Items tagged with Automobiles

Building a self-driving vehicle that can cruise city roadways on sunny days is one thing, but an autonomous vehicle that can handle slippery conditions like snow and ice laden streets? That would be quite the technical feat, though not fiction -- Ford is currently conducting its first autonomous vehicle tests in snow. There's arguably no better place to do that than Mcity, a 32-acre, full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan. Mcity provides a realistic driving environment that's isolated from the population at large, including police officers. It's a place... Read more...
As it stands, there are multiple entities working on autonomous vehicle technologies, though none of them have released anything commercially. That's really the end goal, or at least one of them, and it may come sooner than you think. Working towards that goal. Google and Ford are set to form a partnership that work towards creating an autonomous ride sharing business.Nothing is yet official -- all the information that exists on the joint venture is coming from "three sources familiar with the plans" who spoke with Yahoo Autos. According to those sources, the two industry titans will announce the... Read more...
Google isn't feeling the love from California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which drafted a set of rules on autonomous vehicles that set several restrictions on their use. As currently conceived, driverless cars would be required to have a steering wheel, pedals, and a licensed driver behind the wheel in case something goes awry. It sounds reasonable on the surface, but from Google's vantage point, the DMV is essentially placing a ceiling on autonomous driving technology. Google is looking to totally transform the driving experience and has designed vehicles that, when finished, would lack... Read more...
Ford Motor Company is rolling the dice on electric vehicles with a monstrous investment. How monstrous? Try $4.5 billion, which is how much the auto maker has committed to spending in order to put 13 new electric vehicles on roadways by 2020, including a new year model Focus Electric with all-new DC fast-charge capability. It's a big bet on electric that represents Ford's largest ever electrified vehicle investment in a five-year period. Once complete, more than 40 percent of Ford's global nameplates will come in electric versions. It will also see the expansion of Ford's EV offerings to growing... Read more...
The first thing we teach new drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Solid advice, albeit increasingly challenging with all these newfangled technologies at our disposable, including in-vehicle luxuries. To help drivers from becoming distracted with technology, Ford is pushing out a software update that will add Siri Eyes-Free functionality to more than 5 million SYNC-equipped vehicles. Siri Eyes-Free allows drivers to communicate with Apple's digital assistant by long-pressing the voice recognition button on the steering wheel. It's equivalent to holding down the home button... Read more...
When the topic of self-driving cars comes up, Google typically comes to mind (sometimes in humorous fashion). So does Tesla, and to an extent, Apple is a name that's thrown around. You can go ahead add Ford to the list, as the major automaker is stepping up its autonomous vehicle initiative by becoming the first to test self-driving cars at Mcity, a full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan. Mcity is a 32-acre facility that's part of the university's Mobility Transformation Center. It has street lights, crosswalks, lane delineators, curb cuts, bike lanes, trees,... Read more...
Critics of autonomous vehicles fear that handing over control of a car to a series of senors and algorithms is a recipe for danger, though testing to this point has proven the fears to be unfounded. That doesn't mean self-driving cars never catch the attention of law enforcement. In fact, one of Google's cute little prototypes was recently pulled over by a police officer for driving too slow. According to a blog post by the Mountain View Police Department, the self-driving car was traveling 24 MPH in a 35 MPH zone on El Camino Real, near Rengstorff Avenue. The slow speed caught the attention of... Read more...
Toyota today announced that it will establish a new company that will serve as an research and development enterprise with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and robotics. Called Toyota Research Institute Inc. (TRI), the newly formed operation will be headquartered in Silicon Valley near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. There will also be a second facility near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Between the two, Toyota has committed to an initial investment of $1 billion over the next five years, which will go towards creating the... Read more...
One thing we can all agree on is that children are unpredictable. We're not just talking about those random pokes to the eye and blurted out phrases that will have you wondering, "Where the flip did they hear that?," but also in their sporadic movements. It's for that reason Google is taking extra measures to ensure its self-driving cars accommodate for the little ones. According to Google, it's engineers have been teaching the company's autonomous vehicles to "drive more cautiously around children." It's an ongoing process, and to help improve how its self-driving cars react to the unpredictable... Read more...
Electric and self-driving vehicles are already here in some capacity, though if you think about it, the existing solutions are clunky. That's because neither technology has been around long enough to mature. Electric vehicles haven't yet replicated the combination of performance and distance capabilities of their gas guzzling brethren, and autonomous vehicles require a human driver always be at the ready to take control. In other words, there's room for improvement. This is where Nissan's newest concept vehicle comes into play. Unveiled at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, the Nissan IDS Concept "embodies... Read more...
We've all seen a distracted motorist veer off into a neighboring lane because he or she was too involved with operating a smartphone to safely navigate an automobile, but would the person be any better off using hands-free technology? Car makers think so, though new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that motorists can remain distracted for nearly half a minute after using voice commands. "The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers," said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation... Read more...
Lamborghini debuted the open top version of its sleek and sexy Aventador LP 700-4 Superveloce that was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year. For the topless LP 750-4 Roadster model, which is the first and only of its kind in the Superveloce family, Lamborghini headed to Pebble Beach and rolled out its marvelous creation at the Quail Motorsports Gathering over the weekend. By taking the top off, Lamborghini was able to reduce the Aventador's weight by 110 pounds for a dry weight of 3,472 pounds. Under the hood is the same 6.5-liter V12 engine found in the LP 700-4, but as the model... Read more...
Is there anything scarier than the thought of a hacker remotely taking control of your vehicle's steering and braking functions as you barrel down the highway? Well sure, being eaten alive by flesh eating zombies like an episode of The Walking Dead would cause most people to soil their undergarments, but losing control of your vehicle certainly ranks right up there. And unlike the zombie scenario, these remote vehicle hacks are really happening. The newest threat is an exploit that exists in car infotainment systems that could allow an attacker to take complete control of a vehicle's brakes and... Read more...
Ford rightfully claims that driving on unlit roads at night can be a "nerve-wracking experience." No, not because you're lost in a rural area and are about to live out a scene in Wrong Turn, but because you never know when an animal or human might be walking in the shadows on the side of the road. To help you spot these kinds of potential hazards and have more time to react, Ford is working on some interesting headlight technologies. There are a few things at play here. One is the use of GPS information to trigger an enhanced lighting system when going around a curve or dips on a chosen route.... Read more...
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