Items tagged with self-driving cars

We haven't heard much about Apple's self-driving auto endeavor in recent months, but the company has been working hard behind the scenes. Last December, Apple was in the news when its autonomous vehicle navigation system turned up in a patent filing. That same month, it also showed off its latest self-driving car tech. Apple is big into the autonomous auto game and reports indicate that it now has the second largest autonomous fleet in California. Apple currently has 55 vehicles cruising the roads (along with 83 trained drivers), GM Cruise has the largest fleet at 104 vehicles and the... Read more...
Something went terribly wrong on a Tempe, Arizona road last week, when a pedestrian crossing the street was struck and killed by an autonomous Uber Volvo XC90. The vehicle's sensors didn't detect the pedestrian, meaning that the brakes weren't automatically applied to prevent the crash (or at least lessen its severity). Perhaps more tragically, the human "babysitter" behind the wheel wasn't even paying attention at the time of the crash -- she was looking elsewhere in the cabin instead of keeping an eye on the road ahead. Now, a new report from Reuters suggests that Uber's decision to skimp on... Read more...
Uber and the autonomous driving sector at large are under close scrutiny after one of the ride sharing service's self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian on Sunday. However, the police chief of Tempe, Arizona, the place where the fatal accident occurred, says a preliminary investigation into the matter reveals that Uber is "likely" not at fault for what happened, and that it would have been difficult to avoid the outcome whether a human driver was in charge or a series of sensors and cameras. To be clear, there was a human driver behind the wheel, though the self-driving Volvo SUV was in... Read more...
We have some sad news to report in the world of autonomous vehicles. It was reported that earlier this morning, an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe is one of several cities where Uber's autonomous vehicle trials are taking place, with the others being Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. While there was a human driver behind the vehicle when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck, the vehicle was operating in fully autonomous mode at the time. This is the first accident [that we know of] involving an autonomous vehicle that has resulted in the... Read more...
To the uninitiated, riding shotgun in a self-driving car might seem like a scary proposition. Part of the reason is because we are simply not used to seeing a vehicle navigate itself without a human driver behind the wheel, so the image of a potentially deadly hunk of metal motoring down a busy street is inherently concerning. Waymo seems to recognize this, so it has gone and launched a 360-degree virtual reality experience that puts users in the rear seat of a self-driving car. Much of the 3-minute video is spent explaining how Waymo's various sensors survey the landscape to identify all the moving... Read more...
Just two months ago, Waymo announced plans to test a self-driving car service in Phoenix, Arizona, in which commuters could summon a free ride from one of around 600 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. Now the company is putting the pedal to the metal with "thousands more" of the same hybrid vehicle, each one motoring around without a flesh and blood (read: human) driver behind the wheel. Fiat Chrysler in Canada is producing the self-driving vehicles for Waymo, which is planning to deploy the hybrids in cities where it is currently testing autonomous driving technology. When asked by Wired exactly... Read more...
Apple's director of AI, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, was on hand at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference, a large AI-focused academic event held recently in California. During the chat, Salakhutdinov talked about Apple's AI projects and several of them were related to autonomous driving pursuits. One of the projects that was talked about had to do with a system trained to recognize pedestrians and other vehicles from 3D-point cloud information. This project had been disclosed by Apple previously, however, a couple of the projects that Salakhutdinov covered were not previously revealed.... Read more...
Volvo and Uber have announced a deal that will see Volvo providing 24,000 SUVs over the coming years for Uber's autonomous driving push. Volvo will provide Uber with top of the line XC90 SUVs along with some XC60 mid-size SUVs. Volvo doesn't make self-driving cars at this time and notes that Uber will be adding its own sensors and self-driving hardware to the vehicles. The partnership between the two firms is non-exclusive, meaning that Uber could add additional vehicles from other manufacturers if wanted. Uber already has a deal in place to get some vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The XC90 is an... Read more...
Things have not gone well for the first autonomous shuttle bus in Las Vegas. The vehicle was reportedly involved in an accident during its first hour of operation. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, D'oh. The accident was minor and all the passengers on the free shuttle bus operated by AAA and Keolis were unharmed during the fender bender. While the accident wasn't caused by the autonomous bus, this handily highlights the potential downside of an autonomous vehicle. A semi-truck backed into the autonomous shuttle reportedly grazing the fender. The issue here is that while the Navya shuttle... Read more...
Self-driving cars are inevitable when it comes to the future of transportation in the United States and abroad. Many auto manufactures from Ford to Mercedes-Benz to Tesla are racing to make fully autonomous driving technology ready for primetime on public roads by the turn of the decade (or shortly thereafter). Google helped to familiarize many in the tech industry with the idea of self-driving vehicles with its fleet of autonomous Toyota Prius and Lexus RX 450h hybrids. Now that Google's self-driving efforts have been spun into a separate entity called Waymo, parent company Alphabet is hoping... Read more...
Tesla founder Elon Musk has been hyping up self-driving capabilities of his company's upcoming Model 3 automobile, but if you ask General Motors, the automaker will tell you he is "full of crap." Yes, those were the words GM's director of autonomous vehicle integration Scott Miller threw at Australian journalists in Detroit, which leaves little doubt to how and (and presumably his employer) really feels about Tesla."I think he is full of crap," Miller said. "To think you can see everything you need for a level five autonomous car with cameras and radar, I don't know how you do that."Image Source:... Read more...
Tesla is one of the leading automakers working towards a complete self-driving solution where it will one day be possible to hop in your car, plug in a destination, and let the vehicle do all of the work. That type of end-goal requires a lot of advanced sensors and computing power. To help with the latter, Tesla has tapped Advanced Micro Devices to design purpose-built processors to its specifications.AMD is a fabless operation and does not actually produce processors—that task falls on GlobalFroundries, which has a wafer supply agreement with AMD that runs through 2020. However, AMD designs its... Read more...
It is a tossup whether Samsung is best known for its smartphones, televisions, or semiconductor business, at least for now anyway. Give it some time and Samsung might end up being associated with self-driving cars. The South Korean electronics maker certainly has an interest in autonomous vehicles—what tech company doesn't these days?—which was reinforced by receiving permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test cars that drive themselves on state roads. Samsung joins a growing list of companies that have obtained permits from the DMV to test autonomous vehicles. Some... Read more...
Despite cautionary push back from regulators and lawmakers, it is becoming increasingly clear that self-driving cars are the future. Development in the area has been proceeding at a breakneck pace. Even so, one has to wonder when exactly autonomous vehicles will become a reality, versus just a prototype. It could be sooner than you think thanks to a new partnership between Volvo, Autoliv, and NVIDIA. The two automakers have teamed up with NVIDIA to accelerate the advancement of self-driving car technology. As part of that alliance, they have set an ambitious goal of having production vehicles built... Read more...
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