Why Autonomous Cars Won't Be Common Anytime Soon


Billions of dollars are invested, all with the intent that self-driving cars, or autonomous cars, will be the next big thing in the automotive industry. A market exists for autonomous cars, specifically in the realm of business. Delivery vehicles, public transportation, industrial machines, and some personal vehicles are examples of uses where self-driving cars may show up. But there are clear and nearly insurmountable reasons that driverless cars won't replace everyday vehicles. Autonomous technology bases many of its logical decisions on what it can'see' with cameras.

Here’s the fundamental flaw with self-driving cars: Humans


The safety driver in a self-driving Uber was not being very safe -- aka, not paying attention -- when the vehicle in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman in an Arizona city earlier this year, police records show. Included in a massive Tempe Police Department report this week were details about the March 18 fatal crash. The 318-page report found that Rafaela Vasquez, the 44-year-old driver, was frequently looking down and even smiling and laughing at what appears to be a cellphone streaming an episode of the talent search show, The Voice. In the moments before the test vehicle hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona, road, the test driver, Vasquez, was apparently streaming the TV show through Hulu. A video of the moments before the crash shows Vasquez looking toward her right knee while occasionally looking up and around.

Uber Driver Was Streaming Hulu Show Just Before Self-Driving Car Crash

International Business Times

Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the "safety" driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming the crash that rocked the nascent industry "entirely avoidable." A 318-page report from the Tempe Police Department, released late Thursday in response to a public records request, said the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, repeatedly looked down and not at the road, glancing up just a half second before the car hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was crossing the street at night. According to the report, Vasquez could face charges of vehicle manslaughter. Police said that, based on testing, the crash was "deemed entirely avoidable" if Vasquez had been paying attention. Police obtained records from Hulu, an online service for streaming television shows and movies, which showed Vasquez's account was playing the television talent show "The Voice" the night of the crash for about 42 minutes, ending at 9:59 p.m., which "coincides with the approximate time of the collision," the report says.

Volkswagen SEDRIC Prototype: Riding in VW's Self-Driving Car - Motor Trend


Motor Trend will never publish a First Drive review on the Volkswagen SEDRIC. That's because the SEDRIC, which Volkswagen Group is currently evaluating for launch sometime after 2023, is a completely autonomous vehicle. It has no steering wheel. You just call it up on your smartphone and tell it where you are and where you want to go. When it arrives, get in, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

33 Industries Other Than Auto That Driverless Cars Could Turn Upside Down


Fast food, real estate, military operations, even home improvement -- many large industries will have to shift their strategies in the wake of driverless cars. It's all but a certainty that autonomous or driverless vehicles will be widely used in the United States at some point over the next two decades. Already, over two dozen major corporates including Google, Apple and Mercedes Benz are hard at work building their own self-driving vehicles. Tesla's Model S already includes an autopilot mode where the car drives itself on highways. Car ownership and driving habits are being completely reinvented. We'll explore the growing number of mobility technologies that are set to transform the current transportation ecosystem.

Why Ford Is Buying Detroit's Derelict Central Depot


Newspapers and magazines do this thing that drives Detroiters crazy. Maybe Detroit is coming back, maybe crime is falling, maybe a few neighborhoods are seeing a resurgence, maybe it's all a bit more complicated than a few statistics make it seem. But editors generally use a particular photo to symbolize the city: the gorgeous but abandoned and ill-used Central Depot. The station feels like a symbol because it is. When it opened in 1913, the grand 18-story office tower, its cavernous waiting room fronted by looming Corinthian columns, was the tallest rail station in the world.

Instead Of Ten-Figure Funding, This Robotaxi Startup Has Actual Customers


Voyage recently announced its 2nd gen self-driving taxi, and a fleet partnership with Enterprise. Among the big auto Goliaths and their swollen check-writing wrists, there's a little startup armed with a slingshot and bragging rights. That startup is Voyage, and it has some lessons to teach the mobility sector. The team who spun out of Udacity's self-driving car nanodegree program has raised just over $20M to date, per CEO Oliver Cameron. For reference, that's two orders of magnitude smaller than the last investment round announced by GM's Cruise.

Top 10 Israeli Startups Leading the Race in Self-Driving Technology Analytics Insight


The US, China, Singapore, Greece and Japan – All have been gunning autonomous vehicles since years now. Now Israel is another country to join the club. Israel has become a focus for car technology in recent years. Large companies such as General Motors, Toyota, Skoda, Volvo, BMW, Honda, Hyundai and some others have built R&D centers in Israel to develop self-driving cars. Israeli startups don't find themselves much behind in this race of driverless tech.

Waymo self-driving vehicle involved in Arizona crash


Google's Waymo shows off their self-driving car technology in an advertisement. A Chrysler Pacifica hybrid outfitted with Waymo's suite of sensors and radar is displayed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2017. PHOENIX -- A self-driving vehicle operated by Waymo was involved in a crash Saturday night in Mesa, Arizona, officials said. The five-car collision happened about 10 p.m. Saturday. The self-driving van was not in autonomous mode at the time of the crash, said a spokesperson for the Mesa Fire and Medical Department.

Nuro's self-driving vehicle is a grocery-getter and errand-runner


Not every self-driving car has to be able to move passengers from point A to point B. Take, for example, Nuro: The startup just revealed their unique autonomous vehicle platform, which is more of a mobile small logistics platform than a self-driving car. The company, which has been working away in stealth mode in Mountain View until now, has raised a $92 million Series A round led by Banyan Capital and Greylock Partners to help make its unique vision of autonomous transport take shape. Nuro's vehicle is a small, narrow box on wheels, which is about half the width of a regular car, and which is designed to be a lightweight way to get goods from a local business to a customer, or from one person to another within a neighborhood or city. The platform is just one example of what Nuro wants to do, however; the startup bills itself as a product company focused on bringing "the benefits of robotics" to everyday use and ordinary people. Nuro's AV also operates completely autonomously, and looks like something you'd see on a Moon base in a retro-futuristic sci-fi show.