Transportation


Apple supplier Foxconn wants self-driving worker shuttles

USATODAY

See how self-driving cars prepare for the real world inside a private testing facility owned by Google's autonomous car company, Waymo. The Navya passenger shuttle is among myriad autonomous vehicles worldwide in various stages of development. And at an event Nov. 17 and 18 on the University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering campus, visitors will have the opportunity to check it out. The Taiwan-based electronic manufacturer's plans to use driverless vehicles to move thousands of workers a day at its 22 million-square-foot campus about 30 miles south of Milwaukee could pave new ground for the technology, which promises to reshape transportation in this country. More than a dozen states are scrambling to get ready for self-driving cars, and while major companies from Google to General Motors are testing such cars, few are in use yet.


uber-buys-24000-volvos-trolley-problems-get-scarier-and-liability

Robohub

Uber and Volvo announced an agreement where Uber will buy, in time, up to 24,000 specially built Volvo XC90s which will run Uber's self-driving software and, presumably, offer rides to Uber customers. While the rides are some time away, people have made note of this for several reasons. I'm not clear who originally said it -- I first heard it from Marc Andreesen -- but "the truest form of a partnership is called a purchase order." In spite of the scores of announced partnerships and joint ventures announced to get PR in the robocar space, this is a big deal, but it's a sign of the sort of deal car makers have been afraid of. Volvo will be primarily a contract manufacturer here, and Uber will own the special sauce that makes the vehicle work, and it will own the customer.


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Mashable

Waymo's autonomous cars have steadily rolled through test routes in multiple states over the past few years, and now the company claims it has passed a new milestone: 4 million self-driven miles logged on public roads. That makes the Waymo fleet the most experienced autonomous car platform currently on the road, according to the company, which says the average American driver would take 300 years to hit the same mark. While the number is arbitrary to a degree, the progress it represents is essential to Waymo's mission to create truly driverless cars. The AI behind the platform needs to be trained in real-world situations to understand how to react to every potential condition it might face, so the more test miles it logs, the better. The Google spinoff says its fleet of test vehicles drove the last million miles in just six months, a rapid improvement from the 18 months it took to accumulate the first million (from the first public test).


Lyft now has permission to test self-driving cars on California's roads

Mashable

Lyft just took a small but essential step forward in the development of its own self-driving car project. The California DMV granted the rapidly growing ride-hailing company permission to test autonomous vehicles on the state's public roads. The registration, which the DMV gives after the submission of an application and an annual $150 fee, has become a rite of passage of sorts for the various AV projects from automakers, tech companies, and startups that are currently racing to develop their own platforms. Registering with the state means that Lyft will now have to submit certain information to the DMV about its operations, most significantly an annual disengagement report detailing the number of times human operators had to take control of test vehicles. Lyft joins the likes of massive companies like Volkswagen, Waymo, Apple, and Ford with the registration, rounding out the full list of testers to 45.


Uber inks deal with Volvo for fleet of self-driving cars

ZDNet

Volvo has signed a deal with Uber to supply the ride-hailing company with tens of thousands of "autonomous driving compatible" vehicles between 2019 and 2021, the 90-year-old car company announced Monday. The financial terms of the non-exclusive agreement were not disclosed. However, the massive deal, reportedly worth more than $1 billion for 24,000 vehicles, keeps Uber up to speed in the crowded race to bring self-driving vehicles to consumers. "The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption," Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. "Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally.


Uber plans to buy 24,000 autonomous Volvo SUVs in self-driving push

The Guardian

Uber is planning to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, the company has announced, moving from its current model of ride-sharing using freelance drivers to owning a fleet of autonomous cars. Following the three-year self-driving partnership with Volvo, the non-binding framework could give Uber a boost in its ambitions to perfect self-driving systems to replace human drivers, following setbacks and lawsuits over trade secrets and talent. Volvo said Monday it would provide Uber with up to 24,000 of its flagship XC90 SUVs, which retail from around £50,000, equipped with autonomous technology as part of a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021. The Geely-owned car company will provide the vehicles, while Uber will provide the yet-to-be-built self-driving system, which is currently under development by Uber's Advanced Technologies Group. The announcement follows the news that Alphablet's Waymo will launch the world's first autonomous car service in the next few months in Arizona, where it is legal to operate self-driving cars without humans behind the wheel, unlike the majority of the rest of the US and the world, which requires the safety net of a human driver.


Study Backs Getting Driverless Cars On The Road, As Waymo Ditches Backup Drivers

NPR

The company says they're deploying cars without backup drivers. The company says they're deploying cars without backup drivers. A new study is bolstering the case for putting more autonomous vehicles on the road sooner rather than later -- at the same time that self-driving cars are hitting a milestone in parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area. A research report released this week argues that deploying driverless cars commercially as soon as they become at least a little safer than human drivers, could end up saving hundreds of thousands of lives -- as compared to waiting for the technology to be close to perfect. Meanwhile, on the roads in Arizona, the first public tests of self-driving cars without backup drivers have begun.


Truly autonomous vehicles are finally real and on the roads right now

#artificialintelligence

Waymo today plans to announce its driverless vehicles have been operating on US roadways for weeks with total freedom. Tesla recently told shareholders it was on the verge of updating its Autopilot software for full autonomy. And Las Vegas will tomorrow become the first city in history to offer the public a ride in a completely driverless shuttle on regular roads with real traffic. We've officially entered the age of level four autonomy for driverless cars. On Wednesday November 8th the general public will have the opportunity to ride through a half-mile stretch of Las Vegas in a new shuttle built by French AI company Navya.


waymo-rolls-autonomous-vans-without-human-drivers-arizona-public-road-tests

The Japan Times

DETROIT – A self-driving car company created by Google is pulling the human backup driver from behind the steering wheel and will test vehicles on public roads with only an employee in the back seat. The move by Waymo, which started Oct. 19 with an automated Chrysler Pacifica minivan in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Arizona, is a major step toward vehicles driving themselves without human backups on public roads. Waymo, which is owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet, is in a race with other companies such as Delphi, General Motors, Intel, Uber, Apple and Lyft to bring autonomous vehicles to the public. The companies say the robot cars are safer than human drivers because they don't get drowsy, distracted or drunk. Google has long stated its intent to skip driver-assist systems and go directly to fully autonomous driving.


Navya's fully self-driving taxi looks straight out of Robocop

Mashable

Navya, the French company behind the all-electric, self-driving ARMA shuttle buses on the streets in Las Vegas, Michigan, and Singapore, has a brand-new ride for cities looking to create fleets of driverless taxicabs. The company just unveiled its latest electric autonomous vehicle, the Autonum Cab, at a private company event in Paris. Navya's calling the car the "world's first taxi robot," a title that competitors with public pilot programs on the road like Waymo, Uber, and Cruise would probably be quick to dispute -- but the new cab certainly looks more like something straight out of a sci-fi movie than any of the other self-driving cars currently on the road. Proud to present the first taxi robot AUTONOM CAB with our partners @RACWA & @groupekeolis! pic.twitter.com/wCHPWZUMW6 There is a major difference between the Autonom Cab and other self-driving cars beyond just the exterior.