Ijaw Dictionary Online

How Automobiles Work


When Uber, and lyft, and Google, or now
Waymo, and some of the tech industry was out there saying that they’re about to
change the transportation and mobility space, it’s one thing. It’s another thing
when a hundred plus year old car manufacturing company says everything is
about to change in our space. They don’t even call themselves a car
manufacturer anymore. General Motors, and Ford, and most of the rest of the
companies call themselves mobility companies now. They’re buying or
building all kinds of parking management, shared mobility, electric vehicle,
you name it, different sectors gambling on what’s next in the mobility space.
What this is showing is we’ve been through this kind of major
transportation transformation before. This slide shows a couple different
images of Easter parades in New York City. In 1900, looking at Easter parades there’s
one motor vehicle being driven down the road. Everything else on there is either
pedestrians or a horse and buggy essentially. 13 years later, same Easter
parades and there’s one horse and buggy and all
automobiles on the road. That’s amazing transformation in 13
years if you think about it. Many of us are talking about this next
transformation. We’ve gone through horse and buggy to car. We’ve gone to a
nationwide freeway system. We’ve gone to locomotive and air. Now we’re
entering probably our fifth revolution of transportation mobility and that’s as
we go into automated, connected, electric, and shared. This is what’s really
interesting about this transformation. It’s really all four of these things
happening at the same time in converging together that are really going
to change the game. I’m going to focus on the connected and automated a little bit
more in the next little bit. When I first saw this diagram, I thought it was
fairly complex, but it’s actually kind of simple. If we start today
in the lower left hand side of sort of the traditional model of mobility and
and vehicle ownership. The traditional model that we’ve been dealing with for
the last hundred years-ish or 75-100 years has been people own their own
vehicle, it’s parked 94 to 96 percent of the time and it has very little
automation. So as we go on the on the top left side, the business model could still
stay the same. It’s the Tesla, it’s electric vehicle with ever-increasing
levels of automation, but still individually owned vehicle. If we go
on the bottom right side is where Uber, and lyft, and the TNC’s have been really
changing the business model of how people get from here to there. What
we’re migrating to then is from that original model of the individually owned
vehicle over to electric, shared, connected, autonomous vehicles. So I’m
going to talk about the relationship between connected and autonomous because
these are often sort of lumped up in conversation as CAVs or connected
autonomous vehicles. They’re very important, sort of complementary
technologies if you will, but they’re also different, so I’ll talk a little bit
about what that means. Why I care is mostly about this safety issue. Now
as traffic engineers we are often working on trying to solve safety,
mobility, which is reducing congestion, and giving more people affordable access
to transportation, and environmentally friendly solutions. So the connected
autonomous vehicle is addressing all three of these things, but really it’s a
safety issue that I’m sort of most excited about. Now this crazy-looking
chart here is looking at deaths on our roadway and looking at it from different
perspectives. So if you look at comparing the number of deaths to
vehicle miles traveled ,which is one of our common metrics in the transportation
world or per million people in our country, the numbers are going down. So
that’s good news that we’re we’re doing better in the case of those metrics, but
what we’re not doing well in is total deaths on our roadway every year. We’ve
still been hovering around thirty to thirty five thousand people a year
killed on our roadway system. As a traffic safety engineer, that is just
completely unacceptable to me. So the promise of the connected autonomous
vehicle to drastically finally move the needle on this number is what really
excites me about this technology. So what does connected mean? So connected vehicles
may or may not have any level of automation in them. So they’re not
necessarily autonomous vehicle. They might not even be partially autonomous
vehicles, but they are connected and so we talk primarily about these two areas,
vehicle to vehicle or V2V and V2I, vehicles talking to infrastructure. What does
autonomous mean? If you would have asked this question not long ago, first of all
a lot of people just didn’t even believe this technology was coming nearly as
quickly as it is, but what was in the media and the press all the time was
basically taking a traditional, gas guzzling, four person sedan, and strapping
a bunch of equipment on it, whether you’re Ube,r or Waymo, or any of the sort of
major early leaders. That was what we were visioning, but really when we’re
thinking about the future of autonomy, there’s a lot of us that actually expect
this part of the industry, big fleets, long-haul trucks, and local delivery
vehicles, as being some of the earliest at scale type of implementations of
autonomous vehicles. There’s just too much business incentive for the shipping
companies, long-haul shippers, as well as the Amazon’s of the world to not try to
get to to the point of autonomy as quickly as possible. Then there’s the
other thing that we forget about a lot of times is the ten to the twelve person
shuttles. There’s a lot of us that also are picturing, as you go back to that
chart earlier that showed the changing of the business model from the
individually owned vehicle to shared autonomous at these vehicle types
running around our neighborhoods and picking people up and bringing them back
to make transit more efficient and eventually finally solving that first-
last mile issue. So autonomous means a lot of different
things. What it means from a technical standpoint is the combination us
technologies where there’s on-board computers, as we always assumed, running
GIS mapping and a very high precision map. So a vehicle with GPS and its
own GIS knows pretty well where it is. It has a series of
sensors that are then confirming that it is where it thinks it
is, I am right at the side of the road here, and confirming what it sees around
it. Whether it’s a pedestrian, another car, whatever else. So there’s a
series of sensors lidar, radar, cameras all combining to give that vehicle
situational awareness in addition to the mapping component of where do I
think I am and am I there. What is going on around me and then making
decisions based on all that information. So the relationship between these two
things, as I mentioned, the connected vehicle may or may not be autonomous. Right now mostly autonomous vehicles that are being built are not connected
because they don’t have infrastructure to talk to and they very few the auto
manufacturers are building the connected component into their car. As we start to
build out the connected components with vehicles talking to vehicles and the
connected components of infrastructure talking to vehicles, then this could just
become one more sensor input essentially. Where the vehicle is not only using its
localized sensors to see what’s going on around it, but it’s actually talking to
other vehicles. When it’s talking to other vehicles the other vehicles saying
I am here here’s my speed, and heading, and I have
my right turn signal on, I might be coming your way. The car is not going to
see from it’s localized sensors is a mile and a half ahead the right lane is
closed for construction for the next two weeks, and as I’m approaching this
intersection there’s a fire truck coming down the side road, or as I want to turn
right there’s pedestrians in that sidewalk. It’s those kinds of things that
are further outside of the zone of visibility of the car that we want to
get into that cars computer, so it can make smarter, safer decisions. That’s when hopefully all autonomous vehicles will be connected vehicles in the long
run, whether the connected vehicles are autonomous or not. So in
addition to V2V and V2X in the connected vehicle world,
V2V and V2I we talk more generically about V2X, so vehicles communicating
with everything really. Pedestrians, trains, central systems, infotainment, all of
these different options. More and more vehicles right now are being built
with cellular connections, so they can talk to all kinds of things even if
they’re not able right now to talk to other vehicles around them. On the
connected vehicle side, so this is really just looking at the V2V. Just looking at
vehicles talking to other vehicles about where they’re going, and what they’re
heading is, whether they have turn signals on, whether they’re slamming
their brakes, but it’s estimated that just the connected vehicle piece of this
has a potential to address 81% of unimpaired crash scenarios, the vehicles
talking one another. The unimpaired is important here because if the driver is
drunk, it really doesn’t matter what feedback they’re getting from the car, or
if they’re asleep, or if they’re distracted with their phone, unless the
car is autonomous. So this is really just focusing on the connected piece of that. If
the car is self-driving and it gets this feedback and even that impaired piece of
this may be able to get greatly reduced. Adrian does that assume that a
hundred percent or so of those cars are connected?
Unfortunately yes and so you can tell that to get anywhere close to that
number, were decades away from where that percentage of vehicles are going to
be, but again if you are combining then the levels of automation. This is not
assuming in automation. So if the other cars are not connected, but they do
have sensors and they are picking up what’s around them, we can still get
closer to them. Just a couple more specific applications. Curve speed
warning, so this is this idea where a vehicle up ahead hits an icy patch and
the vehicle itself knows that I’m slamming on my brakes, I’m spinning out
of control, or I just ran off the road. It then can communicate through a
roadside device or over the cellular network to some central system, then that
pushes that information out to vehicles further upstream, so that approaching car
knows not only is there a potential car that was in an accident up ahead, but the
road conditions are icy. So, if it again if it’s an autonomous vehicle or
even partially autonomous, it can start to take in that new data and make
decisions about you know slowing down, at a bare minimum giving the driver a
heads-up warning that something’s coming up or even impacting the control of
the system.

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