Ford said it would invest $4 billion through 2023 in its newly formed autonomous vehicle unit, Ford Autonomous Vehicles, as it looks to produce self-driving cars in the next three years. The No. 2 U.S. automaker said the new unit would include self-driving systems integration, autonomous vehicle research and advanced engineering. It will go up against Google parent Alphabet's Waymo, Uber, Tesla and doxens of other into the lucrative market. Ford recently announced a collaboration with Miami-Dade County in Florida to test its self-driving vehicle business model on the streets of Miami and Miami Beach. The No. 2 U.S. automaker said the new unit would include self-driving systems integration, autonomous vehicle research and advanced engineering.
Washington, DC (CNN Business)Tesla is selling its cars with the option of "full self-driving capability," a feature that's drawing criticism from experts on self-driving technology. They say CEO Elon Musk is playing fast and loose with definitions, overselling the technology and potentially creating safety issues. When Tesla announced the $35,000 Model 3 Thursday, it said it would come with an optional $5,000 feature: full self-driving capability. The system will offer "automatic driving on city streets" as an update later this year, according to Tesla's website. A Tesla spokeswoman declined to comment on details around the automatic driving option, and pointed CNN Business to fine print on Tesla's order page that tells buyers the currently enabled features require "active" driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.
Almost half of Americans say they would never buy a fully self driving car, a new survey has found. The huge blow to the industry comes after rocky trials that have seen multiple accidents, including a self-driving Uber vehicle that killed a pedestrian in the first death involving a fully autonomous test vehicle in March. The Cox Automotive Evolution of Mobility Study found that consumer awareness of driverless vehicles has skyrocketed - but that people still want to be able to drive themselves. The research found 84 per cent want to have the option to drive themselves even in a self-driving vehicle, compared to 16 per cent who would feel comfortable letting an autonomous vehicle drive them without the option of being able to take control. It also found 84 per cent want to have the option to drive themselves even in a self-driving vehicle, compared to 16 per cent who would feel comfortable letting an autonomous vehicle drive them without the option of being able to take control.
After a woman was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona earlier this year, Toyota paused its autonomous driving program. Now, more than a month later, the car company is resuming its testing in California and Michigan within the next few weeks, a company spokesperson said -- and they're rolling out brand new facilities. As its vehicles ease back onto the roads, Toyota is building a massive autonomous driving test facility in Michigan. The closed-course track was announced Thursday and is set to open in October, located in Ottawa Lake at the Michigan Technical Resource Park. The 60-acre track will give Toyota a space to test "edge cases," or situations too dangerous to test on public roads.
These days the broad consensus on the future of driving seems to be that the car of tomorrow will be (at least partly) autonomous. Many companies, including traditional car makers, suppliers and leading tech companies are currently working on self-driving technology, all eager to save themselves a piece of what they reckon will be an enormous pie. Many of these companies are already testing their tech on designated proving grounds for self-driving vehicles, but for people outside the industry it's hard to judge who is leading the autonomy race. One possible indicator for a company's efforts in the self-driving vehicle segment is the number of patent filings in the field. The Cologne Institute for Economic Research identified and analyzed 5,839 patents related to autonomous driving to find out which companies are most active on that front.