Robotaxi debate, Nord 2 today, and more

There’s a keen feature in the in FT ($) immerse yourself in the autonomous / self-driving vehicle arena today.

  • The piece highlights the quiet further development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
  • This suggests that the path to a robotaxi is not one giant moonshot jump, as Waymo-Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft and possibly Apple have supported.
  • Instead, it is the ADAS players who may win by adding smaller breakthroughs for smaller elements at the same time.
  • Company experts in the field get involved, although it is worth noting that they are the ones who are most excited about their own hopes.

ADAS now:

  • In today’s new car, depending on the make, model, and if you’re willing to pay for all the extras, you can get a number of useful ADAS features: GM has Super Cruise, which allows hands-free driving on certain roads, more or less like a very, very good cruise control. (It’s also $ 6,150 as part of a package of features when buying a new car.)
  • Less exciting examples are things like adaptive headlights, blind spot monitors, self-parking, speed adjustment and so on.
  • Per The information, 25% of new cars have automatic emergency braking to prevent rear-end collisions, another amazing feature.
  • What has changed is that ADAS is able to use huge amounts of data through lidar and radar sensors to do things that were previously thought impossible.

The levels:

  • The argument is that when you string enough of these systems together, you begin to move up through the six levels of vehicle autonomy as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
  • Tesla’s AutoPilot system is a level 2 system. Level 3 systems allow the driver to take their eyes off the road and liability is implied for the automaker, not the driver. At level 4 the system drives itself in most cases and does not require any input from the passengers. Level 5 is complete and complete automation.

What has changed?

  • The problem that the FT Article discussed is the jump from level 2, where help and partial automation takes place – and profitable for those involved – to level 4, where billions and billions have been invested.
  • From the article: “Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora, eloquently put it in 2015 when he was the leading driverless engineer at Google: ‘Conventional wisdom would say that we just take these driver assistance systems and, in a sense, push them forward and … in time they will.” “will turn into self-driving cars,” he said. ‘Well, that’s like saying that one day if I work really hard at jumping I can fly.’ “
  • That logic made sense until it didn’t. Karl Iagnemma, CEO of Motional, the autonomous driving unit from Hyundai and Aptiv, is quoted as saying: “In 2015 I would have agreed to Chris [Urmson] … Every intelligent observer in the industry thought this was the way to go. What we couldn’t foresee, however, was the increase in performance, made possible in part by deep learning and other advances, that would allow us to do things with radars and cameras that I wouldn’t have thought possible in 2015. “
  • And it is important that ADAS continues to grow because it never has to do everything at once.
  • … if ADAS players only get stuck on autobahns, they are not in a crisis. But if Waymo, Cruise, Zoox and Aurora delay their rollout, they will have no product. “
  • As for Waymo pointing out that their operation in Phoenix is ​​proof that Level 4 is working well, thank you very much, not introducing it to other cities seems to suggest that this is very, very expensive and social acceptance is not for driverless crashes there.
  • “It will be another 10 to 20 years before [Waymo] Go from the suburbs of Phoenix to something that runs across the country, ”says Jan Becker, CEO of Apex.AI, an automotive software company.

Bottom line: The future is always surprising, and quotes from company representatives will always be a very narrow view of that future.

💰 Check out the leaked alleged prices for the entire Galaxy Unpacked range, although the leaks appear to be in Euros which doesn’t really carry over to US prices as taxes are included in list prices (Android authority).

💻 Asus has just released a surprisingly powerful 14-inch Chromebook, the new Flip CX5400. (Android authority).

🔨 The Right to Repair Movement now has an important ally: the FTC (Android authority).

👉 The arm’s pliable, silicone-free plastic chip has solid technology, but the limits are real: 99% of the power is consumed while idling, only 1% for computing power (Android authority).

🍎 Twitter for iOS is starting to test the dislike button for some users. It’s not a public dislike, it’s collecting data for Twitter to find out which responses are valuable (and which are not). (9to5Mac).

🚀 Despite Tuesday’s flight, Jeff Bezos is running out of time to save Blue Origin: “Bezos still has to pump more than $ 1 billion a year into Blue Origin to keep the lights on.” Great read. (Ars-Technica).

📌 A priest was outed via Grindr through the location data of his phone that this data was encrypted and not identifiable. Anyone could be next. (Gizmodo).

⚖️ Activision Blizzard is sued by California for “Frat Boy” workplace culture (CNET).

🧶 Contra 12 fantastically complex and mostly pointless Lego Great Ball apparatuses (Gizmodo).

🔓 The clubhouse is open to everyone. Also: “Clubhouse is the big stinker that nobody wants to talk about.” I would like to find useful clubhouse niches, but find the app, exactly as described: “chaotically crappy”. Where I disagree is that obviously it could still work if potentially fixed, and it is possible that the non-English speaking clubhouse will sprout (Ed Lemon Newsletter).

💧 The United Arab Emirates are using drones to bring more rain to Dubai (Interesting technique).

🤔 Debate: “IMO space tourists are not astronauts, just as ship passengers are not sailors” (r / space).

💪 “Can adrenaline actually give you the strength to lift a car and how does it work?” (R / question science)

Have you ever made a mistake on and went to Or accidentally emailed Millions do it: 1.8 million visits per year and 1.2 million emails per week are sent to the wrong address.

How do we know? That’s because of the venerable, a pretty little place on the internet that reminds us where we come from and that isn’t for sale, thank you very much.

  • Cached versions of the site on the Wayback Machine show, first registered in 1996, had been under construction for 10 years and went live as a digital resume before being scaled back to where it is today.
  • It was defended against a copyright claim in 2006 by Gail and her husband Kevin Watson, who also owns Both worked at NASA and they all look very healthy.


Tristan Rayner, Managing Editor.

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