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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 Robocars.com 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.




Waymo recently announced two new partnerships for their fleet of robotaxis.


For a lot of people, being a passenger in a car can easily lead to motion sickness, particularly if they try to do something like looking down to read a book or stare at a phone. Not everybody gets this, but it’s enough to be a big issue for the robocar world. Drivers usually don’t feel this much, but in the robocar world, everybody’s a passenger.

Source: Uber

In discussion of the eventual cost of a robotaxi ride, I and others have forecast costs similar to the all-in cost of car ownership. Today that’s 40 to 60 cents/mile (plus parking) and for a one person electric “city car” it can be under 20 cents.

The Tempe police released a detailed report on their investigation of Uber’s fatality. I am on the road and have not had time to read it, but the big point, reported in many press was that the safety driver was, according to logs from her phone accounts, watching the show “The Voice” via Hulu on her phone just shortly before the incident.

The NHTSA/SAE “levels” of robocars are not just incorrect. I now believe they are contributing to an attitude towards their “level 2” autopilots that plays a small, but real role in the recent Tesla fatalities.

The Uber car and Tesla’s autopilot, both in the news for fatalities are really two very different things. This table outlines the difference. Also, see below for some new details on why the Tesla crashed and more.

The governor of Arizona has told Uber to “get an Uber” and stop testing in the state. With no instructions on how to come back.

Source: Uber

Today I’m going to examine how you attain safety in a robocar, and outline a contradiction in the things that went wrong for Uber and their victim. Each thing that went wrong is both important and worthy of discussion, but at the same time unimportant. For almost every thing that went wrong Is something that we want to prevent going wrong, but it’s also something that we must expect will go wrong sometimes, and to plan for it.

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.

Credit:Waymo

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.