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Posts Tagged ‘autonomous vehicle news’

Governments Catalyzing Growth of Autonomous Vehicles Globally

Japan, Dubai leading the way to more autonomous vehicle use, testing.

by on Feb.21, 2017

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chairs a committee reviewing a proposal that would set 2020 as the target for commercializing automated-driving technology.

The push to develop autonomous cars is increasingly taking on a global hue as activist governments around the world take a hand in making more space for self-driving vehicles.

For example, the Japanese government now aims to have self-driving vehicles provide transport to its rapidly expanding population of senior citizens and others with limited vehicle access by 2020 and is deliberately encouraging development of the self-driving technology to address growing social challenges, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

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Meanwhile, Dubai has cut a deal for autonomous vehicles with Tesla. The country’s transportation authority announced a deal to buy 200 Tesla Model S sedans and Model X SUVs for the city’s huge taxi and limousine fleet, which now number numbers more than 10,000 vehicles. (more…)

GM, Lyft Deploying “Thousands” of Self-Driving Bolts in 2018

The new fleet arrives two years ahead of most other maker's planned ventures.

by on Feb.17, 2017

An autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV shown running at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

General Motors will catapult to the top of the autonomous vehicle class in 2018 when it deploys “thousands” of self-driving EVs with its ride-sharing partner Lyft Inc., according to Reuters.

If it happens, it will be the largest test fleet of fully autonomous vehicles by a major automaker. Currently, Waymo, working in concert with Fiat Chrysler, is testing about 60 self-driving vehicles in four states.

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Most automakers have been pointing to 2020 as the time when they’ll have vehicles ready for autonomous driving tests on America’s roadways. Plans call for Lyft, which GM purchased a stake in last year, to use the self-driving EVs in California and other states, Reuters reported. (more…)

Forget Uber or Lyft, Call a Drone When in Dubai

Autonomous drones taking flight this summer.

by on Feb.15, 2017

Dubai has cleared the way for the first autonomous drones to be used by people. The service is scheduled to begin in July.

Amazon has been talking about using delivery drones for sometime now; however, if you’re in Dubai later this year, the delivery drones could be dropping off more than packages — they could be delivering people.

In fact, the drones will be autonomous, marrying two of the latest trends in transportation. Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency has cleared the way for Chinese-made EHang 184s to dot the city’s skyline.

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The move isn’t all that surprising. Dubai’s leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said last year that he wants to the city to be on the cutting edge of transportation technologies. The city has already cleared the way for autonomous vehicles and Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is going to get its first real-world trial linking Dubai with Abu Dhabi. (more…)

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Wind Up in Arizona

"Arizona welcomes Uber...with open arms and wide open roads.”

by on Dec.23, 2016

Uber moved its autonomous vehicle fleet from San Francisco to Arizona.

Wondering what’s happened to the 16 autonomous Volvo XC90s Uber pulled off the streets of San Francisco this week? Rather than park the prototypes, the ride-sharing giant has decided to take them to Arizona.

Uber kicked off a storm when, on Dec. 14, it began testing the vehicles in the City by the Bay without the necessary permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency quickly pulled the registrations on the autonomous vehicles, forcing them off the road. Uber also took heat when reports surfaced revealing the vehicles had violated numerous traffic laws, among other things running red lights.

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While Uber admitted it had to fix a “problem” with its software, it made it clear it wasn’t abandoning its effort to develop autonomous technology. An initial statement from the company suggested it might move to another part of California, but Uber now says it will head to another state that does not require permits for testing. (more…)

Honda Launches Autonomous Car Talks with Waymo

Waymo could offer alternative to Honda’s own self-driving program.

by on Dec.22, 2016

A Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, modified for Waymo, shown driving autonomously. Could a Honda Odyssey be next?

Taking the lead from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda has announced it is talking with Waymo about using the newly renamed Google autonomous vehicle spinoff’s technology in some of its vehicles.

The move comes as something of a surprise as Honda has already been working on its own autonomous vehicle technology, with a production target of 2020. It suggests the third-largest Japanese automaker might be worried about falling behind rivals such as Toyota, Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen, all of which are racing to get their own self-driving vehicles on the road as soon as possible.

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“In addition to (Honda’s own) ongoing efforts, this technical collaboration with Waymo could allow Honda R&D to explore a different technological approach to bring fully self-driving technology to market,” the automaker said in a statement. (more…)

BMW Opening Autonomous Vehicle Development Center in Germany

Automaker looks to open center mid-2017.

by on Dec.21, 2016

BMW plans to open a new autonomous vehicle development center just south of Munich next year.

BMW has formally entered the race to build a self-driving car by announcing it plans to build a development center just outside of Munich in southern Germany.

BMW has said the iNEXT – a self-driving, electric and fully connected vehicle – is scheduled for release in 2021 with an entire range of automated models from BMW Group brands expected to follow.

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As part of the effort to reach its goal, the BMW Group plans to combine its development expertise in vehicle connectivity and automated driving at a new campus in Unterschleissheim, Germany, which near Munich.   (more…)

Google, FCA Partnering for Ride-Sharing Service

Two companies expanding existing relationship.

by on Dec.14, 2016

Google and FCA are allegedly partnering up in a ride-sharing outfit featuring autonomous Chrysler Pacificas.

Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, apparently plans to start a ride-sharing service using Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NA’s minivans as part of a reorganization of the tech company’s automotive unit, new reports suggest.

The ride-sharing initiative would signal a deepening of the relationship that was launched last spring, Google will deploy a semi-autonomous version of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan that it’s developing with FCA for a new service as early as the end of 2017. Both Alphabet and Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on their plans, according to Bloomberg.

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Developing ride-sharing services has become a priority for automakers during the past couple of years. (more…)

Google Focusing Solely on Autonomous Technology

Tech giant spins off new unit called WAYMO.

by on Dec.13, 2016

It appears that Google will no longer be producing a full self-driving car instead focusing on developing the technology for other companies.

Google is getting out of the automotive game, well, at least the part of it where it makes actual self-driving cars. The tech giant confirmed today it’s restructuring its auto business to focus on developing autonomous technology alone.

As part of the effort, it will be split off from Google and called WAYMO, according to John Krafcik, who took over Google’s self-driving car project earlier this year. Called “Chauffeur” internally, is focusing exclusively on incorporating its sensors into traditional vehicles.

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“It’s sort of the best of both worlds,” Krafcik said, according to the Detroit News, while announcing the news at the tech giant’s office in San Francisco. (more…)

California’s Proposed Autonomous Testing Rules Rile Google, Automakers

Companies claim proposed rules make development difficult.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Google and several automakers expressed concern about California's proposed testing rules for self-driving cars.

As Tesla’s Elon Musk announced all of the maker’s new vehicles will be capable of Level 5 autonomous driving, other automakers were expressing their concerns about the state of California’s proposed rules for testing self-driving vehicles in the Golden State.

During a public hearing outlining the proposed rules Google and several automakers objected to a variety of mandates, claiming that they would hinder the ability to conduct effective testing, including requiring compliance with the guidelines that federal regulators made voluntary last month.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automated Vehicle Policy was devised to insure that automated vehicles or vehicles that can take over some or all of the driving task can pass a series of uniform tests to ensure the safety of the public, according to information supplied by The White House. (more…)

Continental Adds Autonomous Driving System to Portfolio

Supplier unveils "Cruising Chauffeur" system.

by on Sep.28, 2016

Continental's Cruising Chauffeur autonomous driving system allows motorists to let their vehicle handle the driving in certain conditions.

Continental AG is the latest company to offer up an autonomous driving solution with its “Cruising Chauffeur” system, which uses a mix of technologies to keep a vehicle cruising along the highway, adjusting to changing speed limits and driving conditions.

The system represents the continued technological evolution of the German-based supplier’s safety systems already in uses, such as blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control and rear-cross-traffic alerts, re-shaping the motoring experience of millions of Americans.

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Cruising Chauffeur is the next step in making roads safer, noted Jeremy McClain, director of systems and technology for Continental’s NAFTA region. He said 95% of all road accidents involve human error. Continental is working on systems that help limit the errors and reduce the number of fatalities and injuries, McClain said. (more…)