References and Comments
If an item directly related to CAVWAYs should happen to appear in the print media, it will be indicated on this page.
The text will appear in this column; the reference will be shown at the right. The most recent items are shown first.
The Autopilot Review recently published an updated version of Tesla Autopilot Crashes and Causes. The article includes “Recent Notable Autopilot Accidents,” a history of Autopilot development, and descriptions of three “Typical Tesla Autopilot Crash Causes: Hitting Stationary Objects at High Speed; Lane Incursions from Stationary Objects; and Autopilot Confusion at Forks and Gores.” In reference to the first cause, the article states that, “This has been one of the biggest source [sic] of accidents as drivers often become too comfortable and stop paying attention at freeway speeds.”
"General Motors Co. is forging a closer alliance with Alphabet Inc.'s Google, agreeing to build the tech giant's apps directly into its vehicles' touch-screen displays."
GM "plans to offer Google Maps, as well as its voice-activated assistant and popular Google Play app store, as a built-in multimedia app, so drivers can access them on their dashboard displays without having to pull out their smartphones."
The article states that, “a deal to secure support for a massive high-speed rail system across San Diego County appears to be on the verge of collapse.” Although the SANDAG plan “will almost certainly require a substantial tax increase,” it underfunds Highway 52, 56, 67, and 78 expansions. I say, “when in doubt, call time out.”
To be effective, any mass-transit solution for San Diego must be useful, efficient, and sustainable. We use our cars because they take us from where we are to where we want to go. Most of our roads are congested sometimes but none are congested all the time. We could save ourselves money and grief by effectively allocating roadway scarcity during peak travel hours. A reasonable first step would be to try Congestion Pricing. High-Speed (or any speed) rail is not a viable solution for most commuters and tax increases do not promise sustainability.
Los Angeles - "Bus ridership in America's second-largest city is plummeting as more commuters, fed up with journeys that can be painfully slow due to frequent stops and indirect routes, use growing incomes from the healthy economy to buy a car.
"There were about 270 million total bus rides in the system run by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Traffic Authority ... last year. That is down 24% since 2013.
"The drop is particularly tough news for city leaders ... given that L.A. Metro is in the midst of a 40-year, $120 billion expansion project, funded by a sales-tax increase passed in 2016."
The Tesla Team April 3, 2019 "Since we first introduced Navigate on Autopilot last year, Tesla drivers have traveled more than 66 million miles using the feature, and more than 9 million suggested lane changes have been successfully executed with the feature in use. We’ve heard from our customers that it makes road trips and highway driving more relaxing, enjoyable and fun, and gives them an easy way to follow their car’s navigation guidance when traveling on an unfamiliar route.
"Today, we’re beginning to roll out our latest version of Navigate on Autopilot for a more seamless active guidance experience. In this new version, drivers will now have the option to use Navigate on Autopilot without having to confirm lane changes via the turn stalk. Here’s how it works:
"In the Autopilot settings menu, a driver can press the Customize Navigate on Autopilot button which will now display three additional settings – Enable at Start of Every Trip, Require Lane Change Confirmation, and Lane Change Notification." Read more at the link under Reference 4 at right.
As reported in SME Japan (Reference 3 at right), "ZMP, a developer of autonomous driving technology, and taxi company, Hinomaru Kotsu, are currently leading the way in the race to provide a driverless taxi service."
"Tesla Autopilot, also known as Enhanced Autopilot after a second hardware version started to be shipped, is an advanced driver-assistance system feature offered by Tesla that has lane centering, adaptive cruise control, self-parking, the ability to automatically change lanes, and the ability to summon the car to and from a garage or parking spot."
Mr Smolens’ column discussed “a vastly improved transportation system” for San Diego; the planners want our tax money. For my money, I expect to see a sustainable system, paid for by users. In California, home to a transportation system based on automobiles and highways, we drive 180 billion vehicle miles per year. The system takes us where we want, when we want, with whom we want – including alone, if we want. Access is free.
There are problems: congestion at peak hours, maintenance, and safety. Freeways are “free” of obstacles but need not be free of charge – “congestion pricing” might be helpful. Freeways, daily travel routes of so many, have left railways in the dust for all but a small minority. A clue for planners: reuse right-of-way to create corridors dedicated to autonomous vehicles to enable safe, efficient mass-transit. That’s in the future, so how about a transition strategy!
References are shown below to the texts at the left.
The article, which appeared in The Autopilot Review, a website produced by Tesla™, can be found at Tesla Autopilot Crashes and Causes. The post to this website was made on 7 January 2020.
Comments on Item 8
From a CAV-Systems perspective, we may view the deployment of Autopilot on existing roads as an extensive critical experiment, although not one Davius would have suggested. Rather, it puts Tesla and its Autopilot into an environment with drivers and abnormal conditions but without the restrictions (CAVs only) and aids (common protocols) we associate with CAV-Systems (our aspirational systems of the future). There are reasons to interpret the results of this experiment as indicators of the limits of human capabilities to eliminate such accidents in the chosen environment (referred to on this CAVWAY website as “uncontrolled space”).
However, again from a CAV-Systems perspective, it is important to recognize the great value that the Autopilot offers. Although it is unrealistic to expect reliable driver intervention in response to an emergency during Autopilot operation, Tesla has effectively produced a prototype “dual-mode” vehicle, capable of either driver or driverless operation, if not both at the same time. As pointed out here on this website, dual-mode vehicles are part of a range of potential responses to the first-mile / last-mile challenge.
From an article by Mike Colias, page B1 of the 6 September 2019 edition of the Wall Street Journal entitled, GM Turns to Google for Apps in Cars.
Comments on Item 7
This development, in the opinion of the CAV-Systems editor, deserves attention. Comments are offered below under two headings: near term issues; and long-term implications.
In the near term, prior to CAV-System deployments, GM and Google would be well advised to be cautious regarding traveler safety and privacy. Integrated into automobile software, GPS assistance might well be easier to use and therefore safer than a smartphone. And yes, if drivers are going to use "hands-free" telephone capabilities anyway, they too might be safer if the system were integrated. Nonetheless, even a feature which might seem benign, such as GPS navigation, has the potential to be used to track a vehicle whether or not the driver consents. Moreover, any non-essential feature which distracts a driver's attention from the road can be considered potentially dangerous, even if that feature is being used only by passengers.
Long term, the situation looks a little different. The scenario where an automobile manufacturer licenses a controller from a digital-technology company is compatible with the CAV-Systems concept, particularly once standards for CAVs (on CAVWAYs) are in place.
On 24 August 2019, the San Diego Union Tribune published an article by Joshua Emerson Smith, Truce over S.D.’s Transit Vision on Rocks.
On 29 August 2019, the San Diego Union Tribune published the response by Maniel Vineberg, shown at left, under Letters to the Editor, Page B6. That response is entitled, Automobiles will likely always be with us.
Comment on Item 6
While this may appear to be an insignificant exchange, it illustrates the importance of having a goal state, such as CAV Systems, and how day-to-day decisions can move us closer to our goal (or not).
On 26 August 2019, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Ethan Millman entitled, Los Angeles Bus Push Fails to Catch On.
Comment on Item 5
This article highlights the difficulty of attracting riders, whose points of origin and destinations vary widely, to fixed-route public transit. Moreover, with no mechanism to allocate precious roadway access, vehicles (buses in this case) are caught in the same congestion as private cars.
Link to Introducing a More Seamless Navigate on Autopilot
Comment on Item 4
This was reported on 3 April 2019. It is relevant to the CAV-System concept since is described on this website, the lane-change requirement is fundamental to the efficient CAV cooperation.
Link to Autonomous Taxi Trials in Tokyo
Comment on Item 3
While this news item reports on CAVs developed to operate independently, transportation-service providers such as this will hold one key to the first-mile/last-mile challenge.
Link to Tesla Autopilot
Comment on Item 2
The Tesla Autopilot provides a "living critical experiment" to validate the concept of a dual mode (with or without driver) vehicle. The functionality embedded in the Tesla Autopilot will differ from that required of a CAV for CAVWAYs.
On 13 March 2019, the San Diego Union Tribune published a column by Michael Smolens, San Diego Transportation agencies struggle to get in sync on big plans.
On 18 March 2019, the San Diego Union Tribune published the response by Maniel Vineberg, shown at left, under Letters to the Editor, Page B5.