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Posts Tagged ‘Google self-driving 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.

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“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…)

Google Setting Up Suburban Detroit Autonomous Vehicle R&D Hub

New site moves tech giant closer to possible customers.

by on May.26, 2016

Google is opening a development center in Novi, Michigan. This building will start work with 100 Chrysler Pacific minivans.

As it steadily moves closer to production, Google is planning to open a new autonomous vehicle development center in the Detroit suburb of Novi.

The move will offer several advantages. Among other things, it will allow the tech firm to work more closely with the partners that would put Google’s self-driving technology into production. The announcement comes barely a month after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google announced plans to use the technology on 100 new Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

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“For the past few years, members of our team have been working from the Greater Detroit area. Now it’s time to lay down roots: we’re establishing a self-driving technology development center in Novi,” said John Krafcik, the CEO of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project in a post on the Google+ service. (more…)

Fiat-Chrysler Reportedly Talking Autonomous Car Deal with Google

But prior rumors of Google-Ford deal failed to materialize.

by on Apr.29, 2016

Google is already testing its bubble-shaped prototype in California, Texas and Nevada.

Two partners in search of mates? Both Google and Fiat Chrysler have been open in their need to form alliances, and the two companies just might be ready to team up.

According to several online reports, they’re in advanced talks that could lead to Fiat Chrysler putting Google’s self-driving vehicle technology into production. The Silicon Valley firm is already testing its autonomous car software with a fleet of prototypes, but Google officials have repeatedly said they want to find a partner within the auto industry, rather than setting up their own manufacturing operation.

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The talks have reportedly been underway for several months, according to the Wall Street Journal, while a separate online report on autoextremist claims negotiations are in late stages and could see Google’s autonomous technology used on a variety of different Fiat-Chrysler products.

(more…)

Foes and Friends Offer Opinions at Autonomous Car Hearing

Google exec pushes for federal rules as watchdog tells him to take the wheel.

by on Apr.28, 2016

Consumer Watchdog wants federal rules mandating steering wheels as well as brake and gas pedals for autonomous vehicles.

Friend and foe alike finally got to put in their two cents worth about the future of autonomous driving and the vehicles that will be careening down U.S. roadways at a forum in California today.

Federal officials are holding several of these events as they seek opinions from the public about self-driving vehicles. The event came just a day after Google, Uber and Lyft have joined forces with Volvo and Ford in establishing “The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets,” which has recruited David Strickland, long-time safety watchdog and former head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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“Self-driving vehicle technology will make America’s roadways safer and less congested,” Strickland said in a statement. “The best path for this innovation is to have one clear set of federal standards, and the Coalition will work with policymakers to find the right solutions that will facilitate the deployment of self-driving vehicles.” (more…)

Google, Volvo Expand Autonomous Vehicle Testing

Swedish maker looks to China, while tech giant goes to Arizona.

by on Apr.07, 2016

Google is expanding its testing areas to Phoenix, Arizona, and its suburbs.

As the proponents of autonomous vehicles in Washington D.C. gird themselves for an onslaught of dissension at public hearings later this week, the automakers developing the vehicles continue about the work of improving them.

Google’s just been cleared to run a fleet of self-driving cars in Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding suburbs while Volvo is preparing a gaggle of as many as 100 vehicles to test in China.

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The tech giant has been expanding its test environments in recent months, including adding Austin, Texas, and Kirkland, Washington, to its home base of Mountain View, California. Google is already mapping the Phoenix area in anticipation of the self-driving testing. (more…)

Google Gets Major Endorsement from NHTSA for Autonomous Test Program

Feds say AI system is equivalent of human driver under federal law.

by on Feb.10, 2016

No humans required?

Google’s autonomous vehicle program has achieved a significant milestone as it moves closer to being production-ready.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has told the high-tech firm that the artificial intelligence system used in its prototype vehicles can be considered the same as a human driver according to federal regulations.

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Google had sought that ruling in a letter sent to NHTSA last November in which it claimed the vehicles have “no need for a human driver.” The high-tech project is in the midst of rolling out about 100 specially designed prototypes designed to test the latest version of Google self-driving technology under real-world conditions. The company wants to remove even the traditional steering wheel and pedals from some of those prototypes.

(more…)

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.

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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’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.

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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…)

The Big Question at the Geneva Motor Show: Will Google and Apple be Allies or Adversaries?

Traditional automakers express mix of fear and interest as high-tech giants explore auto options.

by on Mar.06, 2015

The Geneva Motor Show brings out all types of new models and makers, including Magna and its Mila concept, but noticeably absent: Apple and Google.

With names like Qoros and Apollo Vredestein and Rinspeed, the Geneva Motor Show brings out a mix of manufacturers and suppliers seldom seen at any other event of its kind. But two names, while absent, made their presence felt especially keenly this year.

Apple and Google were those unseen participants, traditional automakers openly wondering whether they might soon step in with the sort of advanced technologies – and deep pockets that could radically reshape the established automotive order.

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Both companies are “incredibly serious” about entering the automotive business, said Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, during a media roundtable at the Geneva show. Both of the technology giants have been pushing to play a role in future infotainment systems, and a number of manufacturers have begun adding Apple’s Car Play system to their vehicles, as well as a similar system using Google’s Android operating system. (more…)

Google Has No Plans to Go into Carmaking Business

Tech giant hopes to find partner for autonomous vehicle technology.

by on Jan.15, 2015

Google would like to find a partner to help it put the technology in this prototype into production.

Google is on a mission to change the world with its autonomous vehicle technology. But it doesn’t plan to launch its own carmaking division, instead hoping to find partners to work with, the tech giant’s automotive guru said.

There’ve been a lot of questions raised about Google’s plans since it revealed last year it was building 100 autonomous vehicle prototypes with the help of Roush, an automotive engineering and racing company based in suburban Detroit. The first of those are just beginning fleet tests around Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

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But program director Chris Urmson stressed that, “We’re definitely not in the business of making cars,” during an appearance at the Automotive News World Congress, an industry confab in Detroit. Instead, he added, Google will be, be “looking for a partner to build entire vehicles….at some point.” (more…)