Welcome back to Autonomous Cars with Marc Hoag as we kick off Season 2! Today, we discuss the need for better roads and infrastructure for AVs; Uber shuts down its autonomous trucking division; and BMW has a second thought about AVs.
Autonomous Cars with Marc Hoag Season 2 starts NOW!
First, it’s genuinely great to be back, and I realized just how much I missed this podcast, and, frankly, all of you! A few quick announcements before we dive in:
I’m thrilled to announce that Autonomous Cars with Marc Hoag is now live on Twitter @AutonomousHoag so please be sure to follow me there!
Also, launching today, is our official YouTube channel! We don’t have a unique URL yet because we need 30 subscribers, so hint hint please subscribe!
Finally: Obviously, producing these podcasts takes quite a bit of time (and money) and the good folks over at Anchor.fm, the platform where I record and host these podcasts, have just enabled an easy, totally optional, way for you to help support this show with three different tiers of monthly contributions: $0.99, $4.99, and $9.99. To learn more, please click here, and a huge thank you in advance.
So then, let’s dive in an get started!
The need for better roads and infrastructure
Harvard Business Review has a great article on the need for improved roads and infrastructure to augment the development of autonomous car hardware and software. If this article sounds a bit familiar, that’s awesome! It means you actually read my articles over on Medium and LinkedIn, or perhaps Quora, because I published a remarkably similar thing back in February 2017 (you can check it out here). The general idea is the premise that no matter how good computer vision gets — whether camera vision, lidar, or otherwise — autonomous cars, like humans, will always be limited by the quality of roadways, signs, and infrastructure. Accordingly, just like dirt roads were eventually paved over to better accommodate automobiles, so today’s roads need to be upgraded to better accommodate autonomous vehicles.
Uber shuts down its autonomous trucking division
Uber’s AV division was very much up in the air following the tragic, fatal crash with a pedestrian in Tempe Arizona a few months back. And while its autonomous car testing was indeed put on hold, it looks like its fledgling autonomous trucking division has been permanently closed; meanwhile, autonomous car testing has been more or less restored in Pittsburgh, albeit with manual human control.
BMW giving up on AVs? Surely not…?
Surely “the ultimate driving machine” couldn’t possibly embrace the idea of autonomous cars? Surely not indeed… perhaps. Maybe. Nobody knows. But a board member at BMW seems to suggest that autonomous BMWs may be autobahn-only, while such technology will never be sufficient for city streets.
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