GRA
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:17 pm

Via ABG:
Robot road rage? Impatient drivers causing accidents with law-abiding autonomous cars
https://www.autoblog.com/2017/10/10/autonomous-cars-self-driving-impatient-drivers-causing-accidents/

Self-driving cars take traffic laws, such as stop signs or speed limits, literally and follow them to a T. Humans? Not so much.

And so as the public may fear the menace of rogue autonomous vehicles failing to recognize them and causing crashes, the reality is quite different: It's actually human drivers who are posing much of the risk, failing to fully halt at a stop sign or getting impatient with a slow-footed robot car and causing accidents with them, Bloomberg reports.

The accidents typically occur at intersections rather than in free-flowing traffic, and at low speeds with no injuries. In California, the only state that requires reports when autonomous vehicles are involved in accidents, self-driving cars were rear-ended 13 times since the beginning of 2016, out of 31 collisions involving autonomous cars. The results have autonomous vehicle companies working on ways to get their vehicles to drive more naturally and intuitively with human-powered traffic. . . .

Said Karl Iagnemma, CEO of the self-driving software developer NuTonomy: "You put a car on the road which may be driving by the letter of the law, but compared to the surrounding road users, it's acting very conservatively. This can lead to situations where the autonomous car is a bit of a fish out of water."

He added: "If the cars drive in a way that's really distinct from the way that every other motorist on the road is driving, there will be in the worst case accidents and in the best case frustration. What that's going to lead to is a lower likelihood that the public is going to accept the technology. . . ."
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:37 pm

Both via ABG:
EVs and autonomy may not be as harmonious as we think
Self-driving systems draw a lot of power.
https://www.autoblog.com/2017/10/11/evs-and-autonomy-may-not-be-as-harmonious-as-we-think/

. . . It's been widely stated that electric vehicles lend themselves particularly well to autonomy. Especially in a future where private ownership is rarer and an autonomous vehicle spends the bulk of its time picking up and dropping off users (as opposed to sitting parked), an electric powertrain makes sense. It requires less maintenance, and finding a place to (wirelessly) recharge is safer and less complex than refueling at a gas station. . . .

But EVs may not be the answer to automation, at least not yet, according to an article from Bloomberg titled, "Driverless Cars Are Giving Engineers a Fuel Economy Headache," which points out how the two technologies might not be as harmonious as we think.

According to BorgWarner, the amount of energy used to power the autonomous driving systems in today's prototypes is equivalent to that of running 50 to 100 laptops. Processing data from the numerous sensors required for a car to drive itself might just be too great for a car running solely on battery power, especially if the first applications will be in robotaxis.

That's why Delphi Automotive's powertrain CTO Mary Gustanski and Cairn Energy Research Advisors founder Sam Jaffe believe hybrids will make more sense. Autonomous taxis are "going to favor plug-in hybrid EVs," says Jaffe, "and they're going to require that extra gasoline engine, both to extend the range to be able to do a taxi type of duty cycle, but also to help mitigate the proportion of the autonomous systems on the battery pack itself. . . ."

Still, we're in the early days of autonomous driving, and the technology will only improve and become more efficient (as will EV battery technology). When that happens, fully electric autonomous cars will make more sense. For now, though, they're not the ideal fit.


Passenger drones are 'absolutely coming. ... They're flying as we speak'
Fare would compare to a taxi. Should the auto industry worry?
https://www.autoblog.com/2017/10/11/passenger-drones-aircraft-vtol-automakers/

. . . Most people would call these aircraft passenger drones, some call them quad copters, but the people in the business prefer the term Vertical Take-Off and Landing craft (VTOLs). It's all about flying over traffic jams by using autonomous, electrically powered drones.

"It's absolutely coming," says Robin Linenberger, a retired Air Force officer and now a principal at Deloitte who advises aerospace and defense companies. "We're seeing prototypes being built. We're seeing demonstration programs. They're flying as we speak."

Starting in 2013, NASA began working with VTOL contractors at six test sites. NASA is also working with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is licensing the airspace and developing different scenarios and use cases. The early tests have been successful, and aerospace and defense contractors are getting involved, not only with the VTOLs themselves, but with flight management systems.

One of the startups in the field is the Detroit Aircraft Corp., which works out of the Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit. It's working on a VTOL that can carry 4-5 passengers and 100 pounds of baggage, traveling 150 miles per hour with 60 miles of range and a 20 percent reserve. The potential impact on the auto industry is obvious.

NASA and the DOT are proactive on developing VTOLs because road traffic congestion is so bad and getting worse. That's why Uber is also heavily involved in developing VTOLs — it wants to reduce a trip from San Francisco to San Jose from nearly two hours down to only 15 minutes.

The key to making this all work is getting the cost down. Jon Rimanelli, founder and CEO of DAC, wants to leverage the automotive industrial base for mass-producing low-cost aircraft using automotive EV motors, controls, batteries and battery management systems. Even more, it turns out that automotive sensor technology for autonomy and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication could be applied to VTOLs.

"Wait a minute, we've spent all this time and money figuring this out for cars, why don't we use that exact same system to manage air traffic?" Rimanelli asks. "We're only going to be operating at about 1,000 feet, and the range of these radios is about 3,000 feet. . . ."

While much VTOL development work is centered on electric propulsion, the machines could also be powered by a gasoline engine, or a fuel cell. It's all going to come down to which is the most cost effective.

"We've done the math, and the math is working," says Rimanelli. He claims VTOLs could deliver rides for about $2.50 a mile. That's about the same cost as an Uber X ride, and cheaper than a taxi.

The first commercial VTOLs in the United States are expected to appear sometime around 2020. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:20 pm

Via GCC:
Daimler demos self-driving snow removal trucks; premiere of Remote Truck Interface
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/10/20171017-daimler.html

Following its successful demonstration of the Highway Pilot and Highway Pilot Connect systems (earlier post)—the latter making truck platooning possible—Daimler has demonstrated automated snow removal operations on the site of the former Pferdsfeld airbase. This application of autonomous commercial vehicle operation was based on a specific customer requirement.

Under the project name “Automated Airfield Ground Maintenance” (AAGM), four Mercedes-Benz Arocs tractor units demonstrated automated airfield clearing in a remote-controlled convoy. The benefits are obvious: Airfield clearances are hard to predict and thus difficult to plan, especially in winter. This makes snow removal units operated with pinpoint precision by a single vehicle operator to remove snow from runways especially crucial when extreme weather strikes without warning during the winter months, and they require no additional vehicle and staff scheduling. . . .

There's a picture of four trucks operating in echelon, and when commercialized Frankfurt airport will use 14. Seems like an excellent use for autonomous vehicles at this stage, as an airport is private with far higher levels of traffic control than a public street or highway.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

cwerdna
Gold Member
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Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:44 am

I don't think this has been posted yet. It's Waymo's 10/2017 safety report.

https://storage.googleapis.com/sdc-prod ... 017-10.pdf

Heard about it from https://storage.googleapis.com/sdc-prod ... 017-10.pdf. I've only skimmed it but it's very good and illustrates some of the many challenges faced if we want to get to SAE level 4 or 5 autonomy.

'13 blue Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 blue Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:09 pm

Thanks for that. No crash data, but good info. From the report (sidebar page 13), another confirmation of why I'll wait for Level 4:
The Case for Full Autonomy:
Allowing Passengers to Stay
Passengers

Advanced driver-assist technologies were one
of the first technologies our teams explored. In
2012 we developed and tested a Level 3 system
that would drive autonomously on the freeway
in a single lane but would still require a driver
to take over at a moment’s notice. During our
internal testing, however, we found that human
drivers over-trusted the technology and were
not monitoring the roadway carefully enough
to be able to safely take control when needed.

As driver-assist features become more
advanced, drivers are often asked to transition
from passenger to driver in a matter of
seconds, often in challenging or complex
situations with little context of the scene ahead.
The more tasks the vehicle is responsible for,
the more complicated and vulnerable this
moment of transition becomes
.

Avoiding this “handoff problem” is part of the
reason why Waymo is working on fully selfdriving
vehicles. Our technology takes care
of all of the driving, allowing passengers to
stay passengers.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:29 pm

Via GCC:
Mercedes-Benz running automated test drive in Shanghai; infrastructure peculiarities
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/10/20171027-mb.html

. . . The high density of cars, two-wheelers, three-wheelers and pedestrians and the associated traffic behavior in Chinese cities pose different requirements on automated driving functions than in Europe or the US. In addition, there are road signs with Chinese characters and lane markings, which in China have different or even multiple meanings. For example, short white lines, known around the world as pedestrian crossings, can also be found on motorways. However, they don’t denote a pedestrian crossing, but the minimum distance between vehicles. The sensors must be able to recognize this and interpret it correctly. The same is true for speed limits, which can differ from one lane to another. Another challenge: Parking spaces come in many different shapes and frequently are full of obstacles that are hard to detect for sensors.

These special national features show how important it is to gather worldwide insights into real-life traffic on the road to autonomous driving and to adapt automated driving functions to the particular traffic practices and conditions. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:04 pm

Further to the Google/Waymo link cwerdna provided above, via ABG:
Google ditched autopilot feature after test user napped behind wheel
Decided to go for full autonomy and nothing in between.
https://www.autoblog.com/2017/10/31/google-ditched-autopilot-feature-after-test-user-napped-behind-w/

ATWATER, Calif. — Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit stopped developing semi-autonomous features that required drivers to take control in dangerous situations, its chief executive said Monday, as autopilot reliance left users prone to distractions and ill-prepared to maneuver. The decision to focus on full autonomy followed experiments of lower-level driver-assist technology in Silicon Valley that showed test users napping, putting on makeup and fiddling with their phones as the vehicles traveled up to 56 mph.

John Krafcik, the head of Waymo . . . told reporters that about five years ago the company envisioned technology that could autonomously drive cars on highways as a quick way to get on the market. Automakers include similar autopilot features for highway-driving in vehicles, but they require drivers to take over the steering wheel in tricky situations. Waymo had planned to do the same.

But, "What we found was pretty scary," Krafcik said on Monday during a media tour of a Waymo testing facility. "It's hard to take over because they (drivers) have lost contextual awareness."

Krafcik said the company determined a system that asked drivers to jump in at the sound of an alert was unsafe after seeing videos from inside self-driving cars during tests. . . .

The company decided to focus solely on technology that didn't require human intervention a couple of days after the napping incident, said Krafcik, who joined as CEO in 2015. It has also since argued against allowing "handoffs" between automated driving systems and people. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

sparky
Posts: 672
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Delivery Date: 08 Jan 2011
Location: SoCal

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:31 pm

This seems pretty significant.
Waymo makes history testing on public roads with no one at the wheel
Waymo is now confident enough in its technology to dispense with a safety driver. The company has released a video showing Waymo cars driving around the Phoenix area with no one in the driver's seat:

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/11/fu ... -are-here/

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:17 pm

Nice find. BTW, I meant to post the NHTSA's list of AV competencies and Waymo's additional competencies from Google's safety report linked by cwerdna above, but forgot, so here they are:

Set of Behavioral Competencies Recommended by NHTSA

1 Detect and Respond to Speed Limit Changes and Speed Advisories
2 Perform High-Speed Merge (e.g., Freeway)
3 Perform Low-Speed Merge
4 Move Out of the Travel Lane and Park (e.g., to the Shoulder for Minimal Risk)
5 Detect and Respond to Encroaching Oncoming Vehicles
6 Detect Passing and No Passing Zones and Perform Passing Maneuvers
7 Perform Car Following (Including Stop and Go)
8 Detect and Respond to Stopped Vehicles
9 Detect and Respond to Lane Changes
10 Detect and Respond to Static Obstacles in the Path of the Vehicle
11 Detect Traffic Signals and Stop/Yield Signs
12 Respond to Traffic Signals and Stop/Yield Signs
13 Navigate Intersections and Perform Turns
14 Navigate Roundabouts
15 Navigate a Parking Lot and Locate Spaces
16 Detect and Respond to Access Restrictions (One-Way, No Turn, Ramps, etc.)
17 Detect and Respond to Work Zones and People Directing Traffic in Unplanned or Planned Events
18 Make Appropriate Right-of-Way Decisions
19 Follow Local and State Driving Laws
20 Follow Police/First Responder Controlling Traffic (Overriding or Acting as Traffic Control Device)
21 Follow Construction Zone Workers Controlling Traffic Patterns (Slow/Stop Sign Holders)
22 Respond to Citizens Directing Traffic After a Crash
23 Detect and Respond to Temporary Traffic Control Devices
24 Detect and Respond to Emergency Vehicles
25 Yield for Law Enforcement, EMT, Fire, and Other Emergency Vehicles at Intersections, Junctions, and Other Traffic Controlled Situations
26 Yield to Pedestrians and Bicyclists at Intersections and Crosswalks
27 Provide Safe Distance From Vehicles, Pedestrians, Bicyclists on Side of the Road
28 Detect/Respond to Detours and/or Other Temporary Changes in Traffic Patterns

Examples of Additional Behavioral Competencies Tested by Waymo

29 Moving to a Minimum Risk Condition When Exiting the Travel Lane is Not Possible
30 Perform Lane Changes
31 Detect and Respond to Lead Vehicle
32 Detect and Respond to a Merging Vehicle
33 Detect and Respond to Pedestrians in Road (Not Walking Through Intersection or Crosswalk)
34 Provide Safe Distance from Bicyclists Traveling on Road (With or Without Bike Lane)
35 Detect and Respond to Animals
36 Detect and Respond to Motorcyclists
37 Detect and Respond to School Buses
38 Navigate Around Unexpected Road Closures (e.g. Lane, Intersection, etc.)
39 Navigate Railroad Crossings
40 Make Appropriate Reversing Maneuvers
41 Detect and Respond to Vehicle Control Loss (e.g. reduced road friction)
42 Detect and Respond to Conditions Involving Vehicle, System, or Component-Level Failures or Faults (e.g. power failure, sensing failure,
sensing obstruction, computing failure, fault handling or response)
43 Detect and Respond to Unanticipated Weather or Lighting Conditions Outside of Vehicle’s Capability (e.g. rainstorm)
44 Detect and Respond to Unanticipated Lighting Conditions (e.g. power outages)
45 Detect and Respond to Non-Collision Safety Situations (e.g. vehicle doors ajar)
46 Detect and Respond to Faded or Missing Roadway Markings or Signage
47 Detect and Respond to Vehicles Parking in the Roadway

As the article you linked says, Phoenix weather mostly lacks inclement conditions, so they don't have to worry about snow, ice or (much) rain.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 7535
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:45 pm

Via IEVS:
First US Public Self-Driving Shuttle Launches In Las Vegas, In Accident Shortly Thereafter – Video
https://insideevs.com/aaa-and-keolis-launch-nations-first-public-self-driving-shuttle-in-downtown-las-vegas/

America’s first public self-driving shuttle has launched in downtown Las Vegas using NAVYA Arma vehicle – supplied from Michigan where 25 are to be build for North America customers by the end of 2017.

The shuttle pilot project will enable a quarter-million residents and visitors to Las Vegas a first-hand experience using autonomous vehicle over the course of a year.

Unfortunately, the shuttle was involved in a minor accident about an hour after it launched, when a truck backed into it (the shuttle was not found at fault, but probably could have done a better job avoiding this accident – more/video on that below).

It’s pretty cool to see the first all-electric, autonomous vehicles on the road (in this case being a fixed routes and just low-speed driving for now), although it will take some time for the technology to match a human driver – at a reasonable cost. . . .

As noted, the autonomous shuttle had a minor accident on its first day of use, when a semi-truck backed into it. It was reported that the shuttle stopped when it noted the truck, but the semi continued to reverse…ultimately right into the side the passenger vehicle, unaware it was in its path.

While the truck was cited at fault, the first question one thinks of in this situation (as did one of the passengers recounting the event in the news video below) is: “would an aware human driver not only have noticed the truck, but taken further corrective actions to avoid it? Or at least peeped the horn?” The answer of course being – yes. . . .
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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