John Martin, Nissan North America’s senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management, had some harsh words for Tesla on Friday. According to him, Uber — not Tesla — is the real disruptor, and what Tesla is doing now is relatively easy, Automotive News reported.
“Lot’s of people are calling Tesla a disrupter. They are not,” he said while arguing that building a performance vehicle that’s priced over $100,000 is much easier than manufacturing an electric car for under $30,000.
And what about Apple and Google? Martin doesn’t foresee either of them getting into the auto manufacturing business anytime soon.
Next year, Volvo said it would make available in Sweden 100 autonomous driving XC90s that will be capable of driving themselves on roughly 50 kilometers (31 miles) of roads near Gothenburg.
The technology, which is dubbed IntelliSafe Auto Pilot, adds self-driving to technology already available in its cars; under 30 mph Auto Pilot will drive an XC90 as long as it senses a hand on the steering wheel.
According to the automaker, the car will notify the driver if it enters a stretch of road where it can drive itself. The driver would need to pull both steering wheel-mounted paddles to engage the autonomous driving features. When the car is about to leave self-driving roads, it alerts the driver that they have one minute to regain control of the car or the XC90 will come to a stop.
Former Hyundai America CEO and TrueCar president John Krafcik has been hired by Google to head the California tech giant’s autonomous vehicle program.
Per Automotive News, Krafcik will begin his new work as the program’s director in late September, while current director and former Carnegie Mellon University robotics researcher Chris Urmson will remain aboard to lead technical development.
Google. While breaking privacy laws seems to be their global sport of choice, they sure do stick to the letter of the law when their autonomous cars are perusing American roads.
Oddly, that’s a problem according to the New York Times, because the rest of us operate our automobiles in a legal gray area, bending the rules to our benefit when we know we won’t get caught.
Self-driving cars could usher in a new form of terrorism, an investment analyst writes (via SlashDot).
Alex Rubalcava, who is an investment advisor in California, says that autonomous cars would be “the greatest force multiplier to emerge in decades for criminals and terrorists.
“A future Timothy McVeigh will not need to drive a truck full of fertilizer to the place he intends to detonate it. A burner email account, a prepaid debit card purchased with cash, and an account, tied to that burner email, with an AV car service will get him a long way to being able to place explosives near crowds, without ever being there himself.”
Criminals in Denver have already used burners, pre-paid cards and fake names to rent Car2go cars for drive-by shootings.
Tesla’s ride-sharing business could be worth hundreds of millions to the company in the future, an analyst for Morgan Stanley said Monday.
Adam Jonas increased his price target for Tesla from $280 to $465 — but said the stock could go even higher to $611 — based on his forecast that Tesla could introduce an autonomous ride-sharing service by as early as 2018, Bloomberg reported.
It’s at least the third time that Jonas has publicly pumped Tesla’s stock.
Three people were injured when a car rear-ended Google’s self-driving Lexus on July 1 in Mountain View, California, The Detroit Bureau is reporting. It’s the 15th crash for the self-driving car and the first with injuries.
Three people had “minor whiplash” Google’s Director of Driverless Cars Chris Urmson wrote and the driver of the car that rear-ended the Lexus appeared to be at fault.
“Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road,” he wrote.
The robots will not look kindly on our inattention.
Google showed off its autonomous car in California on Saturday and the Washington Post has pictures of what the interior of the self-driving car looks like.
The pictures, which were taken at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California, show the prototype’s basic layout and a screen to relay pictures from the side-view mirrors.
There is no steering wheel, nor discernible accelerator or brake in the prototype, but thankfully there are cupholders.
Google’s autonomous cars have made it to the Lone Star state for testing, The Detroit News is reporting.
A self-driving Lexus 450h prototype was recently dispatched to Austin, Texas for testing on that city’s streets. The cars are used to map roadways and signs for future autonomous vehicles to use. Google said the car has begun to drive itself after testing in Texas it will be sending another Lexus to Austin soon.
The search-engine giant likely selected the Texas capital because a free-range Lexus fit in very well with that city’s culture.
“We also want to learn how different communities perceive and interact with self-driving vehicles, and that can vary in different parts of the country,” an official with Google told The Detroit News.
Though Google’s Android OS may be awash with numerous apps, Android Auto goes for a more limited approach in the name of traffic safety.