The need for highway safety innovations – here comes Google

Go Lean Commentary

Don’t text and drive!

TM BlogNo serious, don’t text and drive.

In addition, don’t drink and drive. In fact, don’t subject yourself to any influences while driving: drugs (legal/illegal), distractions and even sleep deprivation. The public service announcements can go on and on. Perhaps what is needed is some tool, some technology that can assist weary drivers. Here comes Google…

… and Mercedes Benz, Nissan, GM, Ford, etc..

Bet your bottom dollar that other automakers will step up and forge a “space race” for progress in this industry sector. NBC’s Craig Melvin contributed this story – see VIDEO – on the Today Show on Tuesday June 10; (, as a supplement to the foregoing news article fron the CNET trade journal.

To the victor goes the spoil.

By: Steven Musil
Title: Google unveils self-driving car

Google has built a self-driving car from scratch — a vehicle that has no steering wheel or accelerator or brake pedals.

A two-seater prototype of the vehicle was unveiled Tuesday by Google CEO Sergey Brin during an onstage interview at the Recode Code Conference in Palos Verdes, Calif. Instead of the car controls indispensable to today’s drivers, Google’s prototype relies on built-in sensors and a software system to safely maneuver the vehicle.

“We took a look from the ground up of what a self-driving car would look like,” Brin said.

The goal of the project is for self-driving cars to be “significantly” safer than human-driven cars in a few years, Brin said. He said that that the project has experienced no crashes during testing, but the cars only operate at speeds of around 25 miles per hour, which gives them more time to react to obstacles.

Google’s self-driving car is an ambitious project that hopes to end human error behind the wheel with a very Google-y solution: software. The tech titan’s robo-cars have logged more than 700,000 miles since it began working on the vehicles in 2009. Google expects to have them ready for public use between 2017 and 2020.

A demonstration earlier this month by Google’s Self-Driving Car Project team shows how the vehicle depends on a Google-made topographical map to get a sense of what it should expect. The map includes the height of the traffic signals above the street, the placement of stop signs and crosswalks, the depth of the sidewalk curb, the width of the lanes, and can differentiate lane markings from white and dashed to double-yellow.

The company announced major progress last month in improving how the system responds to objects not on a map. In a YouTube video, the Web giant demonstrated some of the circumstances its self-driving cars now handle, such as bicyclists signaling to move across a lane of traffic, railroad crossings, and parked cars protruding into the lane of traffic.

While Google has been at the forefront of developing and testing self-driving technologies, it’s not alone in its driverless vision for the future. Nissan, General Motors, and automotive supplier Continental expect self-driving cars on the road by 2020. Ford Motor Co. has unveiled a self-driving prototype car. Telsa Motors wants its system to handle 90 percent of driving duties by 2016 — a more aggressive schedule and one that’s more like what Google has said is attainable.

CNET – Tech Industry trade Magazine (Posted 05-27-2014; retrieved 06-10-2014) –

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TM Blog 2Highway safety in the US is in crisis. Every state has banned texting-&-driving. Additionally, some states (i.e. California) even banned talking … on a mobile phone without a hands-free device. Just this past week, famed comedian Tracy Morgan was seriously injured in a car accident with a semi-trailer (18-wheeler) truck. The initial reports indicate that the truck driver may have worked/driven a 24-hour shift … with unavoidable fatigue factors. See related article at:

This constitutes a crisis in highway safety; and a crisis, any crisis is a terrible thing to waste!

This is the premise of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, that a crisis can always be exploited to sieze opportunities. This race to create technological solutions is in response to dealing with the highway safety crisis – the resultant innovations will spurn new economic activity. This book purports that a new industrial revolution is emerging and the Caribbean people and society must engage. This is pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14), with this opening statement:

xxvii.  Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

This book Go Lean… Caribbean, serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This effort will marshal the region to avail the opportunities associated with technology and automobiles – there is a plan to foster a local automotive industry. In fact The CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

There is a lot at stake for the Caribbean in considering this subject area. According to the foregoing article and VIDEO, research-and-development (identified as a community ethos) has begun to deploy workable solutions. There is the need for a Caribbean solution. Engaging this process early can result in many new jobs, and most importantly, many new opportunities to save lives and impact the Greater Good.

The book details other ethos to adopt, plus the executions of the following strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to forge research-and-development and industrial growth in Caribbean communities:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – People Respond to Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments (ROI) Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology Page 48
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing Economy – New High Multiplier Industries Page 68
Separation of Powers – Public Works & Infrastructure Page 82
Separation of Powers – Department of Transportation Page 84
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas Page 127
Planning – Lessons from Detroit Page 140
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Transportation Page 205
Advocacy – Ways to Develop the Auto Industry Page 206

Historically, forging change in the automotive sphere of the Caribbean has been a “tall order”. The region was very slow to adopt common sense provisions like mandatory seatbelts and unleaded gasoline. So managing change for the region must be viewed as both an art and a science. For change is something the region must adapt to; and managing this change is something the CU will spearhead.

The insights from the foregoing article and embedded VIDEO help us to appreciate that the future is now! (Though, there is no talk of flying cars). We must engage, empower and equip the people of the Caribbean if we want to make our home a better place to live, work and play. And we must do it now. Everyone in the Caribbean is urged to lean-in to this roadmap.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

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