Automobiles & Trucks

How to Make Self-Driving Cars See the World Like Humans, and Other News From the Week in Cars


Amidst the robocar hype, it's easy to forget that for all their powers, computers are still lousy drivers compared to humans. This week, Eric Adams introduced us to the people working to interpret hominid behavior for driving robots. Turns out perception is a remarkable, variegated thing, and cars need to learn how to do all the cool stuff we the fleshy can before performing seamlessly on the road. The same goes for companies. Google parent company Alphabet announced this week it will construct a techified neighborhood in Toronto.

Tesla's Model 3 'production hell' is testing Elon Musk's fix-as-you-go carmaking model

Los Angeles Times

When Elon Musk talks about the future of factory automation at Tesla, he envisions new breeds of robots and smart machines compressed in dense factories with little room for human operators, guided by self-learning software. "At the point at which the factory looks like an "alien dreadnought" -- a nod to a video game spaceship -- "you know you've won," Musk has told investors. But so far, the manufacturing of Tesla's new all-electric compact sedan, the Model 3, at its Fremont, Calif., factory is moving at a more earthbound pace. When Musk launched the car at an elaborate stage show in July, Tesla was anticipating a production rate of 20,000 Model 3s a month by the end of December. Over three months through September, though, Tesla had produced only 260 Model 3s -- about three cars a day.

Who Is The Real Elon Musk?


Elon Musk has become a superstar in Silicon Valley with his unique mannerisms, creative business decisions, and thirst for innovation. He's become an inspirational figure for millions of people around the world. The real question is, who is Elon Musk and what are his plans for the future? This article will sift through his life and pinpoint what he intends to do in the coming years. Elon Musk was born to Maye Musk a model and dietician in South Africa.

Baidu Plans Fully Self-Driving Bus in China Next Year

Wall Street Journal

But first, Baidu aims to complete a fully self-driving bus--running on a designated route--with a Chinese bus maker by next year. Baidu is hoping its open-source software is more appealing to car makers wary of joining with Waymo, the driverless-car unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOGL -1.08% Mr. Li said he pitches car makers that Apollo will give them more control of their data and user experience than a closed system like Waymo's. "You have much better control over your destiny," he said. Most industry experts agree, however, that Waymo has the most advanced self-driving technology, which it began developing in 2009.

To Survive the Streets, Self-Driving Cars Have to Start Thinking Like Humans


Next time you're driving down the road or walking down the street, pause to consider how you read your surroundings. How you pay extra attention to the kid kicking a soccer ball around her front lawn and the slightly wobbly, nervous looking cyclist. How you deprioritize the woman striding toward the street, knowing she's heading for the group of friends waving to her from the sidewalk. You make these calls by drawing on a lifetime of social and cultural experience so ingrained you hardly need to think about it. But imagine you're an autonomous car trying to do the same thing, without that accumulated knowledge or the shared humanity that lets you read others' nuanced behavioral cues.

More Than Uber


Google has been working on self-driving car technology since 2009, but it wasn't until 2016 that Alphabet spun off the project as its own entity. Around the same time, a member of Google's self-driving car team departed to form his own self-driving vehicle startup, Otto, which Uber then acquired to advance its own self-driving car efforts. Now, Uber and Waymo are embroiled in a heated intellectual property battle as Waymo alleges Otto's co-founder, Anthony Levandowski, stole proprietary information and used it while heading up Uber's self-driving car project. Uber fired Levandowski in May after he refused to cooperate with the lawsuit.

Cave discovered on the Moon raises hope for human colonization

FOX News

Space luminaries such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have talked about building bases on the Moon to let humans live, work and play on the lunar surface. A new discovery, however, may bring that dream to reality sooner than realized. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has discovered an enormous cave under the lunar surface, something it calls a "very significant" discovery, due to its value for both science and human expansion into space. The discovery was made by Japan's Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe and shows a 50 kilometer (31 miles) "lava tube" underground, alongside a lava flow river "rille" on the Marius Hills of the Moon. JAXA used radio waves to confirm the existence of the cave after examining the hole.

Apple's latest self driving car prototype revealed:

Daily Mail

Apple's self driving car project has been shrouded in secrecy - but its latest vehicle has been spotted by an arch rival. Dubbed'The Thing', it looks like an ordinary SUV - apart from a giant white'Star Wars' rack of sensors strapped to its roof. The video was captured by MacCallister Higgins, co-founder of self-driving startup Voyage, which is testing its own vehicles in a San Jose retirement community. He refers to it as'The Thing,' due to the bulkiness of its sensor array. He told CNET he took the video at the intersection of De La Cruz and the Central Expressway in Sunnyvale, and he is convinced that it was one of Apple's cars.

General Motors will soon test self-driving cars in New York City


Cruise Automation wants to make self-driving cars in New York City a reality as soon as 2018. The self-driving car wing of General Motors has announced plans to test Chevy Bolts in an area of Manhattan spanning five square miles, beginning as early as next year. Previously, the company has evaluated how its vehicles perform in an urban setting by testing them out on the streets of San Francisco. In May 2017, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo detailed a one-year pilot program that would give automakers the opportunity to apply for permission to test self-driving cars in New York starting in 2018. Cruise Automation has submitted a request, which is expected to be granted, according to a report from CNN. Pedestrians will likely pose the greatest challenge for the Bolts let loose on the streets of Manhattan.

Elon Musk 'Right to be Concerned' About A.I., Google CEO Says


The Google CEO was told in a recent interview that Musk had weighed in on the company's new Google Clips camera, which uses artificial intelligence to capture photos automatically, and the Tesla CEO wasn't exactly a fan. Musk, who's spoken before about the problems such super-smart systems pose, said Clips "doesn't even seem innocent," an assessment Pichai responded to rather diplomatically. "He's a deep thinker about problems, and I think it's right to be concerned about A.I.," Pichai told Bloomberg in an interview published Thursday. He went on to say that because society can't press the pause button on tech advancements, Google's role is to be a "thoughtful and ethical" steward. "None of us have answers yet, which is what Elon is pointing out."