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veen's profile

Infrastructure & Planning student in the Netherlands.

Sometimes make things like this:

And I write here:

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veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Impromptu LA Hubski meetup Feb 20

So cool! Wish I was there.

hey mk I know you have something better to do (like, be awesome with hubskiers today), but I managed to make the lower half of this page italicised.

on the other hand, everything i say sounds slightly sarcastic. great.

    The sheer spectrum of perspectives I've come across has been really impressive.

I think you and OftenBen might find the book Strangers Drowning by Larissa MacFarquhar interesting. It's precisely that: a plethora of perspectives on how to be charitable, from different kinds of people in different parts in the world, interspersed with the ideas and history of altruism. Singer gets mentioned often (not always charitably).

Personally, I think charities are most useful when they use their expertise to enable people or places to make significant progress. That can be progress in technology, government or research. There are more than enough charities focused on 'awareness' (read: viral marketing) that could die in a fire and the world wouldn't be worse off. *cough*susangkomencough*

I also think that there's this bigger category of 'Doing Good in the World' that is much more important to me. It might be naive to consider it reachable, but I want to leave the world better than I found it. To quote Augustus:

        Ut iure sit gloriatus marmoream se relinquere, quam latericiam accepisset*. 

    "I found Rome a city of brick, and left it a city of marble"

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

You mention width, which makes me realize something: there's no reason for a bus-lane AV service to stop everywhere. This means that cars should be able to pass at stops, which is possible when the road is as wide as bus lanes are. Bus lanes here are around 6.5-7.5m, and car lanes can be as slim as 2.2m, so bidirectional bus lanes now could be three-lane AV lanes in the future. Overhead clearance is a good point, although I think clearances are pretty well-standardized at 4m.

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

    The real map of the world is just too complex and changing for anything other than a true AI to be able to operate within.

    What i see is that all AVs will be interconnected, and constantly communicating with each other.

Funny, I think of it exactly the other way. Mapping the real world is within the realm of possibilities - I mean this article is 5 years old by now. Besides, sensory input will always trump map knowledge. I talked to someone from TomTom a while ago. IIRC, when a dozen of their users drive over a new road they'll push that update to other users.

Permanently connected and highly reliable wireless connections that risk taking depends on? I'll believe it when I see it. When you have such a train of V2V connected cars, it only takes one malfunctioning / package-not-arriving car to screw it up for everyone behind it. 4G LTE (or even 5G) might be fast, but whenever I am at a busy train station it chokes the fuck out. My Bluetooth gets choppy when I move my head too quickly, and that's at a distance of less than a foot from my phone. Wireless tech is worse the denser your urban area is, while for AV's the opposite needs to be true. It exists on production lines because those are static, isolated environments, while (urban) roads are much more dynamic and prone to errors and interference.

    Segregating AV traffic from human-driven vehicles is key, though. So reconsidering road widths, composition, merging, etc, you wind up with something much more like bicycle paths, than the streets and highways we use today.

I think so too, at least for the near future, unless Google seriously gets their shit together. There's also a handful of public road tests, which could prove hopeful, but they are quite far removed from the ideal high-frequency, high-capacity bus replacement that I'm looking for.

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

I don't know yet! I have been told that we (the Dutch) are world-leading with the technology, so a venture that's a subsidiary of my work wants to export that knowledge and want me to ride along. Hopefully I can get a neat trip out of it. East coast 'ski meetup anyone?

Got the word that I got the apartment today. Which means I’ll have my place to settle, to build a new social circle. And I feel like I’m the opposite of collapsed right now.

    Just 'cuz it didn't hit you this time don't mean it'll never hit ya.

Can’t fuckin wait. :)

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

Well, for one, the idea that the leftmost lane is reserved for speciality traffic is something that you guys have in the US but that hasn't permeated to a lot of other countries. Highway bus lanes are generally on the right over here. In almost every country the left lane is a passing lane, so it doesn't hamper your idea, just something to note.

What people do often forget is that AVs are heavily sight-based, and will not risk something they can't see. So while I can see the first part of the ramp being shorter, any yaw or negative pitch change will have to be taken significantly slower than we would take them. The benefit of not having to cross all lanes is obviously a great one, but the fact that many urban highways don't have a significant median might make it really difficult to construct.

My idea was not at all focused on highways, really. Here's my elevator pitch now - I invite anyone to gimme some feedback because it's a relatively early idea. (kleinbl00?) The context is European city centers.

    Autonomous vehicles are coming, but their biggest challenge will be to conquer the densest urban areas. Precisely the places that most people will want to go, are also the most difficult to traverse on public roads. Some estimations put dense urban autonomous vehicles at at least 40, 50 years into the future. Infrastructure changes, most notably dedicated AV lanes, will likely be a necessary step in the transition to autonomous vehicles.

    Autonomous vehicles present a threat to public transport, so it is wise to design autonomous infrastructure in such a way that it also strengthens the public transport network instead of only competing with it. At the same time, due to the high uncertainty of the precise development path of AVs, it is important that any infrastructural investments are already useful now, instead of waiting for the revolution to happen.

    Thus: the idea to build bus lanes or expand the bus lane network in cities so that they connect the most important locations with highways. In the current PT paradigm, this would allow regional buses to easily drive on into cities and compete with cars more easily. In that sense, it's a 'no regret' investment. In a highway-AV-only scenario, the highway location could be an important transfer hub for the last miles into the city. In an AV-on-separated-lanes scenario, the bus lanes provide the AVs with the separated environment they need to maintain high speeds in dense urban areas. And because they enhance already existant high-quality PT with intermodal transfer hubs, they can significantly strengthen the PT network.

You know why I have an iPad? This is why:

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

eventually, yeah... only to go back home a few hours later.

It made national news though! Unlucky me. ;)

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 14, 2018

My train ripped a broken piece of overhead line. We got stuck without power or safe evacuation method, so my commute, which I'm still in, enters it's fifth hour soon. Eep.

Work is going super great. It's as close as I can get to working in a start-up: the freedom to make great things happen but without all of the failings and insecurity that that usually brings. One of my ideas is to help municipalities prepare for autonomous vehicles by building dedicated bus lanes that connect to highways. Pitched it to a few coworkers and we're now going to brainstorm about an MVP. There is also a large chance I'll get to work on a project for mapping the potential for geothermal heating NY, Baltimore and Washington DC, so there's that. Cool stuph, just getting started. :)

veen  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What are your favourite podcasts?


I do think it can be argued that younger generations tend to like absurdist humor more than before. Absurdism is subversive, so it requires you to understand what's normal, which is easier in our age of easily accessible knowledge online.

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