Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 122108 times)

Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #225 on: January 16, 2023, 10:57:20 PM »
This was shared by JTA's Nat Ford about the bright future of AVs.
https://www.automotiveworld.com/news-releases/zf-announces-partnership-with-mobility-provider-beep-to-bring-new-generation-autonomous-level-4-shuttle-to-u-s-market/

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ZF unveils its next generation shuttle for autonomous driving in urban environments and mixed traffic at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas/ Nevada, USA. The next generation complements the established model, which is primarily designed for use in segregated lanes. For the new shuttle generation ZF announces a strategic partnership with U.S. mobility services provider Beep, Inc. The agreement aims to deliver several thousand shuttles to customers over the coming years, combining ZF’s ATS with Beep’s mobility services and service management platform into a single-source autonomous mobility solution.

...

As further proof of its progress on the road to “Next Generation Mobility NOW”, ZF is presenting a new, autonomous Level 4 Shuttle. The new shuttle complements the already established autonomous shuttle model. In the near future, ZF can offer two shuttle types – one primarily for use in segregated lanes and the new model, which will be used primarily in urban environments and in mixed traffic.

...

With selectable battery capacities between 50 and 100 kWh, the next-generation shuttle can cover up to 80 miles in pure electric mode – at a maximum speed of initially 25 mph, in further development of 50 mph. The Shuttle offers a total passenger capacity of 22 with up to 15 seated.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #226 on: January 17, 2023, 11:31:39 AM »
This seems… pretty vague? Like what's really here beyond renderings and the idealistic promise of "several thousand" shuttles over "the coming years"? They already say the shuttle can only go 25mph right now, with the hope of developing 50mph eventually. I know ZF makes parts for a lot of cars, but how experienced are they in terms of building the entire vehicle?

But most importantly, how capable actually is this vehicle of self-driving to the degree described? Is there any evidence of this? Do we actually know if this shuttle is better than any of the previous 2Getthere models or Navya?
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thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #227 on: January 17, 2023, 02:26:54 PM »
Its just fluff. The same type of stuff that industry advocates have sprouted out occasionally for more than a decade now. Just a way to stay in the news.
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #228 on: January 17, 2023, 09:37:39 PM »
Apple scaling back projections on their AV - https://futurism.com/the-byte/apple-upcoming-car-not-autonomous

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Tech giant Apple is giving up on full autonomy for its upcoming car and delaying the target launch date by a year to 2026, Bloomberg reports.

The company's highly secretive project, known as Titan, has been in limbo as execs started to realize that current technologies don't feasibly allow for a car that fully drives itself without a steering wheel or pedals.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #229 on: February 14, 2023, 02:44:32 PM »
https://www.popsci.com/technology/zoox-robotaxi-carrying-people-public-roads/

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An autonomous EV with no steering wheel is hitting the road in California
If you want to ride in it, you're out of luck—unless you work for Zoox.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #230 on: February 17, 2023, 09:34:52 PM »
Action News Jax article about the U2C.

https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/take-an-exclusive-look-larger-prototype-jtas-autonomous-shuttle-service-coming-2025/KK7IJH3ZVZHD7J6Z7BXRCARZEQ/

As it turns out, the new ZF pod Nat Ford shared last month is already on JTA property (without a transmission). Apparently they're more serious about it than was maybe clear before.

Apparently the cost of Bay Street has now risen to $60 million (an additional $10 million). None of the manufacturers proposed have Buy America compliant vehicles, but JTA and the Chamber are hoping that they'd choose to build a factory in Jacksonville. Obviously there's no way that'd happen without incentives, so by the time you actually get the full cost involved to make even the first phase of U2C possible (while still not actually being driverless because that isn't possible yet) you're looking at… what, $80 million? More? Not to mention that if a decision isn't made on the factory until the end of the year, is it going to be possible to get the incentives through DIA and City Council, then build the factory (or build out an existing building), then set up the equipment and build everything in time to have a dozen vehicles ready to go by the end of 2025?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2023, 09:37:49 PM by marcuscnelson »
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 #231 on: February 17, 2023, 10:46:08 PM »
And... in the news this week, after millions of miles, years of testing, millions or billions of dollars, Tesla still has major issues implementing AV technology and a long way to go to achieve true autonomy.  Interestingly, much of this is what is encountered in the same urban environments that JTA's AV's are planned for.  Maybe they should call JTA to solve their problems  ;D.

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Tesla recalls 362,758 vehicles, says Full Self-Driving Beta software may cause crashes

Tesla is voluntarily recalling 362,758 vehicles equipped with the company’s experimental driver-assistance software, which is marketed as Full Self-Driving Beta or FSD Beta, in the US, according to a recall notice out Thursday. Tesla will deliver an over-the-air software update to cars to address the issues, the recall notice said.

The FSD Beta system may cause crashes by allowing the affected vehicles to: “Act unsafe around intersections, such as traveling straight through an intersection while in a turn-only lane, entering a stop sign-controlled intersection without coming to a complete stop, or proceeding into an intersection during a steady yellow traffic signal without due caution,” according to a safety recall report on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The FSD Beta system may also have trouble responding appropriately “to changes in posted speed limits,” the notice said...

...Tesla lets thousands of drivers try new and unfinished driver assistance features on public roads in the U.S. through FSD Beta. The technology does not make Tesla electric cars autonomous, nor safe to drive without a human at the wheel ready to brake or steer at any second — despite the brand name...

....FSD Beta can best be summarized as a host of new features that are not yet fully debugged. The main attraction is “autosteer on city streets,” which lets a Tesla navigate around complex urban environments automatically, if imperfectly....

....NHTSA and Tesla communications say the system is something much simpler: a “SAE level 2 driver support feature that can provide steering and braking/acceleration support to the driver under certain operating limitations.”

The safety recall report notes, “the driver is responsible for operation of the vehicle whenever the feature is engaged and must constantly supervise the feature and intervene (e.g., steer, brake or accelerate) as needed to maintain safe operation of the vehicle.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/16/tesla-recalls-362758-vehicles-says-full-self-driving-beta-software-may-cause-crashes.html



thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #232 on: February 18, 2023, 08:20:41 AM »
Hmm. Time is ticking. We're almost to March 2023 and we're not close to being ready to break ground. Reading that Action News article, I get the impression that this experiment won't be ready to go in 2025. The timeline will be pushed back again. Landing an AV factory sounds like a dream as well.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #233 on: February 18, 2023, 11:43:30 AM »
Hmm. Time is ticking. We're almost to March 2023 and we're not close to being ready to break ground. Reading that Action News article, I get the impression that this experiment won't be ready to go in 2025. The timeline will be pushed back again. Landing an AV factory sounds like a dream as well.

Dug a little further and found out that there’s a reason this article only mentions one shuttle they’re talking about the factory for: there’s another shuttle that Beep (the operations contractor) is working with that has already announced that they intend to operate in Jacksonville, but Jacksonville already lost the chance to get the factory. That shuttle, the Holon, is being built in Michigan where they can take advantage of the existing automotive supply chain. Notably, even with the location having already been selected, they don’t expect to produce vehicles until…2025.
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 #234 on: February 19, 2023, 09:47:02 PM »
Doesn't sound like they are manufacturing in Michigan. This one comes off as a dream too:

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Global Roll-out Plans

There is a third side to the rollout triangle. There is the vehicle, there is the stack provider (Mobileye Drive) and there is the deployer like a Beep, says Kollmeier.

"Together with these three partners, we cover all the software, hardware, fleet management operations software for mobility services."

"We are looking forward to having our first production starting in the US," he says. Then the company plans a global rollout to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

"For the time being, we are located in Michigan. The manufacturing plant will most likely be at another location. But it's not fixed yet. We expect to decide in mid-2023 which location to manufacture the vehicle in a greenfield plant."

He adds: "Our target is to go for pigmented thermoplastic bodies. Thermoplastic is a very sustainable technology and easy to maintain.”

He expects vehicle production to start in 2025. After CES, the company will start hiring and then decide on a location.

"We will have industrial scale production, which means we can deliver to higher volumes. We expect pricing to be 30% cheaper than other movers which are handmade and produced in low volumes," predicts Kollmeier.

https://www.autofutures.tv/news-features/-ces2023---holon-mover-fills-gap-for-autonomous-movers-with-mobileye---beep---md-marco-kollmeier/s/ef2d489c-0b1d-436d-8d99-aabe93cfe367

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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #235 on: February 19, 2023, 11:41:28 PM »
By the time JTA figures out AV's, their plan could be obsolete.  Consider this concept that uses a "train" on a virtual track on conventional roads with prioritized travel.  It cost a fraction of light rail or other options to implement and is currently in use in three Chinese cites with Australia next in line to use it.  Be sure to watch the video to see it in action.

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How an autonomous train-bus hybrid could transform city transit

The U.S. is notoriously dependent on cars. Census data shows just 2% of commuters use mass rapid transit like subways, and U.S. rail projects can cost billions of dollars and take decades to complete.

“Cities all over the world have proposed light rail systems that either get greatly reduced or don’t happen at all because of the expense of putting rail in the roadbed. It’s highly disruptive to the business community,” said Lisa Chamberlain, a communications lead for the Global Centre for Urban Transformation at the World Economic Forum. “For residents, it’s very expensive.”

A Chinese company has a radical new solution. It’s a train-bus hybrid that runs on rubber wheels but follows a predetermined track. It’s called Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART), and it’s made by the CRCC, a Chinese mass transit manufacturer.

“So I went there thinking, this is going to be something hiding like a bus,” said Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. “It’ll look like a light rail, but it is, in fact, a bus. But when I rode it, it was dramatically different. I could find myself feeling like I was on a train.”

The ART vehicle costs about $2.2 million and is estimated to cost around 1/5 the price of a traditional tram system per mile. It uses stabilizing technology like active suspension systems which help to make it steadier than a city bus.

Watch the video to see how ART works and how it could benefit U.S. cities.

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/19/how-an-autonomous-train-bus-hybrid-could-transform-city-transit.html

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #236 on: February 20, 2023, 12:48:41 AM »
Doesn't sound like they are manufacturing in Michigan. This one comes off as a dream too:

Hm, maybe you're right. Would still be surprising for them to pick a place completely detached from automotive supply chains (unless you want to count those Cenntro guys), but I guess it's not totally out there.

By the time JTA figures out AV's, their plan could be obsolete.  Consider this concept that uses a "train" on a virtual track on conventional roads with prioritized travel.  It cost a fraction of light rail or other options to implement and is currently in use in three Chinese cites with Australia next in line to use it.  Be sure to watch the video to see it in action.

I saw this earlier today, and I'm pretty sure this has come up on here and other places a few times in recent years.

As interesting a concept as it is, there are multiple reasons not to use it. For one, a known problem with these is their weight, and using them over and over again (like rapid transit) on a road ends up causing big grooves that you then need to repair, or completely replace the road surface with a stronger material which increases costs. Then there's the manufacturer, CRRC; due to policies and regulations implemented by both Presidents Trump and Biden, that company can't build any new… anything in the US. Rather importantly, the ART still ends up requiring a driver to oversee things on board, so you don't actually gain the benefit of autonomous operation. Any useful operation of these requires dedicated lanes that cars can't use, which eliminates the benefit of mixed traffic operation you'd get with buses or (theoretically) other AVs.

There's a reason that despite this concept supposedly being so amazing, it's only in three Chinese cities and purportedly in the works for Australia. In the end, the goal should be providing useful and effective mass transit, not trying to jump on the next eureka grenade of an idea. We've already gone down that road.
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 #237 on: February 20, 2023, 12:51:51 AM »
Some of you might get a kick out of learning that JTA CEO Nat Ford updated his biography on JTA's website, filling it with mentions of what appears to be a pinnacle project for him. A few excerpts:

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Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. is an award-winning transportation expert and leading advocate for how autonomous vehicles (AV) and other advances can be used to improve the quality of life for travelers throughout the nation. His proven track record as a change-agent and visionary who embraces state-of-the-art technology and innovations has made him a highly sought after advisor, consultant, and executive coach.

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One of Ford administration’s crowning achievements is developing an autonomous vehicle program centered on the JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C). The cutting-edge innovation was in the world spotlight during the COVID pandemic when the JTA partnered with autonomous vehicle providers to transport COVID-19 tests for Florida’s esteemed Mayo Clinic.

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His multimodal expertise ranges from fixed-route buses to bus rapid transit; from cable cars and trolleys to elevated people-movers; and from light rail and heavy rail to commuter passenger ferries and autonomous vehicles. His experience also extends to bridges, roadways, corridors and street infrastructure; taxi, parking and traffic management; bicycling, walkability, street safety, first/last mile ride options, public-private partnerships and transit-oriented development.

https://www.jtafla.com/about-jta/leadership/chief-executive-officer/
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

Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #238 on: February 20, 2023, 07:38:27 AM »
Polishing his resume' for a new job?

Jax_Developer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #239 on: February 20, 2023, 11:10:43 AM »
AV's on a municipal level are a pipe dream. Think about the legislation, litigation, etc.. AV's can already perform *better* than the average human can by *some* metrics. Who is responsible for crashes or fatalities of these things on the open road. Cities don't have that type of $$ or legislative power to really make these work. Hence why basically any AV use currently being pursued heavily is a business use where they can eat that expense. Maybe some rich folks too who think its cool!

At least when something is on rail or tracks, the burden of responsibility usually falls on you. Not to mention rail has been proven to be more efficient for moving large numbers of people anyway. But! None of this matters with the current Skyway layout.

Does anyone know how much the Skyway could be extended with $400-500M? Seems like the stadium, Springfield, Brooklyn, and parts of South San Marco could be reached. I'd use it if you could actually get somewhere. And I'd pay for it.