Posts Tagged ‘self-driving vehicle’

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.”

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2 Fed Safety Teams Head to California Tesla Crash Probe

Was drive using Autopilot when Model S crashed into fire truck?

by on Jan.25, 2018

An LA TV station caught the aftermath of a crash involving a Tesla Model S and a firetruck.

Two separate teams of federal safety investigators have been dispatched to California to examine what happened when a Tesla Model S crashed into a firetruck on a suburban Los Angeles freeway on Monday, the agencies aiming to find out if the incident happened while the battery sedan was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

This marks the second time both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have examined a Tesla crash to see if the maker’s self-driving technology may have malfunctioned.

News Now!

In the first case, 40-year-old Joshua Brown was killed in a Florida crash in May 2009 when his Model S failed to stop when a semi-truck turned in front of it. The former Navy SEAL was ruled at least partially at fault for failing to take evasive action, but the NTSB also determined that flaws in the design of the Tesla Autopilot system contributed to the crash.

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Nissan to Demonstrate Brain-to-Vehicle Technology at CES

System can anticipate what a driver is going to do.

by on Jan.03, 2018

A volunteer uses the Nissan B2V technology to test how it works will driving on a simulator.

I think, therefore I drive? So, classical philosopher Rene Descartes might have opined after checking out the new Brain-to-Vehicle technology that Nissan Motor Co. will unveil at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of voice control. But Nissan’s system is designed to decode what a driver is thinking and use that to help control how a vehicle steers, accelerates or brakes. In an emergency, for example, it could allow a car to begin slowing down as much as a half-second before the driver’s foot actually hits the brake pedal.

Brain Power!

“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan.

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Waymo Teams Up With Avis, Apple With Hertz in Autonomous Vehicle Push

Volvo expands its autonomous alliance with Autoliv with addition of graphics tech firm Nvidia.

by on Jun.27, 2017

Avis will handle the basic storage and maintenance for Waymo's Phoenix ride-sharing program.

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle spin-off from Google, has signed a deal with Avis to have the daily rental giant manage some of the self-driving vehicles it is operating in the Phoenix area as part of a ride-share test program.

Apple, meanwhile, is reportedly teaming up with Avis rival Hertz program, in this case to lease a handful of Lexus SUVs that it will modify as part of its own autonomous vehicle project – something that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently described as “the mother of all AI projects.”

Come Along for the Ride!

In the race to get autonomous, along with more advanced driverless, vehicles on the road within the next decade, established automakers and tech firms alike are lining up to find partners that can help accelerate their development programs.

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Ford Investing $1b for Self-Driving Company Argo AI

Start-up aims to ensure Ford’s driverless vehicles reach market by 2021.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Ford CEO Mark Fields showing off a LIDAR sensor like the ones on its autonomous prototypes.

Ford Motor Co. will invest $1 billion over the next five years to take a controlling stake in an artificial intelligence start-up in its bid to bring driverless vehicles to market by 2021.

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI was launched only last November by two autonomous vehicle veterans from Google and Uber. Argo will now take over the software side of Ford’s driverless vehicle research program, though the automaker will continue to control the hardware side of that project.

The Last Word!

“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields during a conference call with analysts and reporters.

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California DMV Wants Uber to Stop Autonomous Ride-Share Venture

Company officials say they don’t need permit.

by on Dec.15, 2016

Uber could be facing a legal storm over its decision not to get the permit California requires.

Ride-sharing service Uber has been ordered by California regulators to halt the public test of autonomous vehicles until the company gets what the state claims is the necessary permit.

Uber on Wednesday began offering rides in San Francisco using specially modified versions of the Volvo XC90 SUV. Though nearly two dozen other companies have so far received permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Uber officials said they are not required to get one. DMV officials have vociferously disagreed and have sent a warning to the company.

News Now!

“If Uber does not confirm immediately that it will stop its launch and seek a testing permit, DMV will initiate legal action,” DMV attorney Brian Soublet wrote in a letter to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s autonomous car programs.

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Uber, Volvo Launch Autonomous Ride-Share Test in San Francisco

But pilot project is operating without a state permit, could face legal issues.

by on Dec.14, 2016

One of 11 autonomous Uber Volvo XC90s climbs a steep San Francisco hill.

Uber is expanding its autonomous vehicle pilot program to San Francisco – though the move could run afoul of California regulators since the ride-sharing service has decided not to seek a permit for the project.

Today’s launch comes three months after Uber began testing self-driving vehicles in its hometown of Pittsburgh. The company has said that it eventually wants to jump past autonomous cars and put a fleet of fully driverless vehicles on the road, something it says would lower the cost of a ride to the point where hailing an Uber would be cheaper than the cost of owning a vehicle.

We'll Keep You on Auto Pilot!

“The promise of self-driving ride sharing is becoming a reality,” said Mårten Levenstam, vice president of product planning at Volvo Cars, which is providing the vehicles being used for the San Francisco pilot. “Volvo is proud to be at the forefront of the latest developments in the automotive world alongside our partners at Uber.”

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CEO Musk: Tesla Won’t Disable Autopilot Feature

NTSB latest to launch investigation after three crashes.

by on Jul.13, 2016

Tesla CEO Musk won't pull the plug on Autopilot and, if anything, insists it will enhance safety.

Despite growing concerns about the safety of its Autopilot technology, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is making it clear he has no intention of disabling the semi-autonomous driving system. If anything, the South African-born entrepreneur argues that Autopilot will save lives in the long-run.

Not everyone is quite so confident, at least not in its current beta mode.  The battery-carmaker itself has confirmed the technology played at least some role in a fatal crash on May 9, and two Tesla owners have since blamed Autopilot for crashes that have occurred this month.

Your Auto Insider!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a preliminary investigation following the Florida accident that killed former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown. The National Transportation Safety Board is now conducting its own investigation. Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at Tesla’s decision not to publicly reveal the fatal crash for eight weeks – until after the maker’s latest, $2 billion stock offering.

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Second Crash May Be Linked to Tesla Autopilot

Tesla CEO Musk under fire for slow response to 1st crash.

by on Jul.06, 2016

Tesla's Autopilot uses a blend of cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors to control the vehicle.

The crash of a second Tesla vehicle reportedly operating in Autopilot mode is raising new concerns about not only the maker’s semi-autonomous technology but how the battery-carmaker is handling a potential problem that has already touched off a federal safety probe.

Albert Scaglione, an art gallery owner from Southfield, Michigan, was behind the wheel of a 2016 Tesla Model X when it crashed and rolled over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week. According to the police officer who responded to the crash, Scaglione said he had just activated the Autopilot system, which is designed to permit partial hands-free driving on limited-access highways.

Eye on Tech!

The crash occurred a day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would investigate a fatal wreck in Florida that occurred on May 9th. Driver Joshua Brown, 40, was killed when neither he nor the Autopilot system in his Tesla Model S responded by braking when a semi-truck turned in front of the vehicle.

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BMW Confirms Plan to Launch Autonomous Car by 2021

Automaker teams up with tech firms Intel, Mobileye.

by on Jul.01, 2016

The BMW i Vision Future concept offers a hint of what the maker's autonomous car might look like.

BMW is the latest automaker to confirm plans to go to market with an autonomous vehicle, the Bavarian maker teaming up with tech partners Intel and Mobileye to “bring fully automated driving technology to the street” by 2021, the maker’s CEO announced Friday.

The announcement follows the debut of several futuristic concept vehicles meant to mark BMW’s 100th anniversary. But it also comes a day after U.S. safety regulators launched an investigation into a fatal crash of a Tesla Model S sedan that was operating in its semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. That has raised new concerns about the technology despite hopes that self-driving vehicles will help improve safety and reduce worsening traffic congestion.

A Look at the Future!

“The combined expertise of Intel, Mobileye and the BMW Group will deliver the next core building block to bring fully automated driving technology to the street,” BMW chairman Harald Krüger said in a statement.

The move might come as a surprise to those who think of BMW in terms of its long-running tag-line, “The ultimate driving machine,” but the maker has been exploring self-driving technology for nearly two decades, and, according to Kruger, it will give BMW customers new options – the ability to ride hands-free or switch to manual driving mode.

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