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Posts Tagged ‘driverless vehicle’

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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Las Vegas, Paris Launch Driverless Shuttles

Similar tests launch in Las Vegas, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore.

by on Jan.24, 2017

The Navya Arma, a driverless, 12-person shuttle has begun operating in Las Vegas.

Passengers looking to connect between two of the main train stations in Paris might be in for a surprise when hey board one of the new shuttles covering the 400-foot route.

They’re all but certain to note that there is no one behind the wheel. Instead, the two electric minibuses running between the Gare de Lyon and Austerlitz stations are operating driverlessly. But they’re not unique. This week, a new driverless shuttle also went into operation in Las Vegas, running passengers up and down the casino capital’s busy downtown district along Fremont Street.

Drive On!

“Las Vegas has always been on the cutting edge of technology,” Jorge Cervantes, Sin City’s executive director of community development, told the Las Vegas Sun. “We have 40 million visitors a year here and traffic on the Strip and downtown gets very congested. The ability to move people more efficiently is something we’ve been looking at for a while.”

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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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Tesla Updates Software After Chinese Hackers Take Control of Model S

Researchers take complete control of vehicle from up to 12 miles away.

by on Sep.21, 2016

Chinese researchers take control of a Model S, even remotely popping open its rear hatch.

Tesla has issued an urgent update to the software controlling virtually aspect of its high-tech battery-electric vehicles, a move triggered by reports that a Chinese security team had managed to hack into the Model S sedan’s control system.

Researchers from Keen Security Lab were able to take remote control of the vehicle from distances of up to 12 miles. They were able to take control of functions such as the vehicle’s brakes and windshield wipers.

Tech Talk!

The news only adds to growing concerns about automotive cybersecurity at a time when the industry is in the midst of what some are calling a “transportation revolution.” Just this week, federal regulators issued the first national guidelines for the development of autonomous and even more advanced driverless vehicles. Some observers fear hackers could make such vehicles a target for criminal efforts and even for terrorist activities.

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With Autonomous Guidelines, Feds Take Crucial Step Towards “Third Transportation Revolution”

by on Sep.20, 2016

U.S. Transportation Anthony Foxx wants to see regulations keep up with technological change.

Government regulators are often accused of holding up progress. But with the release of the first-ever federal guidelines for autonomous and self-driving vehicles, they could help spur what is being described as a transportation revolution.

At the federal level, the new rules will cover the development, testing and eventual sales of self-driving vehicles, while also providing guidelines for state regulators. The first semi-autonomous vehicles are already on the road and models capable of driving entirely hands-free are expected in showrooms by the beginning of the next decade. Several automakers even hope to have fully driverless cars in production within five years.

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“This is just the first step,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who said the initial model “will be updated annually to ensure it remains relevant and timely.”

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Lyft Also Aiming to Go Driverless

Ride-sharing CEO forecasts the “Third Transportation Revolution.”

by on Sep.19, 2016

John Zimmer (r), with Lyft co-founder Logan Green (l) and GM CEO Dan Ammann, who recently took a seat on the service's board.

There’s a revolution coming, and it’s likely to bring major changes to the world of transportation over the next decade, says John Zimmer, president and co-founder of the country’s second-largest ride-sharing service, Lyft.

Like its bigger rival, Uber, San Francisco-based Lyft hopes to move the driver out of the front seat within the next five years, driving down costs and making it cheaper and easier for people to use a ride-sharing service than owning their own car.

Tech Talk!

“The good news is we don’t have to keep building our country around car ownership,” Zimmer wrote in a blog post over the weekend. Much the way you can stream music and videos, “you no longer need to own a product to enjoy its benefits,” suggested the 32-year-old entrepreneur. “Eventually we’ll look at owning a car in much the same way.”

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Apple May Back Away from Auto Manufacturing

Tech firm reportedly shifts focus to driverless tech systems it could license to auto industry.

by on Sep.12, 2016

“We've always viewed that people love surprises," Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Washington Post.

It has been one of the worst-kept secrets in Silicon Valley – but while Apple has been widely reported to be working on a high-tech automobile program, dubbed Project Titan, new indications are that the iPhone-maker may be backing off from that effort.

The new reports suggest that Apple has fired “dozen of employees” involved in the automotive project, a sharp reversal from the aggressive hiring program that had been in places for the past year. Apple had hired a number of industry veterans from conventional automakers, as well as high-tech auto firm Tesla Motors.

Tech News!

But rather than abandon Project Titan entirely, reports in The New York Times and other media sources indicate Apple is now looking to provide high-tech, autonomous – or even driverless – technology to existing automakers, rather than trying to build cars on its own. Such an effort could put it directly in competition with another tech giant, Google.

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Bigger Isn’t Better When it Comes to Uber Profits

Report estimates leading ride-share service lost $1.3 billion.

by on Aug.26, 2016

A subscriber orders a car through the Uber app.

It may be the nation’s leading ride-sharing service, but that hasn’t helped Uber deliver a profit.

The Silicon Valley start-up lost a hefty $1.3 billion during the first half of the year, according to a report by the Bloomberg news service which cited sources with access to a conference call the company had with its investors.

Come Along for the Ride!

According to the report, Uber finance chief revealed that the ride-sharing service went $520 million into the red during the first quarter of the year, with another $750 million loss racked up during the April-June quarter.

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Ford Planning to Launch 1st Driverless Car by 2021

Initial focus: ride-sharing services like Uber, and delivery companies.

by on Aug.17, 2016

Ford recently began testing autonomous vehicle prototypes on public roads in Silicon Valley.

It has become conventional wisdom within the transportation industry that the introduction of autonomous vehicles will be a step-by-step process, starting with so-called “driver assistance” systems and only eventually reaching the point where cars and trucks will be capable of driving entirely on their own.

Ford Motor Co. says it is heading in a very different direction, however, the Detroit automaker revealing plans to put its first completely driverless vehicle into production by 2021. The model it is working on, global product development chief Raj Nair tells TheDetroitBureau.com, won’t even have a steering wheel or pedals.

We'll Do the Driving!

“We don’t think the path to true autonomy is through a step-by-step, incremental process,” Nair said during a telephone interview. Having a driver sit behind the wheel, waiting to take over in an emergency is actually a dangerous solution, he explained because, over time, “You lose driver awareness. You lose the ability for a human to respond in a timely manner.”

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Delphi Launching Autonomous Fleet Test in Singapore

Project will supplement nation-state’s transit system.

by on Aug.01, 2016

The first of the Delphi autonomous prototypes will be a modified Audi SQ5.

Automotive mega-supplier Delphi is partnering up with the nation-state of Singapore to launch an ambitious autonomous vehicle test program meant to supplement the existing mass transit system.

The goal of the on-demand system is to make six battery-electric, self-driving cars available for rides on demand along three fixed routes to ferry people between their homes, offices and conventional mass transit stations. Backup “safety drivers” will remain behind the wheel initially, but by 2019 Delphi hopes to eliminate drivers – as well as back-up vehicles controls.

Breaking News!

The project “allows us to demonstrate we have the complete ecosystem of knowledge and capability in the vehicle,” explained Glen DeVos, vice president of the service business unit at Delphi, the one-time General Motors partsmaking unit now based in the U.K.

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