Self-driving car collaborations are becoming increasingly commonplace. The latest team-up comes from Ford and Walmart -- two older-world companies using autonomous tech to combat nascent startup rivals and remain relevant in an ever-changing landscape. The eventual goal is to bring Walmart shopping items to customers in a self-driving Ford with the help of Postmates' delivery infrastructure. Initially, however, the venture will rely on human-driven cars designed to simulate how a self-driving vehicle would operate. Ford has already started testing its autonomous cars in Miami and Washington DC, with plans for commercial production by 2021.
DeNA Co. and Yamato Transport Co. announced Wednesday they plan to start trials on a delivery service that will utilize self-driving vehicles. The two firms aim to start testing what they envision turning into an on-demand delivery service in March 2017 in special deregulated zones designated by the government. They have yet to decide on a location. The distribution business will drastically change with the spread of self-driving vehicles, possibly creating more services, said DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu. For example, packages could be delivered at all hours of the day given eventually there will be no need for a driver, which would also save on labor costs, he said.
An Uber driver sits in his car near San Francisco International Airport on July 15, 2015. Uber and Volvo will invest a combined 300 million into a joint project to develop self-driving vehicles, the companies announced Thursday. In a statement, the companies said they will equip base vehicles with autonomous driving technology, ultimately moving toward manufacturing self-driving vehicles. Volvo will make the vehicles, while Uber purchases those vehicles and implement its own self-driving tech. "Over one million people die in car accidents every year," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a statement.
While the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that will quicken up the process of getting autonomous vehicles to the market, a recent study shows Americans aren't ready to ride self-driving cars yet. The bill, called the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act, still has to be approved by the Senate. The bill would disallow states from making their own laws that regulates autonomous cars. If passed, auto manufacturers will be allowed to sell 80,000 self-driving vehicles per year in the United States. "Self-driving vehicles will make transformative changes to improve mobility, reduce accidents and enhance safety for millions of travelers on our roads," Sen. Gary Peters, D-Fla., said in a statement.
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.