Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘self-driving vehicle’

Ford Investing $1b for Self-Driving Company Argo AI

Start-up aims to ensure Ford’s driverless vehicles reach market by 2021.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Ford CEO Mark Fields showing off a LIDAR sensor like the ones on its autonomous prototypes.

Ford Motor Co. will invest $1 billion over the next five years to take a controlling stake in an artificial intelligence start-up in its bid to bring driverless vehicles to market by 2021.

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI was launched only last November by two autonomous vehicle veterans from Google and Uber. Argo will now take over the software side of Ford’s driverless vehicle research program, though the automaker will continue to control the hardware side of that project.

The Last Word!

“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields during a conference call with analysts and reporters.

(more…)

California DMV Wants Uber to Stop Autonomous Ride-Share Venture

Company officials say they don’t need permit.

by on Dec.15, 2016

Uber could be facing a legal storm over its decision not to get the permit California requires.

Ride-sharing service Uber has been ordered by California regulators to halt the public test of autonomous vehicles until the company gets what the state claims is the necessary permit.

Uber on Wednesday began offering rides in San Francisco using specially modified versions of the Volvo XC90 SUV. Though nearly two dozen other companies have so far received permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Uber officials said they are not required to get one. DMV officials have vociferously disagreed and have sent a warning to the company.

News Now!

“If Uber does not confirm immediately that it will stop its launch and seek a testing permit, DMV will initiate legal action,” DMV attorney Brian Soublet wrote in a letter to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s autonomous car programs.

(more…)

Uber, Volvo Launch Autonomous Ride-Share Test in San Francisco

But pilot project is operating without a state permit, could face legal issues.

by on Dec.14, 2016

One of 11 autonomous Uber Volvo XC90s climbs a steep San Francisco hill.

Uber is expanding its autonomous vehicle pilot program to San Francisco – though the move could run afoul of California regulators since the ride-sharing service has decided not to seek a permit for the project.

Today’s launch comes three months after Uber began testing self-driving vehicles in its hometown of Pittsburgh. The company has said that it eventually wants to jump past autonomous cars and put a fleet of fully driverless vehicles on the road, something it says would lower the cost of a ride to the point where hailing an Uber would be cheaper than the cost of owning a vehicle.

We'll Keep You on Auto Pilot!

“The promise of self-driving ride sharing is becoming a reality,” said Mårten Levenstam, vice president of product planning at Volvo Cars, which is providing the vehicles being used for the San Francisco pilot. “Volvo is proud to be at the forefront of the latest developments in the automotive world alongside our partners at Uber.”

(more…)

CEO Musk: Tesla Won’t Disable Autopilot Feature

NTSB latest to launch investigation after three crashes.

by on Jul.13, 2016

Tesla CEO Musk won't pull the plug on Autopilot and, if anything, insists it will enhance safety.

Despite growing concerns about the safety of its Autopilot technology, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is making it clear he has no intention of disabling the semi-autonomous driving system. If anything, the South African-born entrepreneur argues that Autopilot will save lives in the long-run.

Not everyone is quite so confident, at least not in its current beta mode.  The battery-carmaker itself has confirmed the technology played at least some role in a fatal crash on May 9, and two Tesla owners have since blamed Autopilot for crashes that have occurred this month.

Your Auto Insider!

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a preliminary investigation following the Florida accident that killed former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown. The National Transportation Safety Board is now conducting its own investigation. Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at Tesla’s decision not to publicly reveal the fatal crash for eight weeks – until after the maker’s latest, $2 billion stock offering.

(more…)

Second Crash May Be Linked to Tesla Autopilot

Tesla CEO Musk under fire for slow response to 1st crash.

by on Jul.06, 2016

Tesla's Autopilot uses a blend of cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors to control the vehicle.

The crash of a second Tesla vehicle reportedly operating in Autopilot mode is raising new concerns about not only the maker’s semi-autonomous technology but how the battery-carmaker is handling a potential problem that has already touched off a federal safety probe.

Albert Scaglione, an art gallery owner from Southfield, Michigan, was behind the wheel of a 2016 Tesla Model X when it crashed and rolled over on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week. According to the police officer who responded to the crash, Scaglione said he had just activated the Autopilot system, which is designed to permit partial hands-free driving on limited-access highways.

Eye on Tech!

The crash occurred a day after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it would investigate a fatal wreck in Florida that occurred on May 9th. Driver Joshua Brown, 40, was killed when neither he nor the Autopilot system in his Tesla Model S responded by braking when a semi-truck turned in front of the vehicle.

(more…)

BMW Confirms Plan to Launch Autonomous Car by 2021

Automaker teams up with tech firms Intel, Mobileye.

by on Jul.01, 2016

The BMW i Vision Future concept offers a hint of what the maker's autonomous car might look like.

BMW is the latest automaker to confirm plans to go to market with an autonomous vehicle, the Bavarian maker teaming up with tech partners Intel and Mobileye to “bring fully automated driving technology to the street” by 2021, the maker’s CEO announced Friday.

The announcement follows the debut of several futuristic concept vehicles meant to mark BMW’s 100th anniversary. But it also comes a day after U.S. safety regulators launched an investigation into a fatal crash of a Tesla Model S sedan that was operating in its semi-autonomous Autopilot mode. That has raised new concerns about the technology despite hopes that self-driving vehicles will help improve safety and reduce worsening traffic congestion.

A Look at the Future!

“The combined expertise of Intel, Mobileye and the BMW Group will deliver the next core building block to bring fully automated driving technology to the street,” BMW chairman Harald Krüger said in a statement.

The move might come as a surprise to those who think of BMW in terms of its long-running tag-line, “The ultimate driving machine,” but the maker has been exploring self-driving technology for nearly two decades, and, according to Kruger, it will give BMW customers new options – the ability to ride hands-free or switch to manual driving mode.

(more…)

Tesla Driver Dies While Car Operating on AutoPilot

Crash raises new questions about capabilities of autonomous vehicles.

by on Jul.01, 2016

Joshua Brown, 40, said his Tesla Autopilot system had prevented an earlier crash before his death in a Florida collision on May 7.

(This story has been updated with additional comments by Tesla to a query by TheDetroitBureau.com)

Federal safety regulators are investigating the death of a 40-year-old man killed in the crash of his Tesla Model S while the battery-electric vehicle was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

Word of the May 7 crash in Williston, Florida was just released as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Said it would begin a preliminary investigation into the crash, which occurred when the system failed to prevent a collision with a tractor-trailer that turned in front of the luxury car.

Subscribe Now!

Tesla issued a statement emphasizing that this was the first known fatal crash first involving the Autopilot system, which lets motorists operate hands-free on limited-access highways. There have been a number of more minor crashes involving other autonomous vehicle prototypes, including nearly 20 reported by Google, a leader in the field.

(more…)

Infiniti May add Semi-Autonomous Technology for Most New Models

Next step: fully autonomous vehicles.

by on Jun.08, 2016

The Infiniti Q50 already offers a steer-by-wire system that would readily enable autonomous driving.

Luxury brand Infiniti is likely to add semi-autonomous driving capabilities to most of its new models, the Nissan subsidiary’s president said, during an appearance at a global auto industry summit in Chongqing, China.

The move would potentially put Infiniti on a par, and perhaps ahead, of key luxury rivals in the race to bring fully self-driving vehicles on the road by the early part of the coming decade. And Infiniti’s announcement would echo the aggressive goals of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has said the second-largest Japanese automaker wants to have as many as 10 autonomous vehicles in production by 2020.

Stay In the Know!

“This will be rolled out as we are launching new vehicles one by one,” Roland Krueger, Infiniti’s president, told the Reuters news service.

(more…)

Google, Fiat Chrysler Confirm Autonomous Vehicle Alliance

Deal will focus on new Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

by on May.03, 2016

A self-driving Pacifica is one step closer to reality with today's announcement from FCA and Google.

Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are about to put things on autopilot, the two companies teaming up on a program aimed at bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near future.

The two have confirmed an alliance, rumored for more than a week, that will see Google acquire 100 of FCA’s new Chrysler Pacifica minivans. They will help the tech giant more than double its current fleet of autonomous vehicle prototypes, the two firms announced late Tuesday. That could eventually see Google technology used in FCA’s production vehicles, though no formal plans for that move have yet been locked down.

Breaking News!

“This announcement is a recognition of the fact we found a sharing of the minds with Google,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, his counterpart at Google, autonomous vehicle chief John Krafcik saying the Silicon Valley firm saw the Detroit maker as “nimble and experienced.” (more…)

FCA, Google Could Announce Autonomous Deal Today

First step: self-driving Pacifica minivan.

by on May.03, 2016

Chrysler wants to reposition the Pacifica as more than a minivan; autonomous tech could help.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Google could announce a joint venture as early as today, according to reports out of Milan.

The non-exclusive project would see FCA use the tech firm’s autonomous vehicle technology in several dozen prototypes based off the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, according to a report by the Bloomberg news service. But several observers caution that a deal might take longer than expected, and note how a reported Ford-Google alliance failed to materialize, as many had expected, last January.

News Now!

It would mark the first official alliance for Google, which has said it prefers to find partners to use its autonomous vehicle technology, rather than going into the car business itself. Meanwhile, FCA would suddenly move to the head of the class, rather than lagging at the back of the self-driving pack.

(more…)