Overdrive Podcast: 2019 Week 8

Hello and welcome to Overdrive a program that bounces across issues of cars and transport

Hello and welcome to Overdrive a program that bounces across issues of cars and transport.


In this week’s stories

  1. Teaching self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement
  2. INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard
  3. Hero Holdens tops Shannons Melbourne Auction
  4. New York gov: introduce Manhattan road pricing ‘or face 30% fare rise’
  5. Lyft Green Mode option allows riders to request electric and hybrid vehicles
  6. California Now Prohibits Use of Gender in Determining Auto Insurance Rates
  7. Nissan x Opus concept camper uses second-life EV batteries to power ‘off-grid’ adventures
  8. New Range Rover Evoque recreates iconic road signs to showcase all terrain capability and smart tech


You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity

Teaching self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement

University of Michigan researchers are teaching self-driving cars to recognize and predict pedestrian movements.

Prior work in this area has typically only looked at still images.

Predictive power requires the network to look into the minutiae of human movement: the pace of a human’s gait (periodicity), the mirror symmetry of limbs, and the way in which foot placement affects stability during walking.

One researcher said “If a pedestrian is playing with their phone, you know they’re distracted” “Their pose and where they’re looking is telling you a lot about their level of attentiveness. It’s also telling you a lot about what they’re capable of doing next.”

We wonder if that will have a random generation movement factor for children or drunks.


INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard

The results of the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard have been released.  The score card, produced by INRIX, is an analysis of congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities, across 38 countries.

The top three worst cities were Moscow, Istanbul and Bogota

Sydney was 13th, Melbourne was 17th and Brisbane was 24th.

Surprisingly Los Angeles is not in the top 25 nor is Dublin which had the slowest travel speed of 9.5 km/hr in their city centre.

They don’t just measure the worse travel speeds. One factor that they take into account is the difference in travel speeds on the roads between the peak time and the non-peak time which is a measure of just how bad the peak period is.

New York gov: introduce Manhattan road pricing ‘or face 30% fare rise’

There is a continuing trend to implement high tolls for people driving cars into city areas

New York’s governor has suggested that unless some form of dynamic pricing is imposed on motorists in the city, there will be a 30% hike in public transit fares and tolls.

Cordon charges around a CBD are rather a blunt instrument hitting one type of user hard.

Town planners are pushing for a wider road user charge where vehicles are taxed based on how far they travel, where they travel and when they travel.

Work by Sydney University suggests that if registration fees were reduced and vehicles were charged 5 cents a kilometre if they travel in the peak period, governments would be no worse off.


Hero Holdens tops Shannons Melbourne Auction

A recent Shannons Auction showed that people are prepared to pay for things associated with Peter Brock, classic vehicles and exclusivity.

The highest price for a vehicle went for a 1985 Peter Brock designed ’Blue Meanie’ Commodore topping the vehicle sales at $165,000.

It was one of only 500 V8 5.0-litre vehicles made by Brock’s HDT for Group A racing homologation –It had just over 10,387km on its odometer.

Other classic cars that sold well over their reserve price were a 1954 Land-Rover Series for $38,000.

  • A 1960 Austin-Healey ‘Bug Eye’ Sprite for $44,000
  • And a 1978 Leyland Mini Moke for $34,000

And exclusivity – the highest price was $255,000 for a black and white Victorian Heritage 3 digit number plate ‘228’.

I’d prefer a car


Lyft Green Mode option allows riders to request electric and hybrid vehicles

Lyft amp

Lyft, a competitor to Uber, is launching a Green Mode feature within its app to provide riders in Seattle with the option to travel in an electric or hybrid vehicle.

The move follows the company’s planned introduction of thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) onto its platform this year.

Obviously, the cars are cheaper to run but, at the moment, are more expensive to buy.

One of the benefits could be to allow travellers to access appropriate cars as Governments implement restrictive controls on what type of vehicles are allowed into, for example, city business districts.

This is a major trend in city planning where high polluting vehicles, such as diesel-powered cars, are being banned from or heavily tolled for access to high activity and crowded areas.


California Now Prohibits Use of Gender in Determining Auto Insurance Rates

With modern digital recording systems your style of driving, and where and when you drive could be used to assess your personal risk.

Old factors may be phased out for this and other reasons.

California has become the latest in a handful of states that have outlawed setting rates for automobile insurance based on gender. It is generally thought that women have a lower accident rate although this is not always the case.

Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, typically passed their laws in the 1970s and 1980s in the wake of the women’s rights movement.

California found that there was no consistency in how insurance companies were underwriting their rates and so modern technology may give a higher level of accuracy and fairness.

About David Brown 607 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto