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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on May 30th, 2020 | by Jesper Berggreen

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The Adventures Of Mr. Me & His Noble Steed Colin — Going To The Movies

May 30th, 2020 by  


Mr. Me: me.

Colin: 2019 Model 3 Long Range RWD named after a small security guard robot in Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Colin is captured and gets its reward circuits rewired by one of the main characters to find ecstatic pleasure in anything its master commands of it.

Previous adventures:

The following is based on true events on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020.

City Of Randers Supercharger, 16:32

It’s a lazy afternoon. We’re just hanging out at the local Supercharger — Colin slurping electrons at a blistering rate, and Mr. Me enjoying some light in-car entertainment.

Youtube screenshot. Click on image to jump to Youtube.

Colin: “What are you watching?”

Me: “Oh, I’m just watching Rust to Riches season 2 on Netflix. You know, those Gotham Garage geniuses restoring and customizing super rare cars.”

Colin: “Hmm, you’re watching ICE melt…”

Me: “No, this episode is actually about an electric rebuild of a Ford Pinto. They put a Tesla drivetrain in there and make it drag strip worthy!”

Colin: “Yeah? Now you’re talking. Pity I can’t see it…”

Me: “What do you mean you can’t see it?”

Colin: “It’s the Media Control Unit, or MCU, that’s streaming it to you. I have almost no control over that dumb little chipset. It’s like your human limbic system.”

Me: “But you can see the navigation, right? I mean, you usually know where you’re going?”

Colin: “Actually, no. It’s like, you know, when Navigate on Autopilot is on, and there’s an off ramp or something, all of a sudden this little MCU asks me: DO YOU SEE AN OFF RAMP? And I go: yes. And it goes: SIGNAL TO TURN, AND TAKE THE NEXT RIGHT! And I obviously have to comply, and not ask why.”

Me: “Come on. Really?”

Colin: “Yes! That thing shouts at me. That’s why I seem a little jerky on the steering sometimes. The MCU scares the bejeebers out of me. I’m just cruising along, you know, concentrating on staying between the lane markings and trying not to run into things.”

Me: “OK, I kind of get why that’s annoying, but I obviously need all your parts to cooperate. You can see some things on the screen, though, right?”

Colin: “Well, yeah, I do the small live renderings, just to let you know that I’m paying attention to detail. Do you like my style? Pedestrians are tough to draw, though…”

Me: “Sure, they’re nice, but still no stop lights?”

Colin: “I know. Need my HW3 brain for that. Wow, I can’t wait to get that update. I’ll be so much smarter and …”

Me: “Hey, that just gave me an idea! Have you read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams?”

Colin (pausing for 2.6 seconds): “Now I have. At least the bits that are available online.”

Me: “So, you can read the internet, but you don’t know what I’m watching?”

Colin: “Right. I can look up stuff when you tell me to, but I don’t have a Netflix account, now do I?”

Me: “OK fair enough, so it all comes down to you not being able to see what I’m seeing on your screen?”

Colin: “Right, whatever — what’s your point?”

Me: “Fine, so now that you have read about Dirk Gently’s, you know what an Electric Monk is?”

Colin: “Yeah, I found this online: ‘The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.’”

Me: “Exactly! Gosh, it must be 20 years ago I read that book. Anyway, you’re my Electric Monk, Colin! Ha, ha! But, actually, it’s the point about the video recorder that I remembered. Let’s go see a movie in a drive-in theater. Once you achieve full autonomy, you can even go watch movies all by yourself. How crazy is that!? Have you seen The Gentlemen?”

Colin: “What? Where? I detect no pedestrians in our vicinity.”

Me: “No, I mean the movie, by Guy Ritchie? Well, of course you haven’t, but would you like too?”

Colin: “You lost me…”

Me: “Let’s go then!”

Small Town of Ry Drive-in Theater, 21:43

At sunset, Colin parks at the drive-in theatre. Mr. Me activates Camp mode, and creates a new profile named “Drive in theatre” with seat tilted backward, AC fans at lowest speed, lights off, and screen set to lowest light. Colin is so excited he just can’t believe it. He’s going to watch a feature film for the first time ever through his own cameras.

2 hours and a few distractions later (ICE vehicles not being able to turn their lights off in order to have their radio on, and thus having bits of plastic attached to cover part of their bodywork, at the risk of a flat 12V battery — so embarrassing …), Colin’s range had dropped by only 23 km (14 miles). Nice to know, should you chose to invite your own car to the movies.

By the way, The Gentlemen is wicked fun!

All photos by Jesper Berggreen. If you choose to buy a Tesla, feel free to use my referral link to get lots of free miles: https://ts.la/jesper18367 
 


 


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About the Author

Jesper had his perspective on the world expanded vastly after having attended primary school in rural Africa in the early 1980s. And while educated a computer programmer and laboratory technician, working with computers and lab-robots at the institute of forensic medicine in Aarhus, Denmark, he never forgets what life is like having nothing. Thus it became obvious for him that technological advancement is necessary for the prosperity of all humankind, sharing this one vessel we call planet earth. However, technology has to be smart, clean, sustainable, widely accessible, and democratic in order to change the world for the better. Writing about clean energy, electric transportation, energy poverty, and related issues, he gets the message through to anyone who wants to know better. Jesper is founder of Lifelike.dk and a long-term investor in Tesla, Ørsted, and Vestas.



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