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Entries in Autonomous Vehicles (5)


Autonomous Vehicles

We started talking about autonomous vehicles (AV's) a while back, and have featured several white papers on the future impact and viability of autonomous vehicles.

The question remains..."is it really just around the corner?"

As we start a new year we will surely hear more talk about AV's, technology, the cross roads of tech and auto companies competing for AV's. As well as CES that starts tomorrow in Las Vegas sucking some wind out of NAIAS which starts next week.

There is a ton of technology, stakeholders, from several directions. Let alone the various opinions from a myriad of experts, analysts, and various jurisdictions weighing in.

If you listen to some folks 2016 was the year that you could momentarily let go of the steering wheel. Be assured that this thought vector will continue this year.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation. Tell your friends to visit the Vroom Room.

If you need glasses to correct your vision, may we suggest that you consider Nikon lenses. Take it from The Colonel, these lense make an appreciable difference. As well if you spend considerable time in front of a computer screen or screens. May we suggest that you get lenses specific for that application.

Have you noticed the level of pedestrian knowledge that gets dispensed on a daily, and ongoing basis. It never ceases to amaze us that folks that should/could be empowered with higher levels of knowledge, simply do not do it. Agreed...some days its truly mind boggling.

In case you forgot, Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance is this Sunday, may we suggest that the drive to Owen Sound is well worth your time.

With all the talk, buzz, about self driving cars, have you seen the equipment on the roof of the self driving Uber Ford Fusion in Pittsburgh? We are certainly a few steps away from an adaptive cruise control to actual self driving capabilities. Agreed...they are also mapping the "environment".

Have you noticed how we fall prey to technology? Ever get somewhere with a navigation system guiding you in the most dumb, unintuitive fashion, that you reflect for a millisecond and concluded that no human would actually think this way. Go a step further, this digital "non human think" is permeating other areas of our society.

If you heard enough about Gen Y/Millennials here comes Gen Z to make it even more interesting.

We first saw the Crhysler Pacifica at the Toronto Auto Show, which was also the Canadian debut of the van. Although we are not fans or admirers of mini vans. The Pacifica caught our attention with innovative design/styling, and what looked like a superb interior. It was a moment of "FCA is the big dog in this segment, and the Pacifica enures the big dog position".

Its fascinating to see a myriad of pundits have mixed feelings towards the Pacifica.

Our usual old race cars from the Lime Rock Historic Festival 2016.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Most folks don't drive anymore, its a required activity to go from A to B with a vehicle, but they don't drive especially in big cities with congestion. Interesting the driving or lack of is adapted to the particular circumstances.The imagination and creativity that is applied to alleviate driving is a thing of beauty.

Autonomous vehicles might not come soon enough to resolve the lack of driving.

We always learn new things its part of life. Hybrids with small 4 cylinder engines, usually coupled to a CVT transmission, and assisted by an electric motor. In a recent drive with a Prius V the electric motor is comparable to a turbo, and alleviates down shifts of a conventional automatic transmission. Its seamless on the cruise control.

Some things are enduring, decades ago the idea of passing around the monkey was rampant. With some folks being very good at transferring a monkey especially if they are of the larger size variety. Be assured that the art of passing a monkey around is alive and well in 2016. Some things never go out of fashion, "Let me see what I can do to get this monkey off my back, and transfer the problem to someone else".

Fascinating what folks resort to...

Another thing that is enduring is folks that have a cursory knowledge of "something" and go around behaving as if they invented the wheel, with the limited breath and depth of their knowledge.

Our usual old race cars from the LeMans Classic 2016.




Highly Automated Driving

As you know we have been sharing our thoughts on AV's call them self driving or autonomous vehicles for some time.

A thoughtful, and thought provoking paper from McKinsey...

An autonomous vehicle requires five specific technologies to operate effectively. First, it needs high-definition maps of roads that are accurate down to 10 centimeters. Currently, only three companies are actively working on automotive-grade HD maps, and a consortium of German automakers has purchased one of them. Second, autonomous driving requires localization sensors and algorithms that automatically position the vehicles within the HD map in real time. Third, engineers have to integrate the highly automated driving features seamlessly into the vehicle technology stack. The fourth component is a robust object recognition system capable of identifying people and cars near the vehicle in real time. Finally, autonomous driving requires cars to have stronger onboard capabilities in the software stack in areas such as object recognition and decision algorithms. Since OEMs can’t depend on the cloud all the time for these capabilities, in-car computational power needs to increase to handle this critical new software. The question is, who will develop and test this code and take responsibility for it?




Autonomous Vehicles and Boomers

The other day we were reading that Boomers have reservations towards autonomous vehicles, self driving cars, or whatever else you want to call them.

It seems that Boomers have reservations, while Millennials are favorably predisposed towards AV's.

Go figure...

At Strada we have The Colonel who is a Boomers and at times a crusty one too.

Here is the deal...

Driving is increasingly a lost art, especially in major metro areas. Who focuses to drive anymore? Reflect on this for a moment.

Its mind boggling the deterioration of "driving" in big cities. Perhaps folks are aggravated to simply have to get in a vehicle and deal with congestion.The art of driving takes a back seat to having to deal with a congested environment.

Not much fun, satisfaction, or enjoyment.

Boomers learned to drive in a dramatically less congested environment, experienced cars with a strong level of power, and a minuscule level of safety. The lack of congestion was often an invitation to do things that were not the wisest.

There was a sense of satisfaction in having to focus to drive, and being aware that cars were not safe.

If you even remotely think that a "gear head" Boomer enjoys driving today, you are making some strong assumptions.

At Strada we believe that the average Boomer would rather be driven in metro congestion, than drive.

One example...

In the early days the HOV (High Occupancy) lane was a reasonably fast or faster than the regular lane. In 2016 without fail some "robot" is in the HOV lane within 1 kilometer of the vehicle in front of them staying below the speed limit. Mind boggling.

Another example...

In congestion, leaving a couple of car lengths between your vehicle and the one in front makes for a smoother drive. In 2016 the additional car length is an absolute invitation for someone in the next lane to use up the space. It happens every time without fail.

From our perspective AV's are the way to go for Boomers, that are at a stage in life where dealing with congestion is not a pleasant or satisfying experience. Not only that, but AV's that are smart enough to go park themselves, and come back when called upon.

What do you think?