Uber vs. California - Robot cars not ready for roads?


That flame thrower is just a torch with a big flame. It’s range is like, what, 2 feet?




You can buy one at Home Depot or Harbor Freight for $20 or $30. People use them for melting asphalt hot patch or killing weeds.


Found it!

Within the next year or so, one of four things is going to happen and one of these sides will be convinced they were wrong, and they’ll exit their trades.

  • Tesla goes bankrupt, they can’t operate profitably and can’t raise money. They probably get bought out or something.
  • Tesla starts making a net profit, possibly even enough to fund some additional capex in things like be factories
  • Tesla decides to raise money and they do easily. People believe in their story and happily buy up new shares, and existing shareholders are fine with the dilution.
  • Tesla needs to raise money, tries, and it goes poorly. They get the money, but have to do it via junk bonds or something. This is probably the equivalent of going bankrupt, it’ll just take a little longer.


^^^ That’s the comment thread for the individual post. The post itself is here (you can also get it by clicking the link above and then clicking on the title):


Yeah, that was intentional. But what you say is true.


That Arizona crashed that killed the woman walking her bike across the road? The driver was watching TV.

Police obtained records from Hulu, an online service for streaming television shows and movies, which showed Vasquez’s account was playing the television talent show “The Voice” the night of the crash for about 42 minutes, ending at 9:59 p.m., which “coincides with the approximate time of the collision,” the report says.


That’s awful. I was just defending that driver last night, saying she could have been looking at a diagnostic screen.


Yeah that changes a lot, especially regarding the NTSB’s report they released so far. I wonder when that information came to light.



They call it excruciatingly slow, but it seems pretty fast to me, not least because it hasn’t actually launched yet. This is a paid alpha. It’s launched when a random punter can tap a button in an app and have a driverless car show up and take them wherever they want to go without any human intervention. That’s still a long way away, though closer than I’d expect if their timetable is accurate (I doubt it is).


I ordered a pizza from Dominos the other day. Despite my hunger-driven poor judgement, I was intrigued when the website asked me if I’d be willing to help them test out their new self-driving car program.

The deal was, if I agreed they would send me messages on my phone as the autonomous car got close to my house, and they would send me a code that I could enter into the car and somehow it would cough up a pizza.

Obviously I knew that there would at least me a human “minder” since autonomous cars aren’t legal in Virginia at this time, but I eagerly signed up because I wanted to see what the car looked like and how the dispensary mechanism worked.

Sadly, I ended up disappointed: When the pizza arrived it was just some guy manually driving a normal car. Maybe next time.


Robotic pizza delivery cannot happen or it will invalidate our Snowcrash future.


There will always be exceptional requests that require the Deliverator.


This sounds pretty cool.


So this is why Domino’s is paying to repair potholes!


I haven’t ordered delivery very often, but one time the box fell upside down inside the driver’s car. I got a free pizza plus the original pizza that fell over. Autonomous driving will eliminate a good source of free pizza.


We ran a research group on this earlier in the week.

The big thing to realize with Waymo – versus some other self-driving cars – is that they have a California permit to test cars that are driverless and not just self-driving. If you’ll remember that horrible pedestrian fatality in Arizona, that was an Uber self-driving car, but there was a person sitting at the steering wheel who could take control (and in this case, failed to act.)

Waymo’s permit in California, at least, allows them to operate fullty driverless vehicles, though it’s not clear if they can be used for passengers at this time. Regardless, we found that our test groups were FAR less keen on getting into a fully driverless car than they were a self-driving car…and in both cases the estimate of “people like you willing to ride” in either type was way down from last year, pre-Arizona incident.


I’d imagine a good number of these people have the same mindset as those I interact with daily who parrot the whole “self-checkout takes away jerbs!” spiel to people literally working at self-checkout. Even better, having a real-life tragedy they can point to as a clear example of “automation is bad” lets them push an ultimately regressive viewpoint until it’s no longer their problem.

That said, in the short term, there’s a perfectly reasonable argument to be made - the technology still needs a lot of work before we should reasonably expect to see fleets of self-driving cars in a wide variety of scenarios outside of test environments, and driverless cars are an especially difficult sell, even without the “automation is bad” mindset at work.


What if I argue that self check out usually takes longer and is annoying? I would rather have the company hire more cashiers because they are usually faster when enough are available.

Then again, I usually never shop at any of the stores with self check out. It’s usually Aldi or Target.