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Posts Tagged ‘google autonomous vehicles’

Watchdog Clamors for Controls on Google Cars

Test drivers take over for confused cars.

by on Jan.14, 2016

Opponents to Google's plans for a car with no steering wheel, gas pedal or brake pedal claim recent events support their position.

California, which seems to be the location for the largest number of self-driving test vehicles, recently released its proposed rules for autonomous vehicles. Chief among them? Steering wheels and gas and brake pedals.

Not a big deal … unless you’re Google, which wants its vehicles to have nothing more than a big red button to shut the vehicle down.

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For obvious reasons, Google is protesting, calling the move “gravely disappointing,” but the tech giant’s own data is adding fuel to the fire for opponents that the company’s desire for just the red button is enough to keep roads safe. The company said in a recent state-mandated disengagement report that test vehicles turned control over to the test driver more than 270 times. (more…)

Google Turns Self-Drivers into Rolling Art

Tech giant dubs effort “moving art experiment.”

by on Jun.26, 2015

Google is looking for artists to help decorate its growing fleet of autonomous vehicles that are undergoing testing around California.

Think you have an artistic streak? Have an image in mind that might represent the car of the future or its impact on the world? Live in California? Google wants your help.

The Silicon Valley giant is just rolling out the first of its autonomous vehicle prototypes, two-seaters that look like a cross between an old Volkswagen Beetle and a tin can. They may incorporate the technology of the future, but pretty they’re not. And that’s something Google wants to fix.

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It has launched a competition, dubbed a “moving art experiment,” aimed at transforming those bubble cars into rolling works of art. The official theme is, “my community, my neighbors.” Up to 10 different entries will be selected and the winners will, among other things, get to see their work rolling around the streets of Silicon Valley. (more…)

Nissan to Put Autonomous Vehicle on Sale by 2020

But will legal climate keep hands-free driving technology out of the US?

by on Aug.27, 2013

Nissan EVP and global product chief Andy Palmer with a prototype autonomous vehicle.

Nissan will put a fully autonomous vehicle into production by 2020, the automaker announced Tuesday during a California event designed to show off its latest products and technologies.

Hands-off driving has become the Holy Grail of the auto industry, a concept that proponents claim could not only curb crashes, injuries and fatalities but also improve traffic flow, reduce energy consumption and limit CO2 emissions.

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Describing hands-off technology as “the next frontier for the auto industry,” Nissan’s global product chief, Executive Vice President Andy Palmer declared, “We will be ready to bring a readily affordable, fully affordable autonomous vehicle to the market by 2020.”


Nevada Hands Out First License for Self-Driving Car

To infinity and beyond.

by on May.08, 2012

Google's autonomous car cruises the Las Vegas strip before receiving its new license plate.

There are plenty of distractions when you’re cruising the Strip in Las Vegas, from the neon lights of the big casinos to the heavy traffic along what’s officially known as Las Vegas Boulevard. And that doesn’t take into account the rolling billboards for Sin City’s seemingly ubiquitous “escort” services.

But the little Toyota Prius covered with an odd array of electronic sensors didn’t seem to notice any of it during a demonstration drive earlier this week.  Or, more precisely, it only saw what it needed to in order to safely navigate a stretch that is often plagued with accidents caused by distracted human motorists.

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That’s because the only humans in the Google autonomous vehicle were along for the ride, part of a demonstration showing how safe the self-guided vehicle could be.  It was enough to convince the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to issue Google the first official license for an autonomous vehicle.


Will Google Start Selling Autonomous Car?

“I don’t think we need to wait 10 years.”

by on May.02, 2012

Google is running a fleet of autonomous Prius hybrid test vehicles and has already clocked over 200,000 hands-free miles.

It has built its fortune helping Internet users navigate their way through the Web, but Google’s next big act may be helping commuters navigate their way to work – hands-free.

Officials from the Silicon Valley giant have been quietly meeting with their automotive counterparts hoping to take the next step in a pioneering research project aimed at developing a road-ready autonomous car.  The technology has long been the stuff of science fiction but is rapidly moving towards the point where it could be incorporated into a real production automobile.

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The traditional attitude is that autonomous vehicles are “10 years away” and likely always will be, said Anthony Levandowski, who oversees the Google program.  But during a recent gathering of automotive engineers in Detroit, Levandowski declared, “I don’t think we need to wait 10 years for the next model or body styles to come out to build this technology.”


Car-to-Car Link Could Cut Collisions by 80%

Feds to test new technology and could soon mandate it.

by on Apr.27, 2012

David L. Strickland was sworn in January 4, 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served for eight years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. As the Senior Counsel for the Consumer Protection Subcommittee, he was the lead staff person for the oversight of NHTSA, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He also served as the lead Senate staff person in the formulation of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) reforms and standards included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. He held a staff leadership role in the 2005 reauthorization of NHTSA in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act -- a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

NHTSA chief David Strickland believes connected vehicle technologies could save thousands of lives.

Technologies allowing cars to “talk” to one another could cut the highway collision rate by as much as 80%, sharply reducing the number of injuries and fatalities, according to the nation’s top automotive safety regulator.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now working with auto manufacturers to test the viability of vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems and, if successful, could mandate the use of the technology, according to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

Such technology could alert one driver that another is about to run a red light or send a warning to all nearby vehicles that there’s an icy patch of pavement ahead.

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“Our research shows that these technologies could help prevent a majority of the collisions that typically occur in the real world, such as rear-end collisions, intersection crashes, or collisions while switching lanes,” said Strickland during an appearance at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ annual SAE World Congress.