Technology companies need to stop attempting to build cars. This is all getting too convoluted.
Despite working at it longer than anyone else, Google appeared to be pulling out of the race to be the first tech company to produce an autonomous electric vehicle — a familiar fate for those who foray into the automotive world without a surfeit of experience. Apple’s Project Titan suffered a similar fate after multiple postponements to the vehicle’s intended release, strategy disagreements, large-scale layoffs, and the loss of key leadership assigned to the self-driving vehicle’s development.
Building a car is a serious undertaking, so it isn’t surprising that Google had to throw in the towel. The only problem is that, after quitting, Google announced that it was more committed to the goal of producing an autonomous vehicle than ever before. (Read More…)
“The future vision of car intelligence and electrification.”
That was the entire press release provided by Nissan along with the above photo. That’s it. That’s all.
So, let the wild speculation begin. Is this the next-generation Nissan Leaf? Or is it a life orb that will ship us off to fight to the death in some futuristic panopticon? Who knows?!?! It could be at least one of those things.
Google looks to be stepping their whip game up with the addition of a lexus RX450h. Joining the fleet of Prii is the luxury crossover, which Wired Magazine’s Damon Lavrinc discovered thanks to a tipster. According to Wired, Google claims that
“In the course of our work, we experiment with testing our algorithms on various vehicles to help us improve our technology,”
Which is a fancy way of saying “we got a Lexus for R&D reasons”. Lavrinc notes that the new car was spotted just days after California passed a bill mandating regulations for autonomous vehicle testing. If someone could explain to us why the Lexus has no license plates, that would be a start.
We (well, some of us) await the autonomous auto that leaves the driving to a robot, such as not to distract us from twittering and uploading pictures of our cats to our facebookies. That technology is not quite there yet. Volkswagen however thinks “an important milestone on the path towards fully automatic and accident-free driving” has been set. So said Volkswagen’s Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold at the final presentation of the EU research project HAVEit (Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport – who comes up with that stuff?) (Read More…)