Sam joins Leo to talk about the Michigan Connected Corridor. An initiative designed to create transportation infrastructure driven by data from drivers as they travel. The initiative will create a 40-mile corridor between Detroit and Anarbor, which will offer an affordable roadway for autonomous connected vehicles. The infrastructure will also have sensors and internet connectivity, assigning lanes to autonomous vehicles based on capacity. Other vehicles will have access who pay a toll.
Sam joins Leo to talk about over-relying on autonomous features that aren't really autonomous but are hyped that way. Called "Autowashing," it's a concept where a company hypes the autonomous nature of a feature that isn't' really autonomous. Self-driving features are hyped this way. In reality, it's more like "driver assist," and over-marketing it as anything more than that can be inherently dangerous as people think they don't have to pay attention to the road.
Glen is an automation electronics expert and he doesn't think an autonomous car will be ubiquitous for a long time since people won't feel safe in them for quite a while. Leo agrees; the technology isn't there yet, and may not be for years. But he also thinks that auto insurance companies may push for the system to be adopted.
Sam says that in light of the pandemic, ride-sharing has dropped to nothing, and the feeling is that a lot of people aren't likely to return to it, or public transit. We may see a shift back to personal use vehicles. This is a serious challenge for not only ride-sharing companies that would require sanitizing after every ride, to autonomous cabs. It's also moving autonomous vehicle developers to move towards goods delivery, not ride-sharing. So the future of driverless vehicles may be the transport of goods, not people.
Sam is back with Leo to talk about a new car cockpit design which has a steering wheel that receeds into the dashboard when the car drives autonomously. The new design also uses the actual surfaces of the car to act as car stereo speakers. Any surface you can get to vibrate can transmit sound thanks to actuators. You can even embed them in the seats. The potential also exists to create "sound bubbles," which would let you listen to something, while other passengers are listening to something else.
Sam was in Manhattan NY this week and he didn't do any driving while there because of all the traffic. So he took the subway. Sam says that in Manhattan, Autonomous Vehicles are a prime application to better the flow of traffic. But he also says it would be a terrible thing in a lot of ways. One company could dominate, but that would be a monopoly and a bad thing. Imagine bad actors infiltrating a single company's AV fleet. That would be disastrous. Several different car companies with diverse technologies would be safer, cheaper, and likely more efficient.
Leo just got a Chevy Volt and it takes forever to charge on the 110 volt connector. Sam says you can use the 220 volt NIMA 1450 dryer recepticle and it'll charge a lot faster. Sam also says Leo needs to get a 240 volt wall charger and they cost about $450. You'll also need a level 2 adapter. Seimens makes one, but there are several brands available.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked states to hold off on allowing regular use of self driving cars on local highways and roads, except for research purposes.
Feds Ask States To Sideline Self-Driving Cars…