Tesla is updating its Autopilot software to make it clearer when drivers need to have their hands on the wheel. In the wake of a fatal Tesla crash in California, the electric car maker began flashing warnings in cars every 30 seconds that'nag' users to'hold the wheel.' But many were annoyed and confused when the warnings didn't go away, even after applying a'white knuckle death grip.' Now, Tesla boss Elon Musk says Tesla will update the system so it's not so naggy. Tesla is updating its Autopilot software to make it clearer when drivers should have their hands on the wheel. A previous update would warn drivers every 30 seconds to'hold the wheel' A Tesla owner tweeted at Musk complaining that the new Autopilot update, released a few days ago, is a'pain' and that it required him to constantly hold the wheel to keep the warnings at bay. 'Will be adjusting screen alert to clarify that we mean'slight up or downward force on the wheel,' not really'hold the wheel'', Musk replied in a tweet on Wednesday.
Car makers have been warned of the dangers of suggesting vehicles with some automated features can drive themselves. Experts say manufacturers are lulling drivers into a false sense of security by using terms such as'autonomous' and'autopilot' in their advertising. A report says it poses a danger as drivers become over-reliant on the technology and lose concentration at the wheel. Modern vehicles increasingly offer partly automated features such as keeping the car within its lane, speed controls or emergency braking. However, experts say fully self-driving cars are still a long way off in the UK.
Takeaway meals and coffees could soon be sent to your home by self-driving vehicles in a shift that may spell the death of the delivery driver. Ford is trialling a delivery service in Miami using vans fitted with touchpad-activated storage lockers. Users are guided to the right locker via lights and speakers on the vehicle and access their food using a special code, meaning there is no need to collect it from a driver. Although the vans are currently driven by humans, Ford said the current trial is a key step toward its goal of deploying a fully self-driving delivery service by 2021. Takeaway meals and coffees could soon be sent to your home by self-driving vehicles in a shift that may spell the death of the delivery driver.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the company's Autopilot will'begin to enable full self-driving features' this summer. The billionaire tweeted that a major update to the software coming in August, dubbed Tesla Version 9, will fix a number of issues with the Autopilot system. He said the upgrade will resolve problems with lane merging and enhance the software's self-driving capabilities. The news comes days after federal investigators determined that a Tesla SUV using the firm's autonomous driving system accelerated before it collided with a California freeway divider in March, killing its driver. Data shows the Model X SUV did not brake or try to steer around the barrier in the three seconds before the crash.
Larry Page's Kitty Hawk flying car just got even closer to coming to fruition. The startup has unveiled a new version of its prototype'Flyer' vehicle and it appears more polished than the electrical aircraft, resembling a jet ski, which was released last April. The firm even says it is now making the futuristic flying vehicle available for test flights for those interested in pre-ordering the car. Interested customers don't even need a pilot's license to take Flyer for a spin, as the company says it only requires a one-hour training course before users are able to take to the skies. Kitty Hawk has unveiled a new version of its prototype'Flyer' vehicle and it appears more polished than the electrical aircraft, resembling a jet ski, which was released last April To operate it, pilots simply use two control sticks, which the firm says make it'as easy to use as playing Minecraft'.
The first rocket engines for a secretive hypersonic spaceplane the military could one day use to launch satellites at short notice have been completed. The reusable Phantom Express spaceplane will take off vertically and land horizontally, and is being built by Boeing as part of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. It is hoped it will play a crucial role in future space warfare, allowing military bosses to launch satellites and replace damaged ones within hours. The reusable Phantom Express spaceplane will take off vertically and land horizontally, and is being built by Boeing as part of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane program. The vehicle will be equipped with an expendable second stage capable of placing up to 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit.
The government has unveiled a new £30 million fund to help get driverless cars on the road. Chancellor Philip Hammond vowed to bring fully-autonomous vehicles to the UK by 2021 in his autumn budget last year. The latest multi-million round of funding is designed to speed-up the roll-out of autonomous vehicles by supporting technology and automotive companies developing driverless systems. Companies will have to bid for the funding, Business Minister Richard Harrington announced today. Of the £30 million total, the government has set aside £5 million to be awarded specifically to projects building cars that can park themselves.
Consumer trust in self-driving cars has tumbled according to a new survey that found 73 per cent of people would be too afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle. The US survey found faith in the technology had plummeted by ten per cent from the end of 2017 as a result of two high-profile deaths in March. Research suggests that in the long-term self-driving cars are set to drastically reduce deaths by eliminating human error but it seems consumers are yet to be convinced. The issue of AI in self-driving cars flared up following the death of a women hit but a self-driving Uber and a man killed while using his Tesla Model X's autopilot feature in March this year. A survey by the American Automobile Association looked at 1,014 people and was conducted between 5 to 8 April, just weeks after the two highly-publicised deaths.
A Utah driver turned on the semi-autonomous functions of her Tesla vehicle and then didn't touch the steering wheel again for 80 seconds before slamming into a firetruck stopped at a red light last week, a summary of data from the car released Wednesday showed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent its special crash investigations team to the state, the agency said as details about the Friday evening crash became public Wednesday. According to South Jordan police's summary of technician findings, the 28-year-old driver had repeatedly enabled and disabled the Autopilot features of her Tesla Model S throughout the course of her drive. She took her hands off the wheel more than a dozen times, twice for more than a minute each. The driver re-enabled Autopilot 1 minute and 22 seconds before the crash, let go of the wheel 2 seconds later and then didn't touch the wheel again before hitting the truck at 60 mph (97 kph).
Waymo has taken another step forward to get its 52 fully-autonomous vehicles on the road after submitting a 41-page safety protocol to the California DMV. The document is part of a larger application to fully test driverless vehicles, without a person in the car, in California, according to IEEE Spectrum. On April 2, new regulations took effect in California, allowing the DMV to give permits to companies to conduct the driverless tests. Waymo has taken another step forward to get its 52 fully-autonomous vehicles on the road after submitting a 41-page safety protocol to the California DMV. Waymo, parent firm Alphabet's self-driving car unit, will launch a commercial ride hailing service Waymo has been testing the self-driving car scheme in Phoenix, Arizona since 2017.