The driver's seat may be empty, but this truck knows where it's going. Embark is a new self-driving truck company that has begun testing its autonomous big rig in Nevada. SAN FRANCISCO -- Just how hot is the self-driving vehicle space? So hot that if you're a sharp 21-year-old with robotics experience and some smart friends, you can land millions to start your own company. Embark, a new self-driving truck startup that launched Friday, is the brainchild of University of Waterloo buddies Alex Rodrigues and Brandon Moak, also 21.
Ford executive chairman Bill Ford Jr said at a forum in Washington he feels "quite confident" that the hardware and software will be ready by 2021 for self-driving cars. But other big issues loom. "Things like ethics," Ford said, saying does the vehicle opt to save 10 pedestrians or the driver. Individual automakers cannot program separate ethics software for self-driving cars but must work together as an industry, Ford said.
Honda, which has lagged behind many of its rivals in developing self-driving vehicles, is paying $750 million upfront for the minority stake in Cruise and will invest another $2 billion over 12 years, the companies said on Wednesday. Honda, GM and Cruise will jointly develop self-driving vehicles for deployment in ride services fleets around the world.
Two years after Uber paid $680 million to buy the self-driving truck startup Otto, the company is folding that effort. In this photo from 2016, an Otto engineer sits behind the steering wheel of a self-driving, big-rig truck during a demonstration in San Francisco. Two years after Uber paid $680 million to buy the self-driving truck startup Otto, the company is folding that effort. In this photo from 2016, an Otto engineer sits behind the steering wheel of a self-driving, big-rig truck during a demonstration in San Francisco. Uber is shutting down its self-driving truck program, nearly six months after it settled a lawsuit from Waymo, the Google spinoff that accused Uber of using its proprietary designs.
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.