Transportation


Drink too much beer at a Dallas Cowboys game? Now a free robot-driven van will scoop you up afterward.

Washington Post

Things are not only bigger in Texas, they're also hotter, more sprawling and increasingly traffic-clogged thanks to a population boom that has lasted nearly a decade. In many of the state's fast-growing, car-dependent cities, these realities make for lousy walking conditions and long commutes. For the self-driving car company Drive.ai, Nearly four months after the Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up launched a six-month pilot program in nearby Frisco, Tex., the company deployed its second self-driving service on public roads in Arlington, Tex., on Friday. The service -- which is free to use -- will operate multiple routes in geo-fenced areas in downtown Arlington, according to Drive.ai


Drink too much beer at a Dallas Cowboys game? Now a free robot-driven van will scoop you up afterward.

Washington Post

Things are not only bigger in Texas, they're also hotter, more sprawling and increasingly traffic-clogged thanks to a population boom that has lasted nearly a decade. In many of the state's fast-growing, car-dependent cities, these realities make for lousy walking conditions and long commutes. For the self-driving car company Drive.ai, Nearly four months after the Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up launched a six-month pilot program in nearby Frisco, Tex., the company deployed its second self-driving service on public roads in Arlington, Tex., on Friday. The service -- which is free to use -- will operate multiple routes in geo-fenced areas in downtown Arlington, according to Drive.ai


Drive.ai Brings Its Self-Driving Cars to Dallas Cowboy Fans

WIRED

Nearly halfway into the NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys are 3–3 and sit 20th out of 32 on ESPN's power ranking index, which gives them a less than 50–50 shot at making the playoffs. So fans of America's Team don't have a whole lot to get excited about. Unless, that is, they like riding in robot cars. Today, startup Drive.ai is launching a self-driving car service in Arlington, Texas, which sits halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth and is home to the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium. The service will run several routes in multiple parts of the city, bustling to and from big venues including that stadium, Globe Life Park (where baseball's Texas Rangers play), and the Arlington Convention Center.


Shaken by hype, self-driving leaders adopt new strategy: Shutting up

Washington Post

Three former executives at Google, Tesla and Uber who once raced to be the first to develop self-driving cars have adopted a new strategy: Slow down. At their new company Aurora Innovation, which is developing self-driving technology for carmakers including Volkswagen and Hyundai, the rules are simple: No flashy launches, mind-blowing timelines or hyper-choreographed performances on closed tracks. "No demo candy," said Chris Urmson, a co-founder and former head of Google's self-driving car team. Aurora's long-game technique reflects a new phase for the hyped promise of computer-piloted supercars: a more subdued, more pragmatic way of addressing the tough realities of the most complicated robotic system ever built. In the wake of several high-profile crashes that dented public enthusiasm in autonomous cars, Aurora's executives are urging their own industry to face a reality check, saying lofty promises risk confusing passengers and dooming the technology before it can truly take off.


Humans Just Can't Stop Rear-Ending Self-Driving Cars--Let's Figure Out Why

WIRED

The self-driving car crashes that usually make the news are, unsurprisingly, either big and smashy or new and curious. The Apple that got bumped while merging into traffic. The Waymo van that got t-boned. And of course, the Uber that hit and killed a woman crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona in March. Look at every robo-car crash report filed in California, though, and you get a more mundane picture--but one that reveals a striking pattern.


Sharing More Than Just Rides in Car-Maker Alliances

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

GM GM -1.27% said this month it would partner with Honda Motor Co. HMC -0.45% to develop a fully automated car. As part of the deal, Honda committed to investing $2.75 billion in GM's self-driving-car unit GM Cruise LLC over the next 12 years. The investment comes on top of a commitment to Cruise of more than $2 billion from SoftBank Group Corp.'s Vision Fund in May. GM bought Cruise in 2016 and also invested in ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. that year. Toyota TM -0.26% is investing $500 million in Uber Technologies Inc. as part of an agreement to collaborate on self-driving-car technology.


Movement rises to keep humans, not robots, in the driver's seat

#artificialintelligence

Hagerty, the largest insurer of classic cars, wants to save driving as more automakers push to bring self-driving cars to the roads in the future. McKeel Hagerty stands with his 1967 Porsche 911S which he bought for $500 when he was 13 and restored it in the garage with his Dad. It was his first car and he still owns it 37 years later. Car enthusiast McKeel Hagerty's future changed in March 2017. He was at a car event in Vancouver, British Columbia, when a stranger involved in developing self-driving cars took Hagerty by the elbow, looked him in the eye, and laid forth the future.


This Week in the Future of Cars: Happy Birthday to Us

WIRED

It's been a busy week, and not only because car and tech companies were up to their usual tricks. It's WIRED's 25th birthday, which means we've been covering the future of transportation for a quarter of a frickin' century. Translation for the car nerds: WIRED can now rent a car without extra fees or penalties. So today, we'll be reviewing the news. But we'll also take a look back at WIRED's past coverage.


Key to Autonomous Driving? An Impossibly Perfect Map

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

It turns out that, whether it's Waymo's self-driving cars or the many auto manufacturers relying on tech from Intel Corp.'s INTC -1.27% Mobileye, so-called "autonomous" vehicles are cheating, in a way. This is also true of models that are already commercially available, such as Cadillacs with Super Cruise. Rather than perceiving the world and deciding on the fly what to do next, these autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles are comparing their glimpses of the world with a map stored in memory. The incredibly detailed maps they rely on are what engineers call a "world model" of the environment. The model contains things that don't change very often, from the edges of roads and lanes to the placement of stop signs, signals, crosswalks and other infrastructure.


Pennsylvania pulls a California and allows statewide self-driving car tests

Mashable

Pennsylvania is opening its roads to self-driving cars. Instead Aurora, the company working with China's Byton vehicles, clinched the first authorization with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Earlier this year the autonomous vehicle software maker raised $8.4 million. SEE ALSO: Who is responsible when a self-driving car kills someone? The transportation department had already issued its "automated vehicle testing guidance" back in July and several companies already testing in Pittsburgh said it would work within the rules that went into effect Aug. 1.