Self-driving trucks aren't just for hauling beer anymore. Now they can also haul garbage. Not to be outdone by the likes of Uber and Waymo, Volvo has now outlined one of its own autonomous vehicle projects in Sweden: a self-driving garbage truck. Like Uber Freight, the project is another effort to extend self-driving technology beyond just shuttling people around in self-driving taxis. After all, someone has to line up the garbage cans for the vehicle -- because you sure don't when you're rushing your trash out the door on your way to work.
Apple has been interested in automotive technology for a long time -- the company already has the CarPlay infotainment system. But now it is moving further into the automotive industry and is working on its own self-driving technology. Apple was granted a permit to test its self-driving technology in California earlier this month. The state released 41 pages of application documents to Business Insider because of a request to access public records. While the company has not made a formal acknowledgement of the information mentioned in the documents, a lot of light has been shed on what the company plans to do in terms of its self-driving program.
Self-driving cars will start rolling on the streets of San Francisco without a human on board by the end of this year, according to Cruise, a General Motors-owned autonomous vehicle company that received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles this week. Cruise is now one of five companies to hold a permit to test self-driving cars in California without a person in the vehicle, along with the Alphabet-owned Waymo and several others, though dozens of companies have been permitted by the California DMV to test self-driving cars with a human operator in the vehicle. GM President Dan Ammann confirmed in blog post on Thursday that the company will rapidly deploy its autonomous vehicles in San Francisco by the end of this year, citing the potential safety and environmental benefits the technology could have for city residents. "And while it would be easier to do this in the suburbs, where driving is 30–40 times less complex, our cities are ground zero for the world's transportation crisis," Ammann wrote. "This is where accidents, pollution, congestion, and lack of accessibility collide.
Crossing the road can be nerve-wracking enough when you know there's a driver behind the wheel. But if you see a car that's driving itself, you'd be forgiven for keeping to the kerb for fear it won't stop in time. Now, however, manufacturers are developing self-driving cars that make'eye contact' with pedestrians to reassure them that they've been'seen'. Jaguar Land Rover have fitted virtual'eyes' to self-driving car pods to see how far people will trust them to stop at zebra crossings Jaguar Land Rover have fitted virtual'eyes' to self-driving car pods to see how far people will trust them to stop at zebra crossings. The large, cartoon-like eyes – complete with digital eyelids and pupils – sit roughly where headlights might be, making the cars resemble the children's TV character Brum, the little yellow car who took himself off on adventures.
Google's autonomous driving spinoff, Waymo, has developed sensors that pair with its self-driving software, potentially opening the door for the company to sell a comprehensive system that automakers build into future car models. Google initially built its self-driving software on a prototype car outfitted with sensors, cameras and other hardware from outside suppliers. But to build a more affordable and sophisticated system capable of fully autonomous driving, the company decided it needed to create both halves of the technology, executives said. The announcement comes just weeks after Japanese automaker Honda said it would incorporate Waymo's technology into some of its vehicles. The companies said that deal was centered on research rather than producing vehicles for market, Bloomberg News reported.