Transportation


This truck is the size of a house and doesn't have a driver

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Mining company Rio Tinto has 73 of these titans hauling iron ore 24 hours a day at four mines in Australia's Mars-red northwest corner. BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, is also deploying driverless trucks and drills on iron ore mines in Australia. Suncor, Canada's largest oil company, has begun testing driverless trucks on oil sands fields in Alberta. The company's driverless trucks have proven to be roughly 15 percent cheaper to run than vehicles with humans behind the wheel, says Atkinson--a significant saving since haulage is by far a mine's largest operational cost.


German report calls Tesla's Autopilot a "hazard"

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A new study from Germany's Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) found that the autopilot feature of the Tesla Model S constitutes a "considerable traffic hazard," according to a report in Der Spiegel. Unsurprisingly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn't agree and today said in a tweet that those reports were "not actually based on science," and repeated that "Autopilot is safer than manually driven cars." Tesla reports that its vehicles drove more than 130 million miles with Autopilot engaged before one was involved in a fatal crash. Statistically, that beats the safety record for manually driven cars which are involved in a fatal crash every 100 million miles in the U.S., according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It's worth noting that Der Spiegel reports that the study was an internal one, and did not represent a final evaluation.


Google makes progress on self-driving cars, hits 2 million mile mark

Daily Mail

Google's self-driving vehicles are mastering complex situations on public roads, from cars going the wrong way to bicycles darting in front of traffic, as the technology company strives to win the high-profile race to achieve full vehicle automation. The Alphabet Inc unit, which has been developing autonomous cars since 2009, said its self-driving vehicles had logged two million miles (3.2 million km) on public roads, and it continues to log about 25,000 miles of test drives per week. Google has been a leader in testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, prompting traditional carmakers to step up their self-driving plans to avoid being eclipsed by the tech leader, which has yet to disclose a business strategy for its car project. A bill signed on Thursday gives self-driving the freedom to travel on public roads without steering wheels, brake pedals or accelerators and more importantly, without human drivers - such as the two shown testing Google' self-driving car The Silicon Valley-based company is focused on making cars fully autonomous, with no need for a driver, which could make driving safer and more efficient and open up transportation to the disabled and aged. It said last year that such cars would be ready for production by 2020.


Google's self-driving cars hit 2 million miles

USATODAY

Hackers demonstrated they can take over a Tesla from miles away if it connects to a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot. Dmitri Dolgov, a longtime veteran of Google's seven-year self-driving car effort, recently took over as technical lead, replacing Chris Urmson. SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's self-driving cars have hit another milestone on the road to the automotive future, notching two million miles on the autonomous-testing odometer. That mark, which the Alphabet-owned company announced Wednesday, was hit as other companies spent the summer dominating the self-driving headlines. Uber recently began picking up Pittsburgh passengers in its small fleet of driverless (though driver-monitored) vehicles, while Ford announced plans to sell transportation that lacked a steering wheel and pedals by 2021.


Google's self-driving car involved in serious crash in California

Daily Mail

Since Google began testing its self-driving cars in 2012, the autonomous vehicles have been involved in a number of crashes. Most of these have been minor and at low speeds, so have not caused significant damage to either the car or the person at the wheel. But last week, one of Google's cars was involved in one of the worst autonomous vehicle accidents yet, which caused the airbags to be deployed, and caved in both the front and rear side doors. Last week, one of Google's cars was involved in one of the worst autonomous vehicle accidents yet, which caused the airbags to be deployed, and caved in both the front and rear side doors The crash occurred in California, when a van driver ran a red light and collided with the passenger side door of Google's modified Lexus SUV. Thankfully, neither driver was injured, but the Google car had to be towed away.


Ford moving all production of small cars from U.S. to Mexico

USATODAY

Ford says it is going to shift production of all of its small cars, like these Focus compacts, to Mexico. Here, a lineup of Ford Focus vehicles is seen on an assembly line at the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. In a move that could draw fresh fire in the presidential race, Ford Motor (F) says it is shifting all North American small car production from U.S. to Mexico. CEO Mark Fields also says the automaker is committing 4.5 billion to develop more than a dozen new electrified models by 2020. "Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small car production to Mexico and out of the United States," Fields said.


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New Scientist

The first ever death in an autonomous car happened in May this year, the US road safety administration revealed yesterday. In a press release, Tesla said the incident was a tragic loss, but noted that it was the first fatality in 130 million miles of Autopilot driving. "There will be questions as to why these semi-autonomous driving features are allowed in beta testing mode into consumers' hands, and whether they have been adequately developed and certified before being added as an option in vehicles โ€“ even with the disclaimers which drivers have to accept before activating the feature," he says. Instead, the software will run in the background, jumping in to prevent accidents that come from human error.


The last driver license holder

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Mario Herger is the CEO of consultancy firm Enterprise Garage. Not only is he a cutie, he is the last person to get a driver license. I admit: I don't know if Liam will be the last person to get a driver license. It could be Sophia or Ethan. This person may live right around the corner in your neighborhood.


Google brings self-driving cars to Phoenix area

USATODAY

Self-driving cars may be coming sooner than you think! Google has expanded their testing program to Phoenix! Rob Smith (@robsmithonline) fills you in on all the new developments. In this May 13, 2015, file photo, Google's self-driving Lexus car drives along the street during a demonstration at the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. The company is now testing self-driving cars in the metro Phoenix area. PHOENIX -- Google has brought its self-driving vehicles to the Phoenix area to see how the technology performs amid crippling summer heat and, if researchers are lucky, a giant dust storm or two.


Drone incidents involving planes rise 'dramatically': FAA reveals near misses take place on average 3.5 times a day

Daily Mail

There are about 2.5 million drones in the US and not one has collided with a piloted aircraft โ€“ yet. With nearly 600 close-calls reported from August 2015 to January 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration worries it is only a matter of time before there are disastrous incidents. This data shows an urgency for effective anti-drone systems to deal with rogue UAVs, as more unmanned vehicles take the sky. More than 406,000 drone owners have registered their vehicle with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since late December. There are about 2.5 million drones in the US and not one has hit with a piloted aircraft โ€“ yet.