CNN tries Tesla's full self-driving

Matt McFarland for CNN:

The Model 3's "full self-driving" needed plenty of human interventions to protect us and everyone else on the road. Sometimes that meant tapping the brake to turn off the software, so that it wouldn't try to drive around a car in front of us. Other times we quickly jerked the wheel to avoid a crash. (Tesla tells drivers to pay constant attention to the road, and be prepared to act immediately.)

Read the linked article and watch the embedded video. If you're short on time, just watch the first ten seconds of it. The tech isn't there yet. It doesn't matter if it's Tesla, Apple or Ford.

And don't tell me, "but it's a beta". Because dying or getting hurt would be pretty final.

Apple Aiming for Fully Autonomous Vehicle, Me Aiming Not To Drive It

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

For the past several years, Apple’s car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration — similar to many current cars — or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.
Under the effort’s new leader — Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch — engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
Apple is internally targeting a launch of its self-driving car in four years, faster than the five- to seven-year timeline that some engineers had been planning for earlier this year. But the timing is fluid, and hitting that 2025 target is dependent on the company’s ability to complete the self-driving system — an ambitious task on that schedule. If Apple is unable to reach its goal, it could either delay a release or initially sell a car with lesser technology.

While it doesn't offer fully autonomous driving yet, I own a car that offers a lot of driving assistance: a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with automatic braking, reverse braking assist, and so on.

In most cases, these features are nice to have. Especially the lane-keeping system and the adaptive cruise-control while driving on highways makes it worth its extra cost.

In some cases, however, these features are either annoying as hell or full-on dangerous. I don't know how many times, while steering through a turn, the car started to panic and warn me of a collision because vehicles were parked on the side.

Or how often this car couldn't keep the lanes because the lines on the side of the road weren't in the best condition. Most times, it turns the lane-keeping system off. Sometimes it starts to freak out and wiggle-waggle the steering wheel before turning it off, and I have to fight against it not to crash into something.

The most annoying thing is when reversing, and it sees a car coming that I have also seen. But the Mach-E probably thinks I am suicidal and decides hard breaking is a good choice.

In all these three examples, while no one is in danger, it freaks me out. It's a spike of adrenaline, my heart starts beating faster, and I nearly shit my pants. It always takes me a few minutes to calm down.

Don't get me wrong, all of these features are nice to have, mostly very helpful, probably sometimes life-saving. But whenever it gets it wrong, it gets it wrong by a lot.

I want to be bullish for these things, but I don't believe fully automatic driving will be a thing for at least ten years. The only way this can work out is if cars start communicating and warning each other when they are braking, accelerating or parked.

And finally – and this is coming from a huge Apple fanboy – "from the company that brought you Siri" does not sound that nice, to be honest.

A perfect day in a perfect world

During one session with my coach (more on that later), she asked me to brainstorm my perfect day: What would my days look like if I had complete control over my time?

I don't think I'd be sitting on a beach all day long, sipping cocktails and watching... birds. I don't even like the sun that much, nor cocktails. Or birds, for that matter. I would probably get bored immediately.

So, this blog post is rather what a perfect workday would look like. Then again, if I manage to have such a day, I believe every day could be a workday as the whole work/life balance is deeply ingrained in it. I firmly believe that I don't ever really want to retire either.

So, now follows my perfect day in a perfect world:

9 AM: Wake Up — I am not a morning person. I have a theory currently that whenever I have to wake up early, no matter how many hours I sleep, I get a headache. In this perfect world, I would never wake up before 9 AM anymore. Except to maybe catch a plane. Also, a personal rule of mine is "Always snooze once, never twice." It weakens the fight-and-flight response of an alarm clock without me risking to oversleep.

9.30 AM: Walk — After taking a shower and getting ready for the day, I'll grab my backpack and my dog and ruck for at least 30 minutes. No smartphone, no headphones, and it doesn't matter if it rains, snows, or it's 40º C outside.

10 AM: B&B, Breakfast and Books — I am not much of a breakfast person, but I love my morning cup of coffee. It's part of my morning ritual to grind the beans by hand and either do a pour-over or pull a shot of espresso. Meanwhile, I'd read a book for an hour or so and write in my journal. This would be the first time I touched my smartphone but only to text humans: no timelines, no emails, no comments, no stats.

11 AM: Write — For the next 2ish hours, I'd work on whatever writing I am currently working on. I'd try to work for two hours straight with your occasional break. My brain needs a lot of time to get into a concentrated writing mood, so the first 30 minutes or so will probably be lost on mind wandering.

1 PM: Eat (and nap) — I love to cook and would fix myself some lunch. However, every few days, I'd try to socialize and have lunch with my fiancée, a friend, or an acquaintance. If I am at home, I'll slip in a 30-minute nap.

2 PM: Emails and administrative things — Around 2 PM, I would have my trough and low energy levels. I'd mostly do administrative tasks like replying to emails, checking the stats of this blog, doing some research, etc. I'd do that while having my last cup of coffee for the day. If I had lunch outside, I'd be working in some coffee shop.

2.30 PM: Client-work — I would now work with clients, whoever these clients are. I'd be either teaching people (this came up with my coach and seems to be something I'd like to do one day), working on different projects I am involved in, or talking to clients. I'd do this for another three hours or so.

5.30 PM: Exercise and socialize — Depending on what day it is, I'd be either going to my trainer to exercise or spend quality time with my fiancée until she goes (early) to bed. Semi-regularly I'd see some friends for an evening before returning home around 11 PM or midnight. These days would end with me reading before going to sleep. Otherwise:

10 PM: More writing — I'd continue whatever essay I am working on. I have a system that I write something and then don't touch it for at least a few hours, optimally a few days. This would be when I'd be editing that writing or working on something completely new. I'd do this for another two hours.

12 AM: Reading before bed — I'd finish my days with reading something lightweight, maybe a novel or a biography. Knowing me, I would probably try to sneak in an hour but fall asleep after 30 minutes or so. My current goal is to sleep at least 8 hours every night.

I believe my coach's goal for this exercise was to have something to aspire to based on my values and interests.

This is a purely hypothetical day, however. I might not end up liking it if I am ever able to live it. But now that I have a base, I can tweak it.

What is your perfect day? I am a sucker for things like that. So if you have a blog, feel free to steal this idea and send me the URL. I will link to it.

The Internet’s Unkillable App →

Dave Pell for the Atlantic:

How did the unpretentious and simple newsletter outlive empires and technological transformation, not only displaying the survivability of the tardigrade but also somehow becoming the cool new thing without much reinvention at all?

I might be biased as I publish a newsletter on my own (I will send Letter #2 tomorrow), but I strongly believe in its power.

Pell puts it beautifully:

Newsletters are patient. I send something to you, and you can read it when you want to and respond (or not) when you want to. You get to absorb and consider the contents of a newsletter without the rest of the internet chiming in, telling you what to think while puking out tweets, replies, posts, comments, photos, videos, news, and memes at a pace that pulverizes human attentional capacity. (The second you catch up, you’re already behind.) Newsletters are always right where you left them. Sure, people complain about having too much email. But compared with everything else online, your inbox is the Walden Pond of the internet.

PSA: Updated the Start-Page

A little public service announcement for you today. I updated the Start Here page to include the better blog posts I have written so far. They are sorted by categories and include some of my ongoing series.

So, if you ever need a break from me and my writing and decide to come back, have a look there to see what I was up to. I plan to regularly add some of my content whenever I think it might fit.

I also updated the /now page for this month. Here you'll find what I am currently focusing on during my days.