Items tagged with self-driving cars

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 to help the general public understand the benefits of self-driving cars. It all starts with the "Let's... 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: TeslaMiller is referring to the rating system introduced by the US Department of Transportation's... 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 chips and is said to have shipped samples to Tesla of its first implementation of a processor infused... 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 of the other notable names include automakers GM, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Tesla, to name a view,... 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 on NVIDIA's Drive PX car computing platform on roadways by 2021. That gives them just four years... Read more...
Up until now, one of the worst kept secrets in the tech industry was Apple's involvement in an autonomous vehicle program. Job listings and occasional leaks made it unofficially clear that Apple was cooking something up in the self-driving car space, and now Apple boss Tim Cook has come out and confirmed what we knew all along—Apple is invested in self-driving technology"We're focusing on autonomous systems," Cook told Bloomberg in an interview earlier this month. "It's a core technology that we view as important. Cook added that autonomous vehicle technology is "sort of the mother of all AI projects" and "probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on."That is true from a... Read more...
Honda is trying to catch up with it competitors, announcing plans to reveal its first dedicated electric vehicle by the end of 2017 and introduce self-driving vehicles by 2025. Honda has been working tirelessly to revamp its automobile line and increase its popularity among buyers. Seven and a half years feels like quite a ways off, however, Honda appears to be starting from scratch with autonomous vehicles. Honda Chief Executive Officer Takahiro Hachigo noted, “We are not concerned about plans of Nissan or other car-makers. We set the 2025 target because if we don’t set a plan, it will be very unclear for our R&D staff to know what they should do by when.” Nissan, Ford, and Volvo plan to... Read more...
The lead lawyer for Uber has threatened to fire Anthony Levandowski, one of the company's top self-driving car engineers, if he refuses to cooperate with an ongoing investigation into accusations that he stole trade secrets from Waymo, the autonomous vehicle division of Google's parent company Alphabet. Levandowski previously worked for Waymo before joining Uber. His path to Uber came by way of an acquisition. After departing Waymo, Levandowski co-founded Otto in January 2016. Just seven months later, his company was acquired by Uber for around $680 million. Since then, Alphabet has filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging the theft of nearly around 14,000 files amounting to nearly 10 gigabytes... Read more...
Toyota is tapping NVIDIA to deliver the necessary artificial intelligence hardware that will power the automaker's autonomous driving systems. In doing so, Toyota joins a growing and impressive list of automotive partners that have teamed up with NVIDIA to push the autonomous vehicle category forward, a category that Toyota has spent more than two decades researching and developing. The Japanese automaker will use NVIDIA's Drive PX computer platform to power advanced autonomous driving systems that will be introduced in future vehicles. It is a joint collaboration in which engineering teams from both companies have already started developing software on NVIDIA's AI platform. "Toyota has worked... Read more...
The world is changing, folks. That has always been the case, of course, but every so often comes along a game changing technology that underscores the changing landscape. Around 20 years ago it was the Internet, which had begun going mainstream. And today? Self-driving cars point to a different future than the one we live in today. Google is one of the driving forces, and through its Waymo program, it is offering up free rides in its autonomous vans in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix residents are some of the first to participate in Waymo's early rider program. It is a trial of Waymo's self-driving vehicles and as an early rider, Phoenix residents can hitch rides in autonomous vans to go to work, to... Read more...
Apple’s rumored self-driving car technology may soon be a reality. Forgive us for burying the lede bit with a wonderful old time Steve Jobs reference, but regardless, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has granted the company permission to test self-driving vehicles on public roads. Apple joins a list of twenty-nine other companies, such as Google, NVIDIA and Tesla, that have been granted testing permits. A DMV spokeswoman noted, “Today, April 14, 2017, California Department of Motor Vehicles issued Apple, Inc. an autonomous vehicle test permit. The permit covers three vehicles, all 2015 Lexus RX450h, and six drivers”. Credit: Jon Ravi, Wikimedia CommonsApple has never officially... Read more...
An Uber self-driving vehicle was just recently involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona. At the moment there are no reported injuries and Uber has not confirmed whether anyone was in the vehicle during the collision. An Uber spokesperson has confirmed the accident, but did not provide any additional information.  Fresco News user Mark Beach posted the photograph and video of the wrecked vehicle on Twitter just a few short hours ago. The Uber self-driving Volvo XC90 is pictured on its side while the other vehicles are upright with multiple dents. If the car was in self-driving mode, this would be the most serious accident to date involving such a vehicle. Waymo has only experienced a few... Read more...
Intel on Monday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Mobileye, an Israeli technology company that develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems providing warnings for collision prevention and mitigation. Combined with Intel's high performance computing solutions and expertise in connectivity, the Santa Clara chip maker envisions creating automated driving solutions from cloud to car. As part of the agreement, a subsidiary of Intel will purchase all issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash. That represents an equity value of around $15.3 billion, and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion. It's a big spend, though the... Read more...
In the words of Britney Spears, Uber is “not that innocent”. It was recently disclosed that Uber’s self-driving car was at fault for running a red light in December. Last year one of Uber’s self-driving Volvo’s ran a red light near San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. The company claimed that the incident was due to human error and they suspended the employee who had been riding in the vehicle at the time. Uber’s own internal documents and information from two anonymous Uber employees have revealed that the self-driving vehicle was actually in the wrong. Uber’s mapping program failed to recognize six red lights in San Francisco and, “in this case, the car went through a red light”. Uber was... Read more...
Paying employees too little money will have them looking for better opportunities in greener pastures. On the flip side, if you pay them too much, they might also leave, though that's not typically a problem. It was for Google, however, which implemented an unusual and highly lucrative (for employees) pay system for its self-driving car division that led to top talent calling it quits.In the early days, Google implemented a compensation system that awarded employees with huge monetary incentives based on the project's value. It did not take long for the project to ramp up and accumulate significant value, which in turn made the division's employees wealthy. Several of them chose to cash in their... Read more...
Semi- and fully-autonomous vehicles are becoming more commonplace on today's roads, however, they still make up a tiny fraction of all vehicles in operation. Many people are concerned over the interaction between self-driving and manually-operated vehicles, so Swiss researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed an algorithm for autonomous and manually-driven vehicles to safely operate alongside one another in traffic. Th researchers are currently looking at having automated vehicles travel in convoys. The convoys are managed by an algorithm that collects data from each vehicle's sensors and sends it to other vehicles in the vicinity via WiFi. The vehicles are... Read more...
Who is responsible if a self-driving car crashes and causes property damages, physical harm or even death? Autonomous vehicle legislation is still very much in its infancy though it will certainly be an evolutionary process over the years. Corporations such as Tesla and Volvo have publicly stated that they will take responsibility for any faults in their software. However, Comma.ai’s CEO George Hotz (geohot) has stated that he is not responsible for any accidents caused by those who download his free self-driving vehicle software. Hotz recently wrote in an email that “It's not my code, I did not release it” and that Comma.ai Inc. “released and maintains it.” Comma.ai Inc. includes the disclaimer,... Read more...
Ford is moving forward with its autonomous vehicle aspirations, and the latest piece to the puzzle is a next generation hardware suite that makes this feat possible. Ford has introduced next generation self-driving hardware, and it’s installed on the mid-cycle refresh of the popular Ford Fusion Hybrid mid-size sedan. While Ford is giving us an early scoop right now, it will be unveiled to the public next week at CES 2017. This time around, Ford has increased processing power, allowing the vehicles to process data faster and filter information coming from the bevy of sensors and cameras scattered both inside and outside the vehicle. The newest Ford Fusion Hybrid packs so much power that the internal... Read more...
The self-driving car evolution is coming and we had better be prepared for it. Google/Alphabet has formed a new company, Waymo, which will plot a course forward for autonomous vehicle operations. The company already has a fleet of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans coming online, and it is currently in talks with Honda to add even more vehicles to the fray. This is in addition to Google’s existing fleet of Lexus and Toyota hybrid vehicles and efforts from other tech companies like NVIDIA, which just got authorization for testing for its Drive PX2 systems in California, various auto manufacturers like Tesla and ride-sharing services like Uber. But with all of this talk about computer-controlled... Read more...
You will not be seeing Uber’s self-driving vehicles on the roads of San Francisco any longer. The driver-less vehicles are banned since the state of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revoked Uber’s registration. Uber had started testing its self-driving cars before receiving an autonomous vehicles driving permit. California requires that self-driving vehicles be tested by the DMV before they go out on the road. Other companies have complied, however, Uber insisted that it did not need a permit, since the vehicles were not “fully” autonomous. Uber refused to apply for a permit, but was “open to having the conversation”. It turns out that the California DMV was not “open” to smoke-filled... Read more...
Cyclists Beware! If you are on the roads of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or San Francisco, California, watch out for Uber’s self-driving cars. The corporation has admitted that its vehicles have a serious bike lane blindspot. When in self-driving mode, Uber’s vehicle tend to make “unsafe right-hook-style turn through a bike lane”. The blind spot is the self-driving car’s number one cause of collision. Uber spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler stated that “engineers are continuing to work on the problem”. For now, the company is advising drivers to take control of the vehicle when approaching right turns on a street with a bike lane. This admission comes on the heels of the state of California’s ban on Uber... Read more...
Google said several months ago that it was partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to build 100 autonomous Pacifica Hybrid minivans, a move that would double Google's self-driving fleet. Now it is about to make good on that arrangement. Chrysler announced today that production of all 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans has been completed and delivered to Waymo, the new self-driving division created by Alphabet (Google's parent company), where they will be outfitted with autonomous hardware and software. "The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA's product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program... Read more...
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