autonomous cars

Sam Abuelsamid ... flying high

Sam Abuelsamid

Episode 1627

Yesterday, Sam was a judge at an "orphan car show." It's a show filled with cars that are no longer made. He was able to judge the Packard group, picking their favorite car. Another item for today is a visit to NVidia's Drive Labs, which has been using deep neural networks to develop autonomously driven vehicles. And they've created a playlist of how Nvidia is advancing the art and making autonomous vehicles safe. Check it out here - Nvidia's Drive Labs -


Tesla Model S Crashes Into Truck, Kills Driver While on Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot

Episode 1301

A Tesla Model S crashed into a truck at highway speeds, killing the driver, all while on autopilot. Tesla is the first car company to put true autonomy into its cars. Many cars today have some autonomous features, such as blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, lane control, and more. Teslas take it a step further, and can actually change lanes automatically and follow a route. Autopilot is disabled unless you opt-in for it, and Tesla says it's still in a public beta.

Autonomous Vehicles Have First Reported Fatality

Episode 1301

Tesla has become the first car maker to have true autonomy in their cars, but they also now have the sad distinction of being the fist autonomous car to suffer a fatality. Leo says that while tragic, auto pilot is not perfect. Autopilot is better than human drivers who are honestly terrible drivers, but it won't ever be perfect in the fluid nature of driving in traffic. And crashes will happen. Leo also says don't treat autopilot like it's infallible and ignore what's going on. Think of it more as "driver assist." Pay attention. That way if anything happens, you can take action.

Is autonomous driving inevitable?

Episode 1252

Steve from San Marcos, CA

Steve calls in to says that autonomous vehicles, and even semis, are licensed in Nevada. Leo says that Nevada wants to be on the forefront on this. Leo suspects they will be widespread in big cities, but California seems to be pushing back on the trend. Leo says it's going to happen sooner or later. People are terrified of it, even though it has a spotless record. Google has been doing it for years with no accidents. But with more than 1 1/2% of people making a living driving, there will be a lot of people looking for work. Leo says that Uber will go automated soon too.

How long will it be before Google's self-driving car is available?

Episode 1017

Gabriel from Miami Beach, FL

Gabriel is visually impaired, and would greatly benefit from this self-driving car that Google has been working on. Leo believes the technology has been perfected, and it works really well already. Gabriel says he has connections to people working on this, and that they should be ready to go on sale by 2017. Legislation needs to be written in California by 2015 for it.