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Posts Tagged ‘autonomous car news’

Lyft Establishes Stand-Alone Autonomous Vehicle Unit

Ride-share company expands self-driving car plans.

by on Jul.21, 2017

Luc Vincent, Lyft's autonomous vehicle chief, announced the company's plans to establish a self-driving car unit. (Photo credit: Lyft)

The competition level between ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft just got ratcheted up another notch as Lyft announced plans to establish its own autonomous vehicle arm.

The move just adds to Uber’s ongoing problems that recently culminated in the departure of company founder and now former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was basically forced out by investors last month.

Come Along for the Ride!

Lyft, which counts General Motors among its substantive investor base, plans to have a self-driving car team staffed with hundreds of engineers by the end of next year. (more…)

Apple Gets Nod to Test Autonomous Vehicles in California

Tech giant one of 30 companies approved.

by on Apr.14, 2017

Apple and its mysterious Project Titan pulled back the cloak a bit after it asked for and received permission to test autonomous vehicles in California.

The world’s worst-kept secret continues to be kept worse: Apple received a permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the State of California. The tech behemoth has never confirmed its program to develop an autonomous vehicle … or any type of vehicle for that matter.

Apple joins 30 other companies that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has cleared to test self-driving cars. Others included General Motors, Google and Ford. Business Insider first reported the approval.

Stay Plugged In!

The company’s never-confirmed-but-often-teased vehicle program is code-named Project Titan internally. Apple’s hired several employees who held high ranking jobs at automakers or suppliers during the past three years. (more…)

NuTonomy Brings Self-Driving Auto Testing to Boston

Company's investors include Bill Ford's Fontinalis Partners.

by on Nov.21, 2016

The nuTonomy autonomous car, a Renault Zoe, will soon be buzzing Boston city streets..

The field of self-driving vehicles being tested on American roadways just got a little larger as nuTonomy, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based start-up company, plans to run its Renault Zoe around Boston.

The company, which counts Bill Ford’s Fontinalis Partners equity firm as an investor, has already been running its “robo taxi” all over Singapore for several months now. In fact, it offered users free rides to encourage riders to give it a try.

Global Auto News!

Riders don’t hop into an empty car, an engineer mans the wheel in nuTonomy vehicles right now, ready to take over in the event of an emergency. While Singpore presents a unique area for development, Boston affords the company’s technology new challenges it hasn’t faced yet: mainly cold, ice and snow. (more…)

Deal to Make Arsenal of Democracy the Vanguard of Autonomy Complete

Former Willow Run plant site will used to develop autonomous vehicles.

by on Nov.07, 2016

A rendering shows part of the planned layout for the new American Center for Mobility.

A 300-acre portion of Michigan’s historic manufacturing past is taking another step toward the auto industry’s technological future.

The Willow Run Arsenal of Democracy Landholdings Limited Partnership just completed the $1.2 million purchase of the former Willow Run Assembly Plant near Detroit from RACER Properties LLC, which will allow for the construction of the autonomous testing and development facility of future mobility named the American Center for Mobility.

The Journal of Record!

The site churned out thousands of bombers during World War II as a key component of the Arsenal of Democracy is now part of an $80 million investment to bring viable autonomous vehicles to the U.S., starting with the use of this site as a testing facility starting in 2018. (more…)

Is This Robocar the Future of Racing?

Tron-like cars set to take to the track later this year.

by on Apr.01, 2016

The worlds of fantasy and autonomous vehicles are merging together with the kickoff of the Robocar racing series.

We’re going to have to wait a few years before the first fully autonomous vehicles roll into U.S. showrooms, but expect to start seeing them on the track later this year, and you can give credit – or blame – to the same man who designed the vehicles in the sci-fi films Tron: Legacy and Oblivion.

While specific details haven’t been released, expect to see 20 of these robocars when the first roborace is held as a support series for the FIA Formula E Championship during the 2016-2017 season. There will be 10 teams, each operating two of the electrically powered autonomous vehicles.

The Future Is Now!

It makes some sense to push the envelope when you’re developing cars for the first autonomous race cars, which will compete in the new Robocar series. And who better to turn to than designer Daniel Simon, who has also worked on everything from drones to motorcycles, and even spaceships. (more…)

Watchdog Clamors for Controls on Google Cars

Test drivers take over for confused cars.

by on Jan.14, 2016

Opponents to Google's plans for a car with no steering wheel, gas pedal or brake pedal claim recent events support their position.

California, which seems to be the location for the largest number of self-driving test vehicles, recently released its proposed rules for autonomous vehicles. Chief among them? Steering wheels and gas and brake pedals.

Not a big deal … unless you’re Google, which wants its vehicles to have nothing more than a big red button to shut the vehicle down.

News Now!

For obvious reasons, Google is protesting, calling the move “gravely disappointing,” but the tech giant’s own data is adding fuel to the fire for opponents that the company’s desire for just the red button is enough to keep roads safe. The company said in a recent state-mandated disengagement report that test vehicles turned control over to the test driver more than 270 times. (more…)

If You Can Think You Can Drive this Chinese Car

System can shift gears, unlock a car using thought control alone.

by on Dec.08, 2015

Researchers at Nankai University in China have developed an autonomous vehicle that can be directed by brain waves.

“I think therefore I am,” wrote the mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes. But Chinese researchers might soon change that to, “I think therefore I drive.”

Working out of Nankai University, in the port city of Tianjin, they are developing a car that can be driven simply by using brain power. The car decides what to do by using 16 electroencephalogram, or EEG, sensors to read what a driver is thinking.

News Now!

“The tester’s EEG signals are … transmitted wirelessly to the computer,” researcher Zhang Zhao told the Reuters news service. “The computer processes the signals to categorize and recognize people’s intention, then translates them into control command to the car.” (more…)

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo is a “Connected Lounge” on Wheels

Rethinking the luxury car for the new megacity.

by on Oct.28, 2015

The Mercedes' Vision Tokyo is a five-seat concept vehicle that it describes as a “connected lounge.”

Technology isn’t the only thing reshaping the automobile. One only has to get stuck in Tokyo traffic to see the challenges posed by modern megacities.

Mercedes-Benz has been searching for ways to reshape tomorrow’s luxury cars with high-tech concepts like the F 015 that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show last January. Now, it’s pulling the wraps off the Vision Tokyo, a five-seat concept vehicle that it describes as a “connected lounge.”

Plug In!

Capable of driving autonomously, and fitted with the latest in infotainment and other technologies, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo seems a potentially appropriate solution for a tech-crazy city that is barely as big as Paris but serves as home to four times as many people. (more…)

Google’s Autonomous Car Begins Urban Driving

Company moves to next phase of testing: live city traffic.

by on May.15, 2015

A fleet of 25 Google prototype autonomous vehicles will take to the streets of Mountain View, California, this summer for more testing.

That cute little self-driving Google car that looks more like one of the scrubbing bubble mascots than a car is moving from the test track to the real world this summer.

Google announced today that it would begin urban testing on its autonomous vehicles. Unlike the final product, these vehicles will come equipped with steering wheels, brake pedals and gas pedals. The final product is expect to come with just a button allowing the passengers to shut the vehicle off in case of an emergency.

The Last Word!

While the test marks the first time the vehicles will be outside a controlled environment, only the residents of Mountain View, California, need to be concerned about the testing. (more…)

Audi Secures First Driverless Car Permit in California

The Golden State rolls out new regs for autonomous vehicles.

by on Sep.16, 2014

Audi is the first company to receive an autonomous driving permit issued by California

California’s fabled automotive culture passed another milestone today as the state’s new law governing autonomous driving went into effect, leaving the road open to pilotless cars though they aren’t expected to turn up on the 405, the Pacific Coast Highway or the Golden Gate Bridge anytime soon.

Audi, the ever-eager German carmaker, is the first company to receive an autonomous driving permit issued by California. The maker has conducted research over tens of thousands of miles in Europe and various U.S. states, where such testing is permitted.

Auto Insight!

The research is aimed at preparing a highly automated piloted driving system for freeway traffic conditions. Audi envisions this technology could be ready for consumer introduction within five years. (more…)