As a result of this incident, Uber has stopped all self-driving vehicle tests in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and the greater Phoenix area. "Our hearts go out to the victim's family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident," said Uber in a statement. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi echoed the sentiment on Twitter, saying that the authorities were trying to figure out what happened. We're thinking of the victim's family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.
The companies plan to produce kits that can be installed on existing cars to enable them to operate autonomously, said Raj Kapoor, Lyft's chief strategy officer. Retrofitting cars, as opposed to building new ones, could help the company produce autonomous vehicles more quickly and inexpensively, he said. The announcement Wednesday adds to Lyft's extensive roster of self-driving-vehicle partners, which includes Ford Motor Co.; General Motors Co.; Alphabet's Waymo; nuTonomy Inc.; Tata Motors Ltd.'s Jaguar Land Rover; and Aptiv PLC, formerly Delphi. That stands in contrast to rival Uber Technologies Inc., which is primarily developing self-driving technology on its own rather than forging partnerships. Lyft's goal is to plug autonomous cars from partners into its network.
Like something out of a Transformers film, angry citizens are fighting back against what they perhaps perceive as the modern equivalent of the Decepticons: autonomous cars. According to crash reports filed with California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), people are attacking driverless cars. So far in 2018, autonomous vehicles played a role in six accidents on state roads. Of those, two of the accidents involved angry humans shouting at and slapping the self-driving cars.
A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of strategy business. But just such a change appears to be happening now. In a great wave of technological change, sensors are spreading through factories and warehouses, software is predicting the need for maintenance before a machine breaks down, power grids and loading docks are becoming intelligent, and custom-designed parts are being produced on demand. The leaders of the next industrial revolution are companies making advances in fields such as robotics, machine learning, digital fabrication (including 3D printing), the Industrial Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and blockchain (a system of decentralized, automated transaction verification). Because these technologies all reinforce the others' impact, they are leading to a new level of proficiency, and to new types of opportunities and challenges for business and for society at large. One key indicator is that conventional boundaries between industries are eroding. It's getting harder to tell the difference between, say, a telecommunications company and an entertainment producer, or between a retail bank and a retail store. The relationships among suppliers, producers, and consumers are also blurring, more rapidly than many business decision makers are prepared for. The foundation of business strategy has long been the classic value chain, which links together raw materials producers, manufacturers, distributors, and (in the end) consumers through a well-established commercial infrastructure characterized by a stable set of transactions. But the rise of digital technology enables individuals to connect outside the value chain and deliver more efficient, effective products and services. This will reduce the importance of economies of scale and conventional divisions of labor.
After more than a century making vehicles for humans to drive, General Motors has ripped the heart out of its latest ride, and is now holding the grisly spectacle up for all the world to see: A car with no steering wheel. And it plans to put a fleet of these newfangled things to work in a taxi-like service, somewhere in the US, next year.