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Autonomous Car Progress

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
3,293
2,786
Orange County, CA
I'm sure they would love to have L4 and they probably think the car is ready for it hardware-wise (and I would agree from the sensor aspect at least). It would bring them a ton of attention of course and they would love to be first in the consumer space.

But as much as they've been an unknown quantity, both investors and potential customers are trying to decide if they are real, or yet another failure or even another scam. The smart play is to not over-promise regarding something that everyone else is late to accomplish. I can forgive them the the lush website and somewhat dreamy videos, that's normal advertising especially for a luxury focused product. Indications are that they are at least as real as Rivian, 'and more real then a bevy of concept cars that are shown every year by existing automakers. They have a factory that they built, a first model that arrived late but intact, and a stock offering that is doing just OK. But the production ramp could be their undoing (as it nearly was for Tesla).

With the fancy hardware, their ADAS is well in the game and crrtainly not lagging the market. Lucid is starting to look real and good, and what they don't need right now is some exposé article that says they're scamming on an L4 promise that they don't even need at this time.
Their IPO was, um, special. These mergers to public trading using SPACs tend to be an indicator of less rosy futures.

See Guest view: SPAC investors face six key risks
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,842
40,398
Oregon
They have an excellent product and a solid team.
How do you know they have an excellent product? For example one of the people they had drive/review their car said that if he had ordered one and went to pick up the car they were driving he would have refused it because the windshield was too distorted. (The Lucid person riding with them seemed surprised at that.) That and that the back seat was too cramped, which is weird when you are selling as a luxury vehicle were the owner is often chauffeured and riding in the back.

I don't think we will know what they have until they actually start delivering cars to normal customers.

I'm most interested in their motor tech, as if what they are saying about it is true, and it is reliable, they have something really good there. I'm not impressed by anything else they have shown.
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,540
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
How do you know they have an excellent product? For example one of the people they had drive/review their car said that if he had ordered one and went to pick up the car they were driving he would have refused it because the windshield was too distorted. (The Lucid person riding with them seemed surprised at that.) That and that the back seat was too cramped, which is weird when you are selling as a luxury vehicle were the owner is often chauffeured and riding in the back.

I don't think we will know what they have until they actually start delivering cars to normal customers.

I'm most interested in their motor tech, as if what they are saying about it is true, and it is reliable, they have something really good there. I'm not impressed by anything else they have shown.

It is my opinion that they have an excellent product based on everything I've seen about the car itself as well as all the test drives I've seen. I personally like everything I've seen about the car. I like the exterior, the interior, the range, the performance, the driving UI, the sensors, and the driving style.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,842
40,398
Oregon
Their IPO was, um, special. These mergers to public trading using SPACs tend to be an indicator of less rosy futures.

See Guest view: SPAC investors face six key risks
Yep, and their board buying ~$20 million worth of shares from insiders before the lock-up period expires in ~3 months seems suspicious. (Unless you think the stock is going to tank in the next 3 months why wouldn't you wait?)
 
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EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
11,663
32,298
Seattle, WA
It is my opinion that they have an excellent product based on everything I've seen about the car itself as well as all the test drives I've seen. I personally like everything I've seen about the car. I like the exterior, the interior, the range, the performance, the driving UI, the sensors, and the driving style.
There are a thousand things that need to go right for a startup like that to actually survive. Thats why Tesla is the first US auto company to survive in 80 years.

Good luck to Rivian, Lucid and other EV startups - but its a long, hard road ahead.
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,540
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
There are a thousand things that need to go right for a startup like that to actually survive. Thats why Tesla is the first US auto company to survive in 80 years.

Good luck to Rivian, Lucid and other EV startups - but its a long, hard road ahead.

Yes, I know it is a hard road ahead. I am just saying that I like the Lucid Air as an electric car.
 

EVNow

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2009
11,663
32,298
Seattle, WA
Yes, I know it is a hard road ahead. I am just saying that I like the Lucid Air as an electric car.
Personally I'd be skeptical of reviews (professional or youtubers). They are easily swayed. We have to wait for it to be in enough number of people - and check what they say in forums / reddit. Ofcourse, build quality, service etc are even more difficult to establish.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
11,129
6,263
Local news here in SF just reported some strange behavior of Waymo test cars here in SF. A upwards of 50 Waymo cars get stuck per day at a certain dead end street. The reporters were even able to capture a bunch in person coming back to back. No passengers are ever picked up according to the neighbors. Supposedly this had been going on for weeks already, which is why neighbors contacted the news station. Test drivers don't know what's going on. Waymo have not responded yet what is the reason, only that they would look into it.

Dead-End SF Street Plagued With Confused WayMo Cars Trying To Turn Around 'Every 5 Minutes'
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,139
10,625
San Diego
Local news here in SF just reported some strange behavior of Waymo test cars here in SF. A upwards of 50 Waymo cars get stuck per day at a certain dead end street. The reporters were even able to capture a bunch in person coming back to back. No passengers are ever picked up according to the neighbors. Supposedly this had been going on for weeks already, which is why neighbors contacted the news station. Test drivers don't know what's going on. Waymo have not responded yet what is the reason, only that they would look into it.

Dead-End SF Street Plagued With Confused WayMo Cars Trying To Turn Around 'Every 5 Minutes'
Doesn’t seem that strange. They’re probably just running a fixed route over and over again. There are only about 1000 miles of road in San Francisco. If they’re running a hundred cars then there’s going to be a lot of repetition.
They did 6 million miles in about two years in Chandler.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,702
8,851
Visalia, CA
Local news here in SF just reported some strange behavior of Waymo test cars here in SF. A upwards of 50 Waymo cars get stuck per day at a certain dead end street...

It looks like a planned project on an unknown dead-end street with a long line of the fleet fully equipped with human back up drivers waiting for each other to practice its run in that small block.

It was unnoticed until the neighbors don't understand what's going on and called the news.

Most likely they will move this maneuver to another place and stagger the operations so people won't notice any more.

So when will Waymo tell us their secrets?
 
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JHCCAZ

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
429
750
Tucson
Here is basically a promotional video from Lucid about their DreamDrive ADAS system. As known before, it has far more sensors than Tesla's suite, including many cameras, multiple radars and front-facing lidar (my guess would be that the lidar module is from Luminar but truly I don't know). Lucid does have some sort of autonomy engineering team including a recent hire to head that program. It's not clear to me whether they are partnering with anyone like MobilEye or others, but I feel that this hardware package is not specified by a third party. Unless I missed it there's no detail about the computer engine that would run the self-driving with all these sensor inputs.

At this stage it's quite clear that this is an extensive L2 system, with aspirations for L3 on the highway and no real prediction of L4 on any particular schedule. One thing that I do like is the use of the high-end audio system, with all its speakers, to reproduce audio cues with directional fidelity to help the L2 driver stay aware of events outside the car.

I'd certainly be interested to know more about Lucid's engineering approach and their very rough expectations about timeline to get to L3 and then L4. Considering that we don't hear a lot of specific claims about advanced autonomy, it seems that their idea is to provide in abundance of hardware before the software is figured out. This is not a cheap approach but it's not a cheap car. It's in direct contrast to Tesla's approach of providing a minimal sensor suite, a powerful computer and a plan to figure it out from there.

I'm replying to the post I made yesterday, linking the Lucid DreamDrive promotional video. I've just watched a highly skeptical "rebuttal" video, over 3x longer than the Lucid promo itself, by the investor / Tesla YouTube creator Warren Redlich. So even though I didn't link the Lucid video as a dedicated fan, I feel a little responsible. In the interest of balance I think I should link that one also, so here it is.

My first reaction, as I watched Redlich's highly contrarian analysis of the Lucid promo, was that he was being really unduly negative. Every single claim is met by him with hostility and deep skepticism; OK that's his prerogative and there's no shortage of that kind of "analysis" here on TMC, but as we know it cuts both ways regarding Tesla and FSD.

Some of his assertions I think are simply not true, for example that Lucid only specified two actual ADAS features out of the 30 plus that they claimed to have - only Adaptive Cruise and Lane Centering according to him. I'd agree that those are not particularly special features in today's marketplace. I'd also agree that they didn't discuss all possible features in the five minute promo, nor any that are mind-blowing (no L4/L5 claims), but it was clearly more than two, even if you want to argue that some of these should be grouped together:
Adaptive Cruise Control (aka TACC) - part of Highway Assist​
Lane Centering - part of Highway Assist​
Distracted Driver Alert (part of Driver Monitoring)​
Drowsy Driver Alert (part of Driver Monitoring)​
Rest Stop Suggestions (related to Drowsy Driver Alert)​
Immersive Sound (includes the audio-directional cues that I particularly like)​
Front Cross-Traffic Protection​
Rear Cross-Traffic Protection​
Autonomous Emergency Braking​
Autonomous Park-In for parallel and perpendicular parking​
Park Distance Warning with numeric distance Indication​
(future) Lane Change Assist)​
(future) Hands-Off Highway Driving (L3)​
(future) Automated Park Pilot (remote like the (intent of) Tesla Smart Summon)​

In addition to the narration that supplied the list above, I noticed that there is a flash-glimpse of an expanding-burst graphic with boxes that list the features. From this, I was able to pick out just a few more but it goes too quickly and most of the boxes are unreadable even if you stop/start the video. Here I've left out the ones mentioned by the narrator and already listed above:
Manual Lane Biasing​
Steering Override​
Speed Limit Assist​
Overtake Assist​
Stop & Go​
Blind Spot Monitoring​
Free Lane Changing(?)​
Traffic Drive-Off Alert​
Traffic Jam Assist​
High Beam Assist​
and many more boxes I just couldn't read.

Lucid is predictably partisan in favor of their imminent product. Redlich is pretty clearly partisan in favor of Tesla and in complete doubt regarding Lucid's package. Some of his criticisms don't make sense to me, such as his complaining that Alerts are useless if you have Autonomous Emergency Braking. Here he seems to be criticizing Lucid for lack of complete L4/L5 autonomy when they are essentially claiming only L2 and future L3. This is kind of a basic point. He also dismisses Front and Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts by saying he doesn't understand what those are - interesting that many people do know, and that Tesla is notably weak on those.

He mentions that several industry media persons whom he knows were at the event, but mostly hasn't waited for their answers to his queries. I've listened to one or two interviews of Redlich on YouTube and I thought he seemed reasonable, but here he seems quite unwilling to consider anything but a hostile interpretation.

So overall, I think the right take is somewhere in the broad gulf between Redlich's negativity and Lucid's dreamy narrative. As I said before, I think the most interesting point is that Lucid is selling (or about to sell) a consumer car with a particularly rich sensor suite.

Later in his video, he brings up the interesting suspicions about recent stock sales by principals of Lucid, including large repurchases and rule changes that enabled this insider activity. Here I'm not really qualified to comment, other than to observe that any sale of stock by any company executive can set off alarms and criticisms that said executive doesn't really believe in the future of his company. Others here know more about IPOs, SPACs and various forms of people getting rich off of their own company going public, not exactly unusual.
 
Last edited:

daktari

Member
Jan 21, 2017
957
1,119
Norway
Doesn’t seem that strange. They’re probably just running a fixed route over and over again. There are only about 1000 miles of road in San Francisco. If they’re running a hundred cars then there’s going to be a lot of repetition.
They did 6 million miles in about two years in Chandler.
It looks like a planned project on an unknown dead-end street with a long line of the fleet fully equipped with human back up drivers waiting for each other to practice its run in that small block.

It was unnoticed until the neighbors don't understand what's going on and called the news.

Most likely they will move this maneuver to another place and stagger the operations so people won't notice any more.

So when will Waymo tell us their secrets?
Could be a basic routing issue. On Google Street View of 15th avenue SF it seems open both ways without dead ends, but a "right turn only" in the middle that should be unproblematic.
 

daktari

Member
Jan 21, 2017
957
1,119
Norway
I'm replying to the post I made yesterday, linking the Lucid DreamDrive promotional video. I've just watched a highly skeptical "rebuttal" video, over 3x longer than the Lucid promo itself, by the investor / Tesla YouTube creator Warren Redlich. So even though I didn't link the Lucid video as a dedicated fan, I feel a little responsible. In the interest of balance I think I should link that one also, so here it is.

My first reaction, as I watched Redlich's highly contrarian analysis of the Lucid promo, was that he was being really unduly negative. Every single claim is met by him with hostility and deep skepticism; OK that's his prerogative and there's no shortage of that kind of "analysis" here on TMC, but as we know it cuts both ways regarding Tesla and FSD.

Some of his assertions I think are simply not true, for example that Lucid only specified two actual ADAS features out of the 30 plus that they claimed to have - only Adaptive Cruise and Lane Centering according to him. I'd agree that those are not particularly special features in today's marketplace. I'd also agree that they didn't discuss all possible features in the five minute promo, nor any that are mind-blowing (no L4/L5 claims), but it was clearly more than two, even if you want to argue that some of these should be grouped together:
Adaptive Cruise Control (aka TACC) - part of Highway Assist​
Lane Centering - part of Highway Assist​
Distracted Driver Alert (part of Driver Monitoring)​
Drowsy Driver Alert (part of Driver Monitoring)​
Rest Stop Suggestions (related to Drowsy Driver Alert)​
Immersive Sound (includes the audio-directional cues that I particularly like)​
Front Cross-Traffic Protection​
Rear Cross-Traffic Protection​
Autonomous Emergency Braking​
Autonomous Park-In for parallel and perpendicular parking​
Park Distance Warning with numeric distance Indication​
(future) Lane Change Assist)​
(future) Hands-Off Highway Driving (L3)​
(future) Automated Park Pilot (remote like the (intent of) Tesla Smart Summon)​

In addition to the narration that supplied the list above, I noticed that there is a flash-glimpse of an expanding-burst graphic with boxes that list the features. From this, I was able to pick out just a few more but it goes too quickly and most of the boxes are unreadable even if you stop/start the video. Here I've left out the ones mentioned by the narrator and already listed above:
Manual Lane Biasing​
Steering Override​
Speed Limit Assist​
Overtake Assist​
Stop & Go​
Blind Spot Monitoring​
Free Lane Changing(?)​
Traffic Drive-Off Alert​
Traffic Jam Assist​
High Beam Assist​
and many more boxes I just couldn't read.

Lucid is predictably partisan in favor of their imminent product. Redlich is pretty clearly partisan in favor of Tesla and in complete doubt regarding Lucid's package. Some of his criticisms don't make sense to me, such as his complaining that Alerts are useless if you have Autonomous Emergency Braking. Here he seems to be criticizing Lucid for lack of complete L4/L5 autonomy when they are essentially claiming only L2 and future L3. This is kind of a basic point. He also dismisses Front and Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts by saying he doesn't understand what those are - interesting that many people do know, and that Tesla is notably weak on those.

He mentions that several industry media persons whom he knows were at the event, but mostly hasn't waited for their answers to his queries. I've listened to one or two interviews of Redlich on YouTube and I thought he seemed reasonable, but here he seems quite unwilling to consider anything but a hostile interpretation.

So overall, I think the right take is somewhere in the broad gulf between Redlich's negativity and Lucid's dreamy narrative. As I said before, I think the most interesting point is that Lucid is selling (or about to sell) a consumer car with a particularly rich sensor suite.

Later in his video, he brings up the interesting suspicions about recent stock sales by principals of Lucid, including large repurchases and rule changes that enabled this insider activity. Here I'm not really qualified to comment, other than to observe that any sale of stock by any company executive can set off alarms and criticisms that said executive doesn't really believe in the future of his company. Others here know more about IPOs, SPACs and various forms of people getting rich off of their own company going public, not exactly unusual.
In this age of sosial media propaganda without responible-editor, Tesla fans used to defend against FUD. Now some become FUD spreaders against other brands. I guess it happens automatically moving from underdog to most valuated company.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,702
8,851
Visalia, CA
Could be a basic routing issue...

It's not a technical "issue":

Many Waymo cars line up to do the same maneuver and each car was fully staffed with a backup driver.

If it was an issue, 50 backup drivers every day, day after day, would alert each other and their supervisors of the same problem.

Waymo has been taking riders and no riders were involved in the maneuver.

When asked by a neighbor, Waymo backup driver said it's the program and they are just doing their jobs.

So, it's a purposeful maneuver that excluded riders and the human drivers denied anything strange.

So why Waymo would repeat the same maneuver over and over again for their fleet?
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,540
12,091
Terre Haute, IN USA
Local news here in SF just reported some strange behavior of Waymo test cars here in SF. A upwards of 50 Waymo cars get stuck per day at a certain dead end street. The reporters were even able to capture a bunch in person coming back to back. No passengers are ever picked up according to the neighbors. Supposedly this had been going on for weeks already, which is why neighbors contacted the news station. Test drivers don't know what's going on. Waymo have not responded yet what is the reason, only that they would look into it.

Dead-End SF Street Plagued With Confused WayMo Cars Trying To Turn Around 'Every 5 Minutes'
So why Waymo would repeat the same maneuver over and over again for their fleet?

The lack of riders would seem to imply that this not part of the regular public ride-hailing. It is probably related to testing. Maybe they are running that route over and over again to collect data they need or to test some specific maneuver.

As @Daniel in SD pointed out, it could also just be the end of their planned testing route. Waymo says that they are doing 100,000 autonomous miles per week in SF. That's a lot for 1000 miles of road. So there is going to be repetition. If it is just the end of the planned test routes that every Waymo does each day, it would explain why there are so many Waymos in that dead end all the time.

We should bear in mind that the news article lacks context because it is just people telling the news what they are seeing but we don't know why.

We should probably wait for some official word from Waymo about this.
 

powertoold

Active Member
Oct 10, 2014
3,074
6,599
USA
Beta 10 will be the beginning of the end for Waymo and Waymo-like approaches. I'll like 10 of diplomat's posts if beta 10 doesn't achieve Chandler-level performance (in my opinion, but I'm very realistic about what I'm seeing). I'm only afraid I'll lose when it comes to parking lots, but we'll see.

After using 10.2, I can't see how single stack (whenever it's released) will enable fsd beta to perform at Waymo level in parking lots, so I'll take the loss here and give diplomat his 10 likes.
 

Dutchy Ron

Member
Oct 4, 2021
54
50
Netherlands
New user. Every post is about TomTom HD maps. Are you a shill for TomTom ?
No I’m not, I just believe FSD (L3+) will never happen without a HD Map and TomTom is the number one HD Map provider for US, Europe and Asia (excl China). Stellantis, Toyoto (Lexus), VW, etc. are all using HD Maps for ADAS and L2+. Same as NIO and XPENG. Most mapmakers are startups and only making the HD Maps for cities and robottaxis (L4+). They will not provide global HD Maps like TomTom and HERE. HD Maps are scalable, when there are enough cars on the road like now and the vehicles are connected with 5G+ to receive the actual real time maps OTA for the area where the car is driving.

I think Elon will regret not using in-car real time OTA HD Maps, time will tell……
 
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