The state of autonomous vehicle safety standard regulation in the US today is between two presidential administrations, with the Trump Administration-era regulations issued Jan. 14 likely to be soon superseded by policies of the Biden Administration. The Trump Administration rules would allow self-driving vehicle manufacturers to skip certain federal crash safety requirements in vehicles not designed to carry people, marking the first major update to federal safety standards to accommodate innovations of driverless technology, according to an account in The Detroit News.This would apply for example to the delivery vehicle from startup Nuro, which has no driver or passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated the rule would save automakers and consumers $5.8 billion in 2050. "With more than 90% of serious crashes caused by driver error, it's vital that we remove unnecessary barriers to technology that could help save lives," stated then NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. On Jan. 25, Steve Cliff, deputy executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, was named deputy administrator of the NHTSA. Ariel Wolf, counsel to the Self-Driving Coalition, said of the Jan. 14 announcement that the NHTSA rule was a "highly significant" development in safety rules for self-driving vehicles.
Toyota has launched Advanced Drive, a new driver assistance technology, with the latest Toyota Mirai and Lexus LS vehicles. Advanced Drive is capable of Level 2 autonomy and can free the driver from operating the accelerator, brakes and even the steering wheel -- under certain traffic conditions and with the driver's supervision, that is. It was designed for highway driving only, and like other available assistance technologies today, it doesn't have full self-driving capabilities yet. Advanced Drive uses data from the vehicle's telescopic camera and LiDAR, as well as information from high-precision maps to detect other vehicles in the same lane. So long as a driver sets the destination in the navigation system, the technology will be able to assess situations and make decisions when it comes to changing lanes, maintaining distance from other vehicles, navigating lane splits and overtaking other vehicles.
In the US alone, the American Trucking Association estimates there are more than 3.5 million truck drivers on the roads, with nearly 8 million people employed across the wider industry. Census Bureau statistics show that trucking is the most common job in 29 US states, ahead of farming, teaching and secretarial positions.
Toyota Motor Corp. announced Thursday its launch of new models for its luxury sedan Lexus LS and hydrogen-powered Mirai equipped with assistant technologies that allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel in designated lanes. The new LS went on sale Thursday at a price starting from ¥16.32 million ($148,800). The Mirai will be sold from Monday, priced from ¥8.45 million, the company said. The autonomous driving technology equipped with the new models is a level-2 assistant system that could help with driving on an expressway or other motor-vehicle-only roadway. The technology can help with keeping the vehicle in its lane, maintaining the distance from other cars and navigating a lane splitting.
According to a new study in the journal Nature Materials, researchers from Stanford University have harnessed the power of machine learning technology to reverse long-held suppositions about the way lithium-ion batteries charge and discharge, providing engineers with a new list of criteria for making longer-lasting battery cells. This is the first time machine learning has been coupled with knowledge obtained from experiments and physics equations to uncover and describe how lithium-ion batteries degrade over their lifetime. Machine learning accelerates analyses by finding patterns in large amounts of data. In this instance, researchers taught the machine to study the physics of a battery failure mechanism to design superior and safer fast-charging battery packs. Fast charging can be stressful and harmful to lithium-ion batteries, and resolving this problem is vital to the fight against climate change.
Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have touted the use of artificial intelligence to determine the feasibility of autonomous cars on Australian roads. The QUT Centre for Robotics has conducted research projects into mapping for autonomous cars using AI. The centre's acting director Professor Michael Milford said map updating is a major challenge for autonomous vehicle adoption. Milford said given mapping isn't a globally mature field, there are opportunities for Australia to catch up quickly. "Current out-of-the-box European mapping solutions don't recognise unique Australian signs or infrastructure and require customisation," he said.
Autonomous driving, connectivity, car sharing, electric vehicles, and the rise of renewable energy will all have powerful mutually reinforcing effects. For example, the introduction of self-driving cars in the 2020s will increase the use of EVs in high-use services such as ride-hailing because lower operating costs will offset the higher initial costs of these vehicles. The movement of people and goods is central to our society and economic activities. According to a BNEF-McKinsey & Company study, the change in how people move around cities will put the automotive and energy industries, as well as governments, under pressure. Light-duty vehicle fuel consumption could drop by up to 75% in some cities by 2030, prompting governments to look for new ways to recoup lost fuel taxes.
There's no denying that data is the backbone on which modern companies operate. Organizations, big and small, use it to make critical decisions and drive business forward. Whether it's self-driving cars, social networking, entertainment, music, health care or something else, every industry today is data-enabled, contributing to the generation of diverse data sets. Real-time and batch updates from sensors, software and hardware contribute to the speed at which data is generated. Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated worldwide thanks to an always-on culture with billions of connected consumers and IoT devices.
Waymo is a self-driving car company, but they don't particularly like using that terminology. Instead they prefer fully autonomous as a more accurate way to describe driverless or autonomous driving technology. What consumers may not fully understand is the difference between self-driving and fully autonomous. A self-driving car is a type of vehicle that can provide some level of automation like ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) or automatic cruise control. It still requires driver attention for proper operation or it can lead to accidents.