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Posts Tagged ‘self-driving cars’

Apple CEO Cook Admits to Active Autonomous Autos Program

Company developing the system, not the actual car.

by on Jun.13, 2017

Apple CEO Tim Cook fessed up to the fact that the tech company is working on an autonomous vehicle.

Apple CEO Tim Cook finally confirmed what the automotive world was certain it already knew: Apple is working on an autonomous vehicle and has been for some time.

The prospect of a viable autonomous vehicle has drawn significant interest – and investement – from automotive and technology companies, particularly in the last five years. While the automakers have been fairly transparent about their plans, as has tech giant Google, Apple’s been very quiet about its efforts.

Tech News!

However, the program, nicknamed Project Titan, is out in the open now.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook told Bloomberg Television. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.” He likened the effort to “the mother of all AI projects,” saying it’s “probably one of the most difficult AI projects to work on.” (more…)

Late to the Game, Honda Puts Autonomous Driving on the Fast Track

Japan's #3 automaker also ramping up electrification efforts.

by on Jun.08, 2017

Author Paul A. Eisenstein goes for a drive in Honda's Level 3 autonomous vehicle prototype.

Honda has long had a reputation for building solid, reliable and fun-to-drive cars and utility vehicles, but it has been slow off the mark in adapting some of the key, cutting edge technologies that are likely to define the automotive world in the decades to come. But that’s about to change, the second-largest of the Japanese automakers lifting the kimono as part of a media tour of its vehicle proving grounds this week.

Among the key revelations made during an opening session, Honda President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the carmaker has put its autonomous driving efforts into high gear in a bid to catch up with traditional rivals like Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen, as well as new auto brands and tech players, such as Tesla, Waymo and Uber.

The Big Picture!

Honda will put its first hands-free models into production in 2020, although they will only allow autonomous operation on limited-access highways, with a driver at the ready to take control, if needed. Beyond that, said Hachigo, “We will strive to achieve the technological establishment of Level 4 automated driving for personal car use by around 2025.”


Trump Administration Reviewing Autonomous Car Rules

Secretary Chao pushes makers to educate drivers about benefits.

by on Feb.28, 2017

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao believes automakers need to do more to educate the public about autonomous vehicles.

The Trump administration wants to take another look at the rules the Obama administration recommended for the conduct of on-road experiments and research on self-driving cars, which call for manufacturers to share some of the data.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said over the weekend that she would be re-evaluating the Obama administration’s rules for self-driving cars. The automotive and technology industries need to do a better job educating the public about the safety features of automated driving, she said during a speech to the National Governors Association.

Autonomous Vehicle News!

Chao said she wanted to “issue a challenge to Silicon Valley, Detroit and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technologies,” according to the website Politico. (more…)

Toyota Throws Cold Water on Rapid Autonomous Roll-Out Plans

Drivers will still be needed for many years, cautions Pratt.

by on Jan.05, 2017

Gill Pratt heads up Toyota's autonomous vehicle program. He believes it will take longer than current estimates to produce viable self-driving vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles have gone from science fiction to everyday reality, or so one might think, listening to the many automotive news conferences at this year’s CES event in Las Vegas.

Hyundai’s vice chairman Eui-sin Chung arrived at his event at the Mandalay Bay Resort in an autonomous Ioniq prototype, reading over his notes along the way. Start-up Faraday Future unveiled its new FF91 battery-car by having it park, and later drive onto the stage, with no one in the vehicle at all.

Tech News!

Yet, even as more and more autonomous prototypes start testing on public roads, a few skeptical voices can be heard, notably including Gill Pratt, an early pioneer in autonomous technology and now head of the Toyota Research Institute, the recently formed unit charged with overseeing Toyota’s self-driving development program. (more…)

Autonomous Cars, Battery Vehicles and Record Sales: a Look at 2016’s Top Auto Stories

Industry at “an inflection point.”

by on Dec.29, 2016

Ford's next-generation autonomous Fusion prototype. Self-driving cars were a hot story in 2016.

Barring an unexpected, December surprise, 2016 will go out like a lion for the U.S. auto industry, automakers collectively racking up their third consecutive year of record sales. That’s an all the more massive achievement considering the decade began with the worst downturn the U.S. car market had suffered since the Great Depression.

What’s ahead for the industry is far from certain, demand showing signs of losing momentum in recent months. But what’s clear is that 2016 will not only go down in the record book from a sales perspective but that the year could be seen as marking a series of major transitions – “an inflection point,” in the words of John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s recently renamed autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

The Last Word!

What was once the stuff of science fiction began shifting into everyday reality this past year, with hundreds of self-driving vehicle prototypes taking to public roads across the country – some even being used as part of ride-sharing pilot programs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.


Microsoft, TomTom Partnering Up for Azure

The pairing aids automakers with autonomous vehicles.

by on Dec.15, 2016

Microsoft and TomTom are partnering up to bring more capability to the Azure platform.

The ability to read a sophisticated digital map is critical to the future of autonomous vehicles, experts suggest.

Sanjay Ravi, Microsoft managing director of discrete manufacturing, says building the capability into a motor vehicle will require collaboration, which requires a variety of different partners.

Tech News!

Thus, Microsoft has reached out to a number of different partners such as TomTom, Here and ESRI to build the capability of Azure, an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform. Using Azure enables automakers to build the quick, nimble systems need to power an autonomous vehicle. (more…)

Delphi Looking to Get Intel Inside its Autonomous Tech

Tech giant supplying computer chips for self-driving system.

by on Nov.30, 2016

Delphi plans to show off its new CSLP system featuring new Intel computer chips at the upcoming CES in January in Las Vegas.

Pretty soon your car may be “intel inside” as Delphi and Mobileye N.V. are partnering with Intel to use the company’s computer chips for its in-development autonomous vehicle system.

The new system, which is called Centralized Sensing Location and Planning, is expected to be available by 2019, according to Delphi officials. Intel is slated to deliver the chips late next year. Able to handle processing more than 12 trillion operations a second, they are the final piece to autonomous puzzle.

Tech News!

“We think they will be a great supplier for us,” Glen DeVos, vice president of Delphi’s services business unit told Automotive News. “For us, it’s a big step forward. It will allow us to accelerate development.” (more…)

NuTonomy Brings Self-Driving Auto Testing to Boston

Company's investors include Bill Ford's Fontinalis Partners.

by on Nov.21, 2016

The nuTonomy autonomous car, a Renault Zoe, will soon be buzzing Boston city streets..

The field of self-driving vehicles being tested on American roadways just got a little larger as nuTonomy, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based start-up company, plans to run its Renault Zoe around Boston.

The company, which counts Bill Ford’s Fontinalis Partners equity firm as an investor, has already been running its “robo taxi” all over Singapore for several months now. In fact, it offered users free rides to encourage riders to give it a try.

Global Auto News!

Riders don’t hop into an empty car, an engineer mans the wheel in nuTonomy vehicles right now, ready to take over in the event of an emergency. While Singpore presents a unique area for development, Boston affords the company’s technology new challenges it hasn’t faced yet: mainly cold, ice and snow. (more…)

Budweiser Cans the Driver; Turns to Autonomous Truck to Haul Load of Beer

A sign of things to come?

by on Oct.25, 2016

Autonomous trucking start up Otto broke new ground today by delivering a truckload of beer in Colorado.

Drinking and driving don’t go together. But what if you’re just hauling a load of beer from the brewery?

In a potentially groundbreaking first, Otto, a self-driving truck start-up, delivered a load of 45,000 cans of Budweiser to a warehouse in Colorado with no one behind the wheel. The 120-mile run is being hailed as the first in what could begin a routine way of life in the not-too-distant future as autonomous and fully driverless vehicles take over the highways.

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The early morning delivery was set in motion by Budweiser parent Anheuser-Busch working with Otto, the start-up recently purchased by Uber. The ride-sharing giant has become a leading proponent of autonomous and fully driverless technologies, arguing that these systems will eventually make American roadways safer, faster and cleaner – while also lowering the cost of driving. (more…)

Autonomous Vehicle Expected to be $560B Industry

Self-driving vehicles will save lives, cut traffic and reduce pollution.

by on Aug.12, 2016

Uber has already started testing autonomous vehicles with an eye toward using them in their regular ride-sharing fleet someday.

During the next two decades, autonomous vehicles will grow into $560 billion industry, according to a new report from a prominent consulting firm.

AT Kearney interviewed 150 executives from the automotive, tech and communications industry in preparing the study, which estimates that it will take up to two decades for fully autonomous driving to emerge.

The Journal of Record!

“While industry players have already developed or tested many of the technological building blocks, tough and tricky legal challenges remain, including new laws on accident liability, on where self-driving cars may operate, and on who may have a license,” the comprehensive study noted. (more…)