Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the venture capital arm of global automotive parts supplier Bosch Group, has completed an investment in mapping startup DeepMap Inc, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California that is building high definition maps specifically for self-driving vehicles. DeepMap is focused on solving the mapping and localization challenge for autonomous vehicles. The investment amount was not disclosed. "Maps explicitly designed to be read by machines are a critical enabling technology for safe autonomy. DeepMap fills a vacuum in the market.
It was part of a brutal day of Japanese government testing for Honda Motor Co. HMC 1.81%, whose vehicle was equipped with a camera and sensors that were supposed to detect obstacles and apply brakes to avoid a collision. The SUV scored 0.2 out of a possible 25 points in the pedestrian portion of the test, the worst among tested vehicles. With its long heritage of technical prowess, Honda was determined to do better--and it did. But Honda engineering didn't get it there. The car maker turned to an off-the-shelf sensing kit from Robert Bosch GmbH, the companies said.
When it comes to autonomous vehicles, the majority of American drivers aren't too sure where to stand. Younger drivers that live in urban areas are more accepting of the technology, but older drivers that live in rural areas aren't crazy about the technology. The split in feeling towards driverless tech makes sense, but it's continuing to change. In March, the American Automobile Association (AAA) conducted a survey that found the majority of American drivers felt uncomfortable when it came to the idea of sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. A large margin of drivers, approximately 75 percent, stated that they were afraid of riding in an autonomous vehicle.
A mere sprinkling of autonomous vehicles exist in a few dozen cities today. And none of them -- at least not yet -- have been deployed as a true commercial enterprise. While the bulk of this nascent industry fixates on the system of sensors, maps and AI necessary for vehicles to drive without a human behind the wheel, the founders of startup RideOS are directing their efforts to the day when fleets of self-driving cars hit the streets. It's there, where human-driven and automated vehicles will be forced to mingle, that RideOS co-founders Chris Blumenberg and Justin Ho see opportunity. The company, which has existed for all of 12 months, has raised $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Next47, the venture arm of Siemens.
The Apollo 3.0 Launch Event in Mountain View last night highlighted the strides made by the open-source self-driving car project backed by Chinese Internet giant Baidu. The project's leaders announced a new collection of low-speed driving capabilities, such as delivery vehicle driving and self-parking, alongside a wide array of sensors that independent groups can now connect with Apollo software. Apollo is becoming increasingly prominent as a foundation for automotive and technology companies that want to develop autonomous vehicles, but do not want to develop the entire software stack themselves. Two other companies, NVIDIA and Tier IV, also support software stacks that third-parties can use to develop self-driving cars. NVIDIA's DRIVE software platform is tightly coupled to their DRIVE line of computational units.
The rise of the driverless car could lead to city centre car parks being turned into houses, the Government has said. Transport minister Jesse Norman said the use of self-driving vehicles and shared travel could allow most high street parking spaces to be removed. This is because automated cars would be able to drive off to car parks outside city centres once they have dropped their owners off at work or the shops. This would free up space for potentially hundreds of thousands of new homes in urban areas – solving the housing crisis. The idea is contained in a consultation document on the'future of mobility'.
When it comes to autonomous-vehicle testing, Waymo is one of the obvious leaders. Earlier this March, Navigant Research named Waymo, because of its vision, partners, go-to market strategy, technology, production strategy, product quality and reliability sales, marketing and distribution, product capability, staying power, and product portfolio, as a leader in the race. As a leader, Waymo announced that its autonomous vehicles had impressively traveled a total of 5 million miles earlier this year. That was an impressive figure, as it took the company just three months to reach -- three months from breaking the 4-million mile mark. At the time, the technology company claimed that its vehicles were traveling the same amount of miles the average American driver travels in a year in one day.
Google parent Alphabet's Waymo is starting trials to ferry shoppers to Walmart stores in Phoenix, Arizona. Walmart shoppers in Phoenix metropolitan area can order groceries on Walmart.com and as their order is being prepared at the store, self-driving cars will transport them to the store and bring them back, Waymo said. 'Riders spend a significant portion of time each week running errands and shopping,' the firm said. Later this week, Walmart and Waymo will launch a test pilot that gives early riders savings on groceries each week when they are ordered on Walmart.com. While orders are being prepared at the store, Waymo vehicles will transport the rider to and from Walmart to collect their groceries.
Uber is getting its autonomous vehicles back on the road for the first time since one of its driverless cars fatally wounded a pedestrian. The latest tests will see the autonomous vehicles operated in'manual mode' – with human drivers behind the wheel operating the vehicle at all times. Although the vehicles will not be navigating independently, the latest round of tests will allow Uber to gather data on a number of scenarios that can be later recreated in computer simulations. The'manual mode' tests will also allow Uber to develop more accurate mapping for the vehicles. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed in Arizona on March 18 when an Uber Volvo SUV failed to apply the brakes after it registered her stepping into the road to cross.
Today, Bosch has introduced a predictive road condition service that can help make sure self-driving vehicles remain safe even on wet and icy roads. The company says the technology can give automated vehicles that seat-of-the-pants feel -- you know that sensation when you're on the driver's seat that tells you the road's condition? Bosch management board member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel says the service can alert AVs to hazards "before critical situations can develop." The technology takes multiple possible weather forecast scenarios from Finnish company Foreca into consideration, so a vehicle that uses it knows how and where it can drive autonomously. Bosch says this can prevent vehicles from having to hand over controls to a human driver at the first sign of poor road conditions.