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Tech - TechBullets

Autonomous / Self Driving Cars

Volkswagen And Ford Explore Co-developing Autonomous And Electric Cars

Reuters / VentureBeat - 1 year ago
  • Volkswagen and Ford Motor are in “exploratory talks” to jointly develop self-driving and electric vehicles in a far-reaching strategic alliance meant to save the companies billions of dollars, according to a person familiar with the matter.
  • Spokesmen for both automakers would only reiterate what they have said before about the companies collaborating on the development of commercial vehicles.
  • “Our (memorandum of understanding) with VW covers conversations about potential collaborations across a number of areas.
  • Automakers globally are discussing teaming up to share the cost of developing autonomous and electric vehicles.

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Lyft Acquires Blue Vision Labs To Help Develop Self-driving Car Tech

Lyft acquires Blue Vision Labs to help develop self-driving car techSasha Lekach / Mashable - 1 year ago
  • The ride-hailing app's fairly new self-driving division, Level 5, made its first acquisition, the company announced Tuesday.
  • In a blog post, Level 5's Luc Vincent touted Blue Vision Labs' 3D maps, which are crowdsourced from car-mounted camera phones.
  • The reportedly $72-million deal comes just over a year after Lyft's Level 5 autonomous car team was launched.
  • Lyft was straggling behind other self-driving efforts from Uber, Cruise, and Waymo.

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Dubai Launches Self-driving Taxi Service

Dubai launches self-driving taxi serviceSasha Lekach / Mashable - 1 year ago
  • At the annual consumer electronics trade show Gitex, Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority, or RTA, showed off its autonomous taxi service.
  • The driverless car service kicked off at the show and will run for the next three months in select parts of the city, according to transportation officials.
  • The cars are intended to connect passengers during the "first and last mile" to get from existing transportation systems to, say, a shopping mall or movie theater or other venue or to get back home.
  • An autonomous taxi will take passengers around Dubai.The RTA said the cars go up about 20 mph and fit four passengers.

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Peugeot Says Self-driving Cars Like Its E-Legend Can Be More Than Pods

Peugeot says self-driving cars like its e-Legend can be more than podsSasha Lekach / Mashable - 1 year ago
  • The e-Legend Peugeot concept car is about transforming the interior space.Image: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesBy Sasha Lekach2018-10-14 19:51:32 UTC
  • French car maker Peugeot doesn't think the future of self-driving cars has to look like sci-fi-inspired pods.
  • Instead, a design executive said this week he thinks car design could even be pleasant and alluring, since "there’s a danger the future might be very robotic and might lack soul."
  • Peugeot introduced its own vision of future car design at the Paris Auto Show, which wraps up Sunday.

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Ford’s Patent Lets You Pilot A Self-driving Car With Your Phone

Ford’s patent lets you pilot a self-driving car with your phoneAndrew Krok / CNET - 2 years ago
  • Microsoft revealed Monday that it's testing an Xbox game streaming service, currently codenamed Project xCloud.The company demonstrated its work on the service so far in a blog post and video showing Forza and Halo games being played on Android phones and tablets.
  • Public tests of the Project xCloud service are set to begin in 2019, with Microsoft saying the tests will help it "learn and scale with different volumes and locations."
  • Motion controls allow gamers to more accurately simulate driving a vehicle, and in the future, that tech might be applied to actual cars, as well.CarBuzz alerted us to a Ford patent for "non-autonomous steering modes." The patent offers a pretty straightforward method to turn a personal touchscreen device (such as a phone) into something capable of driving a vehicle.

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Honda To Invest $2.8bn In GM’s Self-driving Car Unit

Honda to invest $2.8bn in GM’s self-driving car unitBBC Technology / BBC - 2 years ago
  • GM has done extensive testing of its Cruise robot cars in cities and on busy roads
  • Honda is to invest $2.75bn (£2.1bn) and take a stake in General Motors' self-driving unit, GM Cruise, as firms continue to team up in the race to develop autonomous vehicles.The Japanese carmaker said it wanted to develop a self-driving car that could be mass produced.
  • Japanese carmaker Toyota developing technologies for self-driving vehicles
  • The rush to develop self-driving technology comes amid some consumer concern over safety.

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Florida Is Testing Driverless School Shuttles – What Could Go Wrong?

Florida is testing driverless school shuttles – what could go wrong? Tristan Greene / The Next Web - 2 years ago
  • A company called Transdev debuted its autonomous shuttles in a Florida town earlier this month.
  • Autonomous vehicles are an exciting future-tech that will almost certainly revolutionize the way we look at transportation in the coming decade.
  • According to a AAA survey conducted in April, 73 percent of adults don’t trust driverless cars.
  • According to a press release, Transdev spent months testing the autonomous shuttles for the routes they’ll be taking. They’re probably safe, or at least as safe as a regular automobile – but the unknown unknowns are what makes the prospect scary.

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After Five Million Miles Of Autonomous Driving, Alphabet’s Waymo Wants To Get Consumers Comfortable With Self-driving

After five million miles of autonomous driving, Alphabet’s Waymo wants to get consumers comfortable with self-drivingJohana Bhuiyan / ReCode - 2 years ago
  • Two years ago — and some of 2017 — the self-driving space was in the midst of a period of consolidation, as automakers scrambled to get ahold of the tech companies building out the driverless software.
  • Last year, automakers regained some of the upper hand, as tech companies sought out manufacturing partners and as more driverless tests began popping up on public roads.
  • This year, self-driving companies will focus on gaining rider trust as they ramp up to launch their commercial ride-hail services.
  • In a new video, Alphabet’s self-driving arm, Waymo, is taking potential passengers inside its driverless Chrysler Pacifica vans and giving them a 360-degree view of what the car sees, as well as how it works.

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Driverless Autonomous Cars Can Now Be Tested In California

Driverless Autonomous Cars Can Now Be Tested in CaliforniaJuli Clover / MacRumors - 2 years ago
  • Starting on April 2, companies in the Bay Area that are working on self-driving vehicle technology will be able to deploy cars that do not have a driver behind the wheel.

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Robotics Pioneer Red Whittaker Wants To Put A Robot On The Moon, And Land Amazon In His Backyard – GeekWire

Robotics pioneer Red Whittaker wants to put a robot on the moon, and land Amazon in his backyard – GeekWireTodd Bishop / GeekWire - 2 years ago
  • Asked if he will eventually land a robot on the moon, William “Red” Whittaker doesn’t hold back.
  • “Oh, hell yes,” says the Carnegie Mellon University roboticist, showing the enthusiasm and determination that have fueled his career, leading the development of robots that have changed the nature of what machines can accomplish.
  • They haven’t landed one on the moon, yet, but Whittaker and his colleagues have sparked the rise of robots in Pittsburgh and beyond — in areas including nuclear cleanup, autonomous farming, robotic mining and self-driving cars.

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SEEVA Raises $2M And Hires Former Toyota Exec To Help Self-driving Cars Navigate Tricky Weather

SEEVA raises $2M and hires former Toyota exec to help self-driving cars navigate tricky weatherMonica Nickelsburg / GeekWire - 2 years ago
  • SEEVA co-founders Jere Lansinger and his daughter Diane Lansinger.
  • Autonomous driving technology is improving rapidly but self-driving cars still struggle in poor weather conditions.
  • Today, SEEVA is announcing its first round of funding, a $2 million investment that will help the startup go after the emerging self-driving car industry.
  • Investors in SEEVA’s seed round include Trucks VC, Dynamo VC, Expansion VC, Haystack VC and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.

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Uber CEO Says Self-driving Cars Will Be Picking Up Passengers In 18 Months

Uber CEO says self-driving cars will be picking up passengers in 18 monthsJames Farrell / SiliconANGLE - 2 years ago
  • Speaking today at Uber Technologies’ #TheYearAhead event, Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi revealed that the company is confident that autonomous ride-hailing is coming sooner than you think.
  • In an interview with Bloomberg’s Editor-In-Chief John Micklethwait, Khosrowshahi admitted that true, reliable, autonomous vehicles for wide use certainly face a few more obstacles to overcome, but Uber will have autonomous cars working on the streets relatively soon.
  • Uber has already tested self-driving cars, but it hasn’t been without setbacks.
  • Khosrowshahi says that the weather might not always be right or the mapping not perfect, so when a customer orders a self-driving car over a human driver, he or she might not always get what they asked for.

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Waymo Pits Its Tech Against Hotlanta’s Notoriously Tough Traffic

Waymo pits its tech against Hotlanta’s notoriously tough trafficKyle Hyatt / CNET - 2 years ago
  • In 2001, Edinburgh had the parking structure of the future.Now abandoned cars have surfaced in the defunct robotic multistorey car park that was being dismantled 15 years after it was shuttered without warning.Users could pull into one of four bays and have their vehicle whisked away robotically, not having to worry about untrustworthy valets or losing their car in a labyrinth of ramps and stalls.
  • The garage is finally giving up her secrets, most of which seem to be in the form subcompact cars from the late 1990s.
  • Waymo, also known as Alphabet's self-driving car platform, has started autonomous car testing in Atlanta according to a post on the company's Twitter.Waymo currently has the bulk of its test fleet in Phoenix, Arizona where legislation is in place to allow its vehicles to function without safety drivers, though Atlanta marks the 25th city to see Waymo testing.
  • Waymo is getting started in Hotlanta by manually driving one of its autonomous cars around to map the city in advance of turning the AV's loose (with safety drivers, of course).

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G.M. Says Its Driverless Car Could Be In Fleets By Next Year

G.M. Says Its Driverless Car Could Be in Fleets by Next YearNEAL E. BOUDETTE / New York TImes - 2 years ago
  • If approved, the Cruise AVs would probably appear first in San Francisco or Scottsdale, Ariz., where G.M.’s self-driving subsidiary, Cruise Automation, is conducting tests.
  • G.M.’s petition calls for producing up to 2,500 Cruise AVs for use in commercial ride fleets.“Mass production and government regulation appear to be within General Motors’ grasp,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, an automotive data firm.
  • Waymo, the autonomous-vehicle company spun out of Google, is testing its own fully autonomous cars in Arizona and California.

Uber Is Working With Toyota To Create A Vehicle And System That Is Built For Ride-sharing

Johana Bhuiyan / ReCode - 2 years ago
  • Toyota is working with Uber and other partners to develop a new self-driving shuttle service.
  • Toyota is developing an all-electric, driverless shuttle that will be used specifically for commercial services in partnership with major players like Amazon, Didi, Pizza Hut — and Uber.
  • Working with one of the world’s largest car manufacturers on a commercial autonomous service is a significant opportunity for each of these companies, but it could also represent a new kind of self-driving relationship for the ride-hail company.
  • Aside from Toyota, which invested in Uber in May 2016, Uber is also working with Volvo and Daimler on driverless cars. Those relationships represent opposite sides of a spectrum of possible business models. Uber’s work with Toyota may fall somewhere in between.

Nvidia Levels Up Self-driving Car Silicon With New Xavier Chip

Blair Hanley Frank / VentureBeat - 2 years ago
  • Nvidia announced a new system on a chip today designed to bring a massive amount of computing power to bear for self-driving car applications.
  • All of that adds up to a processor that’s supposed to be one of the best options for businesses trying to build self-driving cars.
  • The autonomous vehicle market has been a massive area of investment for Nvidia.
  • Xavier has been a massive undertaking for Nvidia, which had 2,000 engineers working on a project that cost the company $2 billion in research and development.

Baidu, BlackBerry Form An Autonomous-driving Dream Team

Kyle Hyatt / CNET - 2 years ago
  • Chinese internet megacorp Baidu and BlackBerry are coming together to form a Sino-Canadian Voltron of autonomous driving technology.The BlackBerry QNX platform is already a known quantity in the automotive world, with many of the in-car infotainment systems that you know and tolerate having been built on it.
  • Earlier in 2017, Baidu announced the release of Apollo, its open-source autonomous driving platform, the idea behind which is that free access will help ensure the more rapid development and increased proliferation of self-driving cars.

Volkswagen And Hyundai Both Plan To Deploy Self-driving Taxis By 2021

Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch - 2 years ago
  • On Thursday, automakers Hyundai and Volkswagen both announced a new partnership with Aurora, the autonomous driving startup with a killer pedigree and good momentum early on – but they also both revealed that each is planning to deploy self-driving cars by 2021 on roads in a commercial capacity.
  • Volkswagen wants to put autonomous cars on the road in as many as five cities worldwide by that year, with ride-hailing available to customers.
  • These plans are becoming the standard for automakers and other technology companies looking at the best path to market for autonomous vehicles – Ford has long stated its own goal of putting its self-driving vehicles to work as a ride hailing fleet by 2021, and it’s been joined more recently by GM, which is looking to field its Cruise-powered autonomous vehicles in a similar capacity, and perhaps sooner.
  • There’s a trend developing here that seems to indicate the leading global automakers have arrived at a consensus regarding the best way to put autonomous cars on the road.

LG Partners With Former Nokia Property HERE For Autonomous Vehicle Information Systems

Paul Fidalgo / Android Police - 2 years ago
  • LG Electronics announced a partnership today with HERE Technologies to create a new platform for self-driving cars' navigation systems and onboard sensors.
  • We are all familiar with LG, the South Korean manufacturer of all manner of electronics from smartphones and televisions to washing machines and air conditioners.
  • HERE Technologies was part of Nokia until 2015, and its impressive pedigree goes all the way back to Navteq, an early leader in digital mapping.
  • Among HERE's mapping and navigation technologies is HD Live Map, which is designed to read street signs and detect objects and obstacles on the road in real time.

Can Self-driving Cars Even Honk Their Own Horns?

Brett Williams / Mashable - 2 years ago
  • Case in point: The City of Las Vegas and AAA's self-driving shuttle, one of the most advanced public autonomous trials in the U.S., was hit by a semi-truck within hours of its maiden trip last month.
  • The shuttle behaved exactly as it was designed to in the situation, according to a AAA rep — but it didn't move or, more importantly for the truck driver who might not have seen the vehicle behind it, honk a horn to make its presence known.
  • Fostering these systems of communication will be one of the biggest jobs for AV developers, since honking and other audio and visual alerts are essential to the task of driving.
  • The answer in this particular instance is yes, but the feature is limited to certain situations.