Daniel Sinclair @_DanielSinclair Building for young people. Not reading @danielsunread. Lurking behind likes and thinking about social media, communication, & China. Aug. 24, 2019 1 min read

A lot of b-roll of shiny warehouses & cars, and sleek politician interviews, but the more I see the actual footage of Waymo driving — I’m less convinced they’re lightyears ahead. So many studders, hot accelerations, & what looks like actuator delays  https://youtu.be/dpODZvJxXZo 

Here’s a good video that highlights what Waymo doesn’t want you to see. It’s clear they’ve won over the political atmosphere and media. But I think the downplaying of Autopilot in that CNBC piece will prove wrong.

Hotz drops a lot of industry tacit knowledge in this interview. It’s worth the listen. One of the largest weaknesses: Waymo appears to only use their Honeycomb LIDAR sensors for localization. The routes may all just be pre-mapped.  https://youtu.be/iwcYp-XT7UI 

Some of Waymo’s videos appear to show mere localization too. You’ll see a ton of rain noise pollution; LIDAR is too sensitive. But, if you follow the pedestrian in black, they’re lost in a cloud, yet, they remain tagged — because they’re tagged by cameras.  https://youtu.be/TmPuLcq89l4 

You can see the same limitations in this dust storm video. In this case, the LIDAR was so polluted by particulates that they’re not even rendering it in the model. The camera picks up the pedestrian again. Mysteriously, we don’t see landmarks, just paths  https://medium.com/waymo/waymo-and-the-weather-9ddd66ee61a 

You can follow @_DanielSinclair.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.