self-driving Stories August 30

A 2019 rendering of Toyota's E-Palette designed for the 2020 Paralympic Games / Source: Toyota
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Toyota Motor Corporation has resumed operations of its self-driving e-Palette pods at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo after a halt last Thursday following a collision with a visually impaired athlete. Working alongside the Paralympic Committee, Toyota will make several safety improvements, both inside and out of its vehicles.

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self-driving Stories July 20

Toyota Motor Group Subsidiary Woven Planet has announced the completed acquisition of Level 5, the self-driving division of rideshare veteran Lyft, Inc. The completed transaction is one of several made by Toyota and its subsidiaries in 2021, specifically pertaining to autonomous software and other self-driving technologies.

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self-driving Stories May 6, 2020

The Volvo brand is all about safety. Today the company announced that it will equip its next-generation vehicles with lidar, an expensive sensor that has almost entirely been reserved for fleet-based robotaxis — not passenger cars. Tesla rejected lidar entirely. But Volvo believes lidar’s robust capabilities can be applied to millions of vehicles for hands-off highway driving.

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self-driving Stories December 18, 2019

NVIDIA has unveiled what they call the “world’s most advanced processor” for use in autonomous vehicles and robots. The new NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Orin chip can perform 200 trillion operations per second, which is almost seven times as many as NVIDIA’s previous Xavier chip (30 trillion operations) and more than Tesla’s FSD Computer (144 trillion).

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self-driving Stories July 30, 2019

Ford announced that it has acquired Quantum Signal, a mobile robotics defense contractor, to aid with its self-driving car development.

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self-driving Stories July 11, 2019

Lidar startup Luminar gets $100M in funding, sub-$1,000 Iris platform set for production cars by 2022

Lidar startup Luminar announced today that it’s received $100 million in new funding, as the company also introduced Iris, an autonomous platform that it expects to bring to production vehicles by 2022 — for less than $1,000.

self-driving Stories March 19, 2019

Hyundai partners with Russia’s Yandex to develop self-driving cars

Hyundai has teamed up with Yandex, Russia’s largest technology company, to jointly develop self-driving cars.

self-driving Stories February 28, 2018

Outside of the tech community, self-driving technology is still seeing a lot of pushback from people who don’t trust computers driving a car for them.

A new video released by Alphabet’s Waymo does a great job to familiarize people with the technology. expand full story

self-driving Stories February 27, 2018

California has been one of the most forward-thinking states when it comes to self-driving vehicles by enabling test programs on public roads early on.

But those vehicles need to have someone in the driver’s seat at all times and be ready to take control.

Now, new DMV regulations this week approved the use of fully self-driving cars as soon as April. expand full story

self-driving Stories September 6, 2017

The “Self Drive Act” (H.R. 3388), which sets new federal self-driving car measures, is smoothly going through the legislative process with apparent bipartisan support.

It was unanimously approved by the U.S. House today.  expand full story

self-driving Stories June 13, 2017

While reports of Apple’s work on electric and self-driving cars have been surfacing for years, CEO Tim Cook has been careful about not confirming or denying any detail.

But he now makes rare comments on Apple’s effort in developing self-driving cars, which he referred to as “a core technology” for the company.  expand full story

self-driving Stories May 8, 2017

A new article in the May edition of Transportation Research took up the question of how much, if anything, consumers would pay for autonomous driving capabilities in their vehicles.  The survey of 1,260 American households concluded that the average household would be willing to pay $3,500 for partial automation, or $4,900 for full automation.

There was a lot of variance in the data however, as several households said they would pay upwards of $10,000 for full automation, and others said they would not be interested in paying a premium at all for this technology.  The research also concludes that because of this large variance in consumer price preferences, there will be plenty of room for vehicle models with varying levels of automation at various price points.

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self-driving Stories April 4, 2017

There are a lot of companies now working on autonomous driving technologies and as many approaches to achieve the ultimate goal of a safe fully self-driving system. With such a transformative technology, there will be an extraordinarily important first-mover advantage.

Navigant Research attempted to create a leaderboard based on each company’s vision and execution in order to get an idea of which ones might have a lead. It published the report this week with interesting results. expand full story

self-driving Stories March 25, 2017

Uber has been under a lot of pressure over the past few months from several different angles, including with their self-driving effort. They had problems with regulators in California after a self-driving prototype ran a red light and now they are being sued by Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car company, over their lidar sensor technology.

Now one of their self-driving prototypes in Arizona was involved in an accident that resulted in the car rolling over. Fortunately, no one was injured.  expand full story

self-driving Stories March 19, 2017

Tesla has so far been mostly alone in the autonomous driving world trying to achieve fully self-driving capability using a camera-based system. That’s because almost all other company developing self-driving technology are focusing on lidar sensors.

It’s about to change. A new startup in the field is now trying a similar albeit even more radical approach to self-driving with a camera-only system. expand full story

self-driving Stories March 3, 2017

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At the Prius Challenge event in Sonoma California today, Toyota unveiled today its second generation autonomous vehicles platform developed by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI).

While Toyota demoed an interesting system, it certainly has to be one of the most ridiculous-looking self-driving platforms we have seen so far. If you look closely, you can actually see the Lexus LS 600hL underneath all those lidar sensors. expand full story

self-driving Stories October 19, 2016

autopilotnew

Once again our readers guessed it right (well 40% of you). You said that today’s announcement would be about Autopilot 2.0/Tesla Vision and you were right. Though Tesla seems to be moving away from the name ‘Autopilot’ since it’s going full autonomous.

The company announced tonight its second generation autonomous driving hardware and confirmed that it is in all vehicle off the assembly line right now. CEO Elon Musk said that will enable full level 5 autonomy.

It’s available in the Model S and X now going forward, and every Model 3 will be equipped with the new hardware suite – hence why Musk referred to the announcement as the ‘Model 3 part 2’, but that’s the extent of the information released today about the upcoming $35,000 all-electric vehicle.

Though there’s plenty to learn about Tesla’s new autonomous hardware suite. expand full story

self-driving Stories June 16, 2016

Local Motors Olli 4

Local Motors, a Maryland-based electric car startup behind the world’s first 3D-printed cars, today introduced its latest vehicle, Olli, an all-electric self-driving shuttle with the special integration of advanced cognitive computing capabilities powered by IBM’s Watson.

You can simply get into the vehicle and say “Olli, can you take me downtown?” and the system will respond to the voice command and autonomously take you downtown or wherever you request. expand full story

self-driving Stories June 6, 2016

FF potential production car

Earlier this year, we revealed that electric car startup Faraday Future (FF) hired Bosch engineering director and leading automated driving expert, Jan Becker, to lead its own self-driving effort. The company has been building an impressive team of automated driving experts under Becker, including experts from Ford and more recently, the startup hired computer vision expert, Sangmin Oh, from Nvidia.

Now we learn that just months after starting the project, Faraday Future is about to start testing self-driving car prototypes in Michigan. expand full story

self-driving Stories June 2, 2016

tesla model 3

Following the Tesla Model 3 unveil in March, CEO Elon Musk said that a “part 2” unveiling event will follow “closer to production”, which is set to start in late 2017. He added that he expects the features that will be revealed at the event will significantly increase the number of reservations Tesla receives for the vehicle – the tally currently stands at close to 400,000 pre-orders.

Fully autonomous driving is expected to be the main new feature to be announced at the event and now Musk did everything but confirm it during a conference yesterday. expand full story

self-driving Stories May 30, 2016

A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

There are several different approaches to developing self-driving cars. Some companies are gradually releasing more and more advanced autonomous and semi-autonomous features leading to a fully autonomous system, like Tesla’s Autopilot, and others, like Google, are aiming to only release a system once the technology is ready for a fully (level 4) self-driving car.

Following a few recent accidents in the past weeks, Tesla received some criticisms over its approach on releasing semi-autonomous features. One of the most severe criticism came from renowned scientist Andrew NG who said that it was plainly “irresponsible” for Tesla to ship the Autopilot. expand full story

self-driving Stories May 25, 2016

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Google today announced that it will open a self-driving car technology development center in Novi, Michigan, which is about 30 miles outside of Detroit. Google has had teams working from Detroit for the past few years, but this marks the company’s first physical presence in the area.

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self-driving Stories May 23, 2016

A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It seems like South Korean auto suppliers are a lot more chatty than North America Or German suppliers. Several reports in the past few weeks revealed alleged involvements of several South Korea-based companies in Tesla’s new supply chain – especially for the Model 3.

The latest report from South Korean media suggests that Tesla has been developing ‘fail-safe’ systems for self-driving cars with Mando, the country’s biggest auto part supplier by revenue. expand full story

self-driving Stories May 19, 2016

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Uber couldn’t let its competitor Lyft have the spotlight for one more second. In what appears to be a direct response to yesterday’s story that GM and Lyft started testing self-driving Bolt EV prototypes in San Francisco, Uber sent out a press release today to confirm starting self-driving car tests on the streets of Pittsburgh. expand full story

self-driving Stories May 18, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Earlier this month, it was revealed that GM and Lyft are partnering to test a fleet of self-driving electric taxis sometime within the next year in an undisclosed city. Now we learn that the city in question is San Francisco as the first few vehicles, Chevy Bolt EVs with a sensor suite on top, have been spotted in the city. expand full story

self-driving Stories May 3, 2016

2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, a plug-in
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Following a report this morning from Bloomberg suggesting that Google and Chrysler were about to announce a deal that would see Google’s self-driving technology being implemented in Chrysler’s upcoming new Pacifica minivan, the CEOs of both companies have now confirmed an agreement albeit not exactly what was being discussed earlier today.

While this morning’s report suggested a plan to work on a few “dozens of self-driving prototypes” in order to later bring the technology to the production version of the Pacifica, instead the deal would now see Google buying about 100 Pacifica minivans from Chrysler to use as prototypes,  but no exactly like it does with its current Lexus SUVs, and the Mountain View company will provide a “technological crash course” in self-driving technology to Chrysler though the new partnership. expand full story

self-driving Stories April 21, 2016

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Tesla CEO Elon was in Norway today where he gave a keynote address at a government sponsored conference on ‘Future transport solutions’. Musk gave a quick presentation and then sat down for a public talk with Minister of Transport and Communications, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (picture above).

His presentation was titled:”How to reduce global warming through renewable energy production and consumption“. He shared his views about the necessities to accelerate the transition to a post fossil fuel economy in a similar way as he did during his Paris talk last year. expand full story

self-driving Stories April 15, 2016

Tesla-Model-3

The promise of autonomous cars is not that it can handle your highway commute but complete the full journey from point A to B.  When that day comes, it will not only dramatically change road safety, but also open up new business models beyond the current vehicle ownership model to mobility on demand service model.

Elon Musk recently reduced his timetable for full autonomy from 3 years down to 2 years.

“We’re going to end up with complete autonomy, and I think we will have complete autonomy in approximately two years.”

The Model 3 is expected to be the first Tesla vehicle to be equipped with the automaker’s self-driving system. expand full story

self-driving Stories April 8, 2016

Autonomous driving

Volvo announced this week that it will deploy up to 100 self-driving cars on China’s public roads. The automaker claims that the project will be “China’s most advanced autonomous driving experiment in which local drivers will test autonomous driving cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions.” expand full story

self-driving Stories April 5, 2016

AMD Tesla

After our exclusive report that Tesla hired legendary chip architect Jim Keller from AMD as new “Vice-President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering” earlier this year, we were expecting some new hires to complete Tesla’s growing Autopilot team – especially since CEO Elon Musk said the project was “super high priority” and even encouraged people to apply via Twitter.

Sure enough, Keller’s former colleague at PA Semi and Apple, Peter Bannon, followed him at Tesla just a few weeks later. And now in a significant sourcing move, Electrek has learned that Tesla poached a team of high-profile chip architects and executives from AMD to develop the next generation Autopilot under Keller’s leadership.

Tesla is expected to release more features through over-the-air updates utilizing its current hardware Autopilot suite, but the system, which consists of a forward-looking camera, a radar, and 360 degree sonar sensors, is limited and not expected to achieve fully autonomous driving. Hence why Tesla is currently developing its second generation Autopilot hardware suite, which is should enable fully self-driving cars. expand full story

self-driving Stories March 18, 2016

Mercedes autonomous e-class

Last year, famous Silicon Valley venture capitalist and early Tesla investor Steve Juvertson recalled a conversation he had with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick:

Travis recently told me that in 2020, if Telsas are autonomous, he’d want to buy all of them. He said all 500,000 of estimated 2020 production, I’d want them all, but he couldn’t get a return call from Elon.

Well apparently Kalanick couldn’t wait any longer and reportedly already placed an order for 100,000 autonomous Mercedes S-Class sedans, according to sources inside Daimler and Uber talking to German magazine Manager Magazinexpand full story

ap prototype 1

A Tesla Model S test vehicle with a new suite of sensors has been spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area last night, as reported by a Redditor on the Tesla forum.

The vehicle appears to be equipped with LiDAR sensors on the side mirrors, a new front-facing camera, and additional sensors around the car. Although it’s definitely a Tesla Model S, it doesn’t necessarily means the car is owned by Tesla or that the automaker is testing this particular hardware suite. expand full story

self-driving Stories March 11, 2016

Marc Tarpenning

Tesla co-founder Marc Tarpenning has kept somewhat of a low-profile since leaving Tesla in 2008 after an internal power-struggle saw his co-founder Martin Eberhard ousted as CEO and Elon Musk took over. After being an important part of what arguably started the electric car rEVolution, he mostly stayed away from the EV industry until he invested, alongside Eberhard, in electric motorcycle maker Alta Motors in 2014.

Other than the Alta Motors investment, since leaving Tesla he mainly took mentor and advisory roles, which he did again this week when he confirmed having joined the advisory board of ‘self-driving vehicles for industry’ company: Clearpath Robotics. expand full story

self-driving Stories March 9, 2016

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Autonomous and semi-autonomous driving systems are already getting pretty good under favorable driving conditions, but one of most people’s main concern is about how a self-driving car would handle heavy rain or snow.

Although not recommended, Tesla’s Autopilot can already handle snow to a certain degree, but several systems in development are focusing on especially nailing winter self-driving. Ford recently released a video featuring what it calls “Snowtonomy.” expand full story

self-driving Stories March 8, 2016

comma ai

Since coming out of stealth mode last December, Notorious hacker George “geohot” Hotz’s self-driving car/machine learning startup “comma.ai” hit a few roadblocks, including a cease-and-desist letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles for operating a “level-4” autonomous vehicle.

Though Hotz is contesting the DMV and says his prototype is currently only a “level-3” semi-autonomous car, but the cease-and-desist is still slowing him down as he now can only test the vehicle in a private parking lot. expand full story

self-driving Stories February 22, 2016

A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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A member of the media test drives a Tesla Motors Inc. Model S car equipped with Autopilot in Palo Alto, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. Tesla Motors Inc. will begin rolling out the first version of its highly anticipated "autopilot" features to owners of its all-electric Model S sedan Thursday. Autopilot is a step toward the vision of autonomous or self-driving cars, and includes features like automatic lane changing and the ability of the Model S to parallel park for you. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Developments in autonomous driving technology are creating tons of opportunities for engineers with expertise in computer vision, machine learning, robotics and other related fields. Almost all car manufacturer and several huge tech companies are scrambling to advance the technology. Some companies are further along than others and besides traditional automakers, Google, Apple, Bosch, Uber and others have been building important teams of engineers and researchers for their own efforts in developing the technology.

Tesla is another leader in the field and it has made it a priority to acquire talent for its own effort in the sector called the ‘Autopilot’ team. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even took to Twitter to encourage engineers to join the team. It’s undoubtedly a good use of his large Twitter following (3.4 million followers), but certainly an unconventional way to ask for resumes.

The automaker managed to assemble an impressive team to develop the next generation Autopilot, which aims to eventually allow fully autonomous driving, but not without a few bumps along the way. Today we take a look at the team and its refresh “exodus” of talent that took place around the release of the v7.0 of the feature. expand full story

self-driving Stories February 16, 2016

nissan self-parking chair

Nissan released this week a video of an intelligent “self-parking” chair concept leveraging its own self-driving car technology. The short video is worth a watch. expand full story

self-driving Stories February 9, 2016

google-self-driving-cars

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has announced today that it will recognize Google’s self-driving car system as a legal driver. The announcement comes after Chris Urmson, the head of Google’s self-driving car project, petitioned that the government treat the initiative the same as it does normal driver cars.

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self-driving Stories January 28, 2016

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Google’s self-driving car project first came to Austin, Texas in July of last year, marking its first expansion outside of Google’s hometown of Mountain View, California. It was a logical next step, considering Austin’s forward-thinking political culture and unique environmental challenges (“pedicabs, pickup trucks, and everything in between,” Google said). Now, it appears—thanks to some recently-published FCC documents (via Mark Harris)—that Google has plans to bring the self-driving car program to four more mysterious cities…

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self-driving Stories January 20, 2016

FFZERO video still

Since its inception less than 2 years ago, Faraday Future managed some impressive high-profile hires for a startup still in stealth mode until very recently. From Tesla executives to successful designers and veterans auto industry engineers, we have been scratching our heads figuring out how the company is able to attract so much talent so quickly ($?), and it’s not over.

FF’s latest hire might be its most high-profile to date. Electrek learned that Faraday recently tipped Bosch engineering director and leading automated driving expert Jan Becker to lead the startup’s own effort in vehicle automation. expand full story

self-driving Stories January 15, 2016

mobileye_360_8_cameras

Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a press conference last week about the release of the latest version of the company’s software for the Model S and X. The update added new and improved autonomous features to the automaker’s fleet.

During the press call, Musk reiterated that the current sensor suite the company is using to implement new autonomous features will not support full autonomous driving, but the CEO was extremely vague about the timing of the roll out for the new hardware suite that could enable fully self-driving cars. expand full story

self-driving Stories January 11, 2016

google-car1

According to a report today out of The Wall Street Journal, Ford, as part of its plan to reinvent itself, is planning to create a separate business unit dedicated to its ambitions in autonomous cars for “ride-sharing and fleets.” Of course the company is seeking partnerships in this space, and it just so happens that, just as was reported by Yahoo Autos a few weeks ago, Alphabet Inc.’s Google is a big part of this move…

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self-driving Stories January 10, 2016

Tesla Summon garaga

After the well-documented release notes of the 7.1 update for the Model S and X Saturday, Tesla published a short blog update on Sunday and held a press conference to reveal its ambitions for the future of the ‘Summon’ feature, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to describes what he calls the “first baby step” of the ‘Summon’ capability and its potential for the future. expand full story

self-driving Stories January 8, 2016

mobileye_cameras_data

Mobileye, an Israel-based tech company, is quickly becoming the leader in driver assist and autonomous driving features. The company now boasts that 90% of automakers are using its products, and to leverage its popularity, Mobileye is launching a new mapping technology, which crowdsources real-time data from drivers and it hopes that automakers will share the data to create a constantly updating global digital map to guide self-driving cars in the future. expand full story

self-driving Stories December 21, 2015

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk was at Stanford’s FutureFest recently and he described how he evaluates the progress and a timeline for artificial intelligence:

“If any given year you find your predictions are going further out or coming closer in, that actually one way to think of acceleration [of progress] because otherwise what’s the quantitative measure of AI?”

During the same talk, which took place in October, Musk said that fully autonomous cars are about 3 years away, a prediction he made several times in the past year or so. But today we learn that Musk updated his prediction to just 2 years. expand full story

self-driving Stories December 16, 2015

google-car

While there have been long-running theories that Google plans to operate a fleet of self-driving cars as an Uber/Lyft competitor, rather than selling them directly to consumers, a Bloomberg piece sounds rather definite about it. The paper also says that the project will be spun off into its own Alphabet company.

Google Inc. plans to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer rides for hire, a stand-alone business under the Alphabet Inc. corporate umbrella next year, a person briefed on the company’s strategy said […]

The fleets ­– which would include a range of large and small vehicles – could be deployed first in confined areas like college campuses, military bases or corporate office parks, the person said.

The idea of initial use in ‘confined areas’ (read: not public roads) could potentially accelerate the introduction of the service … expand full story

geohot driverless car

Tesla is currently using a hardware suite of sensors from Mobileye to get the input needed for its Autopilot system to control the Model S on highways and under some specific road conditions. But as it is often the case with Tesla (like for its seats), the company is looking to discontinue Mobileye’s system in favor of bringing it in-house, according to an email exchange between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and George Hotz, a software engineer mainly known for being the first person to jailbreak the iPhone. expand full story

self-driving Stories December 9, 2015

Chinese search giant Baidu’s self-driving car successfully hits the road

Google has said that its goal is to reach widespread distribution of its self-driving car by 2020, but Chinese search giant Baidu might beat the Mountain View company. Today, Baidu, often referred to as the “Chinese Google” announced that its self-driving car successfully completed its first route through Beijing.

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