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Posts Tagged ‘self-driving vehicles’

Most American Consumers Remain Wary of Autonomous Vehicles

But motorists welcome new advanced driver assistance features.

by on Apr.18, 2017

More and more autonomous prototypes are on the road, but consumers remain skeptical.

If you listen to the experts, the coming age of the autonomous automobile will all but eliminate crashes and fatalities on U.S. roadways. But American consumers aren’t quite so confident. According to the new J.D. Power Tech Choice Study, motorists are wary of hands-free driving.

At the same time, they have become increasingly receptive to the flood of new, semi-autonomous advanced driver assistance system, or ADAS, technologies – such as forward collision warning and blind-spot detection – that are showing up on more and more of the latest vehicles.

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“In most cases, as technology concepts get closer to becoming reality, consumer curiousity and acceptance increase,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and HMI research at J.D. Power and Associates. “With autonomous vehicles, we see a pattern where trust…in the technology…is declining.”

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Autonomous Vehicles Could Save US Drivers Billions Annually

Study shows U.S. drivers could save $306 billion.

by on Jan.18, 2017

The development of autonomous vehicles is dependent upon new technology coming to the auto industry.

The ongoing push for autonomous vehicles has largely centered on convenience and safety; however, a new study shows there may a third, very compelling reason: billions of dollars.

According to Global Positioning Specialists, driverless technologies represent a savings of $306 billion annually in lost gross domestic product — just in the United States.

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Federal safety officials have been campaigning for past several years to expand the use of self-driving technology with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities. (more…)

Autonomous Vehicle Companies Drawing More Investors

Zoox attracts $50 million in new cash.

by on Nov.09, 2016

The development of autonomous vehicles is one of four trends that will dramatically reshape the industry in the next 15 years.

The race to develop autonomous vehicles continues to pick momentum and new participants.

Zoox, a start-up company based in Menlo Park, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, has rounded up $50 million in latest round thanks to investor interest in self-driving vehicles. The success of Zoox fund raising has pushed its valuation to $1.55 billion.

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The company elected to move ahead with raising additional cash after big investments in autonomous vehicle technology by Alphabet’s Google, General Motors and Uber Technologies, according to The Wall Street Journal. (more…)

Three of Four Drivers Want Autonomous Vehicles

AlixPartners believes autonomous vehicles will save $325 billion.

by on Jun.30, 2016

Google continues to expand its ongoing testing program for self-driving vehicles and its recognition as the leading autonomous vehicle company in the U.S.

As many as 73% of American drivers are willing to slide behind the wheel, or big red button, of an autonomous vehicle, according to a new survey by AlixPartners, marking a significant uptick in the level of acceptance of the self-drivers.

Not only are more U.S. motorists ready, they’re willing to pay for it. In fact, 80% of those surveyed said they’d pay more for one. In fact, 10% claimed they would shell out an additional $5,000 for a self-driving vehicle that they would use in all facets of their lives.

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On the surface, this level of acceptance appears to be a striking shift in attitudes about level of trust drivers are willing to place in autonomous vehicles, despite the fact that 96% of drivers surveyed have no experience with these vehicles. However, Mark Wakefield, head of AlixPartners automotive practice, noted that difference was in the questions. He noted that as part of the process, the respondents were given specifics about autonomous vehicles and then asked questions about that information. (more…)

Most American Motorists Wary of Self-Driving Cars

Concerns grow even as autonomous vehicles come closer to production.

by on May.23, 2016

An autonomous Ford Fusion prototype recently began testing on public roads in California.

Every week brings a flurry of new reports about the coming wave of autonomous vehicles, but a new study finds that only a small minority of American motorists actually want to buy a self-driving vehicle.

Motorists are a bit more open to semi-autonomous technologies that still require a driver to keep their hands on the wheel, but nearly half said they wanted no self-driving technologies at all, according to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI. And more than a third said they would be “very concerned about riding in a completely self-driving vehicle.”

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The results of the UMTRI could raise some serious concerns among industry planners. Global automakers are spending billions of dollars to develop self-driving vehicles, with the first semi-autonomous products just starting to come to market. Several makers have announced plans to have fully autonomous models on the road by 2020.

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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.

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Most Americans Fear Riding in Autonomous Vehicles

Yet, study finds demand for self-driving technology on the rise.

by on Mar.01, 2016

An autonomous Ford Fusion under testing.

Three-quarters of Americans say they would be “afraid” to ride in an autonomous vehicle, according to a new AAA study, yet nearly two-thirds also say they want some of the basic technologies needed to make self-driving cars work.

If anything, familiarity brings comfort. Those who drive a vehicle with features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist are more likely to feel comfortable with the idea of letting a car do the driving.

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“With the rapid advancement towards autonomous vehicles, American drivers may be hesitant to give up full control,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “What Americans may not realize is that the building blocks towards self-driving cars are already in today’s vehicles and the technology is constantly improving and well-trusted by those who have experienced it.”

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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.

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Volvo Making Semi-Autonomous System Standard on New S90

Pilot Assist system to become industry-first.

by on Jan.07, 2016

Volvo is offering semi-autonomous technology for the first time on its new S90 flagship sedan this year.

Volvo is poised to set an industry first. The Swedish maker plans to make its Driver Assist system standard when it launches the all-new Volvo S90 sedan later this year.

Self-driving technology has become one of the hottest topics in the auto industry, a variety of manufacturers outlining plans to eventually offer hands-free systems during this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A number of makers expect to begin rolling out semi-autonomous systems between now and the end of the decade, but Volvo is likely to become the first to make such technology standard on one model.

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“We think it’s a great feature and see that (consumer) interest in this technology is increasing quite rapidly,” said Erik Coelingh, senior technical leader for Volvo’s active safety operations. (more…)

Global Survey Finds Strong Interest in Autonomous Vehicles

But serious doubts about safety linger.

by on Nov.24, 2015

Drivers continue to express an increasing interest in autonomous vehicle technology.

As automakers get closer to putting the first autonomous vehicles on the road they’re finding growing interest in the new technology, a new study of potential buyers in the U.S. and nine other major markets revealing that 60% of consumers would be willing to travel in a fully self-driving car.

Consumers expect some significant benefits from the new technology, including easier parking and the ability to multitask, according to the report being released today by the World Economic Forum and the Boston Consulting Group.

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But while many proponents of autonomous technology expect the biggest payoff to come in the form of improved safety – some predicting a world where highway fatalities become a rare, rather than routine, occurrence – a majority of those surveyed admit being worried about the safety of driverless vehicles. (more…)