Tag: autonomous

By on November 7, 2019

The cutting edge of new technology will be guided by new hands at Ford. On Thursday, the automaker announced changes to its executive lineup, including the departure of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC head Sherif Marakby and his replacement by vice president of strategy John Lawler.

Ford didn’t elaborate much on Marakby’s absence, stating that the exec, who formerly headed up Uber’s global vehicles programs, “has elected to take a personal leave from the company.” (Read More…)

By on April 23, 2019

It’s a long way from the company’s fledgling, Phoenix-area autonomous ride-hailing service, but Detroit has enough available space and local talent for Waymo to sign a lease.

On Tuesday, the self-driving tech company announced a deal to mate Chrysler Pacificas and Jaguar I-Paces with autonomous hardware in an abandoned assembly plant sitting in the heart of the domestic auto industry. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

Even though GM is no longer serious about the Cruze, it appears to be very serious about Cruise. For those with short memories, Cruise Automation is The General’s unit that focuses on autonomous cars.

News has broken that current GM president Dan Ammann will take over as CEO of Cruise, pushing aside current CEO and co-founder Kyle Vogt, who’s booted down the ladder to Chief Technology Officer. All this is expected to take place on January 1st, 2019.

(Read More…)

By on November 21, 2017

Volvo Cars and Uber join forces to develop autonomous driving cars

Building on a strategic partnership announced in August last year, Volvo has signed a framework agreement with Uber to sell “tens of thousands” of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

While reading the report, it was important for this author to keep in mind the challenge in affixing an actual definition to the words autonomous driving. There have been shouty voices in various parts of the internet disputing the terms autonomous, Autopilot, and self-driving. There is merit to these arguments.

Nevertheless, Volvo is working with Uber to create technology that will allow vehicles to move about without a driver providing input 100 percent of the time.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2017

jaywalking vaper

A report released this week suggests that if self-driving cars become our new normal, it may mean you can jaywalk with impunity again. As if New Yorkers, Chicagoans, and residents of other major cities don’t do so already.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials, a non-profit with represents cities on issues related to transportation, put out a report this week suggesting cities should allow pedestrians to cross streets anywhere, instead of just crosswalks. The report also says self-driving cars would usually be limited to 20 mph and would be able to use pedestrian-detection technology to slow down or stop in order to avoid hitting folks crossing the road. (Read More…)

By on February 24, 2017

waymo

Waymo is suing over claims that a former employee stole the design for one of its LIDAR systems and brought it to a competitor. The alleged theft of Waymo’s intellectual property came to light after the company was accidentally privy to an email chain that described an Uber design for a LIDAR circuit board that looked very familiar.

So familiar, in fact, that the Google-backed Waymo filed a lawsuit on Thursday in a California federal court. The suit accuses former Google employee Anthony Levandowski of stealing its tech for the LIDAR sensor used by the Otto autonomous startup company. Unfortunately for Waymo, Uber paid $680 million for Otto last August and is currently using the potentially stolen designs.  (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2017

Toyota badge

The Toyota Motor Corporation is a little skeptical of the imminency of self-driving vehicles. It plans on continuing production of designs where human operators are saddled with the bulk of the driving responsibilities for years to come.

The automaker is openly dubious that tech-focused companies like Waymo and Tesla are sufficiently far enough along to hint at delivering self-driving cars. However, Toyota’s problem with handing the keys to a computer has as much to do with leaving companies open to litigation and criticism as it does with the technology simply not yet being ready.

North America expects millions of traffic accidents every year, but is much less willing to accept computer-controlled chaos at even a fraction of that scale.  (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2016

google prototype-early

Every now and then, a critical mass of clever, ambitious folks excited about a particularly good idea coalesces, often in a particular geographic region, and humanity gets lucky. The American colonies in the late 18th century and Detroit in the early 20th century are historical examples. Silicon Valley, starting in the 1980s, is probably our best contemporary example.

In recent years, those modern titans of technology have turned their futurist eyes towards personal transportation. Whether explicitly or in sotto voce tones, they’ve indicated that the traditional auto industry personified as “Detroit” was a dinosaur about to go extinct. Not knowing the auto industry metaphor of becoming an obsolete buggy whip manufacturer, the tech industry saw Detroit’s future as “making handsets” — i.e. low tech assemblers.

Tesla was going to show us the new electron driven future, Google was going to make cars that drove themselves, and the Apple of the tech world’s eye was going to do nothing less than completely reinvent the automobile, just as it had done with music players and telephones. The push towards self-driving, autonomous cars and trucks was only going to accelerate the ascendancy of Silicon Valley as the new Motor City.

Just because you’re good at one thing, however, doesn’t mean you’re good at another. (Read More…)

By on July 14, 2016

Location Front Quarter Volvo S90 Mussel Blue

There are upsides to autonomous driving, but Volvo drivers are still made of flesh, with blood pumping though their veins.

Unlike that hazy group of people who lose their minds with excitement at the thought of always being a passenger in their own car, the Swedish automaker isn’t about to take away the act of driving from its customers. (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2016

 

2016 Toyota RAV4

Your vehicle’s technology is enslaving you, and Toyota wants to help you break free.

Today, Toyota has become the latest automaker to create a subsidiary tasked with generating new technology and innovation for its parent company.

Called Toyota Connected Inc., the venture is a collaboration with Microsoft that will serve as a data science and mobile technology hob for the world’s largest automaker. The plan is to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to “humanize” the driving experience and make vehicles’ high-tech abilities less intrusive and more useful. (Read More…)

By on March 28, 2016

2016NissanAltima

Nissan’s product pipeline has all the flow of a crusted-over faucet, and that’s not good for business.

That, automation is insidiously infiltrating cars all around you, Mercedes-Benz goes all in on AMG, Jaguar teases China with something special, and foreigners flee the Russian automotive landscape … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on March 16, 2016

CTS-V brakes

In six years, almost every new car sold in the U.S. will come with automatic emergency braking systems, making the relatively new safety feature as prolific as airbags or anti-lock brakes.

A group of 10 major automakers plans to announce tomorrow that they will make automatic braking standard on all of their cars by September, 2022, Reuters reports.

Members of the group, which includes Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen, have been in talks with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for several months as they hashed out a plan.

(Read More…)

By on December 21, 2015

Hotz

Bloomberg published an interview with hacker-slash-inventor George Hotz earlier this week where it showcased his efforts in building autonomous car technology. While many readers might be quick to jump on his ideas as the first coming of affordable autonomous vehicles, we need take a step back and look at the details.

(Read More…)

By on December 8, 2015

HMMA Plant Tour (Montgomery, Alabama)

Hyundai is considering making its own computer chips for autonomous cars, which the company expects will be readily available by 2030, according to Bloomberg.

The South Korean automaker, which is already preparing its cars with semi-autonomous technology, says the technology could be vital to car making in the future. Hyundai buys its autonomous driving-related technology from a supplier, but the director of the automaker’s automotive control system development group didn’t specify the company from which Hyundai buys the technology hardware.

Hyundai’s announcement could be competition for Silicon Valley giants such as Google and Apple that are developing autonomous driving technologies to be licenced (Google) or possibly their own cars (Apple). Hyundai developing its own chips could be a way to keep the automaker from becoming merely a sheet metal provider to autonomous car technology makers.

(Read More…)

By on October 22, 2015

IMG_4983

I got the call at about 6 p.m. last night. It was Greg Ledet, one of the fellows who partnered in our infamous April Fools’ Day cross-country hoax.

“I’m heading out to meet Alex Roy at a Tesla Supercharger near Dayton and clear traffic for him between here and Columbus. You want to go?”

“I’d love to,” was my unconvincing reply, “but I just had a bunch of screws drilled into my left tibia and every moment I stand up is an exciting battle between nausea and vertigo. However,” I added after a moment’s pause, rifling through my nightstand for the bottle marked Morphine EXPIRED!, “I could meet you south of Columbus for a few minutes.” Hopping down the stairs on one foot, I grabbed the keys to my Accord before anyone could object. “All I have to do is use this gimpy leg to push the clutch once in a while!” I yelled, while backing out in hop-skip-and-jump fashion.

Five minutes later I was back, tears streaming from behind my tinted-lens ProDesign frames. “If anybody wants to drive me to Grove City,” I conceded, “I’m buying dinner.”

(Read More…)

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