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Robocars

The future of computer-driven cars and deliverbots

Nice summary of LIDAR technologies -- is it a "crutch?"

Lidar report details all the players

Earlier this year this nice summary of LIDAR companies was published. While it misses a few projects, I recommend it as a nice visual overview of the many LIDAR technologies in production and under development.

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Sex in your robotaxi

I decided not to use a photo with this article

A Washington Post article suggests robotaxis may become popular for sex on wheels. In my talks I have often made the joke that while the auto industry quests for "Vision Zero" -- no automotive fatalities -- the robocar is the only technology that could result in people actually being created while driving.

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Notes on Uber's "Please take us back" safety plan

Uber tech at work on car fleet

reported earlier, Uber released a series of documents detailing safety strategy. It's their effort to restore their image in the world and get back on the road.

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Uber declares itself devoted to safety

This weekend, Uber released a long and detailed "safety report" with some of their learnings and new plans after their fatal error. I have not had time to read it all yet due to travel, and will offer more detailed comments later.

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Make robotaxis so cheap they can't even close their doors

Brose self-closing door for future robotaxis

A recent article on automatic closing doors for robocars argues that the car must be able to close the door, because the passenger might leave it open, and the car can't drive with an open door.

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Replacing a car with ride-hail, and Lyft's $299/month subscription

Cities adapt to Uber and Lyft

Today, Lyft announced a $299/month subscription plan which isn't really very good, but it opens up the discussion of how people will switch to robotaxi service from car ownership, a subject I was already debating in my own household.

New NHTSA regulations, Waymo miles and big deals

We have a bunch of new robocar news recently -- it seems that is a common event. Here's the relevant stories, plus some notes on robocar doors.

80 pages of new regulations

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What happens to human driven cars in the robocar world?

The Prisoner loved a good sportscar

I love to talk about the coming robocar world. Over the next few decades, more and more trips will be made in robocars, and more and more people will reduce or give up car ownership to live the robotaxi life. This won't be instantaneous, and it will happen in some places decades before it happens in others, but I think it's coming.

But what of the driver of the regular car? What lies ahead for those who love driving and want to own a traditional car? I often see people declare that nobody will own cars in the future, and that human driving will even be banned. Is that realistic?

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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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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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