Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 47484 times)

Captain Zissou

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #180 on: October 07, 2022, 10:01:09 AM »
JTA probably has dozens of employees in their "automation division".  I think they'll ride this into the ground rather than endure the bad press of shutting down the program and letting the employees go.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #181 on: October 25, 2022, 05:40:12 PM »
The Skyway Conversion RFP was canceled today.

Five days ago JTA announced they'd received two proposals from Kimley-Horn and HNTB, with Kimley-Horn ranked first, but they seem to have rejected both. It's unclear what happened. Apparently the next JTA board meeting is November 3rd, so I suppose if anything is to be explained it'll be then.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #182 on: October 25, 2022, 07:32:57 PM »
^ JTA was possibly asking for proposals to do things no one has completely figured out how to do yet OR has a completely unrealistic idea of the cost to do what they want OR BOTH :)!

Ken_FSU

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #183 on: October 26, 2022, 08:12:37 PM »
Another driverless vehicle conglomerate, this one funded by Ford and VW, has thrown in the towel, citing that driverless technology at scale is a very long way off. 

https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/26/23423998/argo-ai-shut-down-ford-vw-av-self-driving

But JTA’s got this…

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #184 on: October 26, 2022, 09:26:18 PM »
Shame, an FTA official just said a few months ago that the "very cool automated vehicle system" would have a climate impact.

I wonder, with all this recent news, if it's time for some kind of local-focused (particularly aimed at local officials) discussion pointing to the numerous setbacks and more directly asking if it still makes sense to earmark $250 million for this project when there are so many other options. Especially when five years into the program and with stretching timelines and failed procurements their most recent public activity has been buying an enclosed golf cart with an "AV retrofit kit" strapped to it.

At some point it seems really strange that there's been little to no serious local questioning about the validity of JTA's claims or the likelihood of their project to succeed.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #185 on: October 26, 2022, 09:58:38 PM »
Another driverless vehicle conglomerate, this one funded by Ford and VW, has thrown in the towel, citing that driverless technology at scale is a very long way off. 

https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/26/23423998/argo-ai-shut-down-ford-vw-av-self-driving

But JTA’s got this…

If only Ford, VW and Lyft had called Nat Ford and his JTA "autonomous driving genius team" or contacted the JTA board and Jacksonville City Council for additional funding to keep Argo going, maybe they would have stayed in the business instead of giving out quotes (emphasis added) like the ones below:

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Shortly after news broke Wednesday afternoon that its self-driving subsidiary Argo AI would be wound down, Ford CEO Jim Farley joined in on the company's Q3 earnings call and spoke at length about how senior management came to that decision. "It's estimated that more than a hundred billion has been invested in the promise of level four autonomy," he said during the call, "And yet no one has defined a profitable business model at scale."

In short, Ford is refocusing its investments away from the longer-term goal of Level 4 autonomy (that's a vehicle capable of navigating without human intervention though manual control is still an option) for the more immediate short term gains in faster L2+ and L3 autonomy. L2+ is today's state of the art, think Ford's BlueCruise or GM's SuperCruise technologies with hands-free driving along pre-mapped highway routes, L3 is where you get into the vehicle handling all safety-critical functions along those routes, not just steering and lane-keeping.

"Commercialization of L4 autonomy, at scale, is going to take much longer than we previously expected," Doug Field, chief advanced product development and technology officer at Ford, said during the call. "L2+ and L3 driver assist technologies have a larger addressable customer base, which will allow it to scale more quickly, and profitability."...

....The company didn't elaborate on a specific timeframe for when it would potentially be ready, thought Farley did stress that developing the foundational technologies needed for Level 4 will not be won quickly. "We don’t expect a single ‘Aha!’ moment like we used to,” he said....

https://www.engadget.com/ford-ceo-farley-explains-the-business-factors-behind-argo-a-is-shutering-230035350.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly9uZXdzLmdvb2dsZS5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAN2M_9-TiK19SruWKcC_wCVMAqz7SPc8PlcEmjdOzHu1giq_Vn7gmyNLEDRwLMAN4qZOkWzygMKQ85xXXq6nddO6m-sge2fofZIVYWa3w7BqvNemyiG9TwlBS7k9b34c0J7KIVWM-En48QAmPsLuBdbv_0hd-wsFk8dtT1TuApZG

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....For Ford, the investment in Argo was proving to be a drag on the rest of the company’s financed. In its third quarter earnings released Wednesday evening, the company recorded a $2.7 billion “non-cash, pretax impairment” on its investment in Argo AI, resulting in an $827 million net loss for the quarter...

....But cracks were starting to show in these multibillion-dollar companies. Argo’s main rivals, Waymo and Cruise, had major leadership shake-ups. Valuations have dropped as timelines have stretched further and further out. Companies that went public by SPAC have seen their share price tumble. The costs have grown while revenues have been slow to trickle in....

https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/26/23423998/argo-ai-shut-down-ford-vw-av-self-driving

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Lyft has discontinued its self-driving offerings in Miami and Austin just hours after its partner, Argo AI, announced it was ceasing operations...

https://www.fastcompany.com/90802321/lyft-shutters-self-driving-service-in-miami-austin-as-argo-ai-closes-operations

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“We’ve looked at this every way that you can,” Chief Financial Officer John Lawler told reporters Wednesday. “We just see the profitability, given the investment that’s going to be required, a long way out.”

It would take billions of dollars for Ford to put self-driving robotaxis on the streets, Lawler said, yet it wasn't clear when that would happen “in a way that would allow us to have a profitable return on that investment.”


The move by Ford and VW suggests how difficult and costly it is to make self-driving cars a reality, said Guidehouse Research mobility analyst Sam Abuelsamid. The business, he said, has required big investments for years with few results, and investor appetite to sink in more money has waned.

He expects consolidation in the industry, possibly to five or six major players. “More companies are going to go under,” he said. “They're just going to run out of cash runway or in some cases perhaps get absorbed by one of the bigger players.”...

https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/ford-disbands-argo-ai-autonomous-vehicle-unit-posts-92150455


marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #186 on: October 26, 2022, 10:26:39 PM »
Some interesting info about the Jax U2C mentioned in this article:
https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/news/jacksonville-florida-autonomous-shuttle-monorail-people-mover-transit-oriented-development/629612/

Sounds like a couple notable deadlines are quickly approaching.

Missed reading this before and this is some interesting stuff:

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Schmidt said the goal of the urban circulator is for it to become “a system that provides connectivity and interconnects our various neighborhoods.” Compared with a typical 40-foot transit bus, “these vehicles represent a more nimble, agile product,” he added.

More nonsense complaining about normal buses again. Also, fun reminder, since autonomy doesn't actually work yet and these vehicles require an "attendant," these will indefinitely require more active employees to carry the same number of passengers as those buses. Perfect for the route that's supposed to connect the football stadium.

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JTA has tested vehicles from several different manufacturers, including Beep and Navya, as well as Local Motors, a company that shut down earlier this year. The final selection will be announced “in the next four or five months,” Schmidt said.

Beep isn't a manufacturer? They have a partnership with some other companies to build some vehicles, but those won't hit the road until 2024. It would be an absolute riot to have spent five years "testing and learning" only to pick a vehicle that JTA has done neither with. Navya is probably the only realistic choice.

But in more interesting news, JTA has a new website for the Bay Street Corridor. And in it, they have public meetings scheduled for November 9th and 17th. Might be a way for someone here to get ahold of some new insights.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #187 on: October 26, 2022, 11:16:17 PM »
An operations and maintenance center on Jefferson Street?! What prime piece of LaVilla real estate are we about to mess up now?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #188 on: October 26, 2022, 11:40:47 PM »
An operations and maintenance center on Jefferson Street?! What prime piece of LaVilla real estate are we about to mess up now?

Unless something has changed, this is the block bounded by Jefferson, Bay, Broad, & Water streets that the main Skyway interchange and Acosta ramp to Broad Street run above. It's currently a surface parking lot.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #189 on: October 27, 2022, 12:21:42 AM »
It wasn't always a surface parking lot. Railroad Row was one of the most vibrant places in downtown at one point. Is there the potential for it to be something more than a surface parking lot? Bounded by Jefferson, Bay and Broad, that parcel would have one of the highest traffic counts in downtown. With Riverside Avenue in Brooklyn filling up with infill commercial development, this stretch of Broad and Jefferson are the next in line.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #190 on: October 27, 2022, 10:03:44 AM »
I'm not sure what could be viable there. Half of the lot has the elevated Skyway tracks and the Riverside/Acosta ramps coming down to ground at Broad and Bay.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #191 on: October 27, 2022, 10:05:21 AM »
It wasn't always a surface parking lot. Railroad Row was one of the most vibrant places in downtown at one point. Is there the potential for it to be something more than a surface parking lot? Bounded by Jefferson, Bay and Broad, that parcel would have one of the highest traffic counts in downtown. With Riverside Avenue in Brooklyn filling up with infill commercial development, this stretch of Broad and Jefferson are the next in line.

This particular block, I would doubt. It's half-covered by the Acosta ramp and a web of columns for the Skyway junction. I do recall the block north of this being where that Daily's was supposed to go at one point, and I guess that isn't still happening.

I have no idea what the site plan is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being that the section of lot under the columns was reused for employee parking and vehicle storage, with only the half that is open to air having enclosed maintenance and operations space built on it. I do wonder if this facility would be replacing the entire Skyway O&M center permanently or just temporarily "until the conversion."
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #192 on: October 27, 2022, 11:49:25 AM »
Buttigeig making a pretty stark declaration that the tech isn't ready.

https://jalopnik.com/u-s-in-valley-of-death-as-autonomous-cars-write-chec-1849699276

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“It feels like the widespread use of autonomous driving is seven years away, and it’s been seven years away for 10 years,” says U.S. Department of Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “So the question is, will it be seven years away 10 years from now, or will we actually be getting somewhere?”

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Buttigieg says: “There is a very serious danger right now in this kind of valley of death between where we started and where we’re headed, where these technologies do run the risk of making things worse. Especially if people see ADAS, which is an automated driver assistance system, and treat it like a driver replacement system.

“Just to be clear, I don’t care what they call these things, Autopilot or Self-Driving or whatever, there is no car that you can buy today from a dealer where you don’t have to be paying attention at all times when you’re driving.”

Because of this jumbled messaging, consumer perception of self-driving cars is in a risky place. Buttigieg warns that we are approaching a “dangerous transition” before we reach the self-driving “promised land.” If we ever make it there, he believes that self-driving tech could be an important tools that we should use to cut traffic deaths here in the U.S.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #193 on: October 27, 2022, 12:04:53 PM »
He needs to cut the funding from the federal level if he's having concerns. That will do a lot to stop various local agencies from lighting tax money on fire.
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thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #194 on: October 27, 2022, 12:10:29 PM »
I'm not sure what could be viable there. Half of the lot has the elevated Skyway tracks and the Riverside/Acosta ramps coming down to ground at Broad and Bay.

That's a nice chunk of property (roughly 1/2 an urban block), facing Jefferson, that isn't under the Skyway.  I say that after just getting coffee in an El Paso shipping container coffee house that took up less than 800 square feet. A high rise may not be feasible but there are a lot of uses (that benefit from higher AADTs) that would be getter than a garage for AVs.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali