Bloomberg discusses an opinion held by some AI researchers that in order to make AVs safer on the streets, pedestrian behaviour needs to be controlled. Naturally this idea went over swimmingly with urban advocates everywhere. The beauty of being a pedestrian is having true autonomy of where and when you travel - and no autonomous vehicle can (nor should) take that away.
Streetsblog with the rebuttal to Automotive AI advocates everywhere.
Major AV companies are hiring public sector heroes to help them lobby governments. Uber, Waymo, Lyft and Voyage have all hired prominent public servants - this can be a good thing when it comes to steering the direction of the company and AV implementation.
(Or at the very least, they are trying to). The City of London (the district, not the entire metro) is considering a non-electric vehicle ban to bring down air pollution. Given that the City has the highest density of transport offerings in London, and is home to more commuters by bike than car already, this isn’t infeasible.
Tim Kentley-Klay cofounded the $3.2 billion valued AV company, despite having no previous experience in automotive or AI. It all sounds very dramatic, and there’s a string of tweets from Kentley-Klay about how “Silicon Valley is up to its worst tricks”.
(Is it just me, or is there another Waymo fluff piece of PR in the news every week?) In the event that you ever wondered what it was like to have spinning eyes and commute billions of data points every second, now you know what it feels like to be a Waymo mini van. (This story technically details the routes, destinations and users Waymo’s car are seeing).
Data collection and computer response time in vehicles needs to get faster. Austin Russell, chief executive of Luminar, discusses how AVs will need to rapidly process information from their surroundings and how crucial network connection is for this task.
Kroger is partnering with Nuro to (eventually) deliver groceries via driverless pods - currently they are bringing people to and fro the store. Interesting here is to consider how land use will change as commercial deliveries continue to grow.
Nvidia predicts Tesla will need some help with their chip, and after their partnership with Tesla folded, they are waiting for the company to come to its senses. As always, I naturally love a company that takes a healthy poke at Mr. Musk.
Ford hid a driver in a vehicle (“Ghost Driver”) to better understand how people interacted with a car when they thought nobody was behind the wheel. Details can be found in their safety report in last week’s edition of AFTR.
Forbes discusses how the future of work and mobility are about to collide. They are of the belief that AVs will lead to more hours spent working while en route to physical locations - such as work, meetings, home, school. To consider here is how we regulate VMT if this pattern emerges. I’m all for convenience, but not at the expense of the environment or human wellbeing.
This weekly newsletter on AVs and Urbanism is curated weekly by Sarah Barnes, a transport nerd based in London, UK.
The newsletter encourages new conversations about AVs, which focus on people, equity, design and the cities we want to (and need to) be building for the future. This newsletter grew out of previous research and is a pet project I lovingly create for fun.