More cities are adding smart city features so that Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and other connected technologies can improve the lives of citizens and visitors. As everyone knows, technology moves fast and finding out what's in store next is crucial to stay in the game. The concept of a smart city has been around for more than a decade, but it was only recently that the phrase "smart city" became part of the modern lexicon. The trend toward adding smart city technology began in Europe, with Barcelona, Spain one of the earliest adopters. Dubai, Singapore, Hamburg, and Copenhagen quickly followed suit.
More cities are adding smart city features so that Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and other connected technologies can improve the lives of citizens and visitors. As everyone knows, technology moves fast and finding out what's in store next is crucial to stay in the game. Diabetics have been waiting for years for better technology to manage their condition. Some got tired of waiting and hacked together an open source hardware and software solution. The concept of a smart city has been around for more than a decade, but it was only recently that the phrase "smart city" became part of the modern lexicon.
Uber pulled its self-driving cars from California roads on Wednesday after state regulators moved to revoke their registrations, officials said. The decision came after a week of talks between the ride-sharing company and state regulators failed. The DMV said the registrations for the vehicles were improperly issued for because they were not properly marked as test vehicles. It invited Uber to seek a permit so their vehicles could operate legally in California -- an offer the company said it did not plan to accept. The controversy started when Uber launched the service in its hometown of San Francisco.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has asked Uber Technologies to first get a permit for testing its self-driving cars on the roads of San Francisco, something that the company has so far refused to do. The DMV said it encourages the responsible exploration of autonomous cars, but has a permit process for testing the technology to ensure public safety. "Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits to test hundreds of cars on California roads. Uber shall do the same," the agency said in a statement. Having started testing its self-driving cars with ride-hailing customers in Pittsburgh in September, the ride-hailing company decided to extend the tests to San Francisco starting Wednesday.
Uber's self-driving Volvo XC90 hits the streets of San Francisco, CA (Photo: Uber) Watch out, San Francisco: Uber's self-driving cars arrive today. After launching the first self-driving Uber rides in Pittsburgh in September, Uber announced on Wednesday that a similar program will begin immediately in the startup's hometown of San Francisco. A handful of Volvo XC90 SUVs, equipped with Uber's early testing versions of its autonomous system, will pick up and drive passengers within the city limits. Just like in the Pittsburgh pilot, two Uber employees will sit in the front seats to monitor and take control of the car when needed. If the test ride FORBES took on Tuesday afternoon is any indication, that will happen often.
Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy 121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity, and produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, Carnegie Mellon University professor of robotics Stephen Smith told the audience at a White House Frontiers Conference last week. In urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic, he added. The next step is to have traffic signals talk to cars. Pittsburgh is the test bed for Uber's self-driving cars, and Smith's work on AI-enhanced traffic signals that talk with self-driving cars is paving the way for the ultimately fluid and efficient autonomous intersections.
With their twenty cameras, seven lasers, and rooftop-mounted G.P.S., the self-driving cars stood out. People stopped and stared as they took trial journeys around Pittsburgh. That was in the spring. Now, in the waning days of summer, passengers hailing an Uber X may be picked up by one of the city's many human drivers, or by one of a tiny fleet of autonomous vehicles. "I think that this is the most important thing that computers are going to do in the next ten years, is drive cars," Anthony Levandowski, Uber's vice-president of engineering, told a roomful of reporters on Monday, as the fleet prepared to ferry its first customers.
Uber riders in Pittsburgh can get a glimpse of the future by summoning a car capable of handling most of the tasks of driving on its own. Starting Wednesday morning, a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions will pick up Uber riders who opted to participate in a test program. While the vehicles are loaded with features that allow them to navigate on their own, an Uber engineer will sit in the driver's seat and seize control if things go awry. A group of self driving Uber vehicles position themselves to take journalists on rides during a media preview at Uber's Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Uber's test program is the latest move in an increasingly heated race between tech companies in Silicon Valley and traditional automakers to perfect fully driverless cars for regular people. Competitors such as Volvo and Google have invested hundreds of millions of dollars and logged millions of miles test driving autonomous vehicles, but Uber is the first company in the U.S. to make self-driving cars available to the general public.
An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of a taxi sign. Ride-sharing service Uber announced plans to start deploying self-driving cars in Pittsburgh later this month, marking the first time the evolving and pricey technology has reached the general public. As part of a 300 million deal with Volvo, Uber said it will produce a fleet of 100 self-driving XC90 vehicles for the test program by the end of the year, Bloomberg reported. Each of the vehicles in Uber's fleet will be equipped with a driverless control system, including cameras, GPS tracking, sensors and lasers to help navigate the road. The service will also be free to anyone willing to give it a try.
With Google, the self-driving car leader, slowly making progress with its autonomous cars, you'd be forgiven for thinking Uber's efforts are far behind and barely visible in its frenemy's rearview mirror. Precious little was known of Uber's plans for self-driving cars, but the company told Bloomberg that it will outfit cars with autonomous driving kits rather than develop its own vehicles as Google is doing. Levandowski led Google's self-driving car efforts, Ron was an executive on Google Maps and Motorola, while other staff have spent time with Apple, Tesla and other notable automotive firms. "We were really excited about building something that could be launched early," Levandowski told Bloomberg of why he left Google.