Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Pages with tag Self-Driving Cars

  • 'Audi on Autopilot Future: The Audi Vision of Autonomous Driving' <p>Audi's Elaine electric SUB coupe, and Aicon four-door 2+2, are meant to show that highly automated driving is around the corner. The Aicon has no steering wheel, no pedals, and can (within a designated area) automatically drive itself to a parking space in a parking garage. </p>
  • Domino's and Ford begin consumer research of Pizza Delivery using self-driving vehicles <p>One of the long-predicted primary uses for autonomous self-driving cars is all kinds of delivery services. You could order a pile of lumber from Home Depot, and rather than rent a truck by the hour to drive it to your house on your own, Home Depot could send it in a self-driving truck. In this case instead of a human pizza delivery agent (a job I had myself over 30 years ago), Dominos would instead send the Pizza in a self-driving car. How does Domino's expect to get the Pizza upstairs to, for example, the second floor of a college dormitory? Or inside a hospital to a surgery team that's about to start an operation? Or elsewhere in that same hospital to a mother that just gave birth? Or upstairs in an apartment complex? Or to a hard-to-find apartment in a house that's been divided into aprtment units? There's all kinds of special situations I recall as a Pizza delivery driver that aren't satisfied by driving a car up to the front door and tooting a horn and expecting someone to come outside to retrieve the pizza.</p> <p>Domino's has long been exploring alternate vehicles. Back in the 1990's they hired Corbin Motors to build a special version of the Corbin Sparrow where the rear end was designed for pizza's. Those cars are affectionately known as the Pizza-Butt Sparrows. Amongst the select few of us who know Corbin's history that is. You can imagine that a large cost center in Domino's financials is the salary and fuel costs for their current pizza delivery system -- humans driving gasoline powered cars. And, no, I did not work for Domino's. Instead I worked for Archies Pizza, a Pizzeria in Lexington KY that went out of business years ago but made really nice high quality pizza's from all kinds of fresh ingredients. There was a Domino's a half-block away from our store, of course.</p> <p>I foresee this being a difficult service to develop because of all the special delivery situations that exist. One way it might work is to have a van with a mobile pizza kitchen. The raw pizza would be assembled at the store, then the delivery agent loads those pizza's into ovens in the van, and manages the cooking process while the van is driving the delivery route. That would be tricky to implement, but would give a human delivery driver tasks to do while the van is driving from place to place. And the pizza could plausibly be deliveried more freshly cooked...? Which would address one of the key issues of pizza delivery -- keeping the pizza hot while driving to the customer's residence.</p>
  • First automated vehicle in New York, an Audi <p>What Audi has done is achieve the first license for automated vehicle testing in New York. They held a technology demonstration in Albany NY, of the Audi Highway Pilot technology, showcasing their "Level 3" capabilities.</p>
  • Ford, Virginia Tech, go undercover to develop signals that enable autonomous vehicles to communicate with people
  • GM produces first round of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles <p>For the first time, autonomous self-driving cars have been built using mass-production methodology. As we can tell via the pictures released with this press release, they built some kind of assembly line for this purpose. The assembly line clearly isn't "high-end" (no robots), but it's an assembly line, letting them claim to have used mass-production methods. GM is deploying the 130 vehicles to test fleets in San Francisco, Scottsdale and Detroit.</p> <p>Another thing to see in these pictures is that these cars have many sensors, including a whole sensor package mounted on the roof, and some sensors at the side near the front. The press release talks about LIDAR, cameras and other sensors, as well as computing equipment.</p>
  • GM's assembly line for producing Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt EV Test cars <p>Yesterday GM released news that a hundred or so Self-Driving Chevy Bolt EV's were being manufactured on an assembly line, and being shipped to test fleets around the USA. They described this as a milestone, as the first self-driving car to be built with mass-production techniques. We've found a video that goes over the assembly line.</p> <p>This is clearly not a robotized modern assembly line. Instead of an building the cars from scratch, they are attaching parts to a pre-built chassis. It looks like Engineering team members are doing some of the assembly.</p> <p>The other thing to note is the size of the computing cluster, and that it takes up a significant amount of cargo space. As advanced as their self-driving technology surely is, they still haven't shrunk the equipment down to where it fits into the woodwork.</p>