Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 35807 times)

Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2021, 10:48:26 AM »
An article from Popular Science about public acceptance of AVs, and their impact on public transit and emissions, from a study done by the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  https://www.popsci.com/environment/driverless-cars-sustainable/

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The researchers expected that the presence of autonomous vehicles would compete with public transit, which in Madison is the bus system. In the survey, when people could choose between private vehicles, autonomous taxis, buses, and bicycles, they responded that they would use autonomous vehicle taxis 31 percent of the time. People with their own private vehicles were not interested in swapping that for a ride in an autonomous taxi. Instead, as researchers expected, people who usually rely on public transit could be swayed by the self-driving Ubers of the future.

A couple observations. First, Madison is a University town, which may affect the acceptance of AVs.  Second, it appears the study looked at AVs as "self-driving Ubers" and not as line-haul transit, as proposed here.

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2021, 11:14:09 AM »
Did they tell the survey participants that these shuttles currently are regulated to speeds of 12mph or so?
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2021, 01:21:02 PM »
^ And that "autonomous" really means "semi-autonomous," at best, with drone drivers!
« Last Edit: June 07, 2021, 02:03:39 PM by jaxlongtimer »

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2021, 04:58:38 PM »
Second, it appears the study looked at AVs as "self-driving Ubers" and not as line-haul transit, as proposed here.

That's because anyone with more than 1.4 brain cells realizes the key technology advantage of the auto is point to point service.

People at JTA know this.

Pretty amazing testament to the short comings of bureaucracy that there vision for tomorrow is still stuck in 1883 with fixed stops.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2021, 05:06:52 PM »
Second, it appears the study looked at AVs as "self-driving Ubers" and not as line-haul transit, as proposed here.

That's because anyone with more than 1.4 brain cells realizes the key technology advantage of the auto is point to point service.

People at JTA know this.

Pretty amazing testament to the short comings of bureaucracy that there vision for tomorrow is still stuck in 1883 with fixed stops.

I asked JTA about this when I visited their facility, they explained that the U2C as proposed won't do it because it's impossible to maintain headways if, for example, multiple people along the same city block request a ride. However, they've said since then that eventually the expectation is getting picked up at your door and taken somewhere.
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

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #35 on: July 06, 2021, 10:57:45 AM »


Anyone fluent in German?  Any interesting tid bits?

In short, they tested NAVYA mini robobuses for 3 years and found they're not ready for regular use.

https://www.heise.de/news/Autonomer-Bus-bewaehrt-sich-in-Wien-nicht-6124642.html

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #36 on: July 06, 2021, 01:08:27 PM »
Below is what JTA will run into with U2C, perhaps even worse, and we taxpayers are going to be on the hook.  Hope someone comes to their senses and kills this project ASAP.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Saturday that making a self-driving car was harder than he expected, after the company's timeline for its latest Full Self-Driving (FSD) software slipped again.

Self-driving was a "hard problem" that "requires solving a large part of real-world AI," Musk tweeted.

"Didn't expect it to be so hard, but the difficulty is obvious in retrospect," he said....

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-tesla-full-self-driving-beta-cars-fsd-9-2021-7

And, here's a recent take on this project from the Wall Street Journal:
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In 2015, Elon Musk said self-driving cars that could drive “anywhere” would be here within two or three years.

In 2016, Lyft CEO John Zimmer predicted they would “all but end” car ownership by 2025.

In 2018, Waymo CEO John Krafcik warned autonomous robocars would take longer than expected.

In 2021, some experts aren’t sure when, if ever, individuals will be able to purchase steering-wheel-free cars that drive themselves off the lot.

In contrast to investors and CEOs, academics who study artificial intelligence, systems engineering and autonomous technologies have long said that creating a fully self-driving automobile would take many years, perhaps decades. Now some are going further, saying that despite investments already topping $80 billion, we may never get the self-driving cars we were promised. At least not without major breakthroughs in AI, which almost no one is predicting will arrive anytime soon...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/self-driving-cars-could-be-decades-away-no-matter-what-elon-musk-said-11622865615

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #37 on: July 06, 2021, 04:59:56 PM »
And now: When drilling a brand new tunnel is somehow cheaper per mile than JTA rehabbing an existing above-ground structure:

https://observer.com/2021/06/elon-musk-boring-company-open-vegas-tunnel-experts-skeptic/

Sounds like it may have issues of its own, but it's yet another example of how the cost of U2C is simply laughable when compared to other solutions.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2021, 07:08:42 PM »
Anyone fluent in German?  Any interesting tid bits?

In short, they tested NAVYA mini robobuses for 3 years and found they're not ready for regular use.

https://www.heise.de/news/Autonomer-Bus-bewaehrt-sich-in-Wien-nicht-6124642.html

Some friends I'd been telling about the U2C brought this to my attention this morning.

Looking at it through Google Translate, some key tidbits (emphasis mine):

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The two shuttle buses have been used since April 2018, initially in a garage and on a university campus, and then from June 2019 in public passenger test operations in Seestadt. Over 12,000 kilometers were driven at a maximum of 20 km/h (~12 mph) and more than 8,000 passengers were carried.

8,000 passengers over three years isn't exactly stunning ridership, although I'll chalk that up to being a test.

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"There are still weather-related problems in both summer and winter. Strong winds as well as light snowfall, heavy rain or fog mean that the e-buses have to be controlled manually. The market still has to cope with numerous tasks for the vehicles to be used continuously on a regular basis."

I don't know if any of y'all have looked out the window or stepped outside lately, but this seems like it could be a problem.

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The Seestadt would be ideally suited for the slowly autonomous buses. Urban planners have deliberately left a lot of space and at the same time given cars little space. "The Seestadt use case was a perfect environment for NAVYA to test the autonomous buses," said NAVYA Sales Manager Jean-Michel Boëz "Cars is deliberately reduced."

However, a young district means that something is constantly changing. Therefore, NAVYA had to constantly re-record the route traveled and even try to anticipate new conditions. "The environment itself was a challenge, as it was constantly changing due to construction work and so on, prompting our team to continuously adapt the route and predict future work in order to ensure the smoothest possible operation," explained Boëz.

For this to be the ideal environment and still have this many problems should probably be alarming. Also worth noting that NAVYA is one of the shuttles currently being tested by JTA, although they seemed to enjoy the Olli more.

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The extent of the problem was already evident during the first autonomous test drives in April 2018: the route was mapped in March when it was still cold in Vienna. Two weeks later it was warm and the buses always stopped automatically in the same place. It took some searching to find the "obstacle": daisies had grown out of a crack in the pavement. That disrupted the artificial intelligence of the autonomous vehicle.

I don't think I have to explain how the prospect of literally any change to the built environment of the route changing vehicle behavior could be a problem.

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"As soon as the technology makes noticeable progress, we will look for vehicles again," promises Günter Steinbauer, Managing Director of Wiener Linien, "because the overall impression that both the passengers shared with us and that we received after three years shows that this will be the future. Only when this future begins is not yet certain!"

But hey, 2-3 years for Bay Street, right?
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 #39 on: July 06, 2021, 07:48:52 PM »
And now: When drilling a brand new tunnel is somehow cheaper per mile than JTA rehabbing an existing above-ground structure:

https://observer.com/2021/06/elon-musk-boring-company-open-vegas-tunnel-experts-skeptic/

Sounds like it may have issues of its own, but it's yet another example of how the cost of U2C is simply laughable when compared to other solutions.

The thing about the Loop is that it's a very poor mass transit solution and a very poor use of potential transit ROW. But, at this point it has proven itself more than the U2C has at actually being capable of carrying passengers in "revenue" service. It works poorly, but it works. Also, it's very important to note that even Boring and by association Tesla have pushed back if not given up (in the near term) on the possibility of autonomous operation.

Even if you give JTA the credit of their theoretical implementation being different from the experiment in Austria, by virtue of building additional infrastructure into the road, they don't actually have any way of knowing whether what they're doing is possible.

In terms of the infrastructure cost, the 3-mile Bay Street line is supposed to cost about the same as the tunnel project, although with only ~12 vehicles (last I checked) rather than the 62 used by Boring.
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

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #40 on: July 06, 2021, 08:48:05 PM »
And now: When drilling a brand new tunnel is somehow cheaper per mile than JTA rehabbing an existing above-ground structure:

https://observer.com/2021/06/elon-musk-boring-company-open-vegas-tunnel-experts-skeptic/

Sounds like it may have issues of its own, but it's yet another example of how the cost of U2C is simply laughable when compared to other solutions.

The thing about the Loop is that it's a very poor mass transit solution and a very poor use of potential transit ROW. But, at this point it has proven itself more than the U2C has at actually being capable of carrying passengers in "revenue" service. It works poorly, but it works. Also, it's very important to note that even Boring and by association Tesla have pushed back if not given up (in the near term) on the possibility of autonomous operation.

Even if you give JTA the credit of their theoretical implementation being different from the experiment in Austria, by virtue of building additional infrastructure into the road, they don't actually have any way of knowing whether what they're doing is possible.

In terms of the infrastructure cost, the 3-mile Bay Street line is supposed to cost about the same as the tunnel project, although with only ~12 vehicles (last I checked) rather than the 62 used by Boring.

Right. It's the cost that floors me. Forgetting, for a second, all of the challenges with either the Loop or the U2C vehicles, how is it that the pure construction cost to remove a concrete beam and pave 2.5 miles is between 4 (Vegas, actual) and 10 (Ft. Lauderdale, projected) times the cost per mile of boring a literal tunnel? This ratio should be reversed in a sane world.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2021, 11:51:08 AM »
Two reasons.

First, it's possible that the conversion could be less "remove beam, pour concrete into beam until flat" and more "remove beam, remove entire bridge section, fabricate and place new bridge section." There are different alternatives, and they haven't decided which to go with. Now that they know they have the money, they might decide to just go for the most elaborate option, with the only limitation being to not spend the money meant for the other stuff.

Speaking of other stuff, the conversation cost isn't just the construction. It's also building all of the associated infrastructure. Refurbishing the stations (Have you seen the Rosa Parks station concept from the TOD study? It's pretty dramatic), overhauling any and all related cabling (adding fiber), replacing signaling systems, probably a massive overhaul of the maintenance and operations center, redoing the payment system, and likely a bunch of other things related to the AVs that we're not aware of.
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 #42 on: July 07, 2021, 12:06:50 PM »
How are they coming with developing a solution to getting the AVs between the elevated guideway and the ground?

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2021, 12:32:20 PM »
Two reasons.

First, it's possible that the conversion could be less "remove beam, pour concrete into beam until flat" and more "remove beam, remove entire bridge section, fabricate and place new bridge section." There are different alternatives, and they haven't decided which to go with. Now that they know they have the money, they might decide to just go for the most elaborate option, with the only limitation being to not spend the money meant for the other stuff.

Speaking of other stuff, the conversation cost isn't just the construction. It's also building all of the associated infrastructure. Refurbishing the stations (Have you seen the Rosa Parks station concept from the TOD study? It's pretty dramatic), overhauling any and all related cabling (adding fiber), replacing signaling systems, probably a massive overhaul of the maintenance and operations center, redoing the payment system, and likely a bunch of other things related to the AVs that we're not aware of.

With the exception of refurbished stations, everything you cited is directly related to the decision to go with AVs as the preferred solution, which illustrates my point nicely. All that fancy advanced tech that still requires a human driver for a whole laundry list of conditions (100% of the time initially, apparently) necessitates additional expense that makes digging Tesla Tunnels look like a vastly more affordable alternative. You could do as I said -- remove the beam and pave the Skyway -- at what I must imagine would be a lower cost than digging tunnels, and end up with an equally bad but significantly cheaper Tesla Terrace instead of doing what's proposed here. But the list of alternatives good and bad has, I suppose, been beaten to death; I just found the cost comparison to be absolutely stunning and an apt illustration of just how large a self-inflicted injury this debacle is likely to be.

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2021, 02:10:02 PM »
^The refurbished stations are also directly related to the decision to go with AVs as the preferred solution. The station platforms have to be redesigned and modified because the AV shuttles they are considering are much smaller than the current trains. I still find it pretty crazy that Detroit's new QLine Streetcar is cheaper than the U2C......and I still believe the streetcar cost was overly bells and whistles expensive.







"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali