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Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:22 pm
by GRA
My city has just added a security robot to one of the parking garages downtown. Looks the same as this:

There's a portable inductive charging pad that it sits on when not making its rounds; I'm considering moving the pad the next time I see it in motion to see if it can find it on its own. I've been seeing it immobile for a couple of days, but last night walking back from the grocery store I finally saw it moving around, followed by a crowd of teens/20-somethings who were taking selfies with/videos of it. It's a multi-story garage, and I doubt it can make it up the ramp to the 2nd or 3rd floors, but it circuited the ground floor okay, kind of like a slower Roomba without the bumping into things. I walked in front of it a couple of times and it detected me okay and stopped. I think it looks pretty top heavy, and can easily see the next urban version of cow-tipping involving these (now that tipping over Smart cars seems to have died down); balaclavas/face masks required.

Added: Last night I saw it start up the ramp to the second floor, but it stopped about 1/3rd of the way up, possibly due to lack of battery power, but IMO more likely due to the large transverse joint in the concrete that spans full width of the ramp, and which might cause it to get stuck or else topple.

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:11 pm
by GRA
Via GCC:
Bosch IAA CV survey: Germans would increasingly feel safer with autonomous trucks on the road

. . . While almost 40% of respondents would rather that trucks have a human driver at the wheel, already more than one in three (37%) no longer have a preference for a human over a machine. One in four respondents would have more confidence in an autonomous truck than in a human driver.

For now, driverless trucks are still an unrealized vision. But the survey shows that in Germany, people increasingly favor automated trucks when it comes to safety. The intelligent technology on board such trucks could prevent a large number of accidents; nine out of ten accidents are due to human error. . . .

At present, most people stuck in traffic find trucks and vans rather annoying. According to 57% of respondents, Germans feel particularly unsafe in critical situations involving trucks—for instance, when merging onto the freeway or when a truck is turning.

More than one in two (56%) believe that there are too many road freight vehicles on the road. Around half of respondents said their biggest complaint is when trucks block traffic while parking. Other annoyances include commercial-vehicle emissions (50%) and truck noise (43%). Only one in five respondents said that truck traffic didn’t bother them.

What the survey also highlights is that very few people are willing to do anything themselves to relieve delivery traffic on the road. Three-fourths of Germans (73%) don’t want to shop less online. Few of them (49%) are willing to compromise by accepting longer waiting times for parcel deliveries as a way to relieve traffic—having parcel delivery just once a week instead of every day.

However, one in four respondents (27%) did say that they would reduce delivery traffic by returning fewer goods, while 36% would have their parcels delivered to a central parcel station or collection point and then pick them up themselves.

Paying more for parcels to be delivered—to have, say, more evening deliveries so as to spread traffic throughout the day—is something only 15% of respondents would consider.

Of course, the first time such a vehicle causes a serious or fatal crash the public will likely lose a lot of confidence in them, just as has happened here (e.g. Uber crash in Arizona), so slow and cautious introduction is the way to go.

Also GCC:
Volvo Trucks presents Vera autonomous electric vehicle for future transport solutions

. . .Vera is controlled and monitored via a cloud-based service, and has the potential to make transportation safer, cleaner and more efficient. The driveline and battery pack are of the same type that are used in Volvo Trucks’ electric trucks.

Volvo’s long-term goal is to offer companies that need continuous transport services between fixed hubs a complement to today’s offerings.

Growing world population and increasing urbanization are leading to significant challenges to solve environmental issues such as congestion, pollution and noise. Rising consumption, the fast growth of e-commerce and the wide-spread shortage of drivers put higher demands on efficient transport solutions. . . .

Volvo Trucks’ Vera future transport solution is intended to be used for regular and repetitive tasks characterized by relatively short distances, large volumes of goods and high delivery precision. Transports between logistic hubs are typical examples, but additional use cases could also be applicable. . . .

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:54 pm
by GRA
Via GCC:
Daimler and Bosch jointly premiere Automated Valet Parking in China

Daimler and Bosch announced the successful premiere of their joint Automated Valet Parking pilot in Beijing. The infrastructure-supported driverless parking technology, which made its debut in the parking garage at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart in 2017 (earlier post), marks the first pilot of its kind in China.

Automated Valet Parking, to the extent legally allowed where used, enables vehicles to proceed to an assigned space and for the user to retrieve the vehicle via their smartphone. This will undergo further testing by Daimler and Bosch at the Mercedes-Benz Research and Development Center. . . .

Automated Valet Parking begins when the user parks the vehicle in a designated drop-off area before sending it to be parked using a smartphone app. After being registered by the intelligent system infrastructure installed in the car park, the vehicle is started and guided to an assigned parking space.

Sensors installed in the car park monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings while steering the vehicle. The vehicle’s onboard technology safely maneuvers it in response to commands from the intelligent car park infrastructure, stopping the vehicle in good time when necessary. When a user is ready to pick up the car, it can be called through a smartphone app, after which it rolls to the pick-up area without a driver.

The pilot in Beijing demonstrated Automated Valet Parking’s upgraded and more practical, real-world functionality. At the event, two vehicles were tested simultaneously to mirror the unique and complex traffic conditions found in contemporary Chinese cities.

Both vehicles were also able to successfully navigate to a service area that could be equipped with a diverse range of facilities in the future. These might include charging infrastructure, car washing stations, express package pick-up and other features designed to meet the unique needs of Chinese customers.

Automated Valet Parking is an efficient solution for both car park management and vehicle users. Car parks equipped with this intelligent infrastructure as far as legally allowed can potentially accommodate up to 20% more vehicles, while users save time and enjoy greater convenience. . . .

While I can see humans doing the charging in areas with low wages, in the developed world it seems almost guaranteed that charging will be automated, either through inductive charging or else the robot conductive charging that Tesla and others have been working on. I have little faith in the latter method becoming both reliable and cheap enough to commercialize any time soon.

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:26 pm
by GRA
Via ABG:
VW trying to get automakers to agree on self-driving car standards
Meeting an industry standard could reduce liability for accidents

. . . The Volkswagen Group is discussing the initiative with more than 15 potential partners, according to the report, which cited an anonymous company executive. It did not identify any of the other companies involved.

Carmakers, suppliers and technology companies are already investing more than 55 billion euros ($64 billion) globally in autonomous driving, consulting firm AlixPartners estimates.

Manufacturers including BMW have indicated they would welcome common standards on aspects of self-driving cars including the configuration of their sensors.

By pooling such blueprints, they could hope to reduce costs as well as their individual accident liabilities in relation to shared technological choices.

"When you are involved in an accident, you have a better chance in court when you can prove that your car adheres to the latest technical standard," an industry executive told Automotive News. . . .

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:18 pm
by GRA
Via ABG:
Ford calls for industry standard signal for self-driving vehicle intent
It envisions a universal signal to communicate what an AV is doing

Ford on Tuesday put out the call to developers of self-driving vehicles to help build a new industry standard interface to help communicate the intent of autonomous vehicles to passengers, pedestrians and other drivers sharing the road.

In a blog post published on Medium, Ford said it's made its own work in the area available to other teams through a memorandum of understanding, meaning essentially that it wants to open-source the development of a new universal AV communications interface.

"We want everyone to trust self-driving vehicles — no matter if they are riders in these vehicles themselves or pedestrians, cyclists, scooter users or other drivers sharing the road," John Shutko, Ford human factors technical specialist for self-driving vehicles, wrote in the post. "Having one, universal communication interface people across geographies and age groups can understand is critical for the successful deployment of self-driving technology."

The move builds on real-world research Ford undertook with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute starting last year in which engineers mounted a light-bar to the top of the windshield of a Ford Transit Connect van, with drivers essentially disguised as seats to simulate the van operating on its own to see whether the signals were effective. It used three different lighting scenarios: two white lights moving side to side to designate the vehicle was yielding and about to stop; a solid white light to indicate the vehicle was proceeding on its current course; and a rapidly blinking white light to communicate that the vehicle was about to accelerate from a stop. Ford outfitted the Transit Connect with multiple cameras to record video from every direction to gauge people's reactions over the course of more than 2,000 miles of testing.

It also conducted a study using virtual reality in which participants were placed at a street corner to observe a complex mix of vehicles passing through an intersection, some with the intent-interface light signals and some without.

Ford says it plans to take what it's learned and equip the self-driving intent interface on a fleet of autonomous Fusion Hybrid development vehicles to be used by Argo AI in and around Miami for more testing. Research is also under way in Europe "so we can ensure they are universally understood across regions and cultures."

The automaker is also working with the International Organization of Standardization, or ISO, and the Society of Automotive Engineers to create a unified communication interface for AVs. The goal is to reach agreement over where to place the signals on a self-driving vehicle, how to design the signals, and what colors the signals should be.

There are videos. This is going to be an issue with AVs, trying to replace a lot of the non-verbal communication that goes on between human drivers, pedestrians, cyclists etc., from eye contact through small or large physical motions (nods,head shakes, waves and so on).

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:20 pm
by cwerdna
Honda commits $2.75 billion to build autonomous vehicles with GM’s Cruise ... ms-cruise/

Along the lines of what Ford is proposing, when Nissan showed the IDS Concept in late 2015, it also included a display and lights to show intent/give others around it cues. Skip to ~2:25 of

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:31 pm
by GRA
Via CR:
Cadillac Tops Tesla in Consumer Reports' First Ranking of Automated Driving Systems

CR finds that these features make driving easier but introduce new safety risks

CR rated Supercruise better because:
In Consumer Reports’ first-ever ranking of partially automated driving systems, Cadillac’s Super Cruise (shown above) was top-rated because our testing shows it does the best job of balancing high-tech capabilities with ensuring that the car is operated safely and that the driver is paying attention.

CR experts stress that the systems are not intended to be self-driving features. However, in the right circumstances, such as on long highway drives or in stop-and-go traffic, they can help relieve driver fatigue and stress.

The risks come if automakers allow the systems to operate in situations where they can’t do so safely and if the systems make it easy for drivers to feel like they don’t need to pay attention.

In CR’s rankings, Tesla’s Autopilot came in second, followed by Nissan/Infiniti’s ProPilot Assist and then Volvo’s Pilot Assist system.

Autopilot scored highly for its capabilities and ease of use, while Nissan’s system was better at keeping drivers engaged. Volvo scored comparatively lower.

IEVS, reporting on the above article:
. . . In a comparison test of a number of systems by Consumer Reports, Cadillac’s Super Cruise actually came out on top. And this isn’t the first comparison of these two systems have reached that same conclusion. So, what is going on here? Let’s take a closer look.

In everyday usage, there’s no doubt that many would prefer Autopilot, especially if they are Tesla owners familiar with its proficiency at reading the roads and adjusting to traffic accordingly. And, despite it being referred to as a beta system and recommended for highway use only, it can be engaged anywhere*. Did we mention that the system is constantly being improved upon and given even more functionality over time?

Super Cruise, on the other hand, actually scores lower than Autopilot when it comes to basic functionality. It’s just not as capable and it’s also geo-fenced, meaning that it can only be used on certain highways*. When it first rolled out, the number of roads where it would even turn on as quite limited, but that’s has grown over time and it now functions on a wide swath of our highway system.

So how does the Cadillac system manage to beat out Tesla’s? It all comes down to safety and it seems here, Autopilot is a victim of its own success. Experts in the field contend that with increased confidence in a system, comes a greater liklihood a driver will be less attentive. Sure, the Tesla system does nag you visually and audibly if you stay hands-off for 20 seconds or so, but a car can cover a lot of ground in that time* and, perhaps, find itself in a situation where it needs the driver to intervene.

By contrast, the Super Cruise system employs a camera trained on the driver and monitors their eyes to see if they look away from the road. Close your eyes or turn your head for more than four seconds and the Caddy’s steering wheel lights up and it gives an audible warning. The seat may even vibrate. . . .

*The asterisked quotes are primarily why Joshua Brown died, because although A/P (and other systems using Mobileye's hard/software) had no capability to recognize crossing traffic as a real target and trigger AEB (a fact that only came out as a result of the investigation, and wasn't known to the public prior to that), Tesla just recommended in the owner's manual that A/P only be used on limited-access highways (with no at-grade crossings), but didn't prohibit it being used anywhere else, as they could have and Cadillac does. Result, one dead Tesla owner. Even with currently shortened A/P hands-off warning times, an A/P Tesla could still collide with that crossing semi, because it was only in sight for a maximum of 11 seconds from Brown cresting the hill, so if the driver had been hands-on immediately prior to that and then took their eyes off the road, there'd still be no warning given before impact.

IDK if any improvements have been made in the TACC/AEB systems now such that a similar crossing target would be correctly recognized and AEB engaged to stop the vehicle, but to my knowledge no company has made such a claim yet, and I applaud Cadillac for prohibiting Supercruise use in that situation until it does. AFAIC, NHTSA should mandate such prohibitions on all these systems, until such time as each one demonstrates that it can routinely handle crossing traffic in the straight crossing path and left turn across path situations. There's no excuse for companies using customers as Beta test guinea pigs in cases where failure = severe injury/death.

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:26 am
by cwerdna
cwerdna wrote:Waymo autonomously drives one million miles in a month, 25K miles per day ... f-driving/

Waymo’s autonomous cars have driven 8 million miles on public roads ... es-testing

Waymo's now hit 10 million miles on public roads: ... -big-deal/ ... challenges ... ion-miles/

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:57 pm
by cwerdna was published recently. Not a lot of detail though but not surprising given that it’s mainstream news media.

Re: Autonomous Vehicles, LEAF and others...

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:44 pm
by cwerdna
Drivers Wildly Overestimate What 'Semiautonomous' Cars Can Do ... -thatcham/