December 4, 2020

Tesla #3 – Teslas are designed to crash into stuff

There is a great blog post by Tesla about how they changed their attitude towards the forward-facing radar. The radar was initially considered to be a “supplementary sensor” but “after careful consideration” it was promoted to being a “primary control sensor”.  
October 30, 2020

Tesla #2 – Autonomous Features vs Damage Injury and Death

Musk often uses the term “feature complete” or “fully autonomous” instead of “level 5” autonomy. I thought he was being clever as a get-out-of-jail-for-free card.  
October 23, 2020

Tesla #1 – The dichotomy of genius

This time we are going to turn our gaze to Tesla. I am going to look at this from a different perspective. This is not going to be clickbait about Lidar, AI, lack of simulation, or using Tesla drivers as guinea pigs in some megalomaniac science experiment.  
August 4, 2020

The future of Waymo: Not as glossy as their videos…

Those who have been following along must now have an opinion on how this cookie is going to crumble. Before reading further, what do you think?  
July 17, 2020

How many cameras are there on a Waymo? (You will get this wrong)

Pop quiz… We know Waymo has always used lidar but how many cameras are there on their Generation 5 sensor suite? Keep reading for the answer…
June 8, 2020

More Waymo Smells

A January 2019 Verge article about Waymo shared some screen shots of the Waymo app. Two things stood out to me; You can remotely honk the horn of a Waymo. This was previously discussed here as there is a similar feature with Lime Scooters.
May 20, 2020

Waymo Smells

There is a great term in software engineering; “Code smell”. In computer programming, a code smell is any characteristic in the source code of a program that possibly indicates a deeper problem.
May 18, 2020

Driver training and adaptation to changing vehicle technology

A number of years ago, a retiring Special Forces commander was being interviewed for a television program and he was asked the following question: “Are you concerned that your troops are becoming too technologically dependent?”
May 12, 2020

Mechanical Sympathy and Driver Licensing

My Dad would speak of mechanical sympathy; the idea that you needed to understand how a machine worked to operate it efficiently and to maximise its operational life. For driving, it was listening to the engine, not braking too hard, and using the gears appropriately.