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Posts Tagged ‘google autonomous car’

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.

Tech News!

“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…)

Apple Fuels Speculative Automotive Fire with Pepsi Building Lease

Tech giant renting space in former bottling plant.

by on Mar.03, 2016

Apple's Jeff Williams has broadly hinted at the company's plans to enter the auto industry.

A few years back Pepsi told everyone to “Change the Game” and now it looks like Apple may be taking the slogan to heart with the lease of a former soft drink plant that may be the home for its oft-discussed, never-confirmed car.

Apple has leased a 96,000-square-foot industrial facility about a 10-minute drive from its current headquarters, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

News Now!

Apple has long been rumored to be building an autonomous or semi-autonomous electric vehicle, dubbed Project Titan. Senior executives at the Cupertino, California-based company have danced around the topic when pressed. (more…)

Google Wants to Know More About New Auto Industry Safety Consortium

Autonomous vehicle chief Krafcik upbeat about Obama Admin’s new proposals.

by on Jan.14, 2016

This time the government is moving fast, said John Krafcik (l), head of Google's autonomous vehicle program, in Detroit.

The head of Google’s autonomous vehicle program said he wants to learn more about a precedent-setting auto industry consortium that will be announced in Detroit on Friday.

Organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the group will be aimed at bringing new safety technology to market faster than would be possible through the traditional regulatory process while also pushing those breakthroughs on to as broad a consumer market as possible.

Safety News!

“I’d guess I’d want to see more and understand more,” John Krafcik, the CEO of Google’s self-driving car program said in response to a question from He was at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to attend another announcement by NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation. (more…)

Ford and Google Deal to Go Beyond Autonomous Vehicles

Partnership will expand Ford’s push into alternative mobility solutions.

by on Jan.04, 2016

Ford is just beginning its own on-road autonomous vehicle testing at its Silicon Valley R&D center.

(c) 2016

While last-minute snags could yet delay a formal announcement, Ford Motor Co. and Google are planning to reveal the details of an extensive new partnership during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

The expansive alliance will provide Ford access to Google’s cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology, but several sources involved in the program told that the deal will go well beyond self-driving cars and explore ways in which connected car technology can create alternative mobility solutions, a pet project of Ford CEO Mark Fields.

Tech News!

Other high-tech providers will join the alliance and, among other things, Ford will be able to test its new technologies at a 1,000-acre proving grounds being set up in North Carolina, according to those sources.


Google Tabs Krafcik to Lead Self-Driving Car Project

Former Hyundai U.S. chief moves from TrueCar

by on Sep.15, 2015

John Krafcik may find himself hyping new cars again soon: he was named CEO of Google's Self-Driving Car Project.

Google named John Krafcik, a talented, veteran automotive executive with a broad range of experience, chief executive officer of its Self-Driving Car Project. Krafcik held the same post at TrueCar, Inc. in Santa Monica, California.

Formerly CEO of Hyundai Motor America, Krafcik is the latest in a series of moves by tech companies, like Google and Apple, to bring on experienced automotive execs as the companies move closer to production on their own cars.

Be in the Know!

Before joining Hyundai, he worked for Ford Motor Co., primarily in product development where he worked on the company’s single most important vehicle, the Ford F-150 pickup truck. (more…)

Google Autonomous Vehicle Suffers 1st Injury Accident

Once again, rear-ended as other driver is distracted.

by on Jul.17, 2015

Google said one of its autonomous vehicles was recently involved in the 14th accident, but the first involving injuries.

Sometimes, it seems, there’s nothing that even the smartest cars can do. Yet again, a Google autonomous vehicle was rear-ended, apparently due to a distracted driver. The 14th accident involving one of the self-driving vehicles, it also marked the first involving injuries.

The July 1 crash occurred near the tech giant’s home of Mountain View, California, and saw three employees in the autonomous vehicle go to the hospital due to what’s been described as “minor” whiplash. The driver of the other vehicle also suffered some minor injuries.

Your Informed Source!

“The clear theme is human error and inattention,” Chris Urmson, head of the Google autonomous vehicle program, wrote on his blog. “We’ll take all this as a signal that we’re starting to compare favorably with human drivers.” (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…)

Regulators, Lawmakers Key to Autonomous Vehicle Success

Rules for self-driving cars lag development.

by on Apr.22, 2015

Delphi is demonstrated the capability of its automated driving system by driving an Audi Q5 from San Francisco to New York City.

Autonomous driving and autonomous vehicles face some serious challenges in the litigious and risk-adverse American society of the 21st century, according to discussions at the annual Society of Automotive Engineers Conference in Detroit.

The expectations and challenges of automated driving technology are critical to the future of the automobile business, Toshio Yokoyama, a executive from Honda Research & Development, who is one of the Japanese automaker’s leading experts on electronics during a panel discussion on automated driving.

Stay Informed!

‎Steffen Linkenbach, head of Systems and Technology, North America for Continental AG, said the idea that autonomous driving could reduce traffic fatalities and injuries is helping propel the autonomous driving concept and animated projects such as Volvo’s City Safety car, which is aimed at preventing accidents on congested urban areas. (more…)

Say Goodbye to the Steering Wheel

Experts anticipate autonomous vehicles will soon take over.

by on Jul.18, 2014

An endangered species?

Google will soon begin rolling out the first of 100 self-driving microcars, most of which will have some familiar features missing, namely such traditional necessities as a steering wheel, brake and gas pedal. And while the Google vehicles will just be prototypes designed to test the tech firm’s autonomous driving technology, a survey of industry experts anticipates that the basic design could soon become the norm, rather than the exception.

The majority of the 200 respondents surveyed for this month’s Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, or IVS, anticipate vehicles being mass produced by 2035 won’t have steering wheel, gas or brake pedals, even rearview mirrors or horns.


That’s in line with a separate study by Navigant Research that predicted about 95 million autonomous vehicles a year will be sold by 2035.

That figure is “reasonable to me,” said Alberto Broggi, a professor at the University of Parma, in Italy, a leading researcher on autonomous vehicles, and a key participant in the IVS conference — which was sponsored by the IEEE. But he questions whether all of those vehicles will be fully autonomous or still allow motorists to take control if they want – or need – to.