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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.


Apple reveals first details of its driverless car system

Daily Mail

While Apple hasn't hid its self-driving car ambitions, until now, little has been known about the mysterious project. But now, computer scientists at the firm have posted a paper online, shedding light on how the self-driving cars could work. The paper reveals that Apple's self-driving cars can better spot cyclists and pedestrians using laser sensors, in a new software approach called'VoxelNet.' While Apple hasn't hid its self-driving car ambitions, until now, little has been known about the mysterious project. Self-driving cars often use a combination of normal two-dimensional cameras and depth-sensing'LiDAR' units to recognize the world around them.


Volvo looks to supply Uber with up to 24,000 self-driving cars

The Japan Times

STOCKHOLM/SAN, FRANCISCO – Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, marking the transition of the U.S. firm from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. The nonbinding framework deal could offer San Francisco-based Uber a way to overcome setbacks at its autonomous driving division in Silicon Valley's race to perfect self-driving systems. Combining Volvo's cars with Uber's self-driving system builds on their nearly three-year relationship and comes as Uber's autonomous driving unit has been hit by a lawsuit over trade secrets and the departure of top talent. Automakers, ride-hailing firms and tech start-ups have been forging loose alliances in an effort to advance self-driving technology and claim a piece of what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar business. Geely-owned Volvo said in a statement on Monday it would provide Uber with its flagship XC90 SUVs equipped with autonomous technology as part of a nonexclusive deal from 2019 to 2021.


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.


Volvo to supply Uber with up to 24,000 self-driving cars

Daily Mail

Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, marking the transition of the U.S. firm from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. The non-binding framework deal could offer San Francisco-based Uber a way to overcome setbacks at its autonomous driving division in Silicon Valley's race to perfect self-driving systems. Combining Volvo's cars with Uber's self-driving system builds on their nearly three-year relationship and comes as Uber's autonomous driving unit has been hit by a lawsuit over trade secrets and the departure of top talent. Uber plans to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, marking the transition of the U.S. firm from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. Automakers, ride-hailing firms and tech startups have been forging loose alliances in an effort to advance self-driving technology and claim a piece of what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar business.


Scientists Look at How Humans Drive in Self-Driving Cars

WIRED

But if you were being very precise--if you were a team of Massachusetts of Technology researchers who study human-machine interactions--you wouldn't say that all those Americans are "driving," exactly. The new driver assistance systems on the market--like Tesla's's Autopilot, Volvo's's Pilot Assist, and Jaguar Land Rover's InControl Driver Assistance--mean that some of those travelers are doing an entirely new thing, participating in a novel, fluid dance. The human handles the wheel in some situations, and the machine handles it in others: changing lanes, parking, monitoring blind spots, warning when the car is about to crash. We might need a new word. Fully autonomous cars won't swarm the roads en masse for decades, and in the meantime, we'll have these semiautonomous systems.


UK budget will clear the way for self-driving cars

Engadget

The UK doesn't want to sit by the wayside while the US, Japan and other countries streamline the adoption of self-driving cars. The country's finance ministry has revealed that its upcoming budget (due on November 22nd) will include measures intended to spurt the adoption of self-driving and electric cars. There will be rule changes that let automakers test vehicles on public roads without an operator on standby, and a £400 million (about $529 million) fund to help companies establish charging station networks. Officials will also offer £100 million ($132 million) in incentives to lower the cost of buying an EV. There are a few other tech-related budget measures, such as £160 million ($211 million) for 5G networks, £100 million for computer science teachers, £76 million ($100 million) for skill development and £75 million ($99 million) for the UK's budding AI industry.


'Connected' cars are hitting UK roads for the first time

Engadget

Slowly, the UK government is realising its dream of making the nation a self-driving research hub. UK Autodrive, a publicly funded consortium that includes Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and TATA Motors, has announced a new set of trials in Coventry today. They will focus on self-driving cars and vehicles that can instantly share information with other motorists and city infrastructure. Researchers will be testing a signal, for instance, that can be sent out by the emergency services -- ambulances, fire trucks and police cars -- to nearby drivers, advising them when and where to move aside. Other test features include a warning signal for intersections deemed too unsafe to cross, in-car information about accidents and traffic jams (negating the need for signs on bridges) and an alert system when a driver in front suddenly hits the brakes (the idea being that this can be hard to spot in rain and fog).


California may limit liability of self-driving carmakers

Daily Mail

California regulators are embracing a General Motors recommendation that would help makers of self-driving cars avoid paying for accidents and other trouble, raising concerns that the proposal will put an unfair burden on vehicle owners. If adopted, the regulations drafted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would protect these carmakers from lawsuits in cases where vehicles haven't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications. That could open a loophole for automakers to skirt responsibility for accidents, injuries and deaths caused by defective autonomous vehicles, said Armand Feliciano, vice president for the Association of California Insurance Companies. The regulations drafted by the California DMV would protect carmakers from lawsuits in cases where their self driving vehicles haven't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications. The regulations drafted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would protect these carmakers from lawsuits in cases where vehicles haven't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications.