Honda is another carmaker focused on supplementing the driving experience with an emotional, AI-based component. The NeuV, Honda's latest concept which it unveiled at CES on Thursday, is a city-friendly lightweight electric car that has Honda's Automated Network Assistant (HANA), built with SoftBank, on board to help personalize the driving experience. Through HANA, the car becomes aware of a driver's emotions and moods, and can support driving choices as well as suggest media do other infotainment options. NeuV has other tricks up its sleeve, too. The all-electric vehicle is designed to answer the issue of idle vehicles, which is most cars most of the time, according to recent studies, that show up to 96 percent idea rates for vehicles where they're just sitting in driveways or otherwise parked.
The electric car revolution is missing a barf bag. You're about to need one. The car looks pretty amazing. But the presentation overflowed with enough meaningless tech jargon to fry your motherboard, or make you roll your eyes right out of your head. "[An] intelligent entity [that] is also a caring entity."
Start-up Faraday Future has unveiled a self-driving electric car that it says can accelerate from zero to 60mph (97km/h) in 2.39 seconds. Faraday says the FF91 accelerates faster than Tesla's Model S or any other electric car in production. It was shown off at the CES tech show in Las Vegas. But Faraday Future has faced financial difficulties and one analyst said it had to challenge "scepticism" following last year's CES presentation. The FF91 was introduced via a live demo, in which it drove itself around a car park and backed into an empty space.
Ask the automakers and tech companies trying to build cars that drive themselves to defend their work, and they turn to two key arguments: Autonomous cars will save lives, and, by eliminating the need for a human driver, they'll open the car to new uses and users. Less frequently invoked, but equally integral to that vision of a safer, more comfortable world, is efficiency--which is to say, less environmental impact that your old, dumb, gasoline-powered ride. But a report the Center for American Progress released today undermines that assumption. "It could go either way," says Myriam Alexander-Kearns, one of the authors. Alexander-Kearns and her co-authors say no one can know what robot cars' environmental impact will be without first answering three questions: How will automation affect total vehicle miles traveled, how will it impact congestion, and how efficient will the vehicles be?
Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently released a 116-page policy document that aims to guide automakers and technologists on best-practices when it comes to the manufacturing and deployment of autonomous vehicle features. Apple, which has been rumored to be building a car, recently laid off employees of its automotive project and pivoted from making a car to creating autonomous software, according to reports. Another aftermarket self-driving tech company recently completed a successful 120-mile beer delivery without anyone at the wheel. A big rig cab equipped with sensors made by Otto, a startup bought by Uber recently for $670 million, made the delivery of Budweiser beer while its driver rested in the sleeper berth during most of the trip down Colorado's Interstate 25.
The fatal crash of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S in Autopilot mode has turned up pressure on auto industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology is deployed safely. On July 1, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said US traffic deaths rose by 7.7% to 35,200 in 2015 – the highest annual tally since 2008 and biggest single-year jump since 1966. In March, 20 automakers agreed with regulators to make automatic emergency braking standard on nearly all US vehicles by 2022, a move that could prevent thousands of rear-end crashes annually. Hours before the crash became public knowledge on June 30, US National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart said driverless cars will not be perfect.
Google's self-driving cars may become a more familiar sight in the Detroit area as it opens a new test center. SAN FRANCISCO - Google's self-driving cars are getting some attitude. Company engineers have been working on teaching their autonomous vehicles the subtle - and often obnoxious - art of honking, according to Google's May self-driving car report. After all, while Google's 24 self-driving Lexus SUV fleet are hybrid machines with a modicum of engine noise, Google's growing gaggle of 34 pod-like prototypes are all-electric machines that barely whisper their presence. Sometimes, a short stable of the horn is required to let folks know they're coming.
While this is a job many people may volunteer to do for free, Google is paying its test drivers 20 per hour for their work. So long as you're a good driver and pay attention to the road, Google isn't picky about the type of education or professional background you have. "The role of test driver is so new that there isn't a particular type of person that we look for," said Brian Torcellini, head of operations for Google's self-driving car testing program, to The Republic. There are 34 prototype versions of Google's self-driving vehicles and 23 converted Lexus SUVs driving the streets of Mountain View, Calif.; Kirkland, Wash.; and Austin, Texas, reported The Republic.
Stop the presses on this one: Google is going to start working with Chrysler on their new Pacifica mini-van. The plan is to test a fleet of the 2017 model for now and have the technology integrated into the vehicle, not just as an aftermarket proof of concept. There will be a future version of the Chrysler Pacifica that has the self-driving tech. This is the first time, according to Chrysler, that Google has integrated sensors and software into a passenger car for consumer use in a future model, not just as a test in a current passenger car. One of the most surprising moves is that both engineering teams will co-locate in Michigan to work together and design the technology for eventual consumer use.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has high hopes for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which will replace its has-been stalwart, the Town and Country, which has been in production for 26 consecutive years. The tech company is buying 100 Pacificas to advance its self-driving car technology. "Working with Google provides an opportunity for FCA to partner with one of the world's leading technology companies to accelerate the pace of innovation in the automotive industry," Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said. Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book, said the deal makes sense for both companies: for Fiat Chrysler, because it looks good to partner up with a Silicon Valley giant with deep pockets; and for Google, because it's picking a multi-passenger vehicle with an advanced power train.