“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…
Transportation Communist/Gizmodo contributor Alissa Walker is back with another pro-Autonomous Driving article, Why Self-Driving Cars Should Never Have Steering Wheels. Citing Google’s Chris Urmson, she adds some predictable commentary to his argument that Self-Driving Cars basically should launch at Level 5. Don’t know your Autonomous Driving (AD) Levels? Here’s a nice chart from SAE. I’ll say this one more time…technology can solve a lot of problems, but it can’t solve for human nature. I don’t think it matters whether AD is Level 5 capable. People want to feel agency, however untrained they are in the art of driving. Article coming… Continue reading
Love or hate Edward Snowden, we all know what he stands for. PRIVACY, right? Wrong. Because Snowden clearly also believes in Self-Driving Cars (SDC’s). For someone who claims to support privacy at any cost – including what critics would call treason – it’s the height of cognitive dissonance to ALSO believe in SDCs. SDCs, but definition, require the near total abdication of privacy.
How can Snowden not see this? And which side does he ultimately fall on?
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?
The Gumpert Apollo may disappoint, but the Gumball 3000 never does.
Speaking of the Gumball 3000, Chris Harris really stepped into the line of fire with his anti-Gumball 3000 tweet, and boy did things get nasty when rapper Bun B shot back. Harris’ Instagram is now filled with foul language…or worse.
An electric Ferrari 308? Be still my beating heart. This speaks to me on so many levels. Magnum, P.I. is the obvious one, but 32:07 is the other. A red Ferrari similar to this one set the Transcontinental Driving Record in 1983 on the U.S. Express, and will always be the quintessential Cannonball car. Except for a certain E39 BMW M5.
How to buy an electric vehicle charging station. Just in case you wanted to know. Continue reading
“The Tesla has come and gone,” according to Doug Demuro. Does Demuro know anything about Autonomous Cars? Jalopnik was kind enough to invite me to weigh in as part of their latest video, “Is A Tesla The Best Semi-Autonomous Car You Can Buy?” I recommend you watch it, because his comments are illuminating for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading
What makes an Autonomous Car fully Autonomous? Full Autonomy. That will never happen until the last piece of the Autonomous Driving (AD) chain is solved, and that’s the automation of refueling and recharging. This article on The Verge got me thinking about the relationship between AD and EVs, the totally fractured way we talk about the two, and the clear delineation between the types of Self-Driving Cars that are coming.
I just Googled the phrase “Autonomous Driving Chain” and found…nothing. Is no one really thinking about this? It’s impossible.
(Photo credit: BBC)