It'll just be a matter of months before driverless cars hit Boston's streets, city officials said Wednesday. "If this technology is going to yield benefits for the consumer, we want to make sure it works in the city of Boston," said Chris Osgood, the city's chief of streets. "We want to make sure we're doing our due diligence and understanding what the implications are. How do we set up the right policies and take the right approach to this so it's going to have the biggest net benefit?" The announcement came as Pittsburgh started testing autonomous Ubers on its streets.
A driverless shuttle bus crashed less than two hours after it was launched in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The city's officials had been hosting an unveiling ceremony for the bus, described as the US' first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared towards the public, before it crashed with a semi-truck. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the human driver of the other vehicle was at fault, there were no injuries, and the incident caused minor damage. The oval-shaped shuttle -- sponsored by AAA, the Review-Journal added -- can transport up to 12 passengers at a time. It has an attendant and a computer monitor, and uses GPS and electric curb sensors instead of brakes or a steering wheel.
A whopping 73% of Americans don't trust autonomous cars, up from 63% in late 2017, according to a AAA survey released in May 2018. While competition is heating up--with players like Toyota, General Motors, Alphabet, and Tesla setting ambitious goals and making big bets--the question remains: Are Americans ready for driverless cars? As I've studied complex organizational transformations over the past decade, I've come to recognize what must happen to create the behavioral change that makes adoption of new technologies successful. A societal shift toward self-driving vehicles will require such massive behavioral change, especially as trust continues to plummet. But just because we wouldn't get behind that self-turning wheel today, doesn't mean we wouldn't take that chance tomorrow.
BMW wants to have its first fully driverless vehicle on the roads within five years, the German auto manufacturer's CEO Harald Krueger has revealed. Krueger voiced his ambition for BMW to launch its first autonomous vehicle at the company's annual shareholder meeting in Munich. BMW is currently focusing very much on its'i' electric car range and the Krueger sees the move into fully autonomous vehicles as a natural extension of this strategy. "In 2018, we will launch a BMW i8 Roadster. This will be followed in 2021 by the BMW i Next, our new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road," he told shareholders.
More and more self-driving vehicles are making their debut, raising the question of who should be held accountable if, or perhaps when, they cause accidents. Following American and German automakers Tesla Motors Inc. and Mercedes-Benz, Nissan Motor Co. released a minivan model with self-driving functions in the Serena family in August at a time when the government and automakers in Japan are looking to have autonomous vehicles in regular use by 2020. In Japan, autonomous vehicles are now sold with the understanding that drivers are responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles. Drivers are required to stay behind the steering wheel even when self-driving functions are in operation, and they are held accountable for accidents. The autonomous Serena model is designed for expressway use in single-lane traffic.