forbes

MIT/IEEE-Published Study Falsely Imagines Computing In Robocars Will Emit Lots Of Carbon. Relax, It’s Unlikely

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.

Tags: 

I Get Back In A Waymo To Ride In San Francisco With A Top Waymo Developer And It’s Good (+Video)

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.

Topic: 
Tags: 

New "Autonomap" maps self-driving services around the world

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

Topic: 
Tags: 

California Law Tries To Force Tesla To Rename ‘FSD’ Product But It May Not Work

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.

Topic: 
Tags: 

Meet Gatik, Which May Be The Leader In Self-Driving Trucks By Attacking The Middle Mile

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.

Topic: 
Tags: 

Waymo And Cruise Make Big Boosts In Robotaxi Service

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.

Topic: 
Tags: 

Elon Musk Gets Booed On Stage In SF - How Much Is That Hurting Tesla Stock?

Musk himself was surprised to see how controversial he had become when he got a lot of booing on stage with Dave Chappelle in San Francisco last night.

Musk has always been somebody who refused to give a crap what other people think, because he can afford it. But now that his personal brand is so tied to the success of both Tesla and Twitter, he has to deal with the fact that personal brand is largely what other people think.

Analysis of this problem, and how it affects the success and stock price of Tesla, is in this new article on the Forbes site:

Tags: 

Tesla adding Radar, Apple Scales Back, Tesla Semi, Baidu expansion & Swiss power emergency

Here's a digest of some of my recent postings on Forbes.com

Tesla may add radar back

A filing suggests Tesla may be putting a radar back in their cars, but this time a high resolution radar, which is a bit like the LIDAR they swore was a crutch. It would be a good idea.

Tags: 

Does it make sense to have off-grid solar in parking lots to charge cars?

Generally it doesn't make sense (and isn't that green) to have off-grid solar compared to grid-tied solar. However, a new company sells a self-contained solar EV charging station for parking lots which they claim is cheaper than on-grid, because you can just get it delivered in one day with no permits, planning, wiring or construction.

It's true that all those factors are now the biggest element of charging and solar installations.

Topic: 
Tags: 

What happens if self-driving cars don't arrive this decade?

As a companion to yesterday's article about why the death of self-driving has been exaggerated here is an article asking what happens if the doomsayers are right, if people can't pull off a usable robcar and robotaxi for a decade more more.

There are lots of easier, more tractable opportunities out there, and I list a number of them.

Topic: 
Tags: 

Reports Of The Death Of Self-Driving Cars Are Greatly Exaggerated

This past month, especially with the shutdown of Argo.AI, have seen a number of declarations of the death of robocars. Thank to markets and expected consolidation, there definitely is a rough patch, but here's the argument that the field is hardly pining for the fjords and some things are going gangbusters, and not a decade or more away.

Read it on Forbes at Reports Of The Death Of Self-Driving Cars Are Greatly Exaggerated

Topic: 
Tags: 

Zoom calls on Teslas and French Solar Parking Lots

Two stories today:

France mandates solar panels on parking lots

France will require all parking lots with over 80 spaces to put in solar panels. That's huge, and means the power will be generated right where cars are charging in the morning -- no grid distribution needed.

France Mandates Solar Panels On Most Parking Lots; A Great Marriage With The EV

Tags: 

Andrej Karpathy, former AI head at Tesla, explains taking out sensors

In a short interview snippet, Karpathy, who recently stepped down from being director of AI for Tesla, explains their reasoning for taking out radar, ultrasonics, and never using LIDAR or detailed maps.

"The best part is no part" is Elon's philosophy, and it's a valid one, if you are an automaker who wants to lower costs. But is it the right philosophy if you want to be first on the road with a safe robocar?

Topic: 
Tags: 

Electrify America Chargers are rarely used, what's up with non-Tesla charging?

A press release from Electrify America, the largest non-Tesla charging network, revealed that their average stall is used slightly more than once a day.

I explore what that might be and what it means, with questions about how much people road trip in non-Teslas and the issues with poor reliability of these stations. And I point out ways to improve that reliability, including failing operational at the risk of giving out some free electricity.

Topic: 
Tags: 

Tesla Asks Drivers To Vote On New Supercharger Locations, But Will They Be Rural?

Tesla is conducting a vote among owners on where to put new Superchargers. This will identify popular locations, but popularity may not be the only metric to use to decide where fast charging goes. Tesla paved the way by creating chargers not to use in your home town, but so that you would feel confident you could take your EV on long road trips -- something not possible before. The best choices may be small and rural, where people only go rarely, but where they want to feel they could go if they wanted.

Topic: 
Tags: 

You can now go to the gate to meet folks at ONT airport again. We can get rid of the airport security nightmare if we want to as well

At ONT airport (Ontario California, east of L.A.) you can now once again get a pass to meet your family at the gate. That stopped on 9/11. But modern technology should be able to get rid of security lines and restore us to those simpler times of the past when flying wasn't a nightmare. Through the use of remote inspectors who can keep the x-ray belt rolling non-stop, and appointments at security and other tricks there is no reason most of the nightmare that airports have become can't be fixed.

Topic: 
Tags: 

Launching the Alef, a try fly-and-drive flying car

Today I attended the launch of the Alef, a new e-VTOL vehicle that drives as well as flies. Most so-called flying cars don't actually drive, and there are reasons for this, but Alef thinks the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

I've been friends with Alef since 2018, though I have no stock, so here's my report on the issues in their design and launch.

Read Launching the Alef, a try fly-and-drive flying car

Tags: 

Zoox gets more different with thermal cameras

Amazon's robotaxi company, Zoox, has always worked to be different, with its own custom vehicle designed from the ground up. They have added thermal cameras to it for night vision and detection of people and animals. I look at what that does and other factors about the normally low-profile company in this new Forbes.com article.

Zoox gets more different with thermal cameras

Topic: 
Tags: 

Pages