attract new, younger drivers.


“I heard a fleet manager say he already has driverless trucks … they’re in the parking lot now and if he could just get drivers for them he could make more money,” Cammisa quipped.

“We’re looking at this technology right now as more of a driver-assist feature to make the drivers safer and more productive,” he added. “We also hope it’s going to extend the careers of some of the older drivers rather than put them out of jobs. And we’re also hoping it’s going to attract younger drivers – particularly in the long-haul segments where people are away for days at a time and don’t know when exactly they’re going to be home again.”

An example of automation to make a driver more productive could be that the vehicle takes over when a driver is stuck in some sort of traffic jam and has trouble making his or her final deliveries. With that driver-assistive software, Cammisa explained the truck could handle that stop-and-go traffic and extend the driver’s hours of service so he or she can make that final delivery on time.

In terms of jobs, the industry is also thinking of technicians, Cammisa noted.

“We need more [technicians] now, and with new technology there are going to be new requirements for maintaining and repairing that technology on the vehicles, so we think this will be a great opportunity and also provide a new skillset for the technicians that are in fleets now,” he added.

Some of the main hurdles the industry is currently dealing with are state laws and regulations. Cammisa noted that if states have conflicting requirements that could lead to problems for interstate commerce – creating an inevitable slowdown in the development of automated technology.

“This is a case where the technology is being developed really fast and people are trying to regulate it before it’s actually been fully developed,” he explained, adding this wasn’t the case for implementing and mandating automatic emergency braking systems or electronic stability control. “With the automated technology, we’re seeing efforts where we’re trying to regulate it and we don’t really have all the information yet.”

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Inside the city where only ROBOTS are allowed: Michigan's self driving car complex revealed - complete with fake buildings and mechanical pedestrians
  • $6.5 million facility is outfitted with 40 building facades that can be moved and changed to mimic cities
  • Even has robotic pedestrians that can walk in front of vehicles to simulate emergency stops
  • Boasts 40 building facades, angled intersections, a roundabout, a bridge, a tunnel and gravel roads


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4927024/The-city-ROBOTS-allowed.html#ixzz4txnOyiHi
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
 

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Yep, just what we need. More Chaos on the road. Just another way to try and pick out pockets...
 

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Senate bill on self-driving vehicles excludes trucks

Mark-up on legislation scheduled for Oct. 4
Oct 1, 2017 Neil Abt


A Senate panel will mark-up a bill that would promote the use of self-driving vehicles on Oct. 4. Commercial trucks are excluded from the legislation. (Photo: Federal Highway Administration)


Related Media

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Leaders with the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee announced they reached an agreement on legislation overseeing self-driving vehicles that excludes commercial trucks.

The Senate bill is similar to one the House unanimously passed in September that would allow automakers sell thousands of autonomous vehicles, provided they demonstrate they are as safe as current vehicles with human controls.

The House bill also excluded vehicles above 10,000 lbs. A mark-up of the Senate bill is scheduled for Oct. 4.

“This legislation proposes commonsense changes in law to keep pace with advances in self-driving technology,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the committee. While Thune had previously expressed support for trucks to be included in a bill, excluding them was part of a compromise with Democratic Sen. Gary Peters.

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American Trucking Associations expressed disappointment trucks were not included in the legislation.

ATA president and CEO Chris Spear said “if more automated cars and trucks are to share the roads, they should also share the same framework.”

Labor unions have mounted a campaign against the inclusion of trucks, suggesting it could cost jobs.

“This approach will give Congress more time to thoroughly examine how driverless technology will impact the jobs, wages, and safety of bus and truck drivers, and develop a plan to address these concerns,” said AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Larry Willis.

Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), praised the bill for establishing “a clear policy framework to advance the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. This technology will improve roadway safety, increase transportation access and independence for seniors and individuals with disabilities, and advance fuel efficiency and fuel choice, ultimately reducing our dangerous dependence on oil.”

Similarly, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said it will “help advance self-driving technologies and help keep the United States at the forefront of these innovations.”

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NACV shows trucks without drivers won't happen anytime soon
Oct 3, 2017 by Neil Abt in The Open Road


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Automated trucks and the role of the commercial driver


Concern over the future of truck driving jobs are frequently cited by labor unions and other groups when discussing the possibility of self-driving trucks. It is a key reason legislation moving through Congress to promote the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles does not include commercial vehicles.


The driver's lounge inside the Freightliner Cascadia.

The moment may one day come a long time from now when truck drivers are no longer needed. For anyone thinking that may be imminent, however, they have not been listen to today’s truck makers discuss their latest designs.

Across the sprawling exhibit hall of last week’s inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in Atlanta, the truck makers in attendance each touted the fuel economy and technological advancements of their product lineups.


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Another common refrain was just how much time and and effort has gone into working with drivers as they have created these models.

For Volvo Trucks, development of the updated VNR and VNL models included about 2,000 interviews, officials said. When Mack Trucks launched its new Anthem model in September, it touted a new dashboard that moves common controls closer to the driver. It also added more functionality to the steering wheel at the request of fleets.

In the case of Navistar, its latest models included working with truckers to create a vehicle “drivers really want to drive,” said Denny Mooney, vice president of global engineering. Great efforts were made to design new mirrors so truckers don’t have to turn their heads quite as much. The result, Navistar said, is less fatigue over the course of a long shift of driving.

Not to be outdone, the next generation of the Freightliner Cascadia, first unveiled last year, offers a driver’s lounge that includes more personal cargo space, as well as options such as a larger microwave cabinet, larger refrigerator, and sturdy swivel bracket that can hold up to a 26-inch television.


PACCAR's column-mounted shifter.

Though PACCAR units Perterbilt Motors and Kenworth Trucks did not attend NACV, the investment in truckers was apparent earlier this summer as the parent company unveiled its 12-speed automated transmission. A key feature is the column-mounted shifter.

“The column-mounted shifter was designed based on in-depth studies of driver behavior and ergonomics. This new design also allowed us to improve on the usability of our dash by eliminating engine brake control switches,” said Scott Newhouse, Peterbilt's chief engineer.

That is all far different than the image of the Google car with no steering wheel that so many in the general public immediately associate when they hear autonomous driving. Some of the confusion was on display at last month’s Senate hearing, when it seemed for some a light bulb went on when they heard the future of truck driving being compared with today's airline pilots.


A look inside the new Mack Anthem.

While that has long been discussed within trucking industry circles, word remains slow to get out to the general public.

It remains apparent the technological development within trucking will lead to more active safety systems, and the launch of platooning systems, likely before the end of the decade.

That does not change the fact truck drivers will be needed. While some of their day-to-day duties may change, the idea of no one in the driver’s seat remains very far off.

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Auburn University, TARDEC conduct live truck platooning demo
Oct 6, 2017


Florida set to test high-speed tolls, truck platooning technology


Auburn University recently joined the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, to conduct a live demonstration of autonomous vehicle technology traveling across the border between the U.S. and Canada. The capabilities of truck platoons were showcased traveling down Interstate 69, going east across the Blue Water Bridge connecting Port Huron with Ontario before returning to the U.S. The demonstration was conducted in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation.

"Auburn University and TARDEC researchers are advancing this technology to the point where it is ready for commercial and military uses," said David Bevly, director of Auburn University's GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory and professor of mechanical engineering. "Today's live demonstration under real-world traffic conditions highlights just how far this paradigm changing technology has come."

Auburn's two Peterbilt 579 trucks led the mixed convoy of commercial and military trucks using platooning software that Bevly's research group developed and implemented throughout the convoy. Auburn's work on GPS and radar sensor fusion also allowed the convoy to maintain a set distance between each truck.

"We are proud to contribute key technology and expertise to this groundbreaking demonstration as part of our longstanding partnership with TARDEC," said Chris Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. "The important work Dr. Bevly and his autonomous vehicle research development team are engaged in with TARDEC will go a long way toward bringing this exciting, life-saving technology to commercial and military application."

The Army's vehicles in the convoy, two M915 line-haul tractors carrying flatbed trailers loaded with cargo containers, are each equipped with TARDEC's Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System technology which enables a full range of capabilities, from driver-warning features to fully-autonomous operation, which can move the vehicle along a path using pre-programmed waypoints.

"Driverless capabilities can do so much for our soldiers and their missions," said Bernie Theisen, project manager for TARDEC's leader-follower program. "We can move soldiers out of the convoy trucks and into missions where they're uniquely suited, and this technology can significantly increase the safety for those soldiers who do continue to operate the convoys."

On display during this demonstration were the vehicle's automated acceleration and deceleration features, which allow the vehicle to adjust its speed and braking with respect to instructions passed back to it from the lead vehicle.

Additionally, the Army's trucks are enabling the automated steering feature. With this capability, the truck's computer receives information from the lead vehicles and steers the truck accordingly. This is the first time the Army has tested this capability on a public roadway, Theisen noted.

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DHL selects NVIDIA for autonomous delivery truck fleet

Oct 13, 2017


With ZF sensor technology as well as the ProAI control unit, Deutsche Post DHL will upgrade its fleet of “streetscooter” vehicles to be autonomous on the last mile.


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NVIDIA announced that Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), and ZF have partnered to deploy a test fleet of autonomous delivery trucks starting in 2018.

DPDHL will outfit electric light trucks with the ZF ProAI self-driving system, based on NVIDIA DRIVE PX technology, for automating package transportation and delivery, including the “last mile” of deliveries.

DPDHL currently has a fleet of 3,400 StreetScooter electric delivery vehicles, which can be equipped with ZF’s multiple sensors including cameras, lidar, and radar that feed into the ZF ProAI system. This can enable the vehicle to use artificial intelligence to understand its environment, plan a safe path forward, proceed along a selected route and park itself, the companies noted.

“The development of autonomous delivery vehicles demonstrates how AI and deep learning are also reshaping the commercial transportation industry,” said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO. “As online shopping continues to explode, and the shortage of truck drivers becomes more dire, AI-enabled vehicles will be key to providing last-mile delivery services.”

"Research and development of ecological, economical and efficient transportation will bring dramatic changes to the logistics industry," said Jürgen Gerdes, member of the Board of Management at Deutsche Post AG. "Partnering with NVIDIA and ZF will enable us to responsibly support this development, benefit from it and to reinforce our position as the industry´s innovation leader.”

“In its StreetScooter fleet, Deutsche Post DHL is taking its next step with our current and future generation of surround sensor technology and ZF ProAI artificial intelligence brain powered by NVIDIA," said Stefan Sommer, CEO at ZF. “ZF ProAI is the brain between our autonomous driving sensor set to detect and understand the environment, and our motion control based on outstanding mechanical competence – the entire system follows our ‘see – think – act’ approach. In supply logistics and on the last mile where autonomous driving has tremendous benefits, goods can be delivered independent of the time of the day and delivery staff, with minimal noise and emissions, thus significantly reducing traffic congestion in city centers.”

To develop these AI delivery vehicles, DPDHL has configured its data center with the NVIDIA DGX-1 AI supercomputer for training its neural networks. It will then run its learning models on the truck’s NVIDIA DRIVE PX platform. A prototype delivery vehicle uses six cameras, one radar, and two lidar – all feeding into the NVIDIA DRIVE PX.

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One-on-one with Chanje CEO: Where and when autonomy plugs in

Aaron Marsh | Nov 06, 2017



There are plenty of predictions, but what will the real uses of self-driving trucks be, at least in the beginning? Bryan Hansel, CEO of electric commercial vehicle maker Chanje, has a few thoughts on that as the situation may apply to the world of medium-duty, last-mile delivery vans.

"We see this segment of the market as playing a role," he contended.

He's speaking in first person on behalf of the company, not theoretically. Chanje's V8070 all-electric van was built from the ground up to be an electric vehicle, not adapted that way from an internal combustion engine-centric design. If you're already into deeply computer-controlled, all-electric operation, he pointed out, the vehicle driving itself isn't so much of a leap.

Chanje is targeting self-driving capability for its vehicles going forward, and Hansel compared the concept to automaker Tesla's forays into semi-autonomous electric vehicles and beyond.

(Photo: Aaron Marsh / Fleet Owner)

Chanje sees fully autonomous driving capability as the goal, with intermediate levels of autonomy perhaps less useful given its products' intended use environments.

So how will autonomy work in real terms for commercial vehicle use? Well, Hansel began with where it's not as useful, in Chanje's view: anything less than fully self-driving capability.

"We don't see a lot of value right now in doing some of the intermediate autonomous features," he told Fleet Owner. "This [the Chanje V8070] won't just be driving down the highway, so the fact that it could stay in its lane without you touching the wheel isn't that valuable.

"Fully autonomous driving is where we'd see our introduction, and that's our roadmap," he continued. Moreover, Hansel argued that it's not the technology that will determine when self-driving trucks truly arrive, it's the underlying government policy that's yet to be hashed out.

Even so, he said he sees a likely first use of self-driving trucks. "I would anticipate that the first move that we'll see that our customers can really benefit from is operating autonomously inside their depots," he noted. "The trucks all have to come into the queue to be loaded, and you could do that without drivers.

"That would save a whole headache and labor and improve efficiency," Hansel added. "And it would let us prove out our technology without any pedestrians or outside influence."

(Photo: Aaron Marsh / Fleet Owner)

It's a natural step for a vehicle that's been designed from the ground up for all-electric function and connectivity to enable autonomous functionality, Chanje CEO Bryan Hansel argued.


He pointed out that Chanje is looking to be "well-poised to break into the market" of autonomous trucks when the time comes, working from the basis of the V8070 platform. He suggested that electric vehicles have advantages in that regard.

"If you start with a clean sheet of paper and you write the CAN communication protocols as to how data flows through a vehicle and you harness it in all this connectedness from the ground up, you've got a vehicle that's prepared to be autonomous," he contended

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https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/8/16626224/las-vegas-self-driving-shuttle-crash-accident-first-day

A Las Vegas-based self-driving shuttle service celebrated its launch day by getting into an accident with a human driver, according to a news report from local Nevada broadcast station KSNV News 3. The shuttle, made by French startup Navya and owned and operated by French private transportation company Keolis, operates on a 0.6-mile loop around downtown Las Vegas offering free rides to residents. Within an hour of starting its new expanded operation today, following a two-week pilot test back in January, the shuttle hit the front end of a large delivery truck as the human driver pulled out into the street from a loading bay.
 

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It will be funny watching all these self driving cars doing the speed limit all over the place causing huge traffic jams.
 

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Chinese self-driving truck firm to widen testing efforts

After securing fresh investment funds, TuSimple plans to start fleet testing its autonomous technology on roads in the U.S. and China.

Fleet Owner Staff | Nov 28, 2017

Save TuSimple, an autonomous vehicle developer based in Shanghai, China, will begin to scale-up testing of its Level 4 self-driving technology to two full truck fleets, one in China and one in the U.S.

The company, founded in 2015, also plans to build-out a production engineering team in Tucson, AZ, with this latest round of investment cash, as well as fund further research and development at its San Diego, CA, and Beijing, China, locations.

Related: 'Big issue yet untouched': With self-driving vehicles, who'll be liable?

“Human error and driver fatigue account for a large portion of truck accidents [and we] are proud that our research and development efforts can help bring innovation to the trucking market and make the roads safer for everyone,” noted Mo Chen, CEO of TuSimple, in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with our investors to help make freight movement safer, smarter and cleaner.”

In July, TuSimple successfully completed a 170 mile public road test from San Diego, CA, to Yuma, AZ, using its Level 4 or “L4” system, with the technology handing the entire route with no human intervention.

The company said it started testing its L4 autonomous truck on public roads in China back in September and has already accumulated over 15,000 autonomous miles.

TuSimple added that it is scheduled to begin testing its L4 truck platform in Arizona by the end of this year.

The company noted that its “full-stack” self-driving system combines technology for perception, localization, mapping, motion planning, control and actuation for use in autonomous trucking.

The company said its package collects data from cameras and radars through advanced sensor fusion to detect and track objects at distances over 200 meters, with “localization technology” achieving consistent decimeter-level precision, even in challenging environments such as tunnels.

Meanwhile, its decision-making system dynamically adapts to road conditions, changing lanes and adjusting driving speeds to maximize safety and efficiency.

TuSimple said it plans to focus on line-haul trucking, transporting cargo between ports, plants, warehouses, and distribution centers.

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Trucking officials tout automation's ability to attract younger drivers
Neil Abt | Dec 07, 2017

Effort to include trucks fails before Senate panel advances autonomous bill

Woodruff was one of four invited guests for a roundtable on “Emerging Technologies in the Trucking Industry” hosted by the House subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

Woodruff added younger workers enjoy working with emerging technologies, which are making the job of driving more appealing.

Similarly, Susan Alt, senior vice president of public affairs for Volvo Group North America, told the subcommittee there is a shortage of truck drivers because it is a “tough job.”

“We want newer, younger drivers,” Alt said. “Part of automation is just that – to lure
more drivers in.”

However, Larry Willis, president of Transportation Trades Department, said the driver shortage was mainly due to wages and benefits not being high enough. He also expressed “serious concerns” about the impact automation will have on employment within the truck and bus sector in the coming years.

Willis said the “economy is not prepared for the job dislocation and downward pressure on wages” that will result. He called on lawmakers to react proactively to ensure the labor and safety policies keep pace with technology.

Overall, very little new ground was discussed during the 90-minute roundtable, but it did give trucking officials another opportunity to promote its investment and commitment to safety.

In his opening remarks, Woodruff noted his company was an early adopter of numerous technologies. “The trucking industry spends over $9 billion annually on safety including technology enhancements, to help ensure that drivers and passengers of all vehicles make it safely to their destination,” he said.

A common concern voiced by lawmakers was what steps they can take to help with job training as new technologies takes hold.

Woodruff said programs could be modeled after current steps being taken to get more military veterans into the industry.

TTD’s Willis, who suggested millions of positions are at stake, urged lawmakers “to think strategically about training for specific jobs in this economy.”

Woodruff downplayed concerns of job losses, even as he outlined a future scenario where driverless trucks could travel long stretches of open highways. If this happened, professional drivers would be strategically staged in locations to finish deliveries through more congested areas.

He also cautioned lawmakers from excluding trucking from autonomous legislation under development in Congress.

Jane Terry, senior director of government affairs for the National Safety Council, said she agreed trucking should be included in an autonomous regulatory framework.

She also backed efforts to promote active safety systems, saying the United States must “look beyond behavioral changes” to reduce highway accidents and fatalities.

http://www.fleetowner.com/technolog...m=email&elq2=d30eb6bec56f46248c378f037408e3f4
 

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Families Field Test Autonomous Vehicles
VOA News


Published on Dec 18, 2017
It's all fun and games until a family gets behind the wheel. That's the whole idea behind Volvo's Drive Me project. Automated vehicles are now being test driven by families as part of a multi-stage experiment that's taking place in Norway. VOA's Steve Redisch reports.
Originally published at - https://www.voanews.com/a/4168181.html
 

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Testing The World's Smartest Autonomous Car (NOT A Tesla)
Car Throttle


Published on Dec 27, 2017
Alex gets driven by the world's most advanced autonomous vehicle - the Level 4-equipped Renault Symbioz - to find out what the future of driving will be like.
Subscribe to Car Throttle: http://bit.ly/CTSubscribe
 

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Wired: Self Driving Car Hype Crashes Into Harsh Realities
Posted on December 30, 2017 by Yves Smith

For some time, Lambert and I have been pooh-poohing the idea that self-driving cars, particularly true self-driving cars (as opposed to ones that have humans lurking in the background to take control) would be here any time soon, much the less in the widely-ballyhooed time frame of 2018 to 2020.

A new Wired article, describing the newfound sobriety in the self-driving car development community, confirms our long-standing views. It begins with a a series of examples of how companies like Volvo and Google have not only pushed back their self driving car delivery due dates, but have also scaled back their promises of what they will be producing. More important, the piece also describes obstacles that are so significant that even the more cautious forecasts still sound optimistic.

The big problem is that the people engineering these systems have yet to come close to mastering basic design requirements. They think they know how to get there, but that is sort of like being able to describe what it would take to sail across the Pacific solo and actually doing it.

One set of problems is that the self driving car creators have apparently settled on using three different types of sensors and then integrating the inputs. The types of sensors individually don’t appear to be able to operate at the required performance levels. The Wired story uses a Medium post by Bryan Salesky, the CEO of self driving car company Argo AI as its point of departure. Oddly, that article appeared in October, so it is curious to see Wired taking note of it now. From the Wired account:

First, he [Salesky] says, came the sensor snags. Self-driving cars need at least three kinds to function—lidar, which can see clearly in 3-D; cameras, for color and detail; and radar, with can detect objects and their velocities at long distances. Lidar, in particular, doesn’t come cheap: A setup for one car can cost $75,000. Then the vehicles need to take the info from those pricey sensors and fuse it together, extracting what they need to operate in the world and discarding what they doesn’t.

As Lambert pointed out, the data integration problem sounds an awful lot like that of a hugely expensive white elephant, the F-35 helmet. And those helmets have human pilots interpreting all the data.

As an aside, it is curious to see how the designers are framing the “how the car ‘sees'” problem. You don’t need to see in color to drive. One of the cases in an Oliver Sacks book was of a man who had monochrome vision, which it turned out was far more acute at distance vision than for those of us who see in color. Similarly, you don’t need to see in three dimensions to judge distances accurately and drive and park safely.

On top of that, a truly autonomous car needs to be able to recognize objects and interpret the behavior of other cars. Again from Wired:

Salesky cites other problems, minor technological quandaries that could prove disastrous once these cars are actually moving through 3-D space. Vehicles need to be able to see, interpret, and predict the behavior of human drivers, human cyclists, and human pedestrians—perhaps even communicate with them. The cars must understand when they’re in another vehicle’s blind spot and drive extra carefully. They have to know (and see, and hear) when a zooming ambulance needs more room.

If you can’t make the algo work, the solution is apparently to simplify the inputs. One idea is for the vehicles to do only shuttle-type runs. One example was in a retirement community.

But bus driver do more than drive. They keep pranksters from vandalizing the vehicle or shaking down passengers, or (gah!) homeless people taking up residence. And even set routes are not static. What happens in the event of a street repair or a car accident?

The self driving car proponents are also bizarrely eager to introduce a less than fully autonomous car, presumably to increase customer acceptance, when it is likely to backfire. The fudge is to have a human at ready to take over the car in case it asks for help.

First, as one might infer, the human who is suddenly asked to intervene is going to have to quickly asses the situation. The handoff delay means a slower response than if a human had been driving the entire time. Second, and even worse, the human suddenly asked to take control might not even see what the emergency need is. Third, the car itself might not recognize that it is about to get into trouble. Recall that Uber tried to blame a car accident when its self driving car was making a left turn on the oncoming driver, when if you parsed the story carefully, it was the Uber car that was in the wrong.

The newest iteration of the “human takeover” fudge is to have remotely located humans take over navigating the car. Help me. Unlike a driver in a vehicle, they won’t have any feel for the setting. That means an even slower reaction in what will typically be an emergency situation. This is a prescription for bad outcomes, meaning a much worse safety record than with people as drivers, fatally undermining a key claim for self driving cars, that they’d be safer than human operated ones.

Wired finishes its account with a sunny exhortation, but Salesky’s warning, in a article written in corporate-speak, is nowhere near as cheerful:

Those who think fully self-driving vehicles will be ubiquitous on city streets months from now or even in a few years are not well connected to the state of the art or committed to the safe deployment of the technology. For those of us who have been working on the technology for a long time, we’re going to tell you the issue is still really hard, as the systems are as complex as ever.

One thing does look certain: there won’t be any Hail Mary breakthroughs before Uber’s planned IPO in 2019. Shame, that.

This entry was posted in Auto industry, Ridiculously obvious scams, Technology and innovation on December 30, 2017 by Yves Smith.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/12/124762.html
 

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Anticipating maintenance challenges for autonomous vehicles
Shift in responsibility creates opportunities for technicians, Stratim CEO Sean Behr says.
Neil Abt | Jan 02, 2018

A discussion of autonomous vehicles often brings with it fears of widespread job losses for the trucking community. But Sean Behr, co-founder and CEO of Stratim, expects new opportunities for the industry’s technicians.

Maintenance experience and information from trucking fleets “is so valuable right now to the folks dealing with the real-world logistics of car sharing and autonomous vehicles,” Behr said. “This is a natural place for collaboration and discussion.”

Related: Look outside for a more systematic approach to maintenance

Stratim is a start-up based in San Francisco that has raised more than $36 million in funding. It alerts and plans when and where vehicles need to be fueled or have maintenance performed. The company monitors more than 10,000 cars and vans from 50 clients including BMW, Ford, and General Motors.

By the end of this decade, Behr expects a societal shift to be well underway, with more people owning fewer vehicles, instead relying ride-sharing services that will be at
least partially autonomous.

For corporate-owned fleets, “it won’t be enough to know a car needs gas,” Behr said. “The car actually needs to be fueled.”

Behr added one thing will not change – all of these vehicles will require preventative maintenance and emergency repairs. The problems of today will still exist, such as tires needing air and windshields getting dinged up from road debris.

That brings the “interesting parallel” with trucking, Behr said, as these consumer technology businesses get more involved in total vehicle management. Behr said Stratim is not actively involved in heavy-duty trucking, but does work with clients operating vans or light-duty trucks for last-mile and urban deliveries.

“These guys face some of the biggest logistical challenges moving a variety of goods quickly and effectively from warehouses 6 or 7 miles away into crowded downtown areas.” And regardless of the size of the vehicle, “challenges will remain to keep these vehicle going.”

http://www.fleetowner.com/fleet-man...m=email&elq2=6d11ab3f31b04d0eb1f8171661fca4d0
 

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Saved by a self driving car: The moment Lyft vehicle giving a Dailymail.com reporter a ride in Las Vegas avoids a crash as an oncoming car pulls out in front of it
  • At CES, Lyft and Aptiv offered free rides in their Pilot autonomous BMWs, and Dailymail.com tried it out
  • The self-driving Lyft was supervised by a safety driver, who kept hands off the wheel and feet off the brakes
  • The ride along the Las Vegas strip was smooth, and it even managed to avoid a car that turned in front of it


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5264419/Dailymail-com-tries-Lyfts-self-driving-car-Las-Vegas.html#ixzz54A2uebUd
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I bought a new Ford Edge, it does not drive itself, BUT it drives me crazy. Only 2 months into ownership & I am having ELECTRONICS FAILURES !!!
Can you read between the lines ????
 

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I bought a new Ford Edge, it does not drive itself, BUT it drives me crazy. Only 2 months into ownership & I am having ELECTRONICS FAILURES !!!
Can you read between the lines ????
Is it too late to return it? Also, check your State's Lemon laws. Having system failures within two Months of ownership sounds a lot like a lemon to me.
 

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Alphabet's Waymo buys ‘thousands’ more self-driving mini-vans from Fiat Chrysler ahead of rolling them out as part of its driverless taxi service this year
  • Deal will expand Waymo's fleet, with deliveries starting at the end of 2018
  • The exact number of purchased vehicles has not been disclosed by either party
  • The self-driving, ride-hailing service is set to launch its first publicly-offered service in Phoenix, Arizona later this year


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5329341/Alphabets-Waymo-buys-thousands-self-driving-minivans.html#ixzz55gwXKgFY
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Ex-Google engineers unveil their cute 'Nuro' self-driving van that will roll out in 2022 to deliver groceries and packages straight to your door
  • Silicon Valley startup Nuro.ai raised £65m to create its 'R1' self-driving vehicle
  • The company says the fully-autonomous car will never seat a human inside
  • The 'R1' is fitted with panels in its side that open up via an app to reveal its cargo
  • Nuro is starting road trials in California this year, and says it could have a road-legal fleet ready by 2022


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5330147/Nuro-self-driving-car-unveiled-ex-Google-engineers.html#ixzz55gx8hGjB
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Driverless Bus Gets a Tryout in Sweden
VOA News


Published on Feb 2, 2018
Getting onto a bus with a driver may be a thing of the past someday. Already, a technology company in Sweden is trying out a driverless minibus in Stockholm. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about it.
Originally published at - https://www.voanews.com/a/driverless-...
 

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Job losses, No-Fault Insurance for AI Vehicles with Million Dollar + policies for human cargo, a wee bit less than that for regular cargo

LOL

Humans as Cargo - Busses, Trains, Taxis, Planes,
LOL
Now, they'll be no one to fall asleep at the wheel of the bus carrying grandma to the casino

but, will these vehicles exceed the posted speed limit or will they hog up the fast lane doing the limit?

Stupid Human Tricks, all to "succeed" but at What? exactly?
 

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Waymo's "Uber-Killer" Robo-Taxi Set For Arizona Rollout


by Tyler Durden
Sun, 02/18/2018 - 20:10


Waymo, a unit of Alphabet, is set to launch a ride-sharing service similar to Uber, but with no human driver behind the wheel. Officials in Arizona granted Waymo a permit to operate as a transportation network company (TNC) across the state on Janurary 24, following the company’s initial application on Janurary 12, Bloomberg reported.

The imminent release of a robotic fleet of fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans could be flooding the highways of Arizona, causing major headaches for Uber.

Since April of last year, Waymo has been experimenting with its self-driving fleet on the human guinea pigs of Phoenix, offering residents 24/7 access to the free ridesharing service. TNC status is a significant step for Waymo, because it now authorizes the company to start charging its passengers.

Waymo’s vehicles in the Phoenix area have driven more than 4 million miles on public roads. In November, the company said a portion of its cars in the Phoenix area were operating in fully autonomous mode, what’s known in industry parlance as level four autonomy.

“A fully self-driving fleet can offer new and improved forms of sharing,” Waymo said at the time, adding that in coming months it would invite members of the public to ride in the fully autonomous vehicles, beginning with those already in the early rider program.




The man who predicted the collapse of GM, Fannie, and Freddie says the next big bankruptcy is going to catch everyone by surprise. Learn more here.


“As we continue to test drive our fleet of vehicles in greater Phoenix, we’re taking all the steps necessary to launch our commercial service this year,” a Waymo spokesman said in an emailed statement.

As Quartz notes, driverless cars are widely believed to be the "silver bullet" that will make ride-hailing profitable by eliminating the main cost: wages paid to human drivers.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Uber paid about $8 billion to drivers in earnings and bonuses, or about 72% of its gross revenue for the quarter. As a result, Uber lost $4.5 billion last year on $7.5BN in net revenue ($37BN gross revenue).




Waymo has yet to discuss driving rates for the Phoenix area, let alone provide plans to operate across other cities in the United States.

The threat from Google could prove existential to Uber: none other than former Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick said that the evolutionary process of ridesharing will ultimately transition to fully autonomous vehicles.

"The minute it was clear that Google was getting into the ride-sharing space, we realized we needed to make sure there was an alternative, because if there is not, we will be out of business,” Kalanick told Bloomberg in 2016.

As has been widely publicized, the fierce competition between Waymo and Uber to be the first to launch driverless ridesharing grew so intense, that Waymo sued Uber for stealing its trade secrets. On February 9, court found Uber guilty, ruling it would have to pay Waymo hundreds of millions of dollars for trade secrets theft, along with promising not to use the technology in any of its autonomous vehicles.

Quartz describes the fierce competition between Waymo and Uber to launch driverless ridesharing vehicles across the United States:

Arizona granted the TNC permit a week and a half before Waymo commenced its trade secrets trial against Uber in San Francisco, alleging Uber stole Waymo’s knowledge on how to build self-driving cars. The two companies reached a settlement on Feb. 9, five days into the trial, which includes Uber paying Waymo a 0.34% equity stake and agreeing not to incorporate Waymo’s confidential information into its software or hardware. But nothing prevents Waymo from competing in the ride-hailing arena.

Uber’s worst nightmare is almost here.



While Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA)’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) might have top-ticked the top in Uber’s valuation back in 2016, Waymo’s imminent rollout of its driverless cars for commercial use in Arizona could prick Uber’s valuation and send it into a sharp contraction.

In its rush to preserve market share, Uber will now be forced to roll out driverless vehicles of its own. This could trigger Uber to unleash a tech-induced surge of driver unemployment leading into the Presidential elections of 2020.

Two days ago, we reported a big rollout of burger-flipping robots in California is set to hit 50 locations by 2019; next it could be the part-time driver's turn. And so, as millennials praise the tech leaders in Silicon Valley, they do not realize that AI-controlled robots are coming for their jobs.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/waymos-uber-killer-robo-taxi-set-arizona-rollout
 

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Uber and Lyft Are Begging Government For A Monopoly On Self-Driving Cars


by Tyler Durden
Fri, 03/02/2018 - 19:50


Authored by Brittany Hunter via The Foundation for Economic Education,

It’s only a matter of time before American roads are filled with self-driving cars. In fact, it is quite likely that within the next decade or so, all the vehicles we see on the road will be self-driving, making the cars of today a thing of the past.

Already, the race to develop these vehicles is well underway, as major companies from Volvo to Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google, are competing to have the first line of autonomous cars to obtain government approval.

While there is no denying the impact these cars of the future will have on the way Americans drive, some ridesharing companies would like to take from consumers the decision about the shape of this future.



And this is not sitting well with free-market advocates who have spent years defending companies like Lyft and Uber.

Fighting the Good Fight
Since its inception, the ridesharing industry has faced enormous opposition from established cab companies. The latter enjoyed a nearly 80-year monopoly over the taxi sector, as there was simply no better way to operate, and thus no real competition. But the widespread use of smartphones and other technologies has made hailing a cab in the traditional sense inconvenient and outdated.

But instead of responding appropriately to this new competition, the cab industry utilized its connections with local governments in an attempt to regulate ridesharing out of existence. And these cab cronies enjoyed moderate success on this front.

Luckily, the demand for ridesharing was too sizeable to ignore. Consumers preferred the sharing economy to the old way of doing things. And this is largely why the ridesharing sector was able to survive a “David and Goliath” battle. But now, instead of seeking to understand what the consumers of the near future might actually want, Uber, Lyft, and others are seeking to force a new model of car ownership on the American public. And it is one that is simply incompatible with the free market principles that have allowed these companies to achieve success in the first place.

A Murky Proposal
Imagine a world where private ownership of self-driving automobiles is prohibited. If Uber, Lyft, and Zipcar get their way, this might be a reality we soon have to face. In a document entitled, “Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities,” many major players in the ridesharing sector have laid out their vision for the future of self-driving cars.

While the proposal itself merely spells out the long-term goals of multiple private organizations, its implementations reek of government interference. The first point, for example, states:

“1. WE PLAN OUR CITIES AND THEIR MOBILITY TOGETHER.

The way our cities are built determines mobility needs and how they can be met. Development, urban design and public spaces, building and zoning regulations, parking requirements, and other land use policies shall incentivize compact, accessible, livable, and sustainable cities.”

The last thing consumers need is more zoning regulations. In fact, zoning regulations have horrible consequences that hurt individuals, not helped them.

Another point states:

“7. WE SUPPORT FAIR USER FEES ACROSS ALL MODES.

Every vehicle and mode should pay their fair share for road use, congestion, pollution, and use of curb space. The fair share shall take the operating, maintenance and social costs into account.”

Individuals are already paying more than “their fair share” for road use via forced taxation. No additional cost should be imposed on drivers unless this is done through private, voluntary means.

But the most troubling aspect of the document is saved for the last point, which states:

“10. WE SUPPORT THAT AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES (AVS) IN DENSE URBAN AREAS SHOULD BE OPERATED ONLY IN SHARED FLEETS.

Due to the transformational potential of autonomous vehicle technology, it is critical that all AVs are part of shared fleets, well-regulated, and zero emission. Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals, and actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking, and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas.”

For years, Uber, Lyft, and others have fought the cab companies and their quest to use the state to enforce regulatory policies. This is what initially made so many free marketeers rally behind the ridesharing sector. Now, after enjoying many victories, the ridesharing sector is trying to create their own monopoly on driverless cars.

As CEI's Marc Scribner writes, "Uber, Lyft, ZipCar, and others propose outlawing personally owned self-driving cars in central cities, leaving the entire urban core market for automated road vehicles in the hands of corporate fleet owners, as Uber, Lyft, and ZipCar all imagine they will be in the coming years. Uber sees the competition of the future—and it’s you." Scribner rightly characterizes this proposal as, "shameless, greenwashed crony capitalism."

The Future of Driving
True, this document makes no assertion that Uber and others would seek to ban privately owned vehicles altogether. But making such a bold statement about who should be able to own driverless cars is problematic, especially since driverless cars are poised to be the only road vehicles of the future.

It is highly probable that once these cars get to a point of mass production, the use of regular cars will be limited naturally, if not outlawed entirely for environmentalist reasons. If not prohibited, mass adoption is likely to occur regardless, making autonomous vehicles the only real game in town. And if anyone has any doubt of this, how many people do you know still strolling around with Sony Walkmans in the age of the iPhone? Unless you’re a hipster with an affinity for vinyl records, new technology eventually replaces the old.

But legislative restrictions are not beyond the realm of possibility either. Green activists are always looking for ways to ban products they believe to be detrimental to the environment. Only a few years ago a ban on incandescent light bulbs was supposed to usher in a new era of energy efficient light bulbs.

It is for this reason that the proposal to ban the private ownership is so problematic. If “regular” vehicles are no longer on the roads, prohibiting private ownership of driverless cars would effectively mean banning the private ownership of vehicles altogether.

Since this document was drafted by private companies, there is no plan listed for how these proposed restrictions would be enforced. But enforcement would have to happen for any of these points to become a reality. This means that state involvement would have to happen as the government holds the monopoly on force. This is arguably even worse than what the cab companies have done.

Instead of trying to pass new arbitrary regulations, the ridesharing sector wants to ban private ownership of self-driving vehicles. This is extremely dangerous and can only lead to further restrictions that lead towards public, rather than private ownership of market commodities. This pushes us further down the road to serfdom that F.A. Hayek so fervently warned against. But not all those invested in the future of self-driving cars want to abolish private ownership.

The Tesla Network
While scanning through the names of the various companies who have signed on in support of the Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities, one major player is missing: Tesla.

While Elon Musk has also hypothesized about how driverless cars will impact the future of driving, he has made no attempt to propose that private ownership be banned. On the contrary, he has laid out a plan that would allow the owners of his autonomous cars to earn money while their vehicles are not being used.

Musk, by way of his Master Plan, Part Deux, has proposed the “Tesla Network.”

As the document states:

“When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else en route to your destination.

You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.

In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are.”

Where Uber and others want to ban private ownership of vehicles, Tesla wants to give owners the ability to earn extra money through that ownership while also making private ownership accessible to more consumers. This is a plan worthy of praise.

This is not to say that there is no place for an Uber fleet of self-driving cars. Just as many consumers are choosing to use Uber rather than own their own vehicle there will certainly be market demand for this type of service. But this should be the consumer’s choice, not the decision of private companies backed by government force.

Technology is making our lives much more convenient. This is undeniable. But when that convenience comes at the cost of private ownership, there is a huge problem. Ridesharing has changed the way we travel, and Uber and Lyft have played an integral role in making this a reality. They have also been strong opponents of the crony capitalism that has allowed the cab industry to hold a state-sanctioned monopoly for so long. And while these aspects are surely worthy of praise, the proposal to ban private ownership of cars is more than worthy of condemnation.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...begging-government-monopoly-self-driving-cars
 

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Where Uber and others want to ban private ownership of vehicles, Tesla wants to give owners the ability to earn extra money through that ownership while also making private ownership accessible to more consumers. This is a plan worthy of praise.
I can see where uber and lyft might see Elon's idea as a threat, because that would essentially duplicate their service at a much lower price.
Ie: if there's no middle-man (read: uber and lyft corporate hq) between the rider and car owner, it'd be a whole lot cheaper. Ride sharing could end up being reduced to something akin to a torrent app. No need for any central control.
 

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The Tesla Network
While scanning through the names of the various companies who have signed on in support of the Shared Mobility Principles for Sustainable Cities, one major player is missing: Tesla.

While Elon Musk has also hypothesized about how driverless cars will impact the future of driving, he has made no attempt to propose that private ownership be banned. On the contrary, he has laid out a plan that would allow the owners of his autonomous cars to earn money while their vehicles are not being used.
A real company with real values !
 

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So in other words,there could be a future where only 20-30% of the people actually need to own a car and the rest will just pay them on a per-ride basis. That would seem like it would slash the cost of transportation for the average person. Which means there would likely be a further consolidation of the car mfg industry, as there won't be as many billions in sales as there would be if we maintained the high rate of vehicle ownership we currently have today.
Right now there are approx 263 million registered cars in the us alone. If sharing grows in a big way, we wouldn't need anywhere near that many as one car could give dozens of rides per day.
...and traffic congestion could become a thing of the past that only old people will remember.
 

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Humans ATTACK self-driving cars in California when they crash, report finds, suggesting we might react aggressively to a robot takeover
  • Humans have lashed out at autonomous vehicles in California state this year
  • Two of six crash reports involved a person approaching a car and attacking it
  • In one case the car was in autonomous mode, but a driver was behind the wheel
  • The car was waiting at a green light for pedestrians to cross when a man ran across a street and struck the left side of the car with his entire body


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5467619/Humans-slapped-shouted-autonomous-cars-California.html#ixzz58zF5GTWM
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Self-driving Uber car runs over and kills a pedestrian in Arizona in first fatality of its kind - forcing the company to pull its fleet of test vehicles from the streets
  • The deadly crash occurred around 10pm on Sunday in Tempe, Arizona
  • Elaine Herzberg, 49, walking outside of the crosswalk when she was struck
  • She was immediately rushed to the hospital where she later died of her injuries
  • This appears to be the first time a pedestrian has been killed by a self-driving car
  • Uber has paused its self-driving car operations in Pittsburgh, Phoenix, San Francisco and Toronto


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5519433/Self-driving-Uber-car-runs-kills-pedestrian-Arizona.html#ixzz5AHAZ5AJd
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Tempe Police Say "No Fault By Uber" In Fatal Crash


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/20/2018 - 08:05


Following yesterday's market-moving report of a fatal accident involving a self-driving Uber car on the roads of Tempe, Arizona, legal experts immediately chimed in, saying this case presents many thorny legal issues - chief among which is the issue of who could be at fault.

Since it was the first recorded fatality involving a self-driving car, would investigators point the finger at the car's human driver? Uber? The car's manufacturer? Some combination of the three (or none of the above).

In the first hint at the investigation being carried out by Tempe police, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Tempe police chief said her preliminary investigation suggested that Uber wasn't at fault. Police Chief Sylvia Moir described the victim, the possibly homeless 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, as pushing a bicycle laden with plastic shopping bags when she abruptly stepped from the center media into a lane of traffic before being struck by the car.

"I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident, either," Moir said.​
Moir added that she "wouldn't rule out" the possibility of charges against the backup driver in the vehicle, even though she said it appeared that neither a human driver or an autonomous car could've reasonably been expected to avoid the victim, who was caught on video abruptly stepping into the roadway into oncoming traffic.

To be sure, Moir said a finding that the car itself was at fault could open up a legal can of worms.

"This is really new ground we're venturing into," she said.​
The car, which was traveling at 38 mph in a 35 mph zone when the accident occurred Sunday night, made no attempt to brake, according to the Police Department’s preliminary investigation. Herzberg was found unconscious at the scene, and declared dead at a local hospital.
"The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them," Moir said. "His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision."

In response, Uber has halted testing of all autonomous vehicles, although that may change fast if Uber is found to be not at fault. The self-driving Volvo SUV was outfitted with at least two video cameras: one facing forward toward the street, and another monitoring the inside of the car, Moir said.




A review of a video of the accident - which police said will not be publicly released just yet - showed that "it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway," Moir said. The accident unfolded less than 100 yards from the nearest crosswalk.

"It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated, managed crosswalks are available," she said.​

Tempe police are working with investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Hundreds of autonomous cars are operating in Arizona - but Moir said she's only aware of one other accident that occurred a year ago. The car, which was in self-driving mode, was flipped onto its side. But police cited the other car involved as the party responsible for the accident, finding that its human driver failed to yield. That driver was issued a ticket for a moving violation.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-20/tempe-police-say-no-fault-uber-fatal-crash