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Posts Tagged ‘autonomous vehicle’

Waymo Invites Public to Join Autonomous Test Program

First public test for Google’s self-driving vehicle spin-off is good news for FCA, as well.

by on Apr.25, 2017

One of the first Phoenix families to join the Waymo pilot climbs into an autonomous Chrysler Pacifica.

After eight years of testing Waymo is ready to go public, Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off offering families in the Phoenix area the chance to try out its self-driving cars as part of a new pilot ride-sharing program.

The move brings the technology a step closer to becoming a day-to-day reality and coincides with efforts by other entrants into the fast-emerging field who are rapidly expanding the number of autonomous vehicles now on public roads. The pilot program could cement Waymo’s position as a leader in the technology while also giving a big boost to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the automaker that will now provide another 500 Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans for use in the Arizona project.

We'll Do the Driving!

Waymo quietly began offering rides to a “handful of Phoenix, AZ residents…over the last month,” the Alphabet subsidiary’s CEO John Krafcik revealed in a statement issued overnight. “Now residents in the Phoenix area can apply” to join the trial, Waymo planning on “accepting hundreds of people with diverse backgrounds and transportation needs who want to ride and give feedback about Waymo’s self-driving cars.”

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Caddy Going Hands-Free in 2018 Launch of Super Cruise

Set to rival Tesla Autopilot, system on CT6 sedan will cost $2,500.

by on Apr.11, 2017

A motorist lets the Cadillac CT6 do the driving in a prototype equipped with Super Cruise.

Come the 2018 model-year, Cadillac CT6 buyers will be able to press a button on their steering wheel and then slip back and relax.

The automaker has finally set a date to launch its long-awaited Super Cruise system, a significant step along the path towards autonomous driving. Somewhat similar to Tesla’s Autopilot, the Caddy technology takes existing technologies like active cruise control and automatic braking a step further, allowing the vehicle to steer itself when operated on well-marked roads.

The Future is Now!

But buyers be advised: you won’t be able to switch on Super Cruise during your morning commute and then stretch out for a quick catnap on the way to work. The system monitors driver behavior to ensure that a human can quickly regain control in the event of a problem. If need be, the system will come to a complete stop and call for help.

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Daimler, Bosch Team Up to Launch Robo-Cabs by 2021

Level 5 system will target ride-sharing services.

by on Apr.04, 2017

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept is one example of what a luxury robo-cab might look like.

Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, says it is teaming up with mega-supplier Bosch to develop a driverless car the partners plan to put on the road by 2021.

The announcement follow new that Daimler had struck a deal with Uber, the ride-sharing giant that hopes to significantly lower its operating costs by fielding fleets of driverless vehicles. It also comes a day after a new study was released by Navigant Research naming Daimler one of the leaders in the fast-emerging field of autonomous driving.

The Future is Now!

“The prime objective of the project is to achieve the production-ready development of a driving system which will allow cars to drive fully autonomously in the city,” said a statement announcing the new Daimler-Bosch partnership. “The idea behind it is that the vehicle will come to the driver, not the other way around.”

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Uber Exec Could Face Injunction – or Possible Criminal Charges in Waymo Lawsuit

Lawsuit could shut down Uber’s autonomous vehicle program.

by on Mar.31, 2017

An Uber autonomous prototype rolled on its side following a crash in Tempe, Arizona.

A lawsuit filed by Waymo is taking a potentially nasty turn for Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee who founded one of Uber’s self-driving vehicle units.

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle spin-off of Google, has gone to court claiming Uber stole some of its intellectual property, and the spotlight has fallen on Levandowski. He was a senior employee at Waymo before leaving to start his own self-driving enterprise, Otto, which focuses on autonomous trucking.

The Last Word!

Called to testify, Levandowski invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify, one of his attorneys saying that move was made because of “the potential for criminal action.” That appears to mean the potential Levandowski could be charged with stealing intellectual property.

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Will the Tesla Model 3 Be the Safest Car Ever?

New battery-sedan could prevent 90% of accidents, says analyst.

by on Mar.24, 2017

Tesla promises to launch Model 3 production in July, with retail sales following later in 2017,

Tesla has promised that its upcoming Model 3 will be loaded with a variety of high-tech features, including the latest version of the maker’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system. And now, automotive analysts from Morgan Stanley are predicting the sedan will be the safest car ever made.

With “a supercomputer in every car,” they estimate in a new report that the new Model 3 will be 10 times safer than existing vehicles – or 90% less likely to be the cause of either vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-pedestrian fatal crashes. But that actually could disrupt both the conventional new and used car markets, Morgan Stanley is forecasting.

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“Look for an acceleration of the market’s awareness of the obsolescence of used cars and an acceleration of insurance company awareness to reprice premiums,” the report suggests.

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Ford Investing $1b for Self-Driving Company Argo AI

Start-up aims to ensure Ford’s driverless vehicles reach market by 2021.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Ford CEO Mark Fields showing off a LIDAR sensor like the ones on its autonomous prototypes.

Ford Motor Co. will invest $1 billion over the next five years to take a controlling stake in an artificial intelligence start-up in its bid to bring driverless vehicles to market by 2021.

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI was launched only last November by two autonomous vehicle veterans from Google and Uber. Argo will now take over the software side of Ford’s driverless vehicle research program, though the automaker will continue to control the hardware side of that project.

The Last Word!

“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields during a conference call with analysts and reporters.

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Waymo Launches Test of All-New Autonomous System

Google self-driving subsidiary starts producing its own hardware.

by on Jan.08, 2017

Waymo CEO John Krafcik with the specially modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid using the tech firm's latest autonomous technology.

Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle subsidiary, will start testing a fleet of specially modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans in Arizona and California later this month, moving a big step closer to reaching the point it can start moving its self-driving technology from prototype to production, CEO John Krafcik said during an appearance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Sunday.

That was one of several big announcements made by Krafcik during his appearance at the annual NAIAS. Krafcik also noted that Waymo is now producing the various LIDAR – 3D laser – cameras, radar sensors and other hardware used for its autonomous vehicle technology. That has helped it drop costs by as much as 90% and speed up the development process.

“This future isn’t very far away,” said Krafcik, a former Hyundai Motor America chief executive, adding that Waymo’s goal is “building cars that can help millions of people every day.”

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Uber Pulls Autonomous Cars Out of San Francisco

California revokes registration of 16 Uber self-driving vehicles.

by on Dec.22, 2016

Uber has pulled its autonomous Volvos out of San Francisco after their registrations were revoked.

Uber has pulled a test fleet of autonomous Volvo XC90s off the streets of San Francisco after being told the California Department of Motor Vehicles had revoked their registrations.

The confrontation followed the car-sharing service’s decision to launch the pilot program without getting the necessary state permit – a move the DMV said 20 other companies have taken. Uber also came under fire after it became widely reported that some of its cars were failing to obey traffic laws, putting other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists at risk.

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“We’re now looking at where we can redeploy these cars but remain 100 percent committed to California and will be redoubling our efforts to develop workable statewide rules,” Uber said in a statement.

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Waymo to Unveil Autonomous Chrysler Pacifica at NAIAS

Division leader Krafcik tweets news about appearance.

by on Dec.21, 2016

A Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, modified for Waymo, shown driving autonomously.

Waymo, the newly renamed Google autonomous vehicle division, will pull the wraps off its latest self-driving vehicle prototype, a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, during the opening day of the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Monday confirmed it had delivered 100 of its Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans to Waymo, which will now have them modified to run autonomously. When they go into operation early next year they will more than double the size of the Google spinoff’s test fleet.

Tech Talk!

“As we get fully self-driving cars ready for the road, we’ll need more types of vehicles to refine and test our advanced driving software,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said in a tweet.

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Uber’s Autonomous Cars Running into Trouble in San Francisco

Ride-sharing service acknowledges running lights, failing to yield to pedestrians.

by on Dec.20, 2016

The San Francisco test uses modified Volvo XC90s - one shown here on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Uber’s experiment with autonomous cars appears to be off to a star-crossed start in San Francisco, the ride-sharing service acknowledging the modified Volvo CX90s have been experiencing a “problem” or two.

That includes everything from running stop lights, failing to yield to pedestrians and crossing heavily used bike lanes. That’s on top of the legal challenge Uber is facing from the Department of Motor Vehicles for failing to acquire the permit required by California law.

Tech News!

A spokesman for Uber told Britain’s “The Guardian” that the company is racing to resolve an issue that put the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians at risk – no small issue considering there are 200 miles of bike lanes used for 82,000 daily trips in the City by the Bay.

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