From the Editors
There has been another collision involving an AV, this time an Uber test vehicle. There has been a lot of reaction to it.in the media. One of the key messages that we give at every opportunity is that no technology is perfect and all hardware and software fails occasionally. In a joint report written by CAVCOE, the Conference Board of Canada, and the Van Horne Institute, we predicted that AVs could prevent 80% of collisions and traffic deaths and injuries -- not 100%. We still see companies that use messaging about AVs that will be crash-proof and references to a zero-fatalities society. There is no such thing! The more this kind of messaging is used, the greater the reaction from the media and the public when there are collisions and -- tragically -- traffic deaths. Our wish is that the AV industry stops all messaging about the technology being perfect and instead talk about autonomous and connected vehicles being much safer than today's human-driven vehicles -- but not perfect.
And a PS....let's remember that the investigation showed that the recent Uber collision was the fault of the human driving the other car, not the AV technology.
The following newsletter shows that March was another eventful month for the AV industry. There were news about new partnerships in the technology-transportation sector, including Renault-Nissan and Transdev, the possibility of new subscription based models coming to scene in the sector (Cadillac’s Netflix for car service) and more testing of AVs. Uber on the other hand seems to be caught up with the collision mentioned above and a legal battle with Waymo heats up.
The Automakers, Tier1s and AV Developers
Renault-Nissan Alliance and AV services company Transdev have signed an agreement. The two companies have agreed to jointly explore development of mobility services with fleets of electric driverless vehicles for public and on-demand transportation. More specifically, The companies will collaborate to develop a comprehensive, modular transportation system to enable clients to book rides, and mobility operators to monitor and operate self-driving car fleets. In this this NDTV article, Yann Leriche, Chief Performance Officer at Transdev, said that the future of mobility is expected to be PACE – Personalized, Autonomous, Connected and Electric. (We at CAVCOE often refer to ACE vehicles as one of the major trends for the 2020s.)
California has started testing fully autonomous buses, without a steering wheel or human. Two 12 passenger buses from French company EasyMile were seen around an empty parking lot. The shuttle buses will be tested for a few months in the parking lots before operators apply for approval from the Department of Motor Vehicles to continue in the city’s streets.
EasyMile has also been demonstrating the EZ10 driverless shuttle at other locations as part of the Autonomous Vehicles Road Trip 2017 across the United States. The shuttle prominently displays the logo of EasyMile's partner, Transdev.
Uber is aggressively testing its AV operations in California, Arizona and Pennsylvania. The number of miles Uber AVs are driving is showing an enormous increase. However, there is one important metric that shows limited progress in one key respect. This metric is the number of miles per intervention, defined as the average number of miles the car drove before the driver had to take over for some reason. This is not showing the hoped for growth as reported by Recode. In January, the driver had to take over every 0.9 miles. In February, it was every mile. During the second week of March, it was down to only every 0.8 miles.
Cadillac is planning a subscription service that lets users access 10 Cadillac models up to 18 times a year for $1,500 a month The subscription is a test to find out whether users would go for on-demand access of vehicles without the burdens of car ownership.
Dubai's Roads and Transportation Authority has announced that it has recently tested an autonomous taxi based on drone technology that can carry (initially) one passenger. Dubai hopes to have the autonomous taxis, which are made by the Chinese company Ehang, operational later this year. Airbus has announced that it plans to have its prototype flying by the end of 2017. And Uber has announced it would like to offer a commercial service using flying cars.
Traffic Technology Today reports that US President Donald Trump recently visited an autonomous vehicle development centres in Detroit, Michigan during a trip to the city. This could very well be an indication of how important he thinks AVs are.
The UK Government has proposed that that the insurance cover for self-driving cars should be in place both when the vehicle is in control and when the driver is in charge. This is mainly to make it easier for accident victims to claim compensation if a collision occurs..However, this does not apply if the vehicle owner has made unauthorized changes to the car’s software or has not installed an update that the policy requires them to make.
The US and Australia seem to be going in different directions re the question of “who is responsible in case of an infringement of road rules by AVs”. The US is heading in the direction of assigning the responsibility mainly to vehicle manufacturers. However, Australia seems to be heading in the direction of penalizing the driver in case of an accident, unless failure of AV system is a major factor in causing the accident. This different approach is likely to continue until the AV safety record is better established..
Uber is planning to get a permit for AV operations in California from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Earlier, Uber had refused to get one saying that the regulation’s conditions did not apply to.
The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing last month. There was a lot of testimony from various witnesses. Overall, the transcript (text or video) is very interesting. One of the witnesses was Anders Karrberg, Vice President of Government Affairs at Volvo Cars. In his prepared statement, he laid out a deployment strategy that we expect will be similar to that used by other OEMs:
The first self-driving Volvo will be an XC90 SUV. It will be offered to customers in selected cities in the U.S., Europe, and China in 2021. The cars will be capable to operate unsupervised SAE Level 4 during normal traffic conditions on designated commuter roads only. Our approach is not to provide unsupervised driving anywhere any time. Instead, we start with less complicated conditions where consumer benefits are the highest. Thereafter, step by step we open up for more complex traffic as technology matures.
Other AV Articles
An interesting CNN article says that the most valuable thing about tomorrow's cars is something you'll never even see. As the article says, forget the engine or the shiny rims. The money is in vehicles' data. Experts say the value of vehicles will likely pale in comparison to the riches from our cars' data.
For readers who missed the AutoSens 2016 Conference, the organizers have made available every single conference session online. Here is the link.
Upcoming AV Related Events
Mar 28-29, 2017: International VDI Conference - Autonomous Trucks, Dusseldorf, Germany. CAVCOE's Paul Godsmark will be presenting at the event.
Mar 28-31, 2017: Fundica Safety Meets ADAS; Vohlinschloss, Bavaria, Germany.
Mar 30, 2017: dSpace Tech Day; Santa Clara, California, USA.
Apr 4-6, 2017: SAE 2017 World Congress and Exhibition; Detroit, Michigan, USA.
April 19-20, 2017: Automated Vehicles 2017: Planning the Next Disruptive Technology; Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AV Update subscribers can register using promotional code PRM2 to save $400 off the total conference rate. CAVCOE is a sponsor, we helped with program development, and Barrie Kirk and Paul Godsmark are both speaking. For more information, please contact Natasha Chipilova at Chipilova@conferenceboard.ca.
Apr 25-26, 2017: ATZ Live; Frankfurt, Germany.
May 9-12, 2017: Fundica Safety Meets ADAS; Vohlinschloss, Bavaria, Germany.
May 15-17, 2017: UITP Global Public Transport Summit; Montreal, Canada.
May 16-18, 2017: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; Santa Clara, California, USA.
May 22-25, 2017: AutoSens; Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Jun 7-8, 2017: TU Automotive Detroit 2017; Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Jun 20-22, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium; Stuttgart, Germany.
Jul 5-6, 2017: The Future of Transportation World Conference; Cologne, Germany.
Jul 5-6, 2017: 4th International VDI Conference Automated Driving 2017; Berlin, Germany.
Jul 11-12, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle ADAS Japan 2017; Tokyo, Japan.
Jul 11-13, 2017: Automated Vehicles Symposium; San Francisco, California, USA.
Sep 19-21, 2017: AutoSens; Brussels, Belgium.
Oct 5-6, 2017: Automotive Simulation World Congress; Tokyo, Japan.
Oct 24-25, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress 2017; Novi, Michigan, USA.
Oct 29-Nov 2, 2017: ITS World Congress; Montreal, Canada.
Nov 16-17, 2017: Automotive Tech.AD 2017; Detroit, Michigan, USA.
is a free, monthly roundup of news and analysis in the world of
automated vehicles and their impact on all levels of government and the
Chief Editor: Geetansh Kakkar
Editors: Barrie Kirk, Paul Godsmark
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