16. Uber’s Biggest Fuck Up

On Sunday, March 18th, at approximately 10pm, an Uber was operating in self-driving mode when the vehicle struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. Initial reports say that Elaine was walking her bicycle across the street when the Uber struck her. At this time, facts are limited, but at a press conference in Tempe, AZ, officials said that Elaine was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk area when the Uber struck her while traveling at approximately 40 mph.  I suspect that the car’s sensors did not identify Elain or her bicycle as an obstacle or pedestrian.

In this episode, Robert Solano explores this incident and discussed the potential impacts to the development of self-driving car technology.

Continue reading “16. Uber’s Biggest Fuck Up”

15. Live from SXSW with Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) and John Krafcik (Waymo CEO)

In this episode, Robert and Zaira travel to the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (#SXSW) in Austin, TX.  It was a very busy week. Together they saw over 30 different presentations and 20 different musical performances. The highlights include keynote speeches by Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), John Krafcik (Waymo CEO), Melinda Gates (Gates Foundation), and Ira Glass (This American Life and Serial podcasts). In this episode, we share a small part of the keynotes from Elon Musk and John Krafcik. Continue reading “15. Live from SXSW with Elon Musk (Tesla CEO) and John Krafcik (Waymo CEO)”

14. The Future of Uber

Uber was in the news a lot this past week. First, they made positive headlines when they announced that they were expanding their partnerships with health care providers to offer patients rides to doctors’ offices (at the doctor office expense). Then they made negative headlines when MIT reported that most ride-sharing drivers make less than minimum wage when you deduct their cost of insurance, maintenance, and fuel.  Finally, Uber announced that they were testing autonomous semi trucks in Arizona. This trucks may give Tesla a run for their money.  in all, a very busy week for the Uber public relations office. And of course, we can’t forget the guy in West Virginia who called an Uber after a night of partying. He asked the Uber to take him home and then passed out. Too bad his home was 300 miles away in New Jersey. I’m sure he was surprised when he woke up to a $1,600 bill.

Continue reading “14. The Future of Uber”

13. Driverless Cars Will Decide Who Survives in a Crash—Why I Hate The Trolley Problem

For almost 100 years, scholars have been debating the Trolley Problem. The scenario is simple.  In its original form, a trolley or train was speeding down a set of railroad tracks uncontrollable and unable to break. Ahead of the trolley is a Y-intersection. On one fork of the intersection, 5 innocent people are tied up on the tracks. On the other side of the intersection, a child is tied up on the tracks. At the intersection, a man could allow the trolley to continue its course, undoubtedly killing 5 innocent people, or the man can divert the train and kill only the one child…. a child that happens to be his own flesh and blood. Should the man sacrifice his own child to save the lives of 5? Continue reading “13. Driverless Cars Will Decide Who Survives in a Crash—Why I Hate The Trolley Problem”

Inside the Aptiv and Lyft Self-Driving Car at #CES2018 – DR012

This is a really exciting episode.  I recorded this episode from the inside of the Aptiv and Lyft self-driving car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Aptiv and Lyft partnered up to offer limited demonstrations of their self-driving car during the massive tech conference.

When I first checked into the Lyft tent at the Gold Lot at CES, I received instructions on how to request a self-driving Lyft ride from a staff member. At first, I needed to update my app. Continue reading “Inside the Aptiv and Lyft Self-Driving Car at #CES2018 – DR012”

The Technology Behind Self-Driving Cars – DR011

LIDAR systems are key to self-driving cars
The cost of LIDAR systems is decreasing rapidly, much to the delight of self-driving car companies. Photo by Velodyne.

In this episode, Robert and Zaira discuss the technology behind self-driving cars in preparation for the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2018). Listen in to learn more about the basic functions of LIDAR, radar, ultrasonic sensors, and cameras. Continue reading “The Technology Behind Self-Driving Cars – DR011”

Tesla’s Unveil of its Electric Truck, and Elon’s Special Surprise – DR009

This episode is a little different since Robert is covering a life event. In this episode, Robert provides live commentary to Tesla’s unveil of their semi-autonomous, electric, semi-truck.

Tesla’s Semi-Truck

This is the event that was originally promised this summer, but then delayed until September, but then delayed until November. In typical Tesla fashion, Elon announced that the unveil would occur at 11pm EST on November 16th, but then it was delayed until 11:15pm.  After the truck unveil, Elon had a special surprise!!!!

Continue reading “Tesla’s Unveil of its Electric Truck, and Elon’s Special Surprise – DR009”

The Florida Automated Vehicle Summit (Part 1) – DR 008

In this episode, Robert takes a trip to the Florida Automated Vehicles Summit in his hometown of Tampa, Fl.  The FAV Summit assembles industry leaders from around the world to address technologies, operations, and policy issues related to driverless and self-driving cars.  In this first part of the FAV Summit episodes, Robert interviews Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes, Richard Bishop, and Joe Waggoner from the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority.

In this episode, Robert interviews Joe Waggoner from the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority.

Continue reading “The Florida Automated Vehicle Summit (Part 1) – DR 008”

Where in the World are Self-Driving Cars? – DR 007

In this episode, Robert and Zaira take a virtual trip around the globe exploring self-driving car current events from various cities. Some of the current events discussed include the following:

Sidewalk Labs – Mobility Vision

New York: GM announced plans to begin testing its driverless Chevy Bolt in this busy city. 

Continue reading “Where in the World are Self-Driving Cars? – DR 007”

The Self-Driving Car Advertisement War – DR006

In this episode, Robert and Zaira discuss recent self-driving marketing campaigns and opposition to that technology by teamsters and unions. We also talked about the difference between the terms self-driving and driverless (hint: they are the same thing).  This was the first episode filmed on Facebook Live.

We also changed our recording and audio editing techniques in order to deliver a more natural show. We are trying our best to deliver the best quality audio and hope that we get a little better with each episode.  Thank you.

Continue reading “The Self-Driving Car Advertisement War – DR006”

The SELF DRIVE Act – DR 005

In this episode, Robert and Zaira discuss the SELF DRIVE Act as well as various other pending state rules and regulations in California and New Hampshire. In September 2017, the House of Representatives passed “The Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act”, H. R. 3388 (The SELF DRIVE Act for short). This bill establishes the federal government’s role in providing safety measures for driverless cars. Continue reading “The SELF DRIVE Act – DR 005”

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – DR004

In this episode, Robert and Zaira review Blade Runner 2049, a movie that is loosely based on the book by Phillip Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? In the opening scene of the movie, Ryan Gosling’s character, KD9-3.7 (‘K‘ for short), is sleeping in his flying car when the autonomous system wakes him up as they approach their destination. This is a sign that cars in the future will not only be self-driving but will also FLY! Continue reading for a detailed analysis of the movie by Robert [SPOILER ALERT]… Continue reading “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – DR004”

Trusting Elevators – DR003

In this episode of Driverless Radio, Robert and Zaira discuss trust in autonomous vehicles.  A vehicle is a device that transports people or goods from one place to another and based on this definition, many of us ride in autonomous vehicles every day. Although they are commonplace, elevators, escalators,  and light trains are already fully autonomous…. Continue reading “Trusting Elevators – DR003”

A Vision for Safety, Government Guidance – DR002

On September 12, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published “Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety.” Robert and Zaira Solano discuss this non-regulatory guidance. They discuss car accidents that they were in and imagine how a self-driving car would respond in similar situations.

The First Episode – DR001

In the first episode of Driverless, Robert and Zaira Solano imagine a future with self-driving cars. Will these vehicles return more time to commuters so that they can be more productive, or will consumers use their extra time to watch Netflix and browse Facebook? Furthermore, some advocates claim that self-driving cars will usher in a new era of safety on our roadways. While others fear that driverless cars will cause another recession as hundreds of thousands of taxi cab drivers, truckers, and delivery men and women become unemployed. How will this technology change society? It is still too early to tell for sure, but it is inevitable that increased automation is arriving soon.

Buckle up and enjoy the ride on this FIRST episode of Driverless.