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Now your Tesla can come pick you up. California says that's not 'driverless'


Tesla unleashed the latest twist in driverless car technology last week, raising more questions about whether autonomous vehicles are outracing public officials and safety regulators. The Palo Alto electric car company on Sept. 26 beamed a software feature called Smart Summon to Tesla owners who prepaid for it. Using a smartphone, a person can now command a Tesla to turn itself on, back out of its parking space and drive to the smartphone holder's location -- say, at the curb in front of a Costco store. The car relies on onboard sensors and computers to help it move forward, back up, steer, accelerate and decelerate on its own, braking if it detects people, other vehicles or stationary objects in its path. The "driver" must keep a finger or thumb on the smartphone screen or the car will stop.

Waymo dumped partial self-driving features after discovering people sleeping while driving


Self-driving vehicle innovators Waymo revealed the company abandoned partially autonomous features because it found people napping in cars while traveling at high speeds, threatening their ability to grab hold of the wheel -- if necessary. During a tour of Waymo's testing facility on Monday, CEO John Krafcik told Reuters the company discovered the snoozing drivers during highway testing in 2013. SEE ALSO: Here's why Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is skeptical of Tesla's Autopilot system "What we found was pretty scary," said Krafcik "It's hard to take over because they have lost contextual awareness." After seeing this unsettling behavior on video, Waymo decided it would only focus on completely autonomous self-driving, as opposed to cars that accelerated, decelerated, and navigated on their own, but still required people to pay attention and potentially intervene. Waymo is currently testing its completely autonomous driving technology in the Phoenix area, and they're looking for more volunteers to take part in its Early Rider Program.

Self-Driving Cars Need Good Maps


Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. Last week, writing about Arizona's early and perhaps reckless embrace of driverless car companies, I wondered about the consequences of the awkward courtship between cities and companies who need to test their technologies in real-world environments. It seemed like the first-mover advantage was bound to accrue to the company, not the place. A fraught trial period would yield a developed, highly mobile technology that could be quickly exported to any other American city. One obvious obstacle to this hypothesis is weather.

How does AI impact self-driving cars?


Deep learning is the driving force behind self-driving cars. Once reserved for only research, is now being deployed onto streets everywhere. Self-driving cars were once thought to be a distant dream for the future. Take a look at any street in San Francisco, and you'll see the future is already here. Whether it be Tesla's autopilot feature or Waymo's driverless taxis, atmosphere vehicles appear to be the cutting edge of innovation.

Race to robot cars continues after fatal crash

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The race to perfect robot cars continues despite fears kindled by the death of a woman hit by a self-driving Uber vehicle while pushing a bicycle across an Arizona street. Uber put a temporary halt to its self-driving car program in the US after the fatal accident this month near Phoenix, where several other companies including Google-owned Waymo are testing such technology. While the Uber accident may be used to advance arguments of those fearful of driverless cars, it does not change the fact that'transformative technology is coming whether we like it or not,' according to Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington. Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car, pictured in 2016 before one of the autonomous vehicles killed a woman in Arizona. 'There certainly will be calls to stop all autonomous vehicle testing, not just Uber's program,' Tomer said in a post on the institution's website.