This is a synthesis blog for Dylan Hong's semester. It covers all topics he has blogged about and some of what his final project worked on.
Tesla set out to create the safest semi-truck you can buy. To accomplish this goal, every truck Tesla sells will have advanced autopilot as a standard. This includes features such as emergency breaking, automatic lane keeping, and forward collision warnings. The technology to accomplish this level of autonomy and safety, the Tesla semi uses the same hardware suite from the Model S, 3, and X. This means there will be 8 cameras, 1 radar, and ultrasonic sensors scattered all around the body. Additionally, the raw data from most of these cameras will be accessible to the driver, something that can’t be done from Tesla’s passenger cars. This is to allow the truck drivers a 360 degree view of their surroundings and eliminate blindspots. Elon Musk also mentioned convoy technology that will be implemented with the trucks. This will use the autonomous technology to have Tesla semi trucks follow each other for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
Alphabet’s Waymo is already on the streets. It’s important to note that they have not yet begun public usage. In other terms, nobody outside of the Waymo bubble has had the chance to be chauffeured around by the first legitimately driverless cars on the road. Waymo plans to roll out the service to the entire Phoenix area, but is currently confined to small parts of the city. According to Ars Techinica, Waymo is planning on replicating this roll-out style in the rest of the country when they have a large enough fleet of cars. The success of this operation is critical to the public’s perception of self-driving cars. This is the first time that regular people will be piloted in cars with no human at the steering wheel.
AVs are already being used as public transit in some areas. There are still issues to iron out, but the AVs are going slow enough to be extremely safe for pedestrians. Might pedestrians take advantage of AV safety features and eventually take over roads?
In the car market today, the feature that most distinguishes cars from one another is the overall feel of the drive. There are two facets to the interior feel, the actual interior of the car itself; the orientation of the seats, the legroom, etc, and the ride of the car felt while you are a passenger. Since the driver or passengers are not controlling the car, they care very little about the way the car feels to drive, and thus, allows manufacturers to focus development on making the drive as smooth and efficient as possible.
There are two clear lanes for autonomous vehicles to enter: personal AVs and ride sharing or communal self driving cars. This post examines two companies, Audi and Uber, going after different segments of the market in order to examine which is best positioned for success?
Cars were not always the dominant mode of transportation on streets – it used to be pedestrians. As cars became increasingly deadly for pedestrians, people wanted to place limits on drivers. Drivers and car manufacturers pushed back, and successfully victim-blamed and criminalized pedestrian actions.