Saturday, March 23, 2019

Today did not go as advertised.

I'm not sure how to really describe today. We drove a couple hours north to Thunderhill Raceway where there was suppose to be autonomous car racing. Which I don't really think is going to be a thing. But I thought there were going to be some cool cars there and this guy.

He's sort of been radio silent for a while, and I wanted to see if he'd made any progress.  I'd heard through the rumor mill that his stuff has only been tested in a very geofenced environment.

Anyway... we roll up at about 1:30 and there are just a few cars there with sensors and Velodyne of course. The above shot is Velodyne on the track with their latest Lidar. We watch the cars that are there go around the track, but they all have their hands on the steering wheels. We hang out for a couple of hours. Later I find out that this car wasn't even autonomous. He was just helping out and managed to get his car on the track. Great glamor shot though. Right?

If you guys read anything about autonomous racing and Thunderhill send it over to me because allegedly some super legit media was there. I'm not sure if all of these guys pealed off as soon as the media left. But I'm curious how they might talk about it.

There was an Embark Semi there, with the driver. Which was super nice. I want to talk to real people about these things. Not marking hype. Since we seem to live in a world of hysteria about these trucks taking peoples jobs - I had a lot of questions. Namely, what is the feedback you get about these trucks - because I see them creating more jobs than destroying them. For every driver you take out of the cabin, many more people will be needed to make cameras and sensors. And I'm not going to do that "just learn to code shit", but seriously - these guys are teaching truckers to code for their field.

I talked to him a lot about going from a blue collar job to a white collar job. Which is essentially what will happen with truckers. Unless you've done that, you don't really understand how different those two worlds are. I have which is why I have certain beliefs about the world. I think truckers love their jobs, but I think it's hard on your body and your family. Especially your family.  The best way to lose a wife is to leave her alone for long periods of time.

Mounting lidar to mirrors seems to be a big trend right now.

We finally bailed around 3. And on the road home ran into a giant hail storm! I'm pretty sure I've seen hail more this month than I almost have in my entire life in California. It's a bit of an exaggeration, but I think this might be the third or fourth time this month. I have never had to pull off the freeway due to hail. At one point the whole freeway came to a stop and I didn't want to get hit from behind. All of these people next to the arrow are pulled off onto the berm. They are not in a lane. I pulled way off into the mud area because I didn't want to get berm punched.

This guy apparently lost control and wound up in the middle. It was a little chaotic for a second. We can barely drive in rain little alone enough hail to start building up.

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