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Brad Templeton

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Brad Templeton founded ClariNet Communications Corp., the first internet-based content company. (Sold to Individual Inc/Newsedge Corp.) ClariNet published an online electronic newspaper delivered for live reading on subscribers machines. He has been active in the internet community since 1979, participated in the building and growth of USENET from its earliest days and in 1987 he founded and edited rec.humor.funny, the world's most widely read computerized conference on that network, and today the world's longest running blog. He has founded 2 software companies and is the author of a dozen packaged microcomputer software products. He is a director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the leading civil rights advocacy group for cyberspace, and chaired the foundation from 2000 to 2010. He is track chair for computing and networks at Singularity University, a new multi-disciplinary school of rapidly changing technology, and was among the founding faculty. He writes and researches the future of automated transportation at and worked for two years on Google's team building these cars. He is also on the board of the Foresight Institute (A nonprofit Nanotech think-tank) and technical advisor to startups BitTorrent, NewAer and RePost. He is also a well known photographer and artist at Burning Man, and a popular speaker at international events on cars, online rights and other topics.

I have written a few times about the unusual nature of robocar accidents. Recently I was discussing this with a former student who is doing some research on the area. As a first step, she began looking at lists of all the reasons that humans cause accidents. (The majority of them, on police reports, are simply that one car was not in its proper right-of-way, which doesn’t reveal a lot.)

by   -   February 10, 2018

In a shocker, it was announced that Uber and Waymo (Google/Alphabet) have settled their famous lawsuit for around $245 million in Uber stock. No cash, and Uber agrees it won’t use any Google hardware or software trade secrets — which it of course had always denied that it ever did.

I have created a gallery in Google Photos with some of the more interesting items I saw at CES, with the bulk of them being related to robocars, robotic delivery and transportation.

by   -   January 22, 2018

GM revealed photos of what they say is the production form of their self-driving car based on the Chevy Bolt and Cruise software. They say it will be released next year, making it almost surely the first release from a major car company if they make it.

When it comes to robocars, new LIDAR products were the story of CES 2018. Far more companies showed off LIDAR products than can succeed, with a surprising variety of approaches. CES is now the 5th largest car show, with almost the entire north hall devoted to cars. In coming articles I will look at other sensors, software teams and non-car aspects of CES, but let’s begin with the LIDARs.


Here are the biggest Robocar stories of 2017.

by   -   December 7, 2017

Intel and Warner made a splash at the LA Auto Show announcing how Warner will develop entertainment for viewing while riding in robotaxis. It’s not just movies to watch, their hope is to produce something more like an amusement park ride to keep you engaged on your journey.

by   -   December 1, 2017

A small mystery from Robocar history was resolved recently, and revealed at the DARPA grand challenge reunion at CMU.

by   -   November 29, 2017

Uber and Volvo announced an agreement where Uber will buy, in time, up to 24,000 specially built Volvo XC90s which will run Uber’s self-driving software and, presumably, offer rides to Uber customers. While the rides are some time away, people have made note of this for several reasons.

by   -   November 13, 2017

Robocar news is fast and furious these days. I certainly don’t cover it all, but will point to stories that have some significance. Plus, to tease you, here’s a clip from my 4K video of the new Apple car that you’ll find at the end of this post.

by   -   November 9, 2017

In a major milestone for robocars, Waymo has announced they will deploy in Phoenix with no human safety drivers behind the wheel. Until now, almost all robocars out there have only gone out on public streets with a trained human driver behind the wheel, ready to take over at any sign of trouble. Waymo and a few others have done short demonstrations with no safety driver, but now an actual pilot, providing service to beta-testing members of the public, will operate without human supervision.

Many websites paint a very positive picture of the robocar future. And it is positive, but far from perfect. One problem I worry about in the short term is the way robocars are going to make traffic worse before they get a chance to make it better.

by   -   October 11, 2017

Recently Madrona Ventures, in partnership with Craig Mundie (former Microsoft CTO) released a white paper proposing an autonomous vehicle corridor between Seattle and Vancouver on I-5 and BC Highway 99. While there are some useful ideas in it, the basic concept contains some misconceptions about both traffic management, infrastructure planning, and robocars.

by   -   October 11, 2017

General Motors announced this week that they would “take full responsibility” if a crash takes place during an autonomous driving trip. This follows a pledge to do the same made some time ago by Daimler, Google and Volvo and possibly others.

by   -   September 15, 2017

NHTSA released their latest draft robocar regulations just a week after the U.S. House passed a new regulatory regime and the senate started working on its own. The proposed regulations preempt state regulation of vehicle design, and allow companies to apply for high volume exemptions from the standards that exist for human-driven cars.