Google Stories February 23
Google Stories December 19, 2016
In October, we got our first look through spy shots at the Chrysler Pacifica minivans that Google has been outfitting with its self-driving technology. Today, Chrysler and Waymo, the new Alphabet company created out of Google’s self-driving effort, have officially unveiled the final design of a Chrysler Pacifica with self-driving hardware. expand full story
Google Stories December 13, 2016
Google has long said that it has no plans to manufacture self-driving cars itself, instead partnering with automakers, but it had been thought that it might press ahead with cars without steering wheels or pedals. However, a new report from The Information suggests that parent company Alphabet has now ‘backed off’ these plans in favor of something more conventional.
The report also echoes a much earlier one on the company’s intentions for the self-driving car project …
Google Stories October 9, 2016
While Tesla’s fleet recently reached 222 million miles driven on Autopilot in about a year, Google’s fleet of self-driving cars just passed the 2-million miles mark last month after 7 years on the road. As we previously discussed, Tesla’s Autopilot miles are not really equivalent to Google’s self-driving miles, but it still gives us a good indication of the speed at which each company is deploying their semi-autonomous and autonomous programs.
Now Google is about to speed up its effort by deploying a lot more vehicles through its partnership with Fiat-Chrysler to build a fleet of self-driving Pacifica, Chrysler’s new plug-in hybrid minivan. The first few prototypes were spotted in Mountain View over the weekend. expand full story
Google Stories September 23, 2016
We have been reporting quite often on accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot program so it’s just fair that we also let you know about accidents involving other autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle programs.
We learned that one of Google’s self-driving prototype was involved in a serious crash with a commercial van in Mountain View today. expand full story
Google Stories August 27, 2016
It feels like Google/Alphabet’s self-driving car project has been at a bit of a yellow light lately, with the recent departure of its technical lead & director Chris Urmson and other key members being the biggest sign of trouble. Now, Reuters reports that the Mountain View company has hired ex-Airbnb executive Shaun Stewart as “a director of the self-driving car project” (albeit not a replacement for Urmson), and that his role will be “to help commercialize Google’s self-driving technology.”
Google Stories August 3, 2016
comma.ai CEO George Hotz recently praised Tesla, Google and Otto for being fairly opened about their self-driving car programs, but he is taking his own company a step further in openness with the release of a dataset of 7.25 hours of comma.ai’s prototype at work.
We’ve often discussed at Electrek how data will be extremely important in the race to create a fully self-driving car, and also in the race to get such a system approved by regulators, which is why comma.ai’s move here is particularly interesting. expand full story
Google Stories June 27, 2016
Google Stories June 10, 2016
Yesterday, 9to5Mac.com reported that Apple Inc has founded a new, fully owned, subsidiary known as Apple Energy and that this entity had applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC regulates power companies) to be able to sell electricity and other power grid services to anyone that is not a public utility. Does this mean that you can now buy clean electricity made on the roof of the Apple Spaceship? Unless you are a large corporate electricity user within 10-30 miles, probably not. However if we step back and take a broader view, something interesting is happening – the likes of Apple, Google, Ikea and others including even Walmart are showing us a small piece of the future of much smarter electricity grid owned by many instead of the few.
Google Stories June 9, 2016
Earlier this year, we wrote a profile on an interesting startup, Zee Aero, developing a battery-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft near Google’s X lab. The company caught our attention when it started hiring talent from NASA, Tesla and Stanford.
At the time, we couldn’t confirm where the money was coming from, but today we learn that Alphabet’s billionaire CEO Larry Page is secretively behind the electric aircraft startup, reportedly financing it with over $100 million, and even setting up a competing startup, Kitty Hawk, to test another model.
The group’s proximity with Google led a lot of people to believe it was financed by the tech giant, but in fact, Page is financing the initiative himself and not through Alphabet or Google Ventures. expand full story