Archive for the ‘Driverless Vehicles’ Category

Autonomous EVs Will Drive Ride-Share Costs by 50 Percent

BP economist predicts vehicles will run twice as much, leading to price drops.

by on Feb.22, 2018

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale predicts that the prices of ride-sharing companies will fall 50% with the arrival of autonomous vehicles.

With the first wave of self-driving cars expected to reach the streets in the early 2020, the price of ride-sharing trips offered by Uber and Lyft could drop by half, according an estimate from one of Great Britain’s leading energy experts.

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said at an International Petroleum Week conference in London that self-driving cars initially will be too expensive for normal people to buy and instead will be snapped up by commercial companies.

News Now!

“The vast majority of these will be purchased by commercial fleets offering mobility services, so think Uber or Lyft. The potential here — if you suddenly get an Uber or Lyft without paying for a driver — is that it leads to a significant fall in the cost. We estimate that could reduce the cost of that type of service by around 40% or 50%,” Dale said during his appearance at the conference. (more…)

Waymo Gets the Go to Launch 1st Driverless Ride-Sharing Program

Service set to begin within the year in Phoenix area, then expand to other markets.

by on Feb.19, 2018

Waymo has been testing its ride-sharing program in Phoenix but now has a permit to go fully driverless.

Waymo, the autonomous ride-sharing service spun off by Google, has gotten permission to launch a commercial ride-sharing service that will completely eliminate human drivers.

The company has confirmed receiving a permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation and is now expecting to launch service using a small fleet of modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans in the Phoenix area. It has been operating a pilot program in the Phoenix area for the past year using autonomous vehicles that still had a backup “operator” behind the wheel ready to take control in an emergency.

Stay Plugged In!

“As we continue to test-drive our fleet of vehicles in greater Phoenix, we’re taking all the steps necessary to launch our commercial service this year,” a Waymo spokesman told TheDetroitBureau.com. (more…)

Autonomous Cars Will Have Same Impact as Smart Phones, Experts Claim

AI will make an enormous difference in future cars.

by on Feb.16, 2018

Autonomous vehicles are going to impact society as much as smart phones and the Internet, some experts say.

Autonomous vehicles will re-shape the world as decisively or even more decisively than the Internet or smart phones, one of the automotive industry’s top authorities on artificial intelligence told a panel sponsored by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research.

David Atkinson, head, Systems & Technology and Chief Research Scientist for Artificial Intelligence Silicon Valley Research & Development Center Continental AG, noted he spent most of his career, which stretches back into the 1980s working on variety of projects for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Technology News!

Atkinson said he took a job with Continental to work on the artificial intelligence applications that are critical to the development of autonomous vehicles. (more…)

Nvidia, Continental Partnering on New Autonomous Vehicle Tech

New deal seeks to accelerate system development.

by on Feb.13, 2018

Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart, left, and Jensen Huang, Nvidia founder and CEO, say their new deal will accelerate autonomous vehicle development.

Continental AG, the giant automotive supplier, and Nvidia, one of Silicon Valley’s fast-growing tech companies, are planning to combine their talents on system for self-driving cars.

The goal, the latest in a string of partnerships between technology and automotive companies, expects to have a product ready by 2021. Nvidia has already become a supplier of choice to customers in the automotive industry, such as Audi, that also have long-standing links to Continental.

Tech News!

The companies said the system will be used for driver-assist safety features all the way up to cars with no steering wheel or pedals. Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, makes computer processing units and artificial intelligence, or AI, software that reads sensors and makes decisions for autonomous vehicles.  (more…)

Accounting Adjustment Masks Record Full Year Earnings for General Motors

Workers will get $11,750 in profit-sharing.

by on Feb.06, 2018

GM CEO Mary Barra has pushed for major changes in GM's strategy, and the 2017 numbers suggest her approach is paying off.

General Motors officially reported a net loss for 2017, but the real numbers were masked by a series of accounting adjustments and actually climbed into record territory for the year.

The adjusted, $12.8 billion in pretax profits, which worked out to $6.62 a share – an 8.2% year-over-year gain – comes as good news to workers as well as investors at a time when economic uncertainty has shocked Wall Street. About 50,000 U.S. hourly employees will share the maker’s success with profit-sharing checks averaging $11,750 apiece. That bonus actually dipped from $12,000 last year.

Business News!

“The actions we took to further strengthen our core business and advance our vision for personal mobility made 2017 a transformative year,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, in comments during a media and analyst conference call. “We will continue executing our plan and reshaping our company to position it for long-term success.”

(more…)

Denso Reveals Improved Night-Vision Sensor

Better sensor helps recognize objects in road more quickly.

by on Feb.02, 2018

Denso's new vision sensor provides a 40% improvement, potentially cutting response time of driver assistance technologies.

Denso Corp., one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, announced it has developed a new standard vision sensor that at night can detect pedestrians, cyclists, road signs, driving lanes and other objects or road users.

Working in conjunction with a millimeter-wave radar sensor, the new vision sensor allows automobiles to automatically activate emergency braking when obstacles are identified, helping reduce accidents and improve overall vehicle safety.

Tech News!

The system is featured in the 2018 Toyota Alphard and Vellfire, which were released in Japan last month. In addition to Japan, the MPVs are sold in China, Russia and smaller Asian and Middle Eastern countries. (more…)

Ford Going Global as Chariot Minibus Service Launches in London

Also expanding U.S. service to a sixth city.

by on Feb.01, 2018

Chariot will run its 14-passenger, WiFi-enabled and air conditioned vehicles on four routes in London: Chariot's first foray into Europe.

While rivals including General Motors and Waymo are hoping to launch driverless ride-sharing services next year, Ford is moving in a slightly different direction with its own mobility services campaign, and it is ramping up the expansion of its Chariot minibus service.

The venture, which largely focuses on connecting transportation hubs and other public facilities, already operates in five U.S. cities. This week, Ford is adding London and planning to add a sixth U.S. city “very shortly.”

Industry News!

“Chariot’s commuter ride-share service will complement the existing public transport system by offering in-app ride booking for first- and last-mile commuting solutions, and the potential to reach underserved areas,” the automaker said in a statement. (more…)

Toaster-Shaped Nuro R1 Could Soon Pop Up as Driverless Delivery Van

Silicon Valley start-up aims to launch driverless delivery service this year.

by on Jan.31, 2018

The R1 is about as long and tall as a Toyota Highlander, but barely half as wide.

It looks like a four-wheeled toaster, but when the Nuro R1 starts popping up later this year it will be bringing packages from online and local retail shops, according to the company’s founders.

The race to put self-driving vehicles on the road is rapidly heating up, and it’s a question of which will come first: robot taxis or automated delivery vans. If Nuro has its way, it will get a head start on companies like Waymo and General Motors, which hope to launch the first driverless ride-sharing services sometime in 2019.

Tech Power!

Considering the tens of billions of dollars in goods that roll across the nation’s highways each year, experts see a potentially lucrative market for driverless long-haul trucks. Several companies have already demonstrated prototypes, including Uber subsidiary Otto. But Nuro is targeting the final leg of the journey.

(more…)

Waymo Buying “Thousands” of Chrysler Minivans for New Driverless Ride-Hailing Service

Project will target “multiple U.S. cities.”

by on Jan.30, 2018

Waymo has been testing its ride-sharing program in Phoenix but plans to launch in other markets as it goes fully driverless.

Waymo plans to buy “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be used as Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off sets up a driverless ride-hailing service in “multiple U.S. cities,” Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Tuesday.

The announcement marks a significant step forward for both companies. While considered a leader in the field, it had not been clear how Waymo was planning to commercialize its development of self-driving vehicle technology. For its part, FCA has been reluctant to invest in autonomous vehicle research but could now make a big leap by expanding its nascent alliance with Waymo.

Tech News!

“In order to move quickly and efficiently in autonomy, it is essential to partner with like-minded technology leaders,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology.”

(more…)