Self-Driving Vehicles Will Look Different And Exciting

Forbes Technology

The term "self-driving car" might conjure up images of an autonomous four-door sedan, but self-driving vehicles are likely to take many forms, including shapes that have never before been considered for transportation. Consider the Nuro self-driving delivery vehicle, currently slated to begin public tests this fall with the grocery store Kroger. Nuro's self-driving delivery vehicle has space for groceries, but not for passengers.Nuro and Kroger This vehicle was specifically designed to deliver goods on public roads. So it has a chassis and drivetrain appropriate for the street, but is small and efficient, with no space for passengers. On the other end of the spectrum are self-driving shuttles from companies like Navya and May Mobility.

Apple adds 11 cars to its California fleet of autonomous test vehicles


Project Titan, Apple's secretive autonomous car program, is expanding. The Cupertino company has added 11 new test vehicles to its fleet in California, according to MacReports, boosting the total to 66. That's up from 55 in May. The program is rumored to be related to a self-driving platform Apple intends to provide to automobile manufacturers, though the company has yet to apply for an autonomous driving permit. It kicked off semiautonomous trial runs with three 2015 Lexus RX 450h SUVs roughly a year ago, in April 2017, after receiving licenses from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. "We're focusing on autonomous systems," Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg Television last year, in one of the few public descriptions of Project Titan.

Zoox Flashes Serious Self-Driving Skills in Chaotic San Francisco


San Francisco has some of the country's worst traffic. The lights always feel out of sync. The pavement is riddled with potholes. It is, in all, a horrific place to drive. And for the same reasons, it's a tremendous place to teach a car to drive itself.

Didi to seek global opportinities with AI and big data


Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing will explore ways to export its artificial intelligence and strength in big data to become a global enterprise, President Jean Liu told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview. The company, known for its ride-hailing platform, on Thursday announced a plan for its joint venture with Japanese tech giant SoftBank to bring taxi hailing services to Japan staring this autumn. That same time day, however, SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son referred to the Japanese government as "stupid" for restricting ride-sharing and other services. Still, Didi and SoftBank hope their partnership with Japanese taxi companies using Didi algorithms to match drivers with customers will improve vehicle occupancy rates. Drivers will not have to pay fees for the service.

Your Uber Driver May Soon Be Selling You Snacks

Forbes Technology

Cargo, a startup which sets up mini convenience concessions in Uber and Lyft cars, recently expanded to rideshares in the Los Angeles area, according to The Spoon. Drivers who sign up to take part in Cargo are given a display box of items they can sell to riders (replenished each month) such as snacks, electronics, toiletries and cosmetics. Riders can order the products via Cargo's mobile app. The driver then furnishes them with what they've purchased during the next instance that it's safe to stop the car. In a recent online discussion, members of the RetailWire BrainTrust explored whether Cargo's model will help popularize in-car commerce.

Startup develops AI that can detect machine failure just by listening to sounds


Listen to your vehicle - this is an advice that all car and motorcycle owners are given when they're getting to know more about the vehicle. Now, a new AI service developed by 3Dsignals, an Israel based start-up is doing just that. The AI system can detect an impending failure in cars or other machines, just by listening to the sound. The system depends on deep learning technique to identify the noise patterns of a car. As per a report by IEEE spectrum, 3Dsignals promises to reduce machinery downtime by 40% and improve efficiency.

Watch a self-driving car complete Goodwood's legendary hill climb


Want a hint of how the automotive zeitgeist is changing? You only need to look at the just-ended Goodwood Festival of Speed. Roborace has carved out a small niche in history with the first self-driving vehicle to successfully complete Goodwood's famous hill climb, where vehicles have to tackle a gradual 300-foot ascent that includes narrow hay- and brick-lined passages. It wasn't a flat-out assault, but the attempt (which was preceded by a practice run) went off without a hitch -- which you can't say for the other autonomous contender at the festival. Siemens had prepared an autonomous Ford Mustang that carried none other than the festival's founder, the Duke of Richmond, through the run.

Uber's HR Troubles, Elon's Cave Rescue, and More Car News This Week


Every so often, WIRED gets to take a good, long sojourn behind the scenes, to observe what the people we write about are doing all day. This was one of those nice weeks. Editor Alex Davies hopped a plane to Winnemucca, an isolated mining town in northern Nevada that's hosting Alphabet's latest moonshot: its effort to spread the gospel of internet via broadcasting balloons. Senior writer Jessi Hempl got under Uber's hood after the announcement that HR chief Liane Hornsey--the woman brought in to fix the unicorn's culture--resigned for improperly handling allegations of racial discrimination. Contributor Wendy Dent got the scoop on Elon Musk's attempt to build some kind of vehicle that would help the Thai youth soccer team escape a cave complex.

The Road To Autonomous Driving: There's Way More Going On Than Waymo


Cameras and GPS navigation system gear are placed on a self-driving Mercedes car on display at an event to present a project on autonomous driving at former Tempelhof airport on July 10, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Discussion about autonomous driving tends to focus on the leading company in the field, Google, which back in October 2010 set the ball rolling. Following the restructure that led to the creation of Alphabet, a subsidiary was set up called Waymo, which already has fleets of self-driving cars without safety driver on the roads of Phoenix, Mountain View, San Francisco, Austin, Detroit, Atlanta and Kirkland, selected mainly for their geographic and meteorological conditions. Which is not to say other companies aren't actively pursuing their own autonomous vehicles. In Arizona and several other cities, Cruise, owned by GM, has a large fleet.

Uber now conducts continuous background checks on drivers to improve riders' safety

Daily Mail

Uber is partnering with background check service Checkr and safety data provider Appriss to conduct the checks. Appriss collects the data in real time and then notifies Uber if a driver has a new criminal offense, Axios noted. The firm then decides whether it wants to suspend the driver based on that data. 'Ultimately what we're looking a way to get the same kind of info as in a background check, but get it in a real-time manner,' Uber vice president of safety and insurance Gus Fuldner told Axios. The move comes after Uber in April said it would introduce annual criminal background checks on US drivers and a revamped app that makes it easier for riders to share their location.