This is exciting news. It will be interesting to see where the relationship goes.
Still too high. Of course, like you said, it's probably due to low volume.
$5K would be a pretty good price. I have a back-burner wind farm plan that could use 100 of them. I just don't think I'd be able to raise 2 million for lidars. Maybe 500K, but not 2 million.
This is an awesome animation of a Falcon 9 Heavy launch including landing the three primary boosters. I would be surprised if they all land at a base of some type like down in the video. I think 3 separate barges makes more sense given different trajectories and the fuel that would be required to hit a predetermined spot.
The article gives an interesting picture of how things could go with oncoming autonomy. Like , I think the timeline is very aggressive. I also think the impact is somewhat overstated. You can get a picture of the flaws from reading the comments on the OP but I particularly am skeptical of the ideas that car ownership will go away and the car maintenance industry will go away.
On the ownership side, I agree that it will likely be reduced particularly for urbanites but there is pride in ownership, status, people's tastes and other factors that I think will keep ownership high for those that can afford it. With regards to maintenance, I see no reason it should change due to autonomy. A reduction in accidents may reduce body repair but car components will still fail and wear and need maintenance. Even if fewer vehicles are on the road, the mileage will not decrease and arguments that it will increase seem valid. In fact, with more and more complicated systems, maintenance may increase and become more sophisticated like the huge tech support industry.
I think that he also underestimates the violence with which these changes will be resisted. As he points out, several existing industries are likely to be cratered, most notably car manufacture (autonomous cars serving people on-demand could be active 95% of the time, versus 4% of the time for passenger cars today; that's a 24x reduction in the number of cars needed per person) and professional drivers. We're already seeing tremendous resistance by vested interests in the existing taxi business to even ordinary competition like Uber; what will happen when it starts to become clear to them that the entire business is about to go away, never to return?
In this regard, I think that we can draw useful lessons from the collapse of the longshoreman industry with the rise of containerized shipping. On the US' West Coast, strong longshore unions negotiated a phased shutdown with shipping companies; on the East Coast, weak unions spent more time fighting and undercutting each other than negotiating, and the net result was a serious collapse of all shipping to those ports, with the longshoremen bearing the brunt of it. Marc Levinson's book The Box has an interesting discussion of this. I suspect that similar phenomena will be seen here.
But even more so than with the transition to containerized shipping, the transition to autonomous vehicles is likely inevitable: the advantages are too large and too widespread, and the disadvantages too limited, for groups to successfully be able to prevent it for their own interest.
The ATLAS robot has significantly improved. It is still hydraulic but at least it can run on battery power and it is much quieter. It's cool that they are making hardware improvements to help the teams that rely on the robot.
I'm very interested to see how this year's competition goes and how well teams are challenged to more generically solve problems.
- QuanergyComputer Vision Engineer, 2014 - present
- Aerodyne IndustriesRobotics Engineer, 2012 - 2014
- Neptec USAR&D Engineer, 2004 - 2012
- Louisiana Tech UniversityBS Mechanical Engineering, 1997 - 2001
- University of Texas at AustinMS Mechanical Engineering, 2001 - 2004
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