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Posts Tagged ‘autonomous vehicle news’

Uber Fatality Investigation Produces More Questions Than Answers

NTSB, NHTSA assisting in accident query.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

The video chronicling the fatal accident between an Uber vehicle in autonomous test mode and a woman crossing a street with her bike has opened up a Pandora’s Box of questions for the ride-sharing giant and other companies looking to develop self-driving vehicles.

The first is, of course, how did the system not recognize her and take action to avoid the problem? The vehicle’s system had plenty of time to take action, but did nothing, eventually running over Elaine Herzberg, as she walked her bike across four lanes of traffic at night in Tempe, Arizona.

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“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones,” Uber said in a statement. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.” (more…)

Self-Driving Uber Test Vehicle Kills Pedestrian

Company halts all autonomous testing.

by on Mar.19, 2018

An Uber Volvo XC90 was involved in a minor crash, getting flipped onto its side, during a test program near Phoenix last year.

Company’s testing autonomous vehicles and self-driving technologies have one giant fear, a fatality. That fear became a reality last night for Uber as one of its self-driving vehicles killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The incident occurred when the vehicle was in autonomous mode; however, there was a safety engineer behind the wheel, which is standard Uber practice. There were no other passengers in the vehicle at the time.

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According to a USA Today report, the woman, who has not yet been named, was crossing outside the designated crosswalk at about 10 p.m. when she was hit, police said. (more…)

Autonomous Cars Will Cut US Sedan Sales in Half

Midsize sedans likely to feel brunt of culture change.

by on Nov.27, 2017

An autonomous Volvo XC90 used by Uber in San Francisco. The company plans to buy 24,000 vehicles.

This story has been updated.

Autonomous vehicles used by ride services will cut the demand for owner-driven sedans by half in the U.S. by 2030, according to a new study.

Consulting firm KPMG predicts that ride services will start gaining in popularity in urban areas and some densely populated suburban regions with ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, using self-driving vehicles to shuttle folks around.

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Before you dismiss it, General Motors took an ownership stake in Lyft to ensure it played a role in that business before it got shut out. Ford is also working with Lyft, and Alphabet’s Waymo subsidiary is looking to gain favor with other companies as it dishes out free rides under KPMG’s proposed scenario right now.  (more…)

Waymo Gives Lo-Down on Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving firm looks to take fear out of autonomy.

by on Oct.31, 2017

Waymo launched a pilot ride-sharing program in Phoenix using autonomous Chrysler minivans.

Waymo decided to provide a glimpse behind the curtain, allowing a group of media to take test rides in the company’s autonomous vehicles, explaining the testing process of the vehicles and sharing some insights about the company’s future.

The company, which is owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been testing self-driving Chrysler Pacificas and Lexus SUVs in several cities around the U.S., including a trial run at ride-hailing in Phoenix.

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The media event featured several structured events at the company’s facility, a former military base, near Atwater, California, designed to replicate real-life situations encountered by test vehicles on test runs, such as cars broken down on the side of the road or roadways littered with debris.  (more…)

Delphi Buys Autonomous Tech Developer NuTonomy for $450M

New acquisition will run independently of Delphi.

by on Oct.24, 2017

Glen De Vos, Delphi Automotive's CTO, laid out the plans going forward with the company's new acquisition: nuTonomy.

Delphi Automotive is spending as much as $450 million to expand its autonomous driving technology capabilities by acquiring Boston-based nuTonomy.

The deal, which has been quietly put together during the past two months, calls for Delphi to pay $400 million now with the nuTonomy team able to earn an additional $50 million in incentives. It also doubles the number of people working on automated driving technology, according to Glen De Vos, Delphi’s chief technology officer.

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However, the plans call for nuTonomy to remain in Boston and to operate as an independent company instead of merging with Delphi’s Ottomatika autonomous vehicle software group. De Vos said it was important that the two groups continue on separate paths, and share best practices and innovations where “it makes sense.” (more…)

GM Buys Lidar Firm to Accelerate Autonomous Car Development

Acquisition will improve speed, reduce costs.

by on Oct.09, 2017

Cruise Automation introduced its third-gen automated vehicle. The new vehicles will be part of its San Francisco-based test fleet.

General Motors is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to being a leader in autonomous vehicle technology, announcing today it was acquiring Lidar technology company Strobe Inc.

Strobe, based in Pasadena, California, will be taken under the wing of GM’s Cruise Automation team to develop next-generation Lidar for the company’s self-driving vehicles. The parties did not reveal the financials of the agreement.

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The company’s developed a new microchip Lidar system would significantly enhance the capabilities of the self-driving cars GM was developing, Vogt said during conference call with reporters.  (more…)

Waymo Asks Judge to Delay Trial Start

Google subsidiary says it needs more time to review Uber documents.

by on Sep.18, 2017

Anthony Levandowski is seen here discussing autonomous vehicles while still with Google in 2011. Photo courtesy Shinygogo.

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, is looking for delay in the lawsuit it has filed against Uber so its lawyers have time to review thousands of pages of documents the ride-sharing pioneer has been forced to give up for review by its adversary.

The documents in question include a “due diligence report done by Uber prior to its acquisition of Otto, a self-driving tech start up focused on building automated trucks. Otto was founded by Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee, who had access to Waymo’s most sensitive technical information and whose conduct is at the center of the litigation.

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Levandowski was fired at the end of May by Uber, which has also seen a wholesale departure of senior executives after it became apparent the company’s “anything goes” corporate culture left its intermediate and long-range plans in serious jeopardy. (more…)

Audi Elaine, Aicon Concepts Reveal an Autonomous Future

German automaker creating new family of vehicles: Audi AI.

by on Sep.12, 2017

The Audi Elaine debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, The Level 4 autonomous concept is part of Audi AI, a family of technology advanced vehicles.

Audi’s two concepts – the Elaine and Aicon – in Frankfurt reveal the German automaker’s plans to not only electrify its vehicle line-up, but also to ensure they’re autonomous as well.

Each of the two features AI in their names, representing the maker’s new group of automated vehicles. The Audi AI family will feature a variety of innovative systems that relieve strain on drivers and offer new possibilities to use the time spent in the car.

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Audi will accomplish this using strategies and technologies from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, hence the reference to AI. The Elaine and the Aicon are the first two concepts for this new family. (more…)

GM, Cruise Release Third-Generation Robot Car

New models produced at GM's Orion, Michigan, plant.

by on Sep.12, 2017

Cruise Automation introduced its third-gen automated vehicle. The new vehicles will be part of its San Francisco-based test fleet.

Cruise Automation, General Motors automated vehicle subsidiary, passed another milestone of sorts with the introduction of its third generation of fully autonomous factory-built test vehicles.

Kyle Vogt, Cruise Automation CEO, described the third-generation vehicle as “the world’s first mass-producible car designed to operate without a driver. This isn’t just a concept design, it’s assembled in a high-volume assembly plant in Orion Township, Michigan, out of Detroit capable of producing 100,000’s of vehicles per year,” he said.

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Vogt said the development required “full alignment, teamwork, rapid communication, and compromise between dozens of teams.”  (more…)

Skip the Tip: Domino’s, Ford Team Up to Test Driverless Pizza Delivery

Will customers be willing to walk the "last 50 feet"?

by on Aug.29, 2017

Ford and Domino's are partnering in a test program to deliver pizzas using autonomous vehicles.

Ford and Domino’s are teaming up to test out the idea of using autonomous vehicles for home delivery of the fast food chain’s pizzas. The project, which will be run in Domino’s hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is aimed at gaining insight into how hungry customers will react when a delivery truck shows up without a driver behind the wheel.

On the plus side, there’ll be no tipping. And customers will learn when their pizza’s delivered by text, rather than a ring of the doorbell. But that means they’ll have to go outside and punch a code into keypad to retrieve their hot pies.

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“The majority of our questions” that Domino’s has been fielding about the service “are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience,” said Domino’s President Russell Weiner. (more…)