It seems like every week there are reports about another tech company working on autonomous cars or hinting they might be doing so, which is why it is so refreshing to hear Microsoft categorically ruling itself out of the race. While companies like Ford, Toyota and General Motors are all working hard to build their own driverless car technology, they are facing competition not only from the traditional car industry but from the tech industry too. Google, Tesla and Faraday Future are all looking to disrupt the car industry with Apple widely expected to join them in the coming years. Microsoft, however, won't be competing on this level. "We won't be building our own autonomous vehicle," Peggy Johnson, who heads business development for Microsoft, said at the Wall Street Journal's Convergence conference in Hong Kong on Friday -- though she added "we would like to enable autonomous vehicles and assisted driving as well."
HONG KONG--The biggest challenges for Chinese companies making the next generation of wearables, self-driving cars and drones is having experts in cross disciplines, GGV Capital Managing Partner Jenny Lee said Friday. Speaking at the Converge technology conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal and f.ounders in Hong Kong, Ms. Lee said Chinese companies benefit from having government support and funding, and a huge market of...
As I approached San Francisco International Airport, my expectations for BMW's new concept car were as big as the looming Boeing 777F Lufthansa cargo jet waiting for me. I had surrendered my cellphone and everything in my purse but my drivers license to see BMW's iNext vehicle. Its tour started in Munich a few days earlier; it came to the Bay Area after a stop at New York's JFK airport, and was scheduled to continue on to Beijing. SEE ALSO: BMW makes sure we can't escape voice assistants while driving After passing a final security check, I climbed up the rickety staircase with fellow media members and entered the cavernous aircraft. We had been told very little about what we were going to see, except it was not only the "car of the future" but the "idea of the future."
Try Hyperloop, rocket travel, and robotic avatars. Hyperloop is currently working towards 670 mph (1080 kph) passenger pods, capable of zipping us from Los Angeles to downtown Las Vegas in under 30 minutes. Rocket Travel (think SpaceX's Starship) promises to deliver you almost anywhere on the planet in under an hour. Think New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes. As 5G connectivity, hyper-realistic virtual reality, and next-gen robotics continue their exponential progress, the emergence of "robotic avatars" will all but nullify the concept of distance, replacing human travel with immediate remote telepresence.
They are, it seems safe to say, just about everywhere--roaming the streets of San Francisco, New York City, Phoenix, Boston, Singapore, Paris, London, Munich, and Beijing. And as Waymo (Google's self-driving car project) launches the world's first fleet of truly driverless cars in Arizona, nearly every automaker, all serious tech companies, and a flock of startups are rushing to colonize an industry that has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives--and generate trillions of dollars. What retains its shock value is how quickly we've gotten here. Ten years ago, there was no reason to think the idea of being whisked about town by a collection of zeroes and ones while you napped or texted or watched TV was anything but the province of science fiction. Namely, the folks watching a group of robots roam an abandoned Air Force base outside Los Angeles, moving through intersections, merging into traffic, finding their own parking spaces, and more.