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William Maley

Industry News: Michigan Governor Signs Bill Allowing the Testing and Buying Of An Autonomous Vehicle

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law today a full suite regulations regarding the testing, use and eventual sale of autonomous vehicles in the state.

“By establishing guidelines and standards for self-driving vehicles, we’re continuing that tradition of excellence in a way that protects the public’s safety while at the same time allows the mobility industry to grow without overly burdensome regulations,” said Synder in a statement. 

The new law will allow vehicles without steering wheels or brake pedals to travel on public roads, companies to operate autonomous ride-hailing services, and sell autonomous vehicles of the public once they have been certified and tested. This law also establishes the Michigan Council on Future Mobility. Part of the state's department of transportation, the council will be tasked with developing policies and standards on autonomous vehicles, along with regulating connected vehicle networks and data sharing.

Michigan's autonomous vehicle legislation has fewer restraints than states such as Nevada, Florida, and California.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, Roadshow


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Cool, I wonder if a fast and loose regulation will spur or hinder these auto monsters?

I hope they better incorporate the cameras into the car than all the ugly warts on the top of them.

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      “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.”
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      “There are sometimes dozens of different marketing names for today’s safety systems,” continued Brannon. “Learning how to operate a vehicle equipped with semi-autonomous technology is challenging enough without having to decipher the equipment list and corresponding level of autonomy.”
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    • By William Maley
      There has been a lot of talk about driverless cars with companies (both automotive and tech) promising a safe and grandiose future and a number of high-profile crashes that have resulted in fatalities. This got us wondering how the general public feels about them. Recently, two studies came asking this and their results are very interesting.
      First up is CarGurus which asked 1,873 vehicle owners in the U.S. between the ages of 18 to 65 about self-driving vehicles. 79 percent of participants said they were not excited about owning a self-driving car. 84 percent said they were unlikely to own a self-driving car in the next five years. This number drops to 59 percent when the window is extended to ten years.
      Here's where it gets interesting:
      In terms of geographical areas, owners on the West Coast are the most excited at 26 percent. The least, those in Central U.S. at 18 percent. When it comes to brands, BMW owners lead the pack when asked if they would consider a self-driving vehicle from their brand - 55 percent. Least likely? That would be Chrysler owners at 23 percent Safety is the key reasons that owners are excited and concerned about self-driving cars - 64 and 81 percent respectively. When asked what company is most trusted to develop self-driving cars, 27 percent of participants said none. Second and a bit of surprise was Tesla at 24 percent. (We're wondering if this survey was done before the fatal crash of a Tesla Model X on Autopilot in late March) The second study comes to us from AAA which asked people how trustful are you of self-driving cars. 73 percent said they would be too afraid to ride in an autonomous car, up from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, 63 percent of those asked said they would feel less safe either walking or on a bike if there is a self-driving vehicle. We have to assume that the fatal crash involving an Uber autonomous vehicle made this number rise.
      AAA's study also found a big surprise. Millenials, a group that is quick to accept new technologies, are not as trusting as they once were. In late 2007, 49 percent said they were afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Now, that number rose to 64 percent.

      “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety. Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations.
      Source: Roadshow, AAA


      AAA: American Trust in Autonomous Vehicles Slips
      ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2018) – Following high-profile incidents involving autonomous vehicle technologies, a new report from AAA’s multi-year tracking study indicates that consumer trust in these vehicles has quickly eroded. Today, three-quarters (73 percent) of American drivers report they would be too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, up significantly from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, two-thirds (63 percent) of U.S. adults report they would actually feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle.
      “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.”
      Surprisingly, AAA’s latest survey found that Millennials – the group that has been the quickest to embrace automated vehicle technologies — were the most impacted by these incidents. The percentage of Millennial drivers too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle has jumped from 49 percent to 64 percent since late 2017, representing the largest increase of any generation surveyed.
      “While autonomous vehicles are being tested, there’s always a chance that they will fail or encounter a situation that challenges even the most advanced system,” said Megan Foster, AAA’s director of Federal Affairs. “To ease fears, there must be safeguards in place to protect vehicle occupants and the motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians with whom they share the road.”
      AAA supports thorough testing of automated vehicle technologies as they continue to evolve, including testing under progressively complicated driving scenarios and under varying conditions, but not at the expense of safety. Additionally, to help prevent the accidental misuse of the systems, AAA advocates for a common sense, common nomenclature and classification system, and similar performance characteristics of future autonomous vehicle technologies.
      “There are sometimes dozens of different marketing names for today’s safety systems,” continued Brannon. “Learning how to operate a vehicle equipped with semi-autonomous technology is challenging enough without having to decipher the equipment list and corresponding level of autonomy.”
      To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.
    • By William Maley
      Whenever Bob Lutz speaks, many people tend to listen as he a number of years of being in the automotive industry under his belt. Recently, Lutz wrote an editorial for Automotive News' Redesigning the Industry where he predicts we are “approaching the end of the automotive era,” within the next 20 years.
      “The end state will be the fully autonomous module with no capability for the driver to exercise command. You will call for it, it will arrive at your location, you’ll get in, input your destination and go to the freeway On the freeway, it will merge seamlessly into a stream of other modules traveling at 120, 150 mph. The speed doesn’t matter. You have a blending of rail-type with individual transportation,” Lutz wrote.
      Lutz sees governments pushing for a 'no-human-drivers' mandate when it becomes clear that self-driving vehicles are much safer than vehicles operated by humans.
      "The tipping point will come when 20 to 30 percent of vehicles are fully autonomous. Countries will look at the accident statistics and figure out that human drivers are causing 99.9 percent of the accidents."
      This according to Lutz will have catastrophic effects for the industry. Most of the driverless pods will be owned, operated and branded as "Uber or Lyft or who-ever else is competing in the market." Many automakers will be forced out of the business as people turn to sharing and not owning a vehicle. Some will remain, but acting as a supplier. Other parts of the business such as dealers, repair shops, and enthusiast magazines will fade away.
      "The era of the human-driven automobile, its repair facilities, its dealerships, the media surrounding it — all will be gone in 20 years."
      We're not fully on board with Lutz's train of thought. The time frame is a bit too soon as we are still on the ground floor when it comes to autonomous technology and the numerous hurdles that still need to be overcome. Plus, how will this driverless pod system work in rural areas?
      That isn't to say it will not happen. Elements of Lutz's viewpoint are coming into focus. For example, Waymo will not have any way for a human to intervene in emergency situations. 
      We highly recommend reading this piece.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
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