GRA
Posts: 7364
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: 7364
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: 7364
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
Posts: 7083
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
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: 7364
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.

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