Items tagged with self-driving cars

Uber is trying to make its hometown of San Francisco the second city in the United States to benefit from its self-driving car service but it is meeting resistance by state authorities. After announcing the rollout on Wednesday, California regulators jumped in and demanded that Uber park its self-driving fleet because the company lacked the necessary permits for autonomous vehicles. "It is illegal for the company to operate its self-driving vehicles on public roads until it receives an autonomous vehicle testing permit," Brian G. Soublet, deputy director of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, told Uber in a letter. "Any action by Uber to continue the operation of vehicles equipped with... Read more...
It's clearer than ever that our future is going to include a lot of automation, and that even includes our passenger cars, trucks, and mass transit. Companies like Google, Tesla, and NVIDIA have been working hard to develop technologies that will allow people to drive without even having to pay attention to the road. Of course, with technologies that can put everyone's lives at risk, the government hasn't been hasty in allowing the autonomous transition to happen. Autonomous technology today is without question, impressive, but to persuade the governments to approve autonomous vehicles from littering the road, a lot more has to be done. Today, we learn of a proposal of mandatory vehicle-to-vehicle... Read more...
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 cars, which it hoped to one day ditch the steering wheel and pedals en route to being totally reliant... Read more...
NVIDIA hopes to make a huge impact in the autonomous market, as it's been vigorously promoting its Drive PX platform for the past couple of years. And while NVIDIA might not be a name most people think of when looking at the automotive realm, the company has proven itself to be more than capable of delivering market-leading solutions for digital-driven roads (the company's latest earnings report shows that it non-gaming related business operations are doing quite well). Now, the company has earned the right to strut its stuff to the world - at least in the state of California. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV) has just updated its website to include NVIDIA as the latest... 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 surround cameras providing a 360-degree view of the surrounding at up to 250 meters away. They also... Read more...
Self-driving cars are all the rage  (road rage perhaps?) at the moment and of course NVIDIA has already jumped on the self-driving bandwagon with an entire suite of Drive PX 2-based products that employ the company's processors to power the brains of the operation. To further expand on the company's goals, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has stated that he envisions vehicles with artificial intelligence that would mold to each individuals’ preferences. Huang recently spoke at an event alongside other tech titans including, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Netflix’s Reed Hastings. In a session entitled "Inside the Brain of the Artificially Intelligent Car", he remarked,... Read more...
We have all been there. You are at a lit party and your buddy asks you to go for a beer run. What do you choose? A 6-pack of a craft beer? A 24-pack of something cheap? How about 50,000 cans of Budweiser? Uber just completed the first commercial delivery made by a self-driving truck and it delivered 2,000 cases of one of America’s favorite beers. This past Tuesday, Otto, Uber’s self-driving vehicle operation drove roughly 125 miles from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The truck even passed through downtown Denver. It seems fitting that this delivery was made in one of the states with the most breweries per capita. Otto used cameras, radar, and lidar systems in order to “see” the road... 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 in autonomous vehicles questioned and ultimately opposed, as the data would typically only be collected... Read more...
Artificial intelligence is advancing at a rapid rate, and technology innovators are quickly transferring that technology to the vehicles that we drive every day. What first started with automatic cruise control has morphed to include additional driver assistance features like automatic braking, cross traffic alert, and lane-keeping (among others). Manufacturers like Tesla have combined all of these technologies and a multitude of cameras and sensors around the vehicle to market systems like Autopilot, which can take over many primary vehicle controls while the driver still oversees the events that unfold before their eyes. The end game, however, is fully-autonomous vehicles — like Google’s self-driving... 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, which included 2,200 residents of the United States with a wide age range from 12-64 years old.... Read more...
The White House is fully embracing self-driving vehicles. Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council and Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, released the first self-driving guidelines which outline safety expectations and called for consistent regulations. The United States government supports the self-driving industry because its believes that the vehicles will enhance safety, mobility, productivity, and sustainability. The government is also hopeful that self-driving vehicles will reduce the number of auto accidents and fatalities. Self-driving vehicles could provide mobility for those who do not have it, such as the elderly and those with... Read more...
Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer has an ambitious vision of the future. In his mind, there will come a day when most of the ride-hailing service is run by self-driving cars rather than flesh and blood drivers. Oh, and that day is coming sooner than you think—how does five years strike you? That's the bold prediction Zimmer made in a recent blog post, but it wasn't the only one. Zimmer also predicted that private car ownership would "all but end" by 2025 in major U.S. cities, noting that millennials don't celebrate cars as symbols of freedom and identity the way that previous generations did and still do. To the average millennial, owning a car is an expensive burden, one that costs the... Read more...
The future is here today! Uber debuted its self-driving taxi service this morning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At first, there will be four self-driving vehicles, each with two people occupying the front seats. A human driver will be behind the steering wheel just in case things get dicey and he or she needs to take over.Uber offered tag-along-rides to news reporters on Tuesday. According to Reuter’s reporter Heather Sommerville, “During a ride of about one hour, Reuters observed the Uber car safely - and for the most part smoothly - stop at red lights and accelerate at green lights, travel over a bridge, move around a mail truck and slow for a driver opening a car door on a busy street. All... Read more...
Tesla is in the process of upgrading its Autopilot system to better 'see' the world surrounding world and discern from potentially dangerous objects that need to be avoided and those that don't require braking. Several of the changes that will ultimately lead to a smarter Autopilot system have been introduced in version 8 of its software. Version 8 contains dozens of small refinements, though the most significant upgrade is that of more advanced signal processing that taps the onboard radar to create a picture of the outside world. This represents a major change in strategy for Tesla and its Autopilot function. "The radar was added to all Tesla vehicles in October 2014 as part of the Autopilot... Read more...
IFA 2016 is not the only hub for announcements this week. Baidu CEO Robin Li and NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at the Baidu World Conference today in Beijing announced that together they will create a cloud-to-car autonomous car platform. Baidu will bring its cloud platform and mapping technology while NVIDIA will incorporate its self-driving computing platform for HD maps, Level 3 autonomous vehicle control, and automated parking. The ultimate goal is to making driving safer. Baidu and NVIDIA hope to significantly reduce traffic fatalities and make driving more readily available.Jen-Hsun Huang remarked, “We’re going to bring together the technical capabilities and the expertise in AI and the scale... Read more...
Google is really trying to get the ball -- or should we say tire -- rolling on its self-driving car project. The company just hired one of Airbnb’s top executives, Shaun Stewart. Stewart’s job will be to aid in the commercialization of Google’s self-driving car technology. Stewart’s specialty lies in building and scaling businesses. He helped to setup Airbnb’s vacation rentals business. Before that he was chief executive of Jetsetter, a company that was later acquired by TripAdvisor. Stewart will report to ex-Hyundai executive John Krafcik, who was hired as the project’s CEO in 2015. Google recently lost Chris Urmson, a former Carnegie Mellon professor and the chief technical officer of the self-driving... Read more...
Many companies throughout the world are jumping on the self-driving vehicle bandwagon. Dutch company Mobileye and British company Delphi Automotive just announced a partnership to develop its own system for fully autonomous vehicles. The system should be ready to showcase at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and ready for production by 2019. Kevin Clark, Delphi President and Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “This partnership will allow us to give our customers an increased level of automated capabilities faster and more cost effectively. The collective expertise of our two organizations will accelerate the creation of new approaches and capabilities that would likely not... Read more...
Self-driving cars might be the future of transportation, but for Uber, the time to pounce is now. Uber's ultimate goal is to replace the ride service's more than 1 million flesh and blood drivers with autonomous vehicles, and it wants to do it as soon as possible. While it seems premature to think about such a thing, Uber's going to let customers in downtown Pittsburgh virtually thumb rides from self-driving cars using their smartphones. Some riders who request rides will be picked up in specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles. The autonomous vehicles will sport an array of sensors that use cameras, lasers, radar, and GPS receivers to navigate the roadways and avoid accidents with... Read more...
Yet another agency is looking into a fatal crash involving a 2015 Tesla Model S. The latest to don its detective cap is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is investigating whether Tesla ran afoul of securities regulations by not telling investors of the crash involving the company's self-driving car technology. The accident occurred in early May and took the life of Joshua Brown, the owner of the Model S that struck an 18-wheeler when the tractor trailer crossed in front of him on a divided highway. At the time of the accident, the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged. Unfortunately the sensors that detect the surroundings of the Model S failed to detect the 18-wheeler,... Read more...
Following the first fatal accident involving Tesla's autonomous vehicle technology, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending a team of five investigators to Florida next week to investigate the crash and the circumstances that allowed the accident to occur. That's in addition to a probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS). Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety advocacy group in Washington, told Bloomberg that NTSB's probe is "very significant," adding that "the NTSB only investigates crashes with broader implications." Indeed, the NTSB has been skeptical of autonomous vehicles and has warned of the technology's downsides while... Read more...
Part of being a safe driver is knowing when to use a car horn and to what degree. It's a skill that's lost on many drivers, who instead use the horn as an outlet for their frustration at other motorists rather than a warning signal that something bad is about to happen. Google's determined to teach its fleet of autonomous vehicles the correct way to use the horn. Like so many other aspects of Google's self-driving cars, horn use relies on an algorithm. This is something Google developed slowly over time—at first, the horn would only be played inside the vehicle so that test drivers could offer feedback. This allowed Google to fine tune its horn honking algorithm without confusing other drivers.... Read more...
Not all jobs at Google entail crunching code or having familiarity with APIs. If you have a clean driving history, excellent written and verbal communication skills, can type at least 40 words per minute, and a BS or BA degree, you could end up working for Google in a position on one of its self-driving car teams (and no, not the San Andreas team). The gig pays $20 per hour to test Google's autonomous vehicles. It entails driving (or riding) in an autonomous Lexus for six to eight hours per day as it roams the city streets of Arizona. However, you wouldn't be able to just kick your legs up and take an extended nap—you'd have to monitor the software systems, take notes, and compete daily reports.... Read more...
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