Autonomous car Stories June 15, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is expected to release its federal guidelines for autonomous vehicles in July and the agency’s senior administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind, said to expect something different from the regulators to reflect the disrupting aspect of self-driving technologies.

Rosekind made the comment during a panel at the TU-Automotive auto-tech conference in Novi (via readwrite):

“What is unusual is everybody expects regulation comes out and that’s what it is forever, and NHTSA’s job is react and enforce it. That will not work with this area. I think we’re going to have something different in July.”

The regulator said that NHTSA’s rules will focus on four main areas. expand full story

Autonomous car Stories January 28, 2016

Model 3 surprise: Tesla is preparing to announce 2 vehicles in March (Updated: Tesla Denies)

(Update: A Tesla Spokesperson called this report “wrong” and that only 1 of the vehicles would be announced in March. Tesla is indeed working on [at least] 2 different Model 3 platform vehicles which we reported previously. Here’s something they were able to verify.)

We’ve seen the Chevy Bolt (not just seen, driven!) so, in March, it is Tesla’s turn to unveil its $30,000 long-range electric car. We’ve had a steady stream of whispers on the Model 3 but are unable to verify much of what we’ve heard.

The biggest tidbit I’ve heard from a second-hand source is that Tesla is readying at least 2 different versions of its Model 3 for the March launch. One version is a sedan and another is a small crossover built on the same platform. I can’t verify if the crossover is the Model Y that Elon Musk mentioned in a Tweetstorm last year, but that would make some sense. We’ve heard that this vehicle will be a smaller version of the Model X with its Falcon Wing doors. Again, it will have a premium price over the Model 3 similar to the $5,000 difference between the Model X and Model S. 

I decided to hold off on publishing this info until I saw Tesla’s Hong Kong presentation this week, which included two cars under wraps (pictured above). Yes, obviously, the artwork is simply a Model X and Model S under digital covers, but the fact that there are two cars to be unveiled adds a little more credence to what I’ve heard.

We broke the news in March of 2014 that the Model 3 platform would be more than just a sedan with the leaked slide presentation below which first mentions “Crossover”.

My source believes that the plan around Christmas of last year was to launch at least two vehicles or configurations at the same time, but obviously things could change. Also, Tesla could have two projects happening simultaneously to contain/isolate leaks.

Other Model 3 info follows:

Autonomous car Stories January 15, 2016

When Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeted that he expected to the company’s cars to be able to drive themselves across the U.S. from coast to coast within two years, my response was that I might believe the tech could hit that deadline, but not the law. It seems I may be wrong.

The WSJ reports that the Obama administration wants to invest $3.9B in crafting rules and policies to facilitate the rapid rollout of self-driving cars. This would take place at the federal level, ensuring consistent national laws rather than a patchwork of state-by-state regulations …

expand full story

Autonomous car Stories January 14, 2016

Medium’s tech hub editor-in-chief Steven Levy provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a test-(non)driver of one of Google’s self-driving cars. Among the more surprising facts is that there’s a four-week full-time course to qualify to sit behind the wheel of one of the company’s testbed Lexus cars – with additional training needed for the cute prototype cars with only emergency controls.

There’s an abbreviated version for those who will only be sitting in the cars on the company’s private test facility. If you fancy the job, the most reliable way to apply, says Levy, is to be friends with an existing driver. If you can’t swing that, there’s always the option of applying to be a professional pedestrian …

expand full story

Autonomous car Stories November 30, 2015

After the success of its Formula E Championship, the FIA group announced a new race series with driverless electric cars in partnership with Kinetik. The new championship is called ‘ROBORACE’ and aims at providing a competitive platform for the autonomous driving solutions that are now being developed by automotive and tech companies.

ROBORACE will “piggyback” on the Formula E Championship with each race taking place on the same circuit right before the Formula E race. FIA and Kinetic plan for 10 teams, each with two driverless cars, to compete in 1-hour races. expand full story

Autonomous car Stories November 3, 2015

Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a conference call today to discuss the company’s third quarter financial results with analysts. During the call, Musk commented on the recent release of the Autopilot and the technology going forward. When asked how he sees the market with full autonomous driving and manual driving vehicles, the CEO said that once self-driving cars are being produced, non-autonomous cars will have a “negative value” and be the equivalent of owning a horse – meaning it would be for “sentimental reasons”. expand full story

Autonomous car Stories October 1, 2015

GM CEO Mary Barra made a series of announcement today about the “future of personal mobility”, most notable of which a new plan for autonomous Chevy Volt to be available to GM employees to drive on private property next year.

A fleet of 2017 Volt equipped with GM’s self-driving technology will be made available in late 2016 for GM employees to reserve through a new car-sharing app and drive around the company’s Warren Technical Center campus in Michigan. expand full story

Autonomous car Stories September 29, 2015

Google’s self-driving cars may have an impressive safety record – having never caused an accident in more than a million miles of driving on public roads – but the company admits that their ultra-cautious approach can make them a little unpredictable and annoying to other drivers, reports the WSJ. Examples include taking a very wide approach on turns, and braking at the slightest sign of danger.

The cars are “a little more cautious than they need to be,” Chris Urmson, who leads Google’s effort to develop driverless cars, [said]. “We are trying to make them drive more humanistically” … 

expand full story

Autonomous car Stories September 18, 2013

After plans for Autonomous driving were revealed this week via Tesla’s job site, Musk went on the offensive saying that yes they were working on a program and the team reports directly to him.

This is a stark (get it?) change from a previous stance where Musk said Tesla was taking a more wait and see approach. Perhaps Google’s plans to build their own car spurred him on? expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP