Tesla vs. Self-Driving Competition -- New MIT Video CleanTechnica

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Autonomous driving technology promises to unleash sweeping changes on our society. However (perhaps fortunately), it's likely to be some time before self-driving cars become frequent sights on the roads. Boosters tend to see autonomy as an unmitigated boon, but some of their assumptions are yet to be proven -- the technology has the potential to reduce crashes, but we won't know if they do so in the real world until autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been in widespread use for at least a year or two. When it comes to some of the other rosy predictions, evidence to the contrary is already emerging -- in some areas, ride-sharing services such as Uber have increased road traffic, reduced demand for public transport, and encouraged sprawl. If Transportation as a Service (TaaS) does make mobility a lot cheaper and more convenient, common sense dictates that people will use a lot more of it.


Elon Musk calls self-driving laser sensors 'lame' at Tesla's Autonomy Day

Mashable

As Elon Musk made clear Monday, the technology most of his competitors in the self-driving car space use to help vehicles detect what's around them is lame. And his option is way better. "LiDAR is a fool's errand," he quipped about the laser-emitting tool that, in the simplest terms, acts as eyes for autonomous cars. "Anyone who is relying on LiDAR is doomed." That's pretty much most of the businesses testing self-driving cars, including Waymo and Uber who went to court over LiDAR technology last year.


Fatal Tesla Self-Driving Car Crash Reminds Us That Robots Aren't Perfect

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On 7 May, a Tesla Model S was involved in a fatal accident in Florida. At the time of the accident, the vehicle was driving itself, using its Autopilot system. The system didn't stop for a tractor-trailer attempting to turn across a divided highway, and the Tesla collided with the trailer. In a statement, Tesla Motors said this is the "first known fatality in just over 130 million miles [210 million km] where Autopilot was activated" and suggested that this ratio makes the Autopilot safer than an average vehicle. Early this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters that the Autopilot system in the Model S was "probably better than a person right now."


Fatal Tesla Self-Driving Car Crash Reminds Us That Robots Aren't Perfect

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

On 7 May, a Tesla Model S was involved in a fatal accident in Florida. At the time of the accident, the vehicle was driving itself, using its Autopilot system. The system didn't stop for a tractor-trailer attempting to turn across a divided highway, and the Tesla collided with the trailer. In a statement, Tesla Motors said this is the "first known fatality in just over 130 million miles [210 million km] where Autopilot was activated" and suggested that this ratio makes the Autopilot safer than an average vehicle. Early this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters that the Autopilot system in the Model S was "probably better than a person right now."


Tesla crash raises stakes for self-driving vehicle startups

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DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO, July 12 (Reuters) - Concerns raised by the first reported fatality in a semi-automated car were expected to speed adoption of more sensitive technology to help vehicles see and drive themselves safely, increasing demand on the emerging autonomous vehicle technology industry, investors and analysts said. Goldman Sachs forecasts the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles will grow from about 3 billion last year to 96 billion in 2025 and 290 billion in 2035. More than half of that revenue in 20 years, Goldman estimates, will come from radar, cameras and lidar, a sensor that uses laser - all tools considered essential to building vehicles that can pilot themselves. The May 7 death of Ohio technology company owner Joshua Brown in a Tesla Motors Inc Model S while the car's semi-automated Autopilot system was engaged highlighted the limitations of current automated driving systems. Tesla's Autopilot system uses cameras and radar, but not lidar.