It’s Not Just Tesla Autopilot—Everything Is in Beta

3 Aug

Everything Is In Beta

I remember my first real girlfriend. We were eleven; promises were made. My first car? I was going to keep it forever. My parents were together, until they weren’t. I remember the girl I wanted to marry—the first girl and the third. I remember my father’s voice from the next room. Then on an answering machine, which stopped working, then on a voicemail, which I lost when I switched to T-Mobile. Then, only in my memory.

Nothing is static. The world, with all of us in it, is in a constant state of change. Everything is in beta, and anyone who says otherwise is selling you something.

Love or hate Elon Musk, his greatest societal contribution isn’t “Premium Electric Vehicles” or reusable rockets. It might just be his use of language—specifically that phrase, “in beta.” Did you think that term means “not ready,” “incomplete,” or “needs testing”? It can, and it does, but now, it also means something else: In the world of automotive technology, especially autonomy, “in beta” now means: We have to move faster.

Read the rest over at The Drive

Why The FTC SHOULD Investigate Mercedes’ ‘Misleading’ Self-Driving Car Ads

28 Jul

Mercedes Self-Driving Car

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-class may be amazing, but it is not a self-driving car. Not even close. But their early ads say it is, in exactly that language. This is how people get killed, and now Consumer Reports is rightfully calling on the FTC to investigate what they call a “misleading” campaign.

Consumer Reports specifically called out a Mercedes TV ad called “The Future,” in which a narrator’s voice-over says, “Is the world truly ready for a vehicle that can drive itself? An autonomous-thinking automobile that protects those inside and outside. Ready or not, the future is here.”

Stuttgart, we have problem.

Read the rest of my article over @The/Drive

Tesla Is Right. Consumer Reports Is Wrong. And Trying To Kill You.

16 Jul

Tesla Is Right. Consumer Reports Is Wrong. And Trying To Kill You.

Consumer Reports is trying to kill you. It’s true: The non-profit my parents trusted for advice on washing machines, coffee makers and sunscreen has crossed the line. CR, an organization claiming to serve consumers through unbiased product testing has chosen to enter the debate over Tesla’s Autopilot in the most ill-informed and irresponsible way possible. In doing so, the brand is putting additional lives at risk.

No company has done more to bring autonomous driving (AD) to market than Tesla, and yet they are now the target of a misinformation campaign rapidly coalescing around a single message: Tesla Autopilot is dangerous.

This is nonsense.

Read the rest of over at The/Drive.com

Can George Hotz “Win” Self-Driving Cars?

2 Jun

George Hotz

“Hotz wants two,” said The Spaniard, my new spy friend. I knew he was a spy. He knew I knew. I knew he knew I knew. But I knew he knew I knew first, so he respected me, and now I had a friend with more technical knowledge of Autonomous Driving than I, which made us the perfect duo to walk and talk our way through the broiling pits at SelfRacingCars—the World’s First Autonomous Track Day—at Thunderhill in Willows, California.

“Two hundred million?” I said.

“No,” he shook his head. “Two billion.”

“You know something, Spaniard? If some kid from New Jersey can get a fucking Acura to drive itself around Thunderhill without crashing, he deserves the money.”

In fifteen minutes we’d find out if the kid is worth the money, because George Hotz, a 26-year-old from New Jersey with matted hair and the comic timing of the Upright Citizens Brigade, was here to “win” Self-Driving Cars.

Read the rest over at TheDrive.com

Ed Snowden Loves Self-Driving Cars, Hates Privacy

12 May

SnowdenSnowden

If Ed Snowden wants to protect privacy and civil liberties, then he’s got some explaining to do re: his remarks on Self-Driving Cars. Yesterday he tweeted the following: Continue reading

Alex Roy’s Digest 5.8.16: No To Driverless Cars, Polizei vs. Gumball 3000, Lyft, Traptap

8 May

Gumball 3000

The German Police Hit The Gumball 3000 Hard. You didn’t need to be Nostradamus to see that coming.

Billions are being invested in driverless cars that Americans don’t want. I think some of them want it. I know I do. But not so sure about people over 50. My mom sure doesn’t. Basically, if your desktop has ever crashed, you probably don’t want it. Paging, Windows 95 users…

Continue reading

Alex Roy Digest 5.4.16.2: Google is Colossus, China AD, Tesla

4 May

Colossus

GM ditched Google over data control? Add their coming big AI, and Google is Colossus. Or will be. Does that mean Ford is OK with Google’s data control? What does this say about BMW and Daimler’s rejection of Apple’s terms? Did Apple want what Google wants? Is Google already an adolescent Colossus?

Continue reading

California’s Rules on Self-Driving Cars Don’t Really Matter

17 Dec

Alex Roy's LiveDriveRepeat

Don’t believe yesterday’s clickbait nonsense about the California DMV’s draft rules for Self-Driving Cars. There’s much more (and less) than meets the eye here, and it affects new and legacy car manufacturers VERY differently.

Read my new story over at The Drive.

Enjoy.

Come See My TEDx “Vigilante of The Human Driver”

10 Sep

Alex Roy's TEDx: Vigilante of The Human DriverCome see my upcoming talk “Vigilante of The Human Driver,” Saturday, October 3rd, in Manchester Center, VT, as part of TEDx Battenkill. The theme? “Vigilantes of Extinction.”

Inspired by and from feedback to my recent Jalopnik article “How Science Fiction Failed Us: The Real Future of Autonomous Cars,” I’ll be discussing car culture from the Automotive Singularity through the Autonomotive, the fate of human-driven vehicles and the unintended consequences of AD on society, good and bad. Continue reading

The Real Future Of Autonomous Cars

9 Sep

Alex Roy's LiveDriveRepeat - The Real Future Of Autonomous Cars

Elon Musk believes in it. So does Uber’s Travis Kalanick. The Autonomotive Singularity is inevitable. It is the enemy of enthusiast car culture as it stands, but only as we know it. If we come to understand it, it might just be the best thing ever for car enthusiasts. Might. If you truly love driving, you need to understand the Autonomotive Singularity, and that means you have to stop ignoring it and accept it. Continue reading