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Waymo orders thousands of Chrysler minivans for self-driving car fleet

ZDNet

Waymo has ordered thousands of new Chrysler Pacifica minivans in the hope of launching a driverless ride-hailing service this year. Want to get a job in tech? Here are the categories with the highest salaries. The Alphabet-owned self-driving car company will receive its order later this year, although the exact number of minivans destined to join Waymo's fleet has not been disclosed. On Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said the order builds upon 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans already purchased by Waymo in 2016, and an additional 500 in 2017.


Volvo and Autoliv aim to sell self-driving cars with Nvidia AI tech by 2021

#artificialintelligence

Volvo is forming a new joint partnership with Autoliv, called Zenuity, with a focus on developing self-driving automotive software. The plan is to eventually get to the point where they can field self-driving cars for sale, based on Nvidia's Drive PX in-car AI computing platform, by the not-so-distant target year of 2021. That's a tall order, but Nvidia's Drive PX is already being used to power self-driving vehicles in road testing today, including Nvidia's own demonstration vehicles. Volvo and Autoliv's Zenuity will use Nvidia's AI car compute groundwork as the basis for their own software development, with the hopes of speeding up the development progress of Volvo's commercially-targeted autonomous vehicles. The software that we're doing with them will be in some cases unique to Volvo," explained Nvidia's Senior Director of Automotive on call.


At CES 2018, Ford launches a cloud-based platform for mobility services and announces collaboration with Qualcomm on C-V2X

ZDNet

LAS VEGAS -- Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday at CES 2018 announced a new cloud-based platform for mobility services in cities, as well as a new model for autonomous vehicles, and a collaboration with Qualcomm on CV2X. CES showcases the tech trends that will shape the year ahead. See the most important products that will impact businesses and professionals. The Transportation Mobility Cloud is an open, cloud-based platform for mobility services to facilitate the flow of information to support the transportation system in cities so that any mode of transportation, whether vehicles, bicycles or mass transit, can work together. "The time has come to fundamentally update our approach and shift our central mission to harnessing that technology as a tool to improving human lives," said Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford, at the Ford press conference at CES 2018.


VW taps Nvidia to build AI into its new electric microbus and beyond

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Nvidia will power artificial intelligence technology built into its future vehicles, including the new I.D. Buzz, its all-electric retro-inspired camper van concept. The partnership between the two companies also extends to the future vehicles, and will initially focus on so-called "Intelligent Co-Pilot" features, including using sensor data to make driving easier, safer and more convenient for drivers. The AI features will be based on Nvidia Drive IX platform, and can enable features like face recognition-based door unlocking, gesture input for cockpit controls, natural language speech recognition and even monitoring a driver's attentive and distracted state for providing safety alerts to bring them back to focus. Nvidia has been working with automakers on putting artificial intelligence features into vehicles for some time now, and revealed a number of partners on this front last year at CES, including Audi and Mercedes-Benz, so Volkswagen adds yet another automaker to its growing number of partners. AI in vehicles is often thought of as a means to achieving full self-driving capabilities, but this is an example of what it might be able to do in production cars in the nearer term, long before fully Level 4 and 5 autonomy is available in the average consumer vehicle sold directly to individuals.


Hyundai, Aurora to release autonomous cars by 2021

Daily Mail

Hyundai and Volkswagen are hoping Google's former driverless car boss will help them roll out self-driving vehicles on the roads by 2021. Chris Urmson, who now heads up start-up Aurora, will work with the two car manufacturers to develop the technology. The partnerships are the latest in a string of tie-ups between traditional auto companies and tech firms as they race to be first with self-driving vehicles. Hyundai will begin selling its first self-driving vehicles by 2021 in partnership with US based self-driving technology startup Aurora Innovation, which was founded by a former chief technology officer at Google's self-driving car unit Chris Urmson (pictured) Hyundai and Aurora, led by Chris Urmson, the former head of Google's autonomous car team, will bring autonomous vehicles to markets that can operate without human input in most conditions. The auto industry designates that as'level 4 autonomous driving,' just one stage short of fully autonomous driving.


Ex-Google self-driving car boss inks deal to speed up VW, Hyundai autonomous cars

USATODAY

USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham gives his list of what he thinks are the coolest tech innovations of 2017. The Volkwagen Group plans to roll out a fleet of self-driving shared mobility vehicles like this prototype, called Sedric, with the help of startup Aurora. SAN FRANCISCO -- The new year is barely off the starting line and the self-driving car race already has kicked into a higher gear. Chris Urmson, formerly head of Google's self-driving car program, announced Thursday that his new company Aurora has inked partnerships with Volkswagen Group and Hyundai aimed at helping both automakers accelerate their autonomous car programs. "Our mission is to get this tech out quickly, safely and broadly," says Urmson, who left Google's program, now called Waymo, in 2016.


Four predictions for Pittsburgh's self-driving cars in 2018

#artificialintelligence

This year in self-driving car news started with Mayor Bill Peduto hoping for a better relationship with Uber and ended with policy recommendations from Carnegie Mellon University students on using autonomous vehicles to improve access to public transit. In between, the city's self-driving scene grew by two. Ford invested $1 billion into Pittsburgh self-driving startup Argo AI and Aurora Innovation launched, bringing the number of autonomous vehicle testers in the city up to five -- Aptiv (formerly Delphi), Argo AI, Aurora Innovation, CMU and Uber. But there's still a way to go before we're all multitasking as our cars drive themselves. For one thing, laws need to be created.


Intel and Warner Bros. are teaming up to build in-cabin entertainment for autonomous cars

Mashable

When fully autonomous vehicles finally hit the road, they'll turn everyone into a passenger. As such, we'll need something to do in order to pass the time while we're riding in our vehicles. Luckily, Intel and Warner Bros. are here to help. Intel and Warner Bros. announced today at the L.A. Auto Show that they're teaming up to develop in-cabin entertainment experiences for cars of the future. Intel CEO announces partnership with Warner Bros. to develop concept of what a self-driving car's entertainment might be #AutoMobilityLA pic.twitter.com/UV3NQ1wfqA


Uber inks deal with Volvo for fleet of self-driving cars

ZDNet

Volvo has signed a deal with Uber to supply the ride-hailing company with tens of thousands of "autonomous driving compatible" vehicles between 2019 and 2021, the 90-year-old car company announced Monday. The financial terms of the non-exclusive agreement were not disclosed. However, the massive deal, reportedly worth more than $1 billion for 24,000 vehicles, keeps Uber up to speed in the crowded race to bring self-driving vehicles to consumers. "The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption," Volvo CEO HÃ¥kan Samuelsson said in a statement. "Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally.


Uber just made its biggest move yet to adopt self-driving cars

Mashable

Uber just made a deal that will boost its self-driving efforts in a big way as well as signal a shift in the way the company operates. The company announced a partnership with Volvo where it would buy "tens of thousands" of self-driving vehicles from the Swedish automaker, deploying them from 2019-2020. The exact terms of the deal weren't initially disclosed, but an Uber spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email that the fleet size will be around 24,000 vehicles. The agreement is worth over $1 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The agreement marks a bold step forward for Uber, both for its autonomous program and its overall operational strategy.