Items tagged with Automobiles

Google has been one of the biggest driving forces in advancing the autonomous vehicle category. It could even be argued that Google leads the way. With that being the case, it's a bit of surprise to learn that Google may be taking a U-turn in the category and putting its plans to develop self-driving cars into park, at least as currently constructed.The company's self-driving car division, known internally as Chauffeur, is moving towards working with existing automakers to implement self-driving technologies and features into cars. This is opposed to Google continuing to build its own fleet of... Read more...
Certain things should go without saying. Should. Unfortunately, common sense takes a backseat etiquette these days, so ridesharing service Uber felt compelled to add some common sense restrictions to its "Community Guidelines." Breaking any of them could result in being banned from hailing rides from Uber drivers. Uber's goal was to lay out the rules in "plain English" so that everyone—both drivers and riders—know what is expected of them. For example, Uber prohibits damaging the driver's or another passenger's property. In case that's too vague, Uber goes on to list specific infractions that include... Read more...
Leaving the home is about to become more dangerous than it already is. That's because the holiday shopping season is about to be kick into full swing, that means a combination of inattentive pedestrians looking down at their smartphones and distracted drivers wielding handsets behind the wheel. It makes for a potentially dangerous combination, and since vehicles have the potential to do the most damage, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed that phone makers include a Driver Mode with a simplified interface. The latest proposal... Read more...
We like things that are awesome. You probably like things that are awesome, too (we're not going out on much of a limb with that assumption). So, do you want to know something that's awesome that we stumbled upon? Sure you do, which is why we're sharing a video of Tesla's Autopilot technology in action, though not as you've seen it before. The video doesn't just show an autonomous vehicle weaving driving through a city, it uses highlighted color coding so that we can see what the sensors see. Tesla has put a ton of work into its Autopilot technology. Vehicles equipped with Autopilot have eight... Read more...
Study after study have shown the dangers of driving while distracted, something that has become a growing problem with the advent of smartphones. However, it used to be that making calls and firing off text messages were the biggest culprits. Not anymore. They're still responsible for distracting drivers, but so are smartphone apps, which led to the biggest increase in traffic related fatalities in 50 years in 2015. This year isn't looking much better. Just in the first six months of 2016, highway deaths tallied 17,775, a disheartening gain of 10.4 percent compared to the same six-month period... Read more...
One of the benefits of an electric vehicle and many hybrids is that they reduce noise pollution compared to their gas guzzling brethren. On the surface, that sounds like a good thing, until you get plowed into by one because you didn't hear it coming. To prevent that from happening, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has added a sound requirement for all newly built hybrid and EVs. "We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "With more, quieter hybrid and electrical cars... Read more...
As was promised by Google a long time ago, Android Auto users can now fire up the interface on their smartphones, the Mountain View company announced in a blog post. The mobile phone functionality is part of the newly released Android Auto 2.0 update, which Google is rolling out to users in more than 30 countries over the coming days. Since launching two years ago, the Android Auto platform has spread to over 200 new car models from more than 50 brands, and there are more launching each day. However, there was no way of using Android Auto on the millions of existing vehicles lacking integrated... Read more...
Tesla is growing faster than probably most people anticipated. The company is certainly outperforming Wall Street's expectations coming off its first profitable quarter since 2013 in which it recorded net income of $22 million, or 14 cents a share, for the three-month period ended September 30, 2016. To keep the momentum going and to hit its ambitious target of producing 500,000 cars per year by 2018, Tesla today announced plans to acquire Grohmann Engineering, a major player in automation manufacturing systems. "Accelerating a sustainable energy future is only possible with high-volume factories.... Read more...
Tesla Motors is sitting on cloud nine this morning after posting third quarter earnings that beat out Wall Street estimates and sent its stock price up. Specifically, Tesla reported net income of $22 million, or 14 cents per share, for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016, marking the first time the company has posted a profit since the first quarter of 2013. Just a year ago, Tesla posted a loss of nearly $230 million, or $1.78 per share. However, the car maker was able to more than double revenue from then to now, collecting $2.3 billion in the Q3 along with a positive free cash flow of... Read more...
Mobile chip maker Qualcomm has inked a definitive agreement to purchase NXP Semiconductors in a deal valued at around $47 billion. The board of directors of both companies gave unanimous approval for the acquisition, which will see Qualcomm buy all of NXP's stock at $110 per share, an 11.5 percent premium over NXP's closing price on Wednesday. Should the deal receive regulatory approval, Qualcomm will be in position to become a major player in the fast growing connected car market. NXP is a leading chip maker in the automotive industry with mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for in-vehicle infotainment,... Read more...
One thing that Google and automakers such as General Motors and Volkswagen can all agree on is that California's proposed rules on self-driving cars, while perhaps penned with good intentions, would hamper efforts to develop and test potentially life saving autonomous vehicle technologies. They could also lead to skewed reports regarding the safety of self-driving cars. For example, one of the rules (PDF) California proposed is that police wouldn't need a warrant or subpoena to extract any self-driving data within 24 hours. That one was one of many rules Google and automakers with vested interested... Read more...
Luxury automaker Maserati has avoided the whole electric vehicle (EV) craze that's been driving product design at its competitors, but not anymore. The mandate from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is to build a Maserati EV as quickly as possible, so that's what engineering boss Roberto Fedeli is now focusing on, though he won't have anything ready before 2019. "I think that we could show something before 2020. Maybe 2019," Fedeli told Car and Driver during an interview at the Paris auto show. "We are working to be ready with something that we can show during the next couple of years."Fedeli... Read more...
Forget about flying cars, the next big thing in automotive design is autonomous technology. There's been a considerable amount of innovation and advances in self-driving vehicle technology over the past several years, but while that may have companies such as Google and Tesla super excited, new research from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) suggests that Americans aren't yet comfortable giving up control of their cars to a computer and a bunch of sensors. KBB commissioned the national study to better understand how consumers view autonomous vehicles. Market research firm Vital Findings conducted the survey,... Read more...
Google's been lucky in that it's avoided any major collisions involving its fleet of self-driving cars up to this point, though that changed heading into the weekend when an autonomous Lexus RX sustained significant damage from a commercial delivery van plowing into the passenger side of the vehicle. Initial reports suggest Google's self-driving technology was not at fault. The accident occurred in Mountain View as the Lexus RX was traveling northbound on Phyllis Ave. While going through an intersection, a commercial van traveling westbound on El Camino Real ran a red light and smashed into the... Read more...
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