First self-driving cars will be unmarked so that other drivers don't try to bully them

The Guardian

The first self-driving cars to be operated by ordinary British drivers will be left deliberately unmarked so that other drivers will not be tempted to "take them on", a senior car industry executive has revealed. One of the biggest fears of an ambitious project to lease the first autonomous vehicles to everyday motorists is that other road users might slam on their brakes or drive erratically in order to force the driverless cars into submission, he said. This is why the first 100 self-driving 4x4 vehicles to be leased to motorists as part of a pilot scheme on busy main roads into London will look no different than other Volvos of the same model, said Erik Coelingh, senior technical leader at Volvo Cars. The scheme will start in 2018. "From the outside you won't see that it's a self-driving car.

6 Ways Internet of Things is Already Changing Everything around Us


Connected devices, Smart City, home automation, e-health, Big Data ... In recent years, the concepts of communicating objects have multiplied. In reality, they are all one facet of the same upheaval - the Internet of Things. Cars can be driven without a driver, TVs are going online, and heating systems are activated automatically to the arrival of the residents. The Internet is making many processes in daily life easier. The Internet of Things, or IoT, which enable devices to communicate with people or machines, is actually working in many places in our daily life already.

More than half of drivers would prefer to travel in a FLYING CAR than a driverless vehicle

Daily Mail

In tens years, our roads could be covered in self-driving cars. Hundreds of companies are working towards the technology, intending to give us more time to dedicate our attention to other things. But a new study shows many motorists do not plan on investing in the technology, and would even prefer to travel in a flying car rather than a driverless vehicle. The survey found 57 per cent of UK drivers would opt for a hovering car over a self-driving car like Google's autonomous vehicle (pictured). The idea of a flying car was most popular with 18-24-year-olds, with 60.3 per cent saying that they would rather take to the skies than surrender control of the driving to an on-board computer.

Uber to move freight, target trucking for the long haul

Daily Mail

Uber is set to begin making deliveries to warehouses and stores using self driving trucks. It recently acquired self-driving lorry startup Otto in a deal worth up to 680 million, and is plotting its entry into the long-haul trucking business, aiming to establish itself as a freight hauler and a technology partner for the industry. Otto plans to expand its fleet of trucks from six to about 15 and is forging partnerships with independent truckers, Otto co-founder Lior Ron told Reuters in an interview. Starting next year, Otto-branded trucks and others equipped with Otto technology will begin hauling freight bound for warehouses and stores. The firm was bought by Uber earlier this year.

Self-driving trucks: what's the future for millions of American truckers?

The Guardian

Driverless trucks will be safer and cheaper than their human-controlled counterparts, but that doesn't mean America's 3.5 million professional truck drivers are giving up to the machines without a fight. "Individuals can make their own choices about whether they want to get into a driverless car or taxi, but labour-saving technology will be deployed by businesses much quicker," explains Stern, whose book Raising the Floor explores the need for a universal basic income as technology replaces jobs. Now the race is on to put driverless trucks on public roads. The savings are expected to come from labor ( 70bn), fuel efficiency ( 35bn), productivity ( 27bn) and accidents ( 36bn), before including any estimates from non-truck freight modes like air and rail.

New urgency from Honda, Toyota on next-gen technologies


Toyota and Honda have unveiled separate initiatives for car connectivity and artificial intelligence, the latest moves by Japan's auto industry to counter emerging tech rivals in Silicon Valley. Toyota has formed a partnership to create a global communications platform that will support unified car connectivity worldwide, rather than relying on varying networks in different markets. Meanwhile, Honda will establish a Honda R&D Innovation Lab in Tokyo around September to work on "intelligent technologies" beyond mechanical engineering, such as vehicle connectivity, robotics, brain research and visual recognition. The projects, announced independently on Thursday, June 2, underscore a new urgency felt by Japanese automakers to invest more in next-generation technologies for autonomous driving and safety systems. They are stepping up as entrants from outside the industry, such as Google and Uber, take the lead in the fields.

Saudi Arabia's Uber venture: a case of if you can't beat 'em join 'em

The Guardian

The global automotive industry and the oil majors are not known for meekly rolling over when a competitor comes along – from General Motors involvement in killing public transport in Los Angeles in the 1940s to Shell lobbying to undermine EU renewables targets in more recent years. But recently, the world has started to see a new side to the sector: "If you can't beat them, join them; and if you can't join them, buy them out." This week Saudi Arabia announced a surprising new venture for the country's vast oil-generated sovereign investment fund: a 3.5bn stake in the ride-hailing startup Uber. The investment, which values six-year-old Uber at 62.5bn, is one of the largest ever made in a privately held company, and is roughly the same size as the sum total of all investments in the UK's tech sector over the course of 2015, according to the venture capitalist David Galbraith. Saudi Arabia's goal with its investment fund is to use some of the state's 2tn in assets to make long-standing investments that will fund the future of the country once its oil economy begins to sputter.

Meet Otto, The Startup That Wants To Make Self-Driving Trucks A Thing

International Business Times

A Silicon Valley startup founded by former Google employees is looking to radically change long-haul trucking. Otto is developing a self-driving truck upgrade kit for commercial rigs. As with the race to develop self-driving cars, Otto is not alone in these ambitions, but self-driving trucks could lead to unintended consequences for local economies, particularly in small towns that rely on the trucking industry. Otto debuted with its plan in a Medium post published Tuesday. The startup highlights the need for self-driving trucks by citing the deteriorating quality of life for drivers, road congestion, pollution and safety.

The hottest new technologies are coming to cars


Many of these advancements are being driven by the interest in what's called ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), the technology that will eventually lead to self-driving cars. The multiple cameras, LIDAR and other sensors being integrated into new models serve as inputs to sophisticated neural networks that are running inside the car. From more sophisticated entertainment features to better displays to more reliable connectivity, tech performance has largely overtaken driving performance for many modern buyers. USA TODAY columnist Bob O'Donnell is president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, a market research and consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community.

Self-driving vehicle tests won't need permission to use public roads, say NPA guidelines

The Japan Times

Japan will not impose time and place restrictions on autonomous driving tests on public roads, according to draft guidelines released by the National Police Agency last week. In some U.S. states, autonomous driving tests require permission. Under the guidelines, those planning to test autonomous driving vehicles are urged to conduct driving tests at experimental facilities before moving on to public roads. Public road tests should be conducted in stages, starting with places that have few pedestrians, the guidelines said.