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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.


Lyft wins permit to test self-driving cars in California

Daily Mail

U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft has secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California, taking it one step further in the race with several other companies to bring self-driving cars to the masses. Lyft's permit, reflected on the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, comes two months after it announced plans to offer a self-driving car as a ride option in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lyft already has partnerships in place with autonomous car companies to advance its self-driving strategy. Ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc said on Monday it would launch its service in Toronto, marking the first international expansion for the U.S.-based rival of Uber Technologies Inc. Ford self-driving test vehicles will be connected to Lyft's network, but at first, customers will not be able to use them, according to Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification.


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 orders up to 24,000 Volvo SUVs for its self-driving fleet

Engadget

Uber has just taken another big step from a ride-sharing service to a transportation provider. It announced that it will buy up to 24,000 Volvo XC90s, marking the first major vehicle fleet purchase by a ride-hailing service. Uber will take delivery of the SUVs between 2019 and 2021, then equip them with its own sensors and tech, allowing it to do fully autonomous, driver-free passenger rides. "This new agreement puts us on a path toward mass-produced, self-driving vehicles at scale," Uber's Jeff Miller told Bloomberg. The XC90 starts at $47,000, so this could be a pretty substantial purchase -- over $1 billion worth of cars, to be exact.


Jaguar Land Rover tests first driverless vehicle on public roads

Daily Mail

The race to conquer the driverless car market has stepped up a gear, with the first ever tests of an autonomous vehicle built in Britain on the country's public roads. Jaguar Land Rover is leading the pack with its'major landmark' trial, which aims to help vehicles react in a similar way to people. The pilot project is part of a government-backed bid to encourage more widespread use of automated cars by 2020. The race to conquer the driverless car market has stepped up a gear, with the first ever tests of an autonomous vehicle built in Britain on the country's public roads. The UK Autodrive project is the UK's largest trial of connected and autonomous vehicle technology.


Qualcomm, with AT&T, Ford and Nokia, to test connected car tech in San Diego

ZDNet

Qualcomm on Tuesday announced that it's partnering with AT&T, Ford and Nokia to test its new Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology on the roads of San Diego later this year. Back in September, Qualcomm unveiled its 9150 C-V2X chipset and reference design. The tests are the first announced V2X trials in the US, Qualcomm says. C-V2X technology encompasses two transmission modes -- direct communications and network-based communications -- to enable a vehicle to communicate with other cars and infrastructure around it. It's key for both vehicle safety features and for implementing autonomous driving capabilities Qualcomm is headquartered in San Diego, and the San Diego region is one of 10 places that the US Department of Transportation has authorized as an automated vehicle proving ground.


If you own a Ford pickup truck, it probably just got recalled

Mashable

Ford has issued a recall of approximately 1.3 million of its vehicles. SEE ALSO: A futurist and innovations expert explains what is and isn't real about AI in movies Ford announced today that the recalled models lack a shield to protect their side doors' latches from water. This is a problem because water can severely damage a door's latch or actuation cable, the cable that facilitates the opening and closing of the door. If a cable or latch is damaged by water or freezes, it can stop the door from being able to open or close. It could also make your car door unable to fully close, putting it at risk of flying open while you're driving.


Ford CEO Hackett: Digital transformation means making the business fit first

ZDNet

Ford outlined its digital transformation plan, which revolves around smart connected vehicles, speeding up its product development and becoming more fit as a company on costs. As noted previously, there will be more trade-offs for multiple companies as future bets compete with delivering returns today. The goal: Cut new vehicle development time 20 percent and product changeover time by 25 percent. These factories will move from lean manufacturing approaches to processors powered by machine learning, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, virtual factories and "manufacturing 4.0."


Lyft partners with Ford for self-driving vehicles by 2021

Daily Mail

Ford and Lyft teams will begin working together to design software to allow Ford vehicles to communicate with Lyft's smartphone apps. Ford will initially put human-driven vehicles on Lyft's network, and it is unclear when the first self-driving cars will hit roads. Ford and Lyft teams will begin working together to design software to allow Ford vehicles to communicate with Lyft's smartphone apps Ford self-driving test vehicles will be connected to Lyft's network, but at first, customers will not be able to use them, according to Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification. Ford self-driving test vehicles will be connected to Lyft's network, but at first, customers will not be able to use them, according to Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification.


A Shape-Shifting Car? Patent Filings Point to Auto Industry's Future

Wall Street Journal

In 2016, 10 of the world's largest car makers submitted 9,700 patent applications, up 110% from 2012, according to consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Toyota, long the industry leader in patent filings, innovated several hybrid-vehicle technologies that rivals eventually needed when looking to compete in combo gas-electric cars. Unlike Silicon Valley companies, traditional vehicle makers face huge overhead and capital requirements for their factories and product lines. General Motors Co., for instance, has bought or invested in Silicon Valley firms working on autonomous technology but narrowed its own patent filings to about 1,000 in the U.S. last year, down 3.4% from 2012.