My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Cruise Automation Inc’s Cruise RP-1 - How Adopting ADAS in Jamaica's Road Traffic Act can reduce Road Fatalites due to 90% of Human Error

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cruise Automation Inc’s Cruise RP-1 - How Adopting ADAS in Jamaica's Road Traffic Act can reduce Road Fatalites due to 90% of Human Error

“This is a little different than what you've seen from Google, for example, because that's like a $100,000 research car, with tons of fancy sensors. Everything on this car is priced for a consumer product. It's, like, very low-cost everything, and the performance is still very good”

Cruise's Founder and CEO Kyle Vogt in conversation with Josh Lowensohn from the Verge during a Test drive using the Cruise RP-1 on an Audi S4

You might not have to wait too long to try out one of Google’s 100 Fully Autonomous All-Electric Vehicles coming in 2015 as explained in my blog article entitled Google 100 strong Fully Autonomous All-Electric Vehicles launched – 25 mph Limit on AI Chauffeur in 2015 with Black Boxes makes Crashes like aeroplanes”.

Queue the song Dangerzone by Kenny Loggins……cause this product will put you in “Cruise” Control!


This as a San Francisco, California-based company Cruise Automation Inc, has designed  an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) product, the Cruise RP-1, that aims to bring Self-Driving Car Technology to ANY Vehicle as stated in “For $10,000, your car can drive itself”, published June 23, 2014 01:00 pm  By Josh Lowensohn, The Verge and “Driverless Cars For $10,000? This Startup Is Challenging Google With A Simple Sensor”, published 6/23/2014 @ 1:15PM, by Parmy Olson, Forbes.

A Serial entrepreneur, he founded SocialCam, sold to AutoDesk for US$60 million and then later Justin.tv and Twitch as noted in the article “Cruise Automation Promises to Make Any Car Drive Itself for $10,000”, published June 25, 2014 By Andres Loubriel, Liberty Voice.

Cruise's Founder and CEO Kyle Vogt, curiously founded Cruise Automation Inc in November 2013, a mere thirty days after leaving Twitch TV, which Google has gobbled up and added to YouTube as explained in the article “YouTube reportedly to acquire streaming site Twitch for $1B”, published May 18, 2014 4:38 PM PDT by Steven Musil, CNET News. Twitch is a delight to Gamers who love to perform for others online.

Costing US$10,000, it's pretty expensive for a Car Kit and in my eyes is the Google Glass of ADAS World, with lots of competition in the US of A coming from the likes of Google, BMW, Nissan, Ford and Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors.

German company Mercedes-Benz is also one of their competitors. They’re currently Testing a ADAS System on Germanys Famous Autobahn Highways with an advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) System for the Automated Driving System of Trucks called Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 as explained in my blog article entitled Mercedes-Benz Future Self-Driving Truck by 2017 – Robots promote Truck Drivers to Fleet Managers as Self-Driving Trucks more efficient”.

Also it only works with 2012 of Newer Audi Models, suggesting that Y Combinator startup Cruise Automation Inc's initial target market may be the VERY rich and famous. Also, this contraption only works in California….for now!

Cruise Automation Inc – ADAS is less EU SARTRE and more Autopilot for Cars

As an ADAS System, it's nowhere near what Google's Fully Autonomous All-Electric Vehicles or even what EU SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) Project has been able to achieve with Volvo's as mentioned in my blog article entitled Volvo Testing Autonomous Motor Vehicles in Spain in Live Traffic - EU Project SARTRE adds self-driving AI with smartphone Control

It's really just a more advanced form of Cruise Control, with Audi-specific Lidar, Radar, Proximity Sensors and GPS with a pair of Stereoscopic HD Cameras mounted on the roof of the Car that connect to a big, rather obnoxious looking computer that's housed in the Trunk. This processes Data while the Vehicle is in motion and uses that data to control the steering wheel, brakes, and accelerator.

What’s interesting about the Cruise Automation Inc’s Cruise RP-1 is that its maps and firmware are updatable over the Internet, most likely via Wi-Fi or possibly built-in 3G/4G LTE Internet, making this an Internet Connected device as stated in “Tiny Startup Cruise Beats Google to Offer Self-Driving Car Tech to Consumers”, published June 23, 2014, 10:00 AM PDT By Liz Gannes, Recode.

With the capability to handle the Audi more efficiently than the driver at speeds up to 80 km/h and thus reduce wear and tear on the Car and saving on Gas, improved Vehicle handling is an obvious perk.

You’re still in control though; a special Chicken Switch in the middle allows for you to go from Autopilot to Manual in Seconds. In essence, Audi Driver’s will be the first Guinea Pigs to test out this Technology.

As an example of an Audi, it’s similar to the one that Simone Clarke Cooper won from Neville Bell, the Sports and Media Personality, after Brazil lost to Germany during the World Cup 2014. Good to note that BOTH persons illustrated below, despite the rumours, are indeed bonafide hosts of Smile Jamaica on our local Station Television Jamaica.

Support for other models of Cars are coming, dependent on co-operative information sharing arrangements relating to the Car's Internal Electronics with Car manufacturers, a process that takes awhile according to Cruise's Founder and CEO Kyle Vogt, quote: “We have plans to expand to other models. We haven’t made formal decisions to what would be next.”

Yes, I said it. Autopilot.

This is basically what this is, as it basically isn't fully Autonomous or Semi-autonomous, as it can't drive by itself. So what is it exactly?

Cruise Automation Inc’s Cruise RP-1 – ADAS Eyes reduction of 90% of Human Error

Well, for US$10,000, it’s comes a promise of better Cruise Control, as all that’s required of the drive is to steer it into the highway and press the Chicken Switch and just like that, the System takes over, controlling Gas, Brake and Steering wheel. Should you decide that this isn't your way to go and your faith in the Car's onboard computer begins to waver, a quick tap of the Gas Pedal, grabbing the steering wheel or pressing the Chicken Switch give you back control.

This may seem much ado about what's basically an Autopilot for Cars that's apparently a dream for this serial Entrepreneur. But if it's in the name of Road Safety, then it makes him an Angel in my book, even if he's just looking out for Californians initially.

With some 33,000 Americans dying from auto accidents each year, roughly 0.0073% of Americans and roughly 1.2 million worldwide or 0.00000002% of the World's population, mainly because of Human Error 90% of the time, every bit of innovation in improving safety helps.

Cruise's Founder and CEO Kyle Vogt aim isn’t to make an AI (Artificial Intelligent) System to take the pleasure of Driving away from the Driver. Rather Cruise Automation Inc’s Cruise RP-1 aim is to reduce that 90% of Human Error and make the Roads, both in the USA and worldwide, safe for both pedestrians and Drivers with a solution that the common man can afford.

Road Traffic act and ADAS - Jamaica to adopt ADAS Eyes and Fast Electronic Brain

Here in Jamaica, we’re already on our way to clocking some 300 persons this year, beating last year’s record. That’s 0.01% of our nearly 3 million strong populations on a tiny island that’s barely got a decent Road Network.

Thus, changes coming to the Road Traffic Act will not only ban Cell phone usage while Driving but hopefully will make it mandatory for all driver to install Rear-View Cameras as well as argued in my blog article entitled “Electric Bicycles and Motorcycles next Big Jamaican trend by Christmas 2014 - How Backtracker and Rear View Cameras in the Road Traffic Act can help”.

Hopefully, these legislative changes will eventually include making ADAS Systems such as Cruise Automation Inc’s product, the Cruise RP-1, standard in all Motor Vehicles as well by 2017. Once the Technology becomes perfected for other Vehicles, the Road Traffic Act can make ADAS technology like these mandatory as part of getting Auto Insurance.

Thus Jamaica Constabulary Force aka Jamaican Police using their Body Cameras, Dashboard Cameras mounted in their Police Vehicles and HD (High Definition) CCTV Cameras mounted at Traffic Light Intersections as evidence in lieu of a Witness, have one more reason to stop a Vehicle and give them a ticket for a Vehicle that’s not Roadworthy.

Hopefully, in the process, fewer persons will die from what’s an abnormally high level of Vehicular Homicide for an island that’s so small.
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