Sunday, April 30, 2017

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...Not

Take A Nap

If you've read this blog before you've probably noticed that I'm quite sold on autonomous driving vehicles and the benefits this technology will bring to all of us. For those of you who agree that self-driving cars are just around the corner, here’s my latest update. For those of you who don’t agree, you can take a nap if you’d like.

If you haven’t already guessed, “taking a nap” is the reason for this post and sooner or later you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of your car, engage the autopilot, close your eyes and take a nap. And don’t worry, whether it’s during your daily commute or traveling cross-country, autopilot will wake you up at your destination. When will this happen?

Tesla Inc. is a manufacturer of all electric vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. They recently released their “second generation Autopilot” hardware on their vehicles and started offering an option called “full self-driving capability”. But, there’s been some confusion as to whether or not this is true level 5 autonomy as defined by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said recently that the “full self-driving capability” option on Tesla’s second generation Autopilot will eventually enable level 5 autonomous driving, which means fully autonomous in any and all conditions. He also specified that this is dependent on software validation and regulatory approval. For an explanation of the 5 levels of autonomous driving, click here.

Mr. Musk also said that the best timeline for achieving level 5 is based on a coast-to-coast demo drive from California to New York without the driver touching the wheel and that this demo drive is planned to take place sometime before the end of this year. He went on to say that although the driver would not have to touch the controls or the steering wheel during the coast-to-coast demo, he doesn’t think it would be at the level where someone could sit back, relax, and take a nap. When asked when he thinks that will be, he said about 2 years away.

I can’t wait to take a trip to visit my grandchildren in Nashville and take a nap along the way...without stopping.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Hmmm...I Wonder?

24 FEB 2017
Tesla Inc. is the manufacturer of autonomous driving electric cars.  Elon Musk is the co-founder and CEO.  One of his manufacturing facilities is in Freemont, CA and another is the giant "Gigafactory" located in Nevada.  The facility in Nevada is referred to as Gigafactory #1.  Another facility in Buffalo, NY which produces solar energy products is referred to by Mr. Musk as Gigafactory #2. On February 24 he stated Tesla needed three more in Europe, one in China, and another here in the United States.  When asked on Twitter where another US Gigafactory might be located he said, "Something on a tristate border might work.  Gigafactory plus nearby supporting supply chain needs a very large workforce." 

Hmmm...I wonder if Mr. Musk was referring to the Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia tristate area as a possible location for a Gigafactory?

26 MAR 2017
Ro Khanna is the freshman congressman from California's 17th District, which includes most of Silicon Valley and all the big tech companies such as Google and Apple.  On March 26th Mr. Khanna visited the Ohio-Kentucky-West Virginia tristate area to see what that part of the country might have to offer the technology industry - and how Appalachia can reap its benefits in the form of jobs and tech training.  Tesla's corporate office and Freemont manufacturing facility are also located in Mr. Khanna's district.

Hmmm...I wonder if  Mr. Khanna has ever had any discussions about a Gigafactory location with Mr. Musk?  

26 APR 2017
Braidy Industries Inc. is an eco-friendly, state of the art aluminum alloy manufacturer.  On April 26, 2017 Craig Bouchard, Chairman and CEO of Braidy Industries along with Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin announced the construction of the nations first Greenfield aluminum rolling mill in over three decades.  The mill will be state of the art and produce low-cost high quality auto body sheet aluminum, plate and ultra-high strength alloys for the Aerospace industry.  Did I mention that Mr. Musk's Tesla vehicles rely heavily on aluminum parts and components and that he also owns Space-X, an aerospace company.  The new Braidy Industries mill will be located in the Eastern Kentucky tristate area town of South Shore, Kentucky.

Hmmm...I wonder if Mr. Bouchard and Governor Bevin have had any discussions about a Gigafactory location with Mr. Musk and Congressman Khanna?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Never Woulda Thunk It

I've watched in horror the assassination of a President, watched with awe a total eclipse of the sun and watched with amazement as the first man stepped foot on the moon.  But I never dreamed I'd live to see this...

For the first time since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution a major industrial nation went a full day without using coal to generate electricity.  Last Friday was a coal-free day for Britain.   It is believed to be the first time the nation has not used coal to generate electricity since the world's first centralized public coal-fired generator opened in 1882 in London, England.       

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It Ain't Trump's Fault...It's Sam's Fault

You've probably heard all the reports lately about how thousands of Mexican immigrants are returning to Mexico because they fear President Trump will have them arrested and deported.  But the real reason they are leaving is SAM (Semi-Automated Mason).  Yup, a robot brick layer that can lay 3,000 bricks a day compared to 500 by your average Mexican...