Tiny-EV Micro-Cars and AI Autonomous Vehicles

By Lance Eliot, the AI Trends Insider

Suppose you had available an Electrical Vehicle (EV) which was a small sized car that was incredibly inexpensive and could allow increased mobility for thousands or perhaps millions of people that otherwise did not have ready access to personal transportation? 

These so-called tiny-EV’s are quickly gaining ground and especially so in China. 

Sometimes also referred to as micro-EV’s or micro-cars, it is estimated that last year there were 1.75 million of them sold in China, which essentially doubles the number of conventional sized EV cars that were sold in China in that same year (an estimated 777,000).

There is a plethora of tiny-EV models and makers in China, numbering over 400 such automakers. I realize that those familiar with this auto industry segment might carp about calling all of those manufacturers “automakers” since the creation of tiny-EV’s is not quite the picture of what we normally consider a true automaker. Many of the firms making these tiny-EV’s are nearly working out of a garage or auto parts boneyard. The tiny-EV’s are at times outfitted with a garish array of parts and would generally fail most safety standards tests.

Speaking of safety, these tiny-EV’s are often limited as to how fast they will go. 

The typical top range speed is around 25 to 45 miles per hour. This is presumably fast enough to get you readily to where you want to go, assuming shorter distance trips, and yet not so fast that it can get you into undue trouble. There are already various kinds of Low Speed EV’s (LSEV) in the marketplace, perhaps you’ve seen them at golf courses, retirement home parks, and the like, though the LSEV’s are usually more sturdily constructed and also intended for very limited driving environments and conditions.

One of the largest criticisms of the tiny-EV’s is that they are made cheaply, and this includes tossing into the micro-car a lead-acid ultra-cheap battery. 

These no frills and dirt-cheap batteries are a potential toxic hazard. The booming growth of the tiny-EV’s market is regrettably also creating a booming number of these ecologically damaging batteries. Some are worried that in the rush toward providing the tiny-EV’s, a seemingly “good” thing for society, there is a pell-mell rush towards messing up the environment and causing some horrendous long-term health consequences.

Currently, in most jurisdictions in China, there is no requirement that the driver of a tiny-EV must have a driver’s license. You could argue that this is okay since the micro-cars are, well, like driving amusement park bumper cars, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to drive one. Others would say that it is a car, and as such, it ought to require having a driver’s license. It’s not simply having a piece of paper that concerns those that want a driver’s license to be required, and instead that the driver’s are many times ill-versed in driving.

 Dangers Of Tiny-EV Micro-Cars

You can obviously still do a lot of damage when driving a car that’s topping out at 25 to 45 miles per hour. 

This “low speed” is still fast enough that you can readily hit and injure or kill a pedestrian. 

You could hit and injure or kill an animal that’s on the roadway. 

You could crash into other tiny-EV’s and create injuries or deaths. 

You could crash into full-sized cars and create injuries or deaths. 

You could smash into light posts, fire hydrants, and other property.

Overall, just because it is a tiny-EV does not mean that it cannot get involved in car collisions and nor that somehow those collisions will be injury-free or damage-free simply due to the lower top speeds involved.

 While we’re discussing collisions, let’s also mention that the tiny-EV’s are typically bereft of any substantive safety equipment and related doodads. 

The odds are that if you do get into an accident, there aren’t any airbags to protect you, and the frame of the micro-car is marginally going to protect you. All told, you are pretty much driving a sardine can and anything that goes awry is going to potentially “fry” the sardine (that’s the driver and possibly a squeezed-in passenger).

There is a mounting concern that people will choose to buy a tiny-EV even though they might have been able to afford a conventional full-sized car EV. At the cost of a tiny-EV, you could probably get several of them in comparison to getting one fuller sized EV. You can easily get a tiny-EV for everyone in your family, one for you, one for each of your offspring, one for your each of your relatives, and still have money left over. If this though what the public ought to be doing?

 By encouraging the purchasing of the tiny-EV’s, it is drawing away from the conventional EV market, which might lead to the demise or at least a delay of shifting us all toward full-sized EV’s. Meanwhile, the tiny-EV’s are increasing the roadway dangers for the drivers and the driving public. Yes, they are cheap and easy, but it could be a kind of invasion that we later on realize was a mistake to let happen. Tons of tiny-EV’s and their toxic batteries, unlicensed drivers, high safety risks, and other downsides are not what everyone wants to see become prevalent on our roadways and certainly not become a dominant kind of EV. Indeed, there are some jurisdictions in China that have banned the sale and even the use of tiny-EV’s on their roads.

 On a jurisdictional matter, there is also a muddled indication of where you can drive the tiny-EV’s. In some cities in China, you can drive them not only in the roadway with other full-sized cars, but you can also drive the tiny-EV’s in the bicycle lanes.

 Imagine that you are riding your bike in a bike lane and all of a sudden a “monstrous” tiny-EV zips up to you and nearly runs you off the road. This seems like a rather dangerous place for a tiny-EV to go. You can likely guess that the drivers of the tiny-EV’s relish having legal access to use the bike lane. There you are in your tiny-EV, stuck in regular traffic and these behemoth regular-sized cars are all around you, and you suddenly dart into the bike lane to get ahead of the rest of the traffic.

 I suppose it might almost feel like being surrounded by angry bees. If you are sitting in a regular car and waiting for the traffic ahead of you to start moving, it must be somewhat disconcerting to suddenly see these tiny-EV’s racing down the bike lane and going past you. I’d bet too that the tiny-EV’s then try to merge radically back into the regular traffic, particularly if the bike lane runs out or maybe is jammed with bicycle riders.

 Let’s consider how a regular sized car needs to cope with these angry bees. You already have your hands full trying to watch for other cars of a normal size. You likely also already watch for errant pedestrians and for meandering bicycle riders. Add to your list these tiny-EV’s that can go relatively fast, meaning that at 25 to 45 miles per hour in city driving is pretty fast, and they can weave in and around the rest of the regular traffic. Can you even spot the tiny-EV that’s ahead of you? What about the one behind you? What about the one coming alongside you and in your blind spot?

 Low Cost Is Key

The typical price tag for a tiny-EV is about $1,000.

 If you were to insist that true safety features be included, it would undoubtedly jump up the price substantially. If you insisted that a driver’s license was needed, it would likely decrease by far the number of drivers that might drive a tiny-EV. If you restricted the tiny-EV’s to driving as regular cars must, meaning no more access to bike lanes, it would potentially dampen the traffic “busting” advantage of having a tiny-EV and it would become just another cog in the roadway snarl.

Essentially, making the tiny-EV’s into being proper citizens of the driving world would imply they would no longer sell. The micro-car market as we know it would likely shrivel up and collapse. There are some though that argue it would force the “auto makers” to find some other more productive means to go after the market that is apparently eager to be served. Perhaps it might spur innovation to get the costs down for adding those required safety features and perhaps the roadways could be divided up into lanes for conventional car EV’s and for the tiny-EV’s.

 Proponents of the tiny-EV’s plead to not give up on them. 

Besides the convenience for short distance trips, and the claimed traffic reducing aspects (though having lots and lots of tiny-EV’s can ultimately make traffic worse), these micro-cars are also easy to park into tight spots. You can potentially fit three tiny-EV’s into the same space needed to park a regular sized car. This reduces in theory the amount of parking spaces needed and therefore the overall set aside for car parking in a tight city locale. One might argue that the physical space normally used to park regularly sized cars could then be repurposed to be a gentle grassy park or used in some other public benefiting way.

There are some that contend the parking is actually worse off due to the tiny-EV’s. 

The tiny-EV’s are at times parked wherever the driver thinks they can get away with it. Park on the sidewalk, sure, if you can get away with it. Park in front of a fire hydrant, sure, do so if there’s room available and if you think you won’t get caught. There is also the concern that in the act of parking a tiny-EV, the driver can make rather reckless driving maneuvers. If you see a parking spot opening on the other side of the street, maybe just scoot your tiny-EV across the median, illegally, and do a quick U-turn in the roadway (illegal) and dive right into the vaunted spot.

Overall Aspects Of Tiny-EV Micro-Cars

In quick recap, there are hardly any standards regulating the tiny-EV’s. The safety features are nearly nonexistent. The use of a toxic hazard battery is a grave concern. Letting them be driven in normal traffic and into the bike lane seems to setup dangerous driving and roadway conditions. Lack of requirements of a driver’s license means that the drivers are presumably ill-prepared to properly drive the tiny-EV’s. If the tiny-EV gets into an accident, it’s bound to be an untoward result for the occupants and could cause some quite serious injury, damage, or death to other parties.

Those are many of the downsides about the tiny-EV’s.

 Let’s consider the other side of the coin, the upsides. They are inexpensive and so affordable for the masses. They are limited in their top speeds so presumably more manageable on the roadways. The tiny-EV’s allow for greater mobility and especially for those that normally might not have mobility options. Some would try to suggest they are like having a scooter, and yet more capable and perhaps even “safer” in comparison to using a scooter (of course, that’s debatable).

 Will the micro-cars grow in popularity? Many predict it definitely will. Is there a possibility of a shakeout due to the tiny-EV’s getting into killer accidents and becoming roadway pests? Many predict there definitely will be. Might it be regulated out-of-business by wanting to do the “right thing” and make them safer and more sound? Some would say that could happen, while others argue that the “auto makers” might step-up and make improvements and yet still keep many of the advantages available.

 What’s your take on the tiny-EV’s? 

Love them and keep them coming? 

Or hate them and believe they should be tossed into the junk heap? 

Time will tell.

For the power consumption aspects and EV’s, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/ai-insider/power-consumption-vital-for-ai-self-driving-cars/[1]

 For the advent of ridesharing, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/ridesharing-services-and-ai-self-driving-cars-notably-uber-in-or-uber-out/[2]

 For the international aspects of driving cars, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/internationalizing-ai-self-driving-cars/[3]

 For Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) and EV’s, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/personal-rapid-transit-prt-and-ai-self-driving-cars/[4]

 AI Autonomous Vehicles And Tiny-EV Micro-Cars

 What does this have to do with AI self-driving driverless autonomous cars?

 At the Cybernetic AI Self-Driving Car Institute, we are developing AI software for self-driving cars. It is important to consider the impacts of tiny-EV’s on the advent of AI self-driving cars.

 Allow me to elaborate.

 I’d like to first clarify and introduce the notion that there are varying levels of AI self-driving cars. The topmost level is considered Level 5. A Level 5 self-driving car is one that is being driven by the AI and there is no human driver involved. For the design of Level 5 self-driving cars, the automakers are even removing the gas pedal, the brake pedal, and steering wheel, since those are contraptions used by human drivers. The Level 5 self-driving car is not being driven by a human and nor is there an expectation that a human driver will be present in the self-driving car. It’s all on the shoulders of the AI to drive the car.

 For self-driving cars less than a Level 5, there must be a human driver present in the car. The human driver is currently considered the responsible party for the acts of the car. The AI and the human driver are co-sharing the driving task. In spite of this co-sharing, the human is supposed to remain fully immersed into the driving task and be ready at all times to perform the driving task. I’ve repeatedly warned about the dangers of this co-sharing arrangement and predicted it will produce many untoward results.

 For my overall framework about AI self-driving cars, see my article: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/framework-ai-self-driving-driverless-cars-big-picture/[5]

 For the levels of self-driving cars, see my article: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/richter-scale-levels-self-driving-cars/[6]

 For why AI Level 5 self-driving cars are like a moonshot, see my article: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/self-driving-car-mother-ai-projects-moonshot/[7]

 For the dangers of co-sharing the driving task, see my article: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/human-back-up-drivers-for-ai-self-driving-cars/[8]

 Let’s focus herein on the true Level 5 self-driving car. Much of the comments apply to the less than Level 5 self-driving cars too, but the fully autonomous AI self-driving car will receive the most attention in this discussion.

 Here’s the usual steps involved in the AI driving task:

  • Sensor data collection and interpretation
  • Sensor fusion
  • Virtual world model updating
  • AI action planning
  • Car controls command issuance

 Another key aspect of AI self-driving cars is that they will be driving on our roadways in the midst of human driven cars too. There are some pundits of AI self-driving cars that continually refer to a utopian world in which there are only AI self-driving cars on public roads. Currently there are about 250+ million conventional cars in the United States alone, and those cars are not going to magically disappear or become true Level 5 AI self-driving cars overnight.

 Indeed, the use of human driven cars will last for many years, likely many decades, and the advent of AI self-driving cars will occur while there are still human driven cars on the roads. This is a crucial point since this means that the AI of self-driving cars needs to be able to contend with not just other AI self-driving cars, but also contend with human driven cars. It is easy to envision a simplistic and rather unrealistic world in which all AI self-driving cars are politely interacting with each other and being civil about roadway interactions. That’s not what is going to be happening for the foreseeable future. AI self-driving cars and human driven cars will need to be able to cope with each other.

 For my article about the grand convergence that has led us to this moment in time, see: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/grand-convergence-explains-rise-self-driving-cars/[9]

 See my article about the ethical dilemmas facing AI self-driving cars: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/ethically-ambiguous-self-driving-cars/[10]

 For potential regulations about AI self-driving cars, see my article: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/assessing-federal-regulations-self-driving-cars-house-bill-passed/[11]

 For my predictions about AI self-driving cars for the 2020s, 2030s, and 2040s, see my article: https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/gen-z-and-the-fate-of-ai-self-driving-cars/[12]

 Returning to the topic of tiny-EV’s, let’s consider how the advent of AI self-driving cars might be impacted.

 First, let’s consider whether or not a tiny-EV might be outfitted as an AI self-driving car.

 The odds of being able to make a tiny-EV into being a true Level 5 AI self-driving car is quite slim right now. 

At this time, the costs of the needed AI hardware and software would push the tiny-EV out of its cherished low-end pricing and instead shove the pricing way up into the stratosphere. You might as well buy a full-sized EV car if you are willing to incur the added cost for becoming an AI self-driving micro-car.

I’ve already stated in my writings and presentations that I am doubtful we’ll be able to make conventional cars into AI self-driving cars via the use of any kind of aftermarket add-ons. 

Instead, the added AI hardware and software will need to be integrated into the self-driving car. 

I’m not saying that you cannot take a conventional car and make it into a true AI self-driving car. My emphasis is that the only likely way to do so is by having the automaker and tech firm do this and not by simply selling a kit that you could go buy at your local auto parts store.

There are some that have been trying to sell such add-on kits. In my view, these kits are highly dangerous. They give the illusion that you are upgrading your car to become AI-like, but the reality is that you are merely turning your car into maybe a Level 2 or Level 3, and yet doing so in the worst of ways. 

These kits are generally something you would be wise to steer clear from using and for which absolutely they do not turn any car into a true Level 5 AI self-driving car.

For my article about the affordability of AI self-driving cars, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/affordability-of-ai-self-driving-cars/[13]

For my article about add-on kits to make a car into an AI self-driving car, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/kits-and-ai-self-driving-cars/[14]

 For more about conspiracy theories, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/conspiracy-theories-about-ai-self-driving-cars/[15]

 For the coming issues of Level 3 self-driving cars, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/ai-boundaries-and-self-driving-cars-the-driving-controls-debate/[16]

 For my article about start-ups in this space, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/how-to-best-pitch-your-startup/[17]

 Tiny-EV Micro-Car Not The Right Size

Besides the cost barrier, there is also the aspect about the size of the AI hardware that would need to go into and onto a tiny-EV.

Imagine trying to outfit a micro-car with various radar devices, ultrasonic sensors, the LIDAR, cameras, and the like. You need to also include the various high-speed processors and memory chips. You need to add the networking communications devices, which would allow for crucial electronic communications including OTA (Over-The-Air) updating and the V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communications. For full-size cars and EV’s there is already some concern about the added weight, size, and impacts to the design and shape of the vehicle. For a tiny-EV, it would be many times more pronounced of an impact.

 At this time, the size and weight of those devices would severely weigh down and bloat the tiny-EV. 

You’d almost have the tail wagging the dog, in the sense that the amount of added equipment for trying to make them into an AI self-driving car might end-up making the tiny-EV into an overweight paperweight and it could barely move along. Though the sensors and other devices are admittedly increasingly getting miniaturized, please don’t expect this to happen in any miracle way such that in any near-term horizon they would be so small that they would be unnoticeably added to a tiny-EV.

I am not saying it might never happen. I don’t want to be one of those prognosticators that later on gets quoted for saying something that at the time made sense but later on looked pretty foolish. 

For example, the famous quote in Popular Mechanics magazine in 1949 that computers will be unlikely to weigh less than 1 ½ tons (which was a typical weight of the vacuum tube era mainframes), or the Ken Olsen quote in 1977 that there would be no reason for anyone to want to have a computer in their home (this was during the heyday of the minicomputer, prior to the advent of the PC).

Sure, it is possible that sometime in the future the apparatus used today for crafting an AI self-driving car will be super-inexpensive and super-tiny. The AI-related hardware could be so small and so cheap to make that it could be on the tiny-EV’s and the cost bump would be negligible and the weight difference is marginal. The AI software might be fully open sourced and not cost a dime to use. Who knows? I certainly hope that comes to fruition.

 I don’t think you should hold your breath since it is going to be a long time from now.

 For more about OTA, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/air-ota-updating-ai-self-driving-cars/[18]

 For my article about 5G, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/5g-and-ai-self-driving-cars/[19]

 For the grand convergence of high-tech, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/grand-convergence-explains-rise-self-driving-cars/[20]

 Minimal On-Board And Aim For The Cloud

Another twist might be to outfit the tiny-EV’s with a minimalist set of added hardware for the self-driving car aspects and then perhaps have the rest of everything happening in the cloud.

With the emergence of 5G, perhaps you could have the AI primarily working in the cloud. 

The tiny-EV would have barebones on-board systems. Via OTA or some equivalent, the tiny-EV would be continually shoving data up to the cloud and the AI in the could would be pushing down the needed car controls commands.

I am doubtful that this is something we’ll see in the near future. 

The kind of guaranteed communication you would need is beyond today’s approaches. Presumably, if the tiny-EV’s on-board systems lost touch with the mothership system, even for a moment, it could spell disaster for the tiny-EV and its occupants and bystanders. For now, the crux of the AI self-driving car capabilities needs to be on-board of the self-driving car.

I realize you might ask what about edge computing, perhaps having computing capabilities at the side of the roadways and therefore more likely ensuring rapt communications. Yes, that’s another possibility. This use of the nearby computing would have various other risks and concerns. Not that it cannot be undertaken, but only that it is a long way off in the future too, perhaps as far away as the notion of the super-inexpensive and super-small sensors and other on-board hardware that might someday emerge.

 For the Gen Z and the future of AI self-driving cars, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/gen-z-and-the-fate-of-ai-self-driving-cars/[21]

 For more about sensors and LIDAR, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/lidar-secret-sauce-self-driving-cars/[22]

 For my article about edge computing, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/edge-computing-ai-self-driving-cars/[23]

 For my article about sensors issues, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/going-blind-sensors-fail-self-driving-cars/[24]

 Use A Federated Approach

Another perspective might be a federated approach.

Suppose we have each of the tiny-EV’s with a minimalist set of AI related hardware. Let’s also assume that there will be other nearby AI self-driving cars. This seems a reasonable assumption once AI self-driving cars become relatively prevalent. Of course, at the start of the emergence, it would not be the case and therefore this proposed federated approach would seem unlikely or premature.

 In any case, in the federated approach we divide up the chores of doing the self-driving among several self-driving cars. 

You essentially split-up the workload. Some might say this is somewhat akin to how blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) functions. You push around the computational aspects and exploit a distributed kind of AI approach.

During the driving effort, each of the tiny-EV’s is sharing with other nearby tiny-EV’s, and perhaps also sharing with normal sized cars that are using AI self-driving car technology. Any of the tiny-EV’s requests another nearby AI self-driving car to aid in figuring out the local surroundings and what is taking place. Via the use of V2V, plus likely the use of V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) electronic communications, it is conceivable that each of the AI’s can help the other out.

 This would be quite tricky and would need to include balancing the workloads. 

None of the requests for assistance can end-up in a starvation mode. Furthermore, there is a chance that the other AI’s get themselves into a swamped mode and are too overloaded. But, this is something of active research and the use of AI swarms is predicted to eventually become an essential aspect of overall AI systems deployments.

For my article about blockchain and DLT, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/blockchain-self-driving-cars-using-p2p-distributed-ledgers-bitcoin/[25]

For my article about federated Machine Learning, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/federated-machine-learning-for-ai-self-driving-cars/[26]

 For the role of plasticity, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/plasticity-in-deep-learning-dynamic-adaptations-for-ai-self-driving-cars/[27]

 For more about AI swarm intelligence, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/swarm-intelligence-ai-self-driving-cars-stigmergy-boids/[28]

 True Self-Driving Cars Coping With Tiny-EV Micro-Cars

I’ll repeat my earlier point that tiny-EV’s in the near-term have little or no chance of becoming true Level 5 AI self-driving cars. For all the reasons I’ve already mentioned, it won’t be happening any time soon, if ever.

That’s not the only angle related to AI self-driving cars.

 Here’s another perspective to consider, namely, how will AI self-driving cars cope with the tiny-EV’s? Assume for now that the tiny-EV’s are exactly as already stated in terms of being relatively unsafe and driven in a rather wild manner by unlicensed drivers.

 I had already pointed out that a human driver of a normal sized car must find these “angry bees” quite a handful to deal with. Where is that darned tiny-EV? Is it behind me, in front of me, or maybe barreling along in the bike lane and I cannot yet see it or otherwise detect it?

 We need to ask the same kinds of questions about an AI self-driving car of a normal size. Will the sensors be able to detect this zipping along tiny-EV’s? Is the AI able to deal with having them as they rapidly and with a lowered profile enter into and out of traffic wherever they seem to want to do so?

 It is already tough enough for the AI sensors to detect conventional sized cars. I realize you might say that is the sensors can detect a scooter or a motorcycle or a bike rider, shouldn’t it be able to detect the tiny-EV’s? I’d say what makes the tiny-EV an added twist is the speed factor, namely that it can go 25 to 45 miles per hour, which is likely faster than most scooters and most bike riders. In that manner, the tiny-EV is more like the maneuverability and speed of a motorcycle.

 I think we can say that the AI should be able to much of the time detect the tiny-EV’s, but without having augmented the sensors, sensor fusion, the virtual model updating, and the rest of the AI system to deal with tiny-EV’s, I would suggest that an AI self-driving car would not be as fully prepared.

 It will be important to directly and intentionally build into the AI system the capabilities of dealing with the tiny-EV’s. 

If you leave the AI to do whatever it already can do about other forms of mobile transport, I’d say there are chances of gaps or holes in what the AI ought to be doing about tiny-EV’s.

For dealing with motorcyclists, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/motorcyclist-entanglement-avoidance-ai-self-driving-cars/[29]

 For pedestrians aspects, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/avoiding-pedestrian-roadkill-self-driving-cars/[30]

 For my article about the aspects of cognition timing, see: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/cognitive-timing-for-ai-self-driving-cars/[31]

 For my article about the fail-safe AI elements involved, see:https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/fail-safe-ai-and-self-driving-cars/[32]

 For safety aspects, see my article: https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/safety-and-ai-self-driving-cars-world-safety-summit-on-autonomous-tech/[33]



Sounds kind of quaint. 

They aren’t quaint per se. 

They are on the roadways. They present a potential danger to their occupants and bystanders. They are cars but ones without the basics of safety and furthermore vehicles that can inadvertently encourage drivers to do rather wild kinds of driving. Coupled with allowing the tiny-EV to use bike lanes, it is a potential recipe for disastrous results on the roads.

That being said, it is a societal question as to whether or not the risks/rewards are appropriate. 

If we were to try and boost the safety and other facets of the tiny-EV, it would no longer have the mass appeal and affordability that it does today. We are very unlikely to see any true AI self-driving car tiny-EV’s in the foreseeable future due to the burden of cost and size that would make the tiny-EV no longer viable. The faraway future might prove otherwise due to the ongoing and unrelenting efforts to make AI systems less expensive and smaller in size.

Meanwhile, the AI systems being devised for true Level 5 AI self-driving cars need to make sure they incorporate the nuances of the tiny-EV’s in terms of their smaller size, their agility of slipping around in traffic, their potential wildness in terms of how they are being driven, and so on. There is already a lot that we expect a proficient and true AI self-driving car to be able to do, so let’s make sure that we don’t neglect those tiny-EV’s. Angry bees are something not to be ignored. 

The AI system must have a bit of sufficient beekeeping to contend with and live in harmony with them, those tiny but powerful micro-car EV’s.

Copyright 2019 Dr. Lance Eliot 

This content is originally posted on AI Trends.


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  11. ^ https://aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/assessing-federal-regulations-self-driving-cars-house-bill-passed/ (aitrends.com)
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  20. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/grand-convergence-explains-rise-self-driving-cars/ (www.aitrends.com)
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  22. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/lidar-secret-sauce-self-driving-cars/ (www.aitrends.com)
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  25. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/blockchain-self-driving-cars-using-p2p-distributed-ledgers-bitcoin/ (www.aitrends.com)
  26. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/federated-machine-learning-for-ai-self-driving-cars/ (www.aitrends.com)
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  28. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/swarm-intelligence-ai-self-driving-cars-stigmergy-boids/ (www.aitrends.com)
  29. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/motorcyclist-entanglement-avoidance-ai-self-driving-cars/ (www.aitrends.com)
  30. ^ https://www.aitrends.com/selfdrivingcars/avoiding-pedestrian-roadkill-self-driving-cars/ (www.aitrends.com)
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