Posts Tagged ‘autonomous vehicle news’

Waymo Gives Lo-Down on Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving firm looks to take fear out of autonomy.

by on Oct.31, 2017

Waymo launched a pilot ride-sharing program in Phoenix using autonomous Chrysler minivans.

Waymo decided to provide a glimpse behind the curtain, allowing a group of media to take test rides in the company’s autonomous vehicles, explaining the testing process of the vehicles and sharing some insights about the company’s future.

The company, which is owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been testing self-driving Chrysler Pacificas and Lexus SUVs in several cities around the U.S., including a trial run at ride-hailing in Phoenix.

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The media event featured several structured events at the company’s facility, a former military base, near Atwater, California, designed to replicate real-life situations encountered by test vehicles on test runs, such as cars broken down on the side of the road or roadways littered with debris.  (more…)

Delphi Buys Autonomous Tech Developer NuTonomy for $450M

New acquisition will run independently of Delphi.

by on Oct.24, 2017

Glen De Vos, Delphi Automotive's CTO, laid out the plans going forward with the company's new acquisition: nuTonomy.

Delphi Automotive is spending as much as $450 million to expand its autonomous driving technology capabilities by acquiring Boston-based nuTonomy.

The deal, which has been quietly put together during the past two months, calls for Delphi to pay $400 million now with the nuTonomy team able to earn an additional $50 million in incentives. It also doubles the number of people working on automated driving technology, according to Glen De Vos, Delphi’s chief technology officer.

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However, the plans call for nuTonomy to remain in Boston and to operate as an independent company instead of merging with Delphi’s Ottomatika autonomous vehicle software group. De Vos said it was important that the two groups continue on separate paths, and share best practices and innovations where “it makes sense.” (more…)

GM Buys Lidar Firm to Accelerate Autonomous Car Development

Acquisition will improve speed, reduce costs.

by on Oct.09, 2017

Cruise Automation introduced its third-gen automated vehicle. The new vehicles will be part of its San Francisco-based test fleet.

General Motors is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to being a leader in autonomous vehicle technology, announcing today it was acquiring Lidar technology company Strobe Inc.

Strobe, based in Pasadena, California, will be taken under the wing of GM’s Cruise Automation team to develop next-generation Lidar for the company’s self-driving vehicles. The parties did not reveal the financials of the agreement.

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The company’s developed a new microchip Lidar system would significantly enhance the capabilities of the self-driving cars GM was developing, Vogt said during conference call with reporters.  (more…)

Waymo Asks Judge to Delay Trial Start

Google subsidiary says it needs more time to review Uber documents.

by on Sep.18, 2017

Anthony Levandowski is seen here discussing autonomous vehicles while still with Google in 2011. Photo courtesy Shinygogo.

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, is looking for delay in the lawsuit it has filed against Uber so its lawyers have time to review thousands of pages of documents the ride-sharing pioneer has been forced to give up for review by its adversary.

The documents in question include a “due diligence report done by Uber prior to its acquisition of Otto, a self-driving tech start up focused on building automated trucks. Otto was founded by Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee, who had access to Waymo’s most sensitive technical information and whose conduct is at the center of the litigation.

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Levandowski was fired at the end of May by Uber, which has also seen a wholesale departure of senior executives after it became apparent the company’s “anything goes” corporate culture left its intermediate and long-range plans in serious jeopardy. (more…)

Audi Elaine, Aicon Concepts Reveal an Autonomous Future

German automaker creating new family of vehicles: Audi AI.

by on Sep.12, 2017

The Audi Elaine debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, The Level 4 autonomous concept is part of Audi AI, a family of technology advanced vehicles.

Audi’s two concepts – the Elaine and Aicon – in Frankfurt reveal the German automaker’s plans to not only electrify its vehicle line-up, but also to ensure they’re autonomous as well.

Each of the two features AI in their names, representing the maker’s new group of automated vehicles. The Audi AI family will feature a variety of innovative systems that relieve strain on drivers and offer new possibilities to use the time spent in the car.

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Audi will accomplish this using strategies and technologies from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, hence the reference to AI. The Elaine and the Aicon are the first two concepts for this new family. (more…)

GM, Cruise Release Third-Generation Robot Car

New models produced at GM's Orion, Michigan, plant.

by on Sep.12, 2017

Cruise Automation introduced its third-gen automated vehicle. The new vehicles will be part of its San Francisco-based test fleet.

Cruise Automation, General Motors automated vehicle subsidiary, passed another milestone of sorts with the introduction of its third generation of fully autonomous factory-built test vehicles.

Kyle Vogt, Cruise Automation CEO, described the third-generation vehicle as “the world’s first mass-producible car designed to operate without a driver. This isn’t just a concept design, it’s assembled in a high-volume assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, out of Detroit capable of producing 100,000’s of vehicles per year,” he said.

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Vogt said the development required “full alignment, teamwork, rapid communication, and compromise between dozens of teams.”  (more…)

Skip the Tip: Domino’s, Ford Team Up to Test Driverless Pizza Delivery

Will customers be willing to walk the "last 50 feet"?

by on Aug.29, 2017

Ford and Domino's are partnering in a test program to deliver pizzas using autonomous vehicles.

Ford and Domino’s are teaming up to test out the idea of using autonomous vehicles for home delivery of the fast food chain’s pizzas. The project, which will be run in Domino’s hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is aimed at gaining insight into how hungry customers will react when a delivery truck shows up without a driver behind the wheel.

On the side, there’ll be no tipping. And customers will learn when their pizza’s delivered by text, rather than a ring of the doorbell. But that means they’ll have to go outside and punch a code into keypad to retrieve their hot pies.

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“The majority of our questions” that Domino’s has been fielding about the service “are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience,” said Domino’s President Russell Weiner. (more…)

Toyota Steers $5M to New Autonomous Vehicle Test Center Near Detroit

Japanese automaker becomes first car co. to support American Center for Mobility.

by on Aug.01, 2017

Gill Pratt heads up Toyota's efforts to produce an autonomous vehicle. He's enthusiastic about partnering with the American Center for Mobility.

Toyota will contribute $5 million to sponsor the new American Center for Mobility, a 335-acre center in the Detroit suburbs that will be dedicated to the development and testing of autonomous and fully driverless vehicles.

While AT&T announced plans to become the first corporate sponsor of the center back in January, Toyota is the first automaker to publicly commit funding for the facility which is being developed on the site of an old World War II bomber plant in the city of Ypsilanti, Michigan.

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“We are excited to be the first automaker joining this effort to create a test ground for advanced vehicle technologies in our backyard,” Toyota Vice President Jeff Makarewicz, said ahead of an appearance at an industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan. “Together with industry and government partners, we would like to set a direction to realize connected and automated vehicles to help improve safety and mobility.” (more…)

Republicans Looking to Establish Self-Driving Vehicle Rules

Move would eliminate a state’s ability to establish different laws.

by on Jul.11, 2017

U.S. House Republicans plan to eliminate a state's ability to establish different autonomous driving rules than the federal government.

We’re with the government and we’re here to help … with those pesky rules for autonomous vehicles anyway.

It appears Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to ensure states cannot establish their own rules for self-driving vehicles with a new bill expected to be unveiled later this week.

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The move comes after the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on a package of 14 draft bills that would allow U.S. regulators to exempt as many as 100,000 vehicles per manufacturer per year from federal safety rules preventing the sale of autonomous vehicles without operating controls, such as a steering wheel or brake pedal, according to Reuters. (more…)

GM Hits Road With New Fleet of 130 Fully Autonomous Bolt EVs

Company plans to test them in Michigan, California and Arizona.

by on Jun.14, 2017

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra shows off one of the 130 new self-driving Bolt EVs produced at its Orion Assembly plant.

General Motors announced it has finished building 130 self-driving vehicles for its San Francisco-based Cruise Automation unit to test its system for automated driving on roads in California, Arizona and Michigan.

“This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

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The new batch of Chevrolet Bolt electric test vehicles built at its Orion Assembly plant outside Detroit is equipped with the latest generation of self-driving technology and will join the more than 50 Bolt EVs with an older version of the system GM now has operating in test fleets in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Detroit, GM officials said. (more…)

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