Before the next museum fire, make 4K video of all your documents

There are special machines for this but it's easy to make your own setup.

Many of you will have read of the tragic fire which destroyed the National Museum of Brazil. Many of the artifacts and documents in the museum were not photographed or backed up, and so are destroyed forever.

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Tons of new ideas in aviation. Will regulation stop them?

XTI hybrid-electric VTOL design

This week I attended the "Revolution.Aero" conference on advanced new ideas in aviation, including electric VTOL aircraft (often called "flying cars.") I learned that there's a lot of interesting new stuff going on in aviation, but the strong regulatory environment keeps much of it repressed.

Using cars for backup grid energy probably doesn't work

Pumping water into a reservoir is great for storage

In the world of electric cars, some people talk about an idea called "vehicle to grid" or V2G. Renewable energy's biggest challenge is storage -- wind and solar only come at certain times of the day, but we need electricity all day. The V2G hope is to use all the batteries in electric cars as a means of grid storage.

The dance between pedestrians and robocars

Tokyo has tons of cars and pedestrians and isolates them, mostly.

How will robocars and pedestrians interact?

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Flying Cars and National Parks

Opener's "Blackfly" VTOL aircraft is happy to land on grass or water.

Sleeper cars and the unexpected efficiency of solo transport

My article last week on Sleeper cars generated lots of interest, and Volvo's concept car generated lots of press too. Some of it was quite negative, including a article provocatively calling them the dystopian future we must prevent. I thought I would revisit some of the things about such vehicles that run quite counter to the intuitions of those used to 20th century transportation and transit.

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New Canon mirrorless camera looks like it doesn't go far enough

Canon has finally released a higher-end, full frame mirrorless camera. Nikon also released theirs a few weeks ago. Canon had seriously botched their entry into APS-C (smaller sensor) mirrorless with the M series. Nikon did a better job. Sony took ownership of the full-frame mirrorless space causing many, including myself to switch, even though their cameras were far from perfect.

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Sleeper cars

Volvo concept in bed mode

Yesterday, Volvo got some good buzz for a concept car which included a bed for sleeping and asking the question "why fly when you can be driven?". I've written about sleeper cars before, as well as the full robo-RV, but let's put all the issues together.

FMCW LIDAR is coming, what does it mean?

Demo point cloud from Blackmore LIDAR with speed shown as "redshift" colour.

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Aurora's manifesto is worth a read

Aurora test vehicles

I rarely just link to another story, but today I will point all to Aurora's post on its development philosophy. I think it contains some important lessons for all in the field.

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What does airline competition tell us about robotaxi competition?

A couple of years ago I released my list of factors by which robotaxi companies might compete. Many people wonder if there will be a natural monopoly, limiting us to one or two companies per city, or if we might get more.

Waymo's left turns frustrate other drivers

This week's hot story was again from Amir at The Information and there is even more detail in the author's Twitter thread.

The short summary: Amir was able to find a fair number of Waymo's neighbours in Chandler, Arizona who are getting frustrated by the over-cautious drive patterns of the Waymo vans. Several used the words, "I hate them."

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Tim Kentley-Klay suddenly ousted from Zoox

Some of Zoox's prototypes

A few weeks ago, I published an analysis of the Zoox strategy to produce a custom car. Last week, Zoox decided to fire its founder and CEO, Tim Kentley-Klay, with no warning. Very little has been said, other than:

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