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Posts Tagged ‘LIDAR’

Waymo Set to Challenge Michigan Winter

Operating on snowy, icy roads the big challenge for autonomous tech.

by on Oct.26, 2017

Winter weather creates challenges for humans, and it can overwhelm autonomous vehicles.

There are already hundreds of autonomous prototypes cruising the nation’s roadways, and that number could soon climb into the thousands, thanks to a bill rapidly moving through Congress. But, for now, the vast majority of those vehicles are operating in warm weather climes like Phoenix and Silicon Valley.

The real challenge will be finding ways to make autonomous and fully driverless cars and trucks function in cold weather environments, experts stress, where things like lane markers may be obscured by road and ice.

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So, Waymo, the Google spinoff generally considered one of the leaders in self-driving technology, says it will begin testing in Michigan over the winter using some of its newest models, specially modified versions of the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid.


Uber Fires Autonomous Vehicle Chief Levandowski

Latest twist in ongoing battle with Waymo.

by on May.31, 2017

Anthony Levandowski is seen here discussing autonomous vehicles while still with Google in 2011. Photo courtesy Shinygogo.

The ongoing battle between Uber and Waymo over allegedly stolen autonomous vehicle trade secrets took a new turn as the car-sharing giant fired the one-time head of its self-driving vehicle operations, Anthony Levandowski.

The 37-year-old engineer rose to prominence as head of autonomous operations at Waymo’s parent Google. He then went off to form his own company which, in turn, was purchased by Uber. Levandowski was subsequently accused of taking thousands of proprietary documents with him, material he has refused to turn over to the California court hearing the lawsuit filed by Waymo.

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Levandowski was sidetracked by Uber as a result of the ongoing lawsuit. The ride-sharing service told the court on Tuesday it has now fired the executive because he refused to comply with orders to turn over the documents. Levandowski’s attorney previously told the court he was refusing the order for fear it could lead to him facing criminal prosecution.


Automakers Offer Plenty of Cameras for Selfie Generation

Spate of cameras aimed at improving vehicle safety.

by on Apr.08, 2015

Honda's HR-V-SLF, also known as the "Selfie," was an April Fool's Day ruse, but makers are using cameras more often to improve vehicle safety.

It seems like a perfect fit for “selfie” fixated Millennials. Earlier this month, Honda announced plans for a special version of its new compact crossover-utility vehicle.

“Honda develops cutting-edge, selfie technology to engage younger buyers,” a news release blared. The Honda HR-V SLF, the Japanese maker explained, is “Equipped with 10 different ‘selfie’ cameras inside and outside the vehicle.”

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Sadly for some potential buyers, the release was an April Fool’s Day joke. But in today’s world, one has to question whether there just might not be a market for the “selfie.” And there is some truth to the parody. While you likely won’t see a mobile selfie camera anytime soon, automakers are rapidly ramping up the number of cameras they use in today’s vehicles, largely for safety reasons. (more…)

New Lexus Integrated Safety Management Concept Coming in 2017

Combination of technologies moves brand closer to self-driving vehicle.

by on Dec.05, 2014

Lexus is rolling out its new Safety System + next year with an eye toward a more robust system in 2017.

With automakers bandying about dates for when they’re going to introduce some form of “self-driving” vehicle, Lexus is promoting its version, the “Integrated Safety Management Concept,” combines a number of safety technologies and systems.

The new package is designed to encourage the adoption of safety technologies and will be rolled out across all Lexus models in Japan, North America and Europe by the end of 2017.

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In the interim, the brand is introducing its Lexus Safety System +, which includes a Pre-Collision System that helps prevent and mitigate collisions; Lane Departure Alert to prevent vehicles from departing from their lanes; and Automatic High Beams to ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving next year. (more…)