Autonomous Cars Will Never Be Fully Autonomous Until…

5 Feb

BBC Image: Wireless Charging Electric Vehicle

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)

Autonomous Driving Nomenclature Makes No Sense

4 Feb

Alex Roy On Autonomous Driving Nomenclature

When it comes to marketing autonomous driving, carmakers have a problem. Actually two problems. First, they need to convince us we need Autonomous Driving. Also, they need to explain to us exactly what these features actually do. Everyone knows ABS means Anti-Lock Braking, because all manufacturers use it as a generic term. Not so with Autonomous Driving features, and that’s a big problem. Because you can’t sell something you can’t explain.

Let’s take a look at what the average person sees by Googling three German manufacturers’ current, and upcoming, models. Oh, and Tesla. Tesla has led the way in simplifying autonomous driving nomenclature, but Mercedes, Audi and BMW are right behind them. Or so I thought.

Read the full article over at The Drive…

Air Disasters, Indiana Jones and the Future of Car Accidents

21 Jan

Indiana Jones & The Swordfighter

The Age of the Autonomous Car is coming, and if you want to survive it, you need to re-watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and learn the Lesson of the Swordsman. Once you do that, you’re halfway to understanding the problem with autonomous cars. For every problem technology solves, a new one is created. We solved the problem of the sword with the gun. We are now poised to solve the “problem” of human drivers with Autonomous Cars. And that’s a problem.

If Indy’s gun had misfired, he’d have been toast.

What will happen when Autonomous Cars fail?

Read my latest article at The Drive…

Why Government Should Not Build Cars

19 Jan

Why Government Should Not Build Cars

I love France. I speak French. I own a French car. I like French bread. I used to eat French fries. The French are good at many things, but no one is good at everything.

I, for one, am not very good at ballet dancing. I could resume the dance classes my parents forced me into, but I like to learn from mistakes and let sleeping dogs lie. That’s where I differ from the French, because one of the things France is not good at—but that it is loath to admit—is the subsidy of technology investments.

The latest idea from the ministers in Paris? A $7,500 voiture électrique “for the people.”

Read the rest over at The Drive…

VIDEO: Unicycle Jousting. Yes, Unicycle Jousting.

16 Jan


Unicycle Jousting exists. I thought I’d made it up. Physics and all. It turned out I don’t know enough about physics. Actually, that’s not true. It’s just that I have common sense. Sense enough to know that however cool this is, it shouldn’t be allowed. Not because it can’t be made safe, but because if this video is ever seen by some future crime lord, it might inspire him to force two unwilling captives to fight to the death. Continue reading

Alex Roy On What The Ford/Google Driverless Partnership REALLY Means

22 Dec

Alex Roy On What The Ford/Google Driverless Partnership Really Means

It has begun. Ford and Google will partner to build Driverless Cars, according to sources. I must be Nostradamus. Just last week I explained “How Car Companies Can Survive The Self-Driving Car Apocalypse,” and now Ford has allegedly done precisely what I suggested OEM’s need to do to ensure their survival. Ford, as the first American OEM to partner with Google, has now gained a temporary but Brobdingnagian advantage over every other legacy OEM on the planet.

Yes, Brobdingnagian. On the scale of size, that’s bigger than big, massive or colossal.

Read the rest over at The Drive

Alex Roy is the author of the LiveDriveRepeat blog and Editor-at-Large for The Drive.
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The Cannonball Run. Past and Future.

18 Dec

Alex Roy's LiveDriveRepeat

The true story of the Cannonball Run is mostly limited to its wiki page and Brock Yatesbook. Luckily, Andrew Fails of RightFootDown has assembled this great article from interviews with myself and Ed Bolian. The only good article on the topic in years.


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.


How Car Companies Can Survive the Self-Driving Apocalypse

11 Dec

Alex Roy's LiveDriveRepeat - How Car Companies Can Survive the Self-Driving Apocalypse

I know which carmakers will survive in a world of self-driving cars.

How do I know?

About fifteen years ago, I was a screenwriter. The gig lasted seven days, during which I was put up at the Chateau Marmont in the same bungalow in which John Belushi died. Horscht, the wild-eyed, fast-talking, curly-mulleted producer paying for it, had a vision he delivered to me as he stood in the doorway, silhouetted before the last sunlight I would see for a week:

Read the full story over at The Drive…