News Round-up: What Has Four Legs and Might Replace Your Cab Driver?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
news round up what has four legs and might replace your cab driver

Toyota isn’t looking to buy just Google’s legged-robot R&D firm Boston Dynamics. The automaker also has its eye on another company under the Alphabet X nee Google X umbrella.

That, Volkswagen wants its own “Gigafactory”, and ACEA releases its 2016-2017 Automobile Industry Pocket Guide for your to nerd out on … after the break.

Toyota thinks four legs are better than two

According to Nikkei’s Asian Review, Toyota isn’t satisfied with just one of Google’s robotics companies. The automaker is looking to buy Schaft, a Japanese-based subsidiary of Google, to add to its Toyota Research Institute (TRI).

The Japanese automaker believes robotics will be a key driver of its future growth. With the two companies — Boston Dynamics of the U.S. and Schaft, set up by a graduate of the University of Tokyo — Toyota’s fledgling robotics division would get a huge boost.

The initial $1 billion budgeted for TRI over the next five years will fund the purchases, Nikkei reports, and there’s a chance the deal may still not go through.

The biggest take away from this development? One of Schaft’s creations has driven a vehicle, albeit a side-by-side, in a DARPA robotics challenge.

Volkswagen wants you to forget about all that diesel stuff and look into the future

As part of its plan to sell 1 million electrified vehicles by 2025, Volkswagen is planning to shell out as much as $11 billion dollars to build a battery factory in Germany.

According to Automotive News, Volkswagen has made no decisions yet on the factory, though it’s rumored location is Salzgitter, about 35 miles south of Volkswagen’s HQ in Wolfsburg.

And yet it’s been almost 10 months since the emissions scandal broke and there still isn’t a fix.

ACEA Pocket Guide is your European automotive market crib sheet

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association has released its annual Automotive Industry Pocket Guide, and it’s full of fantastic information for those who don’t closely follow the European market.

Want to know the percentage of Europe’s contribution to global production? It’s in there — 20 percent, or 18.4 million units.

Want to know the average amount of CO2/km emitted by a vehicle in Europe? It’s in there — 119.6 grams.

What about the total number of vehicles in use in the European Union? It’s in there — 291.1 million vehicles.

Give it a look.

Join the conversation
  • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Jun 01, 2016

    Gotta love the way automakers are pissing away tens of billions on companies for purported autonomous vehicles or "robotic" drivers when neither the infrastructure nor technology is ready for widespread usage in any meaningful way, and won't be for at least two decades (and probably three to four decades). That's some awfully expensive R&D, but the braintrust at these automakers probably tell themselves "[H]ey, if we can borrow money at 1.6% interest on bonds we sell, thanks to Yellen, Draghi & Kuroda, why not?"

    • Carguy67 Carguy67 on Jun 01, 2016

      Agree. I don't think autonomous vehicles are realistic without a massive upgrade to our infrastructure (newer, smoother, standardized road surfaces with definitive visual cues to go with more powerful GPS processing, etc.). And we all know how willing our government is to spend massive amounts of money on infrastructure.

  • MazdaThreeve MazdaThreeve on Jun 01, 2016

    Q: "Where am I?" J: "You're in a Johnnycab." Q: "How did I get in here?" J: "I'm sorry. Would you please rephrase the question?" Q: "How did I get in this taxi?" J: "The door opened, you got in. Hell of a day, isn't it?"

    • See 2 previous
    • Shiv91 Shiv91 on Jun 02, 2016

      @Corollaman And drive 45mph in a 30 and 30mph in a 45.

  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.
  • ChristianWimmer 1974 Dodge Monaco. I’m a nostalgic guy and want one of these so badly.
  • Zipper69 I got the form letter from Kia a few weeks ago and booked a time for the software update.Took around 1 hr 15 mn and you get free nifty stickers on the front door windows telling the thieves you are protected.
  • Dave I also only support companies that don't steal my tax money because they are "too big to fail"
  • Da Coyote GM has been dead to me for years - since I want my car paint to stay on and things to fit. Matters not to me.