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Autonomous Driving Levels 0–5 Implications

#artificialintelligence

Autonomous driving systems are changing the way we think about the future of personal transportation. How soon will we have access to vehicles that don't require human control? Are driverless cars just around the corner? What will our travel be like if we're spending a lot less time behind the wheel? What technology actually makes autonomous driving possible?


Infiniti's 2019 QX50 Is the First Car With a Variable Compression Engine

WIRED

The coolest thing about Infiniti's newly redesigned QX50 crossover has nothing to do with its looks, its technological goodies, or even its ability to (kinda) drive itself. No, the best thing about this vehicle is sitting under the hood, and it's got an important message for the drivers of Earth: Reports of the internal combustion engine's demise might be a tad premature. That's because this compact five-seater features the world's first variable compression engine. We've known about this clever system for a few years, but now it's finally entering the market. The trick lies in the engine's ability to change the compression ration, which determines how tightly the pistons squeeze the air and fuel before the spark plug ignites the mixture (that's the combustion bit).


uber-buys-24000-volvos-trolley-problems-get-scarier-and-liability

Robohub

Uber and Volvo announced an agreement where Uber will buy, in time, up to 24,000 specially built Volvo XC90s which will run Uber's self-driving software and, presumably, offer rides to Uber customers. While the rides are some time away, people have made note of this for several reasons. I'm not clear who originally said it -- I first heard it from Marc Andreesen -- but "the truest form of a partnership is called a purchase order." In spite of the scores of announced partnerships and joint ventures announced to get PR in the robocar space, this is a big deal, but it's a sign of the sort of deal car makers have been afraid of. Volvo will be primarily a contract manufacturer here, and Uber will own the special sauce that makes the vehicle work, and it will own the customer.


la-na-pol-self-driving-politics-20171121-story.html

Los Angeles Times

In its race to embrace driverless vehicles, Washington has cleared away regulatory hurdles for auto companies and brushed aside consumer warnings about the risk of crashes and hacking. But at a recent hearing, lawmakers absorbed an economic argument that illustrated how the driverless revolution they are encouraging could backfire politically, particularly in Trump country. It was the tale of a successful, long-distance beer run. A robotic truck coasted driverless 120 miles down Interstate 25 in Colorado on its way to deliver 51,744 cans of Budweiser. Not everyone at the hearing was impressed by the milestone, particularly the secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters, whose nearly 600,000 unionized drivers played no small roll in President Trump's victory last year.


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 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.


The 5 biggest questions we still have about the Tesla Semi

Mashable

Tesla finally unveiled its heavy-duty, all-electric Semi truck, and we're impressed. The big rig is the sum of all of the automaker's work in one massive package, featuring design cues from its other vehicles and even borrowing their parts, like the Model 3 motors that power each of its "super single" wheels. Musk claims the Semi will also offer truckers BAMF acceleration and performance specs, up to 500 miles of range per charge, and a cheaper cost to operate than standard diesel trucks. The Semi certainly looks the part of the next big thing for the trucking industry -- but there's still so much about it that we don't know. Elon Musk only showed off certain aspects of the truck during his presentation, leaving some very important features to be shared at a later date, when Tesla is ready to start churning out the rigs for clients.


'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).