Items tagged with Autonomous Vehicle

Tragedy struck last week for a man and his family in California. The man was driving in his Tesla Model X when the vehicle struck a concrete barrier on Highway 101 near Mountain View -- he died as a result of the accident. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been investigating to determine if the Autopilot feature was engaged, and now Tesla has now confirmed that it was in fact turned on at the time of the accident. Tesla wrote, "In the moments before the collision, which occurred at 9:27 a.m. on Friday, March 23rd, Autopilot was engaged with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum. The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier... Read more...
Google's taken contingencies for the inevitable day when a self-driving car mows down a pedestrian. To keep injuries to a minimum, Google filed for and was granted a patent for a sort of sticky hood that would grip people who've been hit by an autonomous vehicle. The concept behind it is to prevent people from bouncing off the front of the vehicle and sustaining more damage, whether it's by bouncing off a tree or simply being flung to the concrete. The patent describes an adhesive layer that's applied to the front end of a vehicle. A special coating is then put on top to prevent the hood from being sticky at all times. Upon initial impact, the coating would break down instantaneously exposing... Read more...
Google took another step in its autonomous vehicle research this week, bringing its prototype self-driving car to Austin, Texas. The tiny vehicle joins the autonomous Lexus RX 450h SUV that began cruising Northeast Austin streets in July. Both the iconic little white car, which Google often refers to as the “prototype vehicle,” and the Lexus SUV made an appearance this weekend at a children’s museum in Austin, TX. The city’s mayor, Steve Adler, announced this weekend that the prototype vehicles will be joining the SUV as Google expands its test in Austin. Google says that the autonomous prototype will be traveling in the same area as the SUV. And like the SUV, the prototype will have a human... Read more...
In a recent conversation I had with my mother about autonomous vehicles, she established that she'd never feel safe inside of a car that lacked a real driver. Her reasons are shared by many: The lack of control means higher stress, and of course the feeling of knowing that like all computers, the risk of an issue arising at an inopportune time (eg: while in traffic) is all too real. While it might not come as a surprise to everyone, it's been proven before that Google's autonomous vehicles are actually safer on the road than those driven by actual people - and now, that proof has been furthered, after a slew of tests in California and Nevada. Google's Chris Urmson states that "Our car is driving... Read more...