single distill image banner

Free Wheeling #22

  • Elon’s tunnels
  • MIT’s data
  • Europe’s 5G highways
  • Carmakers’ virus problem
Published every Friday


Elon Musk’s tunnel project hit a milestone. But the future is unclear.

Three years ago, Elon Musk pitched a grandiose vision for the future of intracity vehicle travel: layers of tunnels that would efficiently speed vehicles through cities.

Read more

Editor’s Note:

The Boring Company’s tunnels in Las Vegas are built, but they won’t quite work as originally planned. CNN reports.

Geospatial World

Geospatial requirements for the self-driving future

When we consider geospatial data in the context of connected and automated mobility (CAM), we are drawn to images of 3D point clouds of laser scanning data, or high-resolution virtual worlds that contain fully self-driving vehicles. It’s true that these are indeed cases where geospatial data is used. But it’s much broader than this.

Read more

The Verge

We’re never going to get meaningful data on self-driving car testing

The US Department of Transportation launched a new voluntary program to collect and share data from autonomous vehicle operators. Companies testing AVs on public roads are invited to submit information to the government, which will then publicize it online. But given the voluntary nature of the program, safety advocates say the effort is likely to fall short of providing useful data to the public.

Read more

University of Pennsylvania

Crashing U.S. Auto Sales: Can the Industry Recover?

While sales of products like toilet paper, hand sanitizer even home appliances have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, auto sales have experienced the opposite. Through March, April and May, total vehicle sales in the United States fell to levels not seen since the Great Recession a decade ago. Demand crashed as millions of commuters suddenly found themselves working from home or laid off, and consumers responded predictably to the economic uncertainty by putting off expensive purchases such as new cars, trucks and SUVs.

Read more

Editor’s Note:

The future of self-driving is intimately tied to the future of the traditional car industry. Here academics at Wharton explain what could happen in the next few years.


These 5G Highways Might Save You on Your Cross-Europe Holiday

The aim: to ensure that signals critical for autonomous vehicles don’t drop while crossing borders. It could reshape road travel globally.

Read more

Associated Press

Driver free but virus fee? Robo-car firms hit new speed bump

The latest challenge for the autonomous vehicle industry: How to assure passengers that the car they are getting in is virus free, even if it doesn’t have a driver.

Read more


Ford takes on Tesla with hands-free driving for electric Mustang

Ford Motor Co. plans to install a hands-free driving system on its electric Mustang Mach-E model coming later this year as it attempts to muscle in on the high-tech turf now dominated by Tesla Inc.

Read more


MIT and Toyota release innovative dataset to accelerate autonomous driving research

DriveSeg contains precise, pixel-level representations of many common road objects, but through the lens of a continuous video driving scene.

Read more

Freight Waves

Feds announce new AV initiative to improve transparency

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced an initiative to improve transparency in the self-driving vehicle industry, marking another step forward on the rocky road toward adoption of autonomous cars and trucks in this country.

Read more

Editor’s Note:

Gaining trust is an important part of self-driving zooming forward. Here Freight Waves reports on a new initiative for transparency in the U.S.


Light dumps multi-camera phone plans for autonomous car focus

Computational photography trailblazer Light has quietly given up its smartphone camera ambitions, despite inking deals with Nokia, Sony, and others to use complex multi-sensor tech for better images. The company’s approach eschewed the “one big sensor” angle that was most prevalent in smartphones, replacing it with a cluster of multiple sensors the data of which would be combined to produce a final frame.

Read more