Transportation


Uber Is In Court Today, Fighting For Its Very Existence

Huffington Post

Indeed, autonomous cars promise to change the economics of the ride-hailing business. Among Uber's biggest expenses is the cost of attracting drivers, who have a high turnover rate. And Uber's ability to expand into suburban and rural markets, and areas with low vehicle ownership, and continue to offer a ride within three minutes, largely hinges on the availability of a network of self-driving vehicles.


Autonomous vehicle demonstrates the future at Heathrow

Huffington Post

Or you have the automated shuttle bus developed by French start-up Navya that was recently demoed at Heathrow airport's Compass Centre. The vehicles, which were first launched in France in 2015, have already been deployed around the world, and have transported over 100,000 people in that time. The vehicle, which can carry up to 15 people, can travel at up to 30mph, but because it is often deployed on corporate or university campuses, it seldom surpasses 15mph. It's designed for journeys that are too short for cars, but too long for walking.


Tesla's Triple Gift From NHTSA: No Blame In Crash, No Recall, Great Safety Results

Huffington Post

The "Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) analyzed mileage and airbag deployment data supplied by Tesla for all [model years] 2014 through 2016 Model S and 2016 Model X vehicles equipped with the Autopilot Technology Package, either installed in the vehicle when sold or through an update, to calculate crash rates by miles travelled prior to and after Autopilot installation," NHTSA stated in its report, explaining its methodology.


Uber Escalates War With Regulators Over Self-Driving Cars

Huffington Post

SAN FRANCISCO ― Uber's self-driving cars will continue to ply the streets of San Francisco despite growing threats of legal action by state officials if the company refuses to obtain proper permits. Uber plans to defy the California Department of Motor Vehicles demand that it seek autonomous vehicle permits, because company executive Anthony Levandowski said Friday that the cars are not truly driverless and therefore not subject to the regulations. "It's hard to understand why the DMV would seek to require self-driving Ubers to get permits when it accepts that Tesla's autopilot technology does not need them," Levandowski said on a conference call with reporters. "We asked for clarification as to specifically what is different about our tech from the DMV, but have not received it.' The state attorney general's office responded with its own threat against the tech giant on Friday, saying the office will intervene if Uber fails to obey the regulations.


AI, the bubble bursts in 2017

Huffington Post

There have been several discussions lately around machine intelligence that are started to converge in how they may change competition and regulation in all markets but is likely to become a bigger issue in 2017. This is a bubble waiting to burst. The recent letter for Apple to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding policy changes to help promote automated self-driving vehicles stressed not just a level playing field to promote new technology and data sharing but also the impact of automated vehicles on the public good, including their consequences for employment and public spaces. Other issues around consumer product automation in the home with Amazon Echo Alexa and Google Home have raised the bar in interactive systems and questions over the type of privacy and data use issues these may bring. Other issues have been raised over the use by Facebook of algorithms for "editing" the social media sites for certain political issues or in the case of their entry to the Chinese market and creating a censoring app to comply with regulations.


Self-Driving Cars: Transforming Mobility For The Elderly And People With Disabilities

Huffington Post

The federal government recently released guidance that will hasten the roll out of self-driving cars on American roads. The roads will not be filled with driverless cars tomorrow, but these smart, efficient vehicles are already operating in some cities and they will become widespread more quickly than most drivers think. Automakers and technology companies are making significant strides towards the connected car future. New sensor and autonomous technologies are being announced weekly, and the Administration has made commitments to support these developments and accelerate their roll out. Sensor and autonomous technologies can transform automotive safety and convenience for preexisting American drivers, but they can do more; they can increase mobility for the elderly and Americans with disabilities who may be constrained from driving altogether.


Elon Musk Says Journalists, Not Robot Cars, Kill?

Huffington Post

Musk is a mad scientist unrestrained because the federal government has yet to implement Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards requiring performance standards of new autonomous vehicles. This psycho-killer is the poster child for why we need rules for the cars before they hit the roads, not a 15 point check list that could be turned in to regulators on a toilet paper roll right now.


Elon Musk: Tesla Autopilot Update Could Have Prevented Fatal Crash

Huffington Post

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON - Tesla Motors Co Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Sunday the automaker was updating its semi-autonomous driving system Autopilot with new limits on hands-off driving and other improvements that likely would have prevented a fatality in May. Musk said the update, which will be available within a week or two through an "over-the-air" software update, would rely foremost on radar to give Tesla's electric luxury cars a better sense of what is around them and when to brake. New restrictions of Autopilot 8.0 are a nod to widespread concerns that the system lulled users into a false sense of security through its "hands-off" driving capability. The updated system now will temporarily prevent drivers from using the system if they do not respond to audible warnings to take back control of the car. "We're making much more effective use of radar," Musk told journalists on a phone call.


Uber To Begin Testing Fleet Of Self-Driving Cars In Pittsburgh This Month

Huffington Post

Uber's moves reflect its eagerness to advance self-driving technology. If its ambitions are realized, these vehicles could over time reduce its biggest cost, paying drivers. Uber would also be positioned to expand into the trucking industry, which had revenue of about 726.4 billion in the United States in 2015, according to trade data. Carpooling firms have formed alliances with large automakers, such as General Motors Co and ride-hailing service Lyft, to accelerate those efforts, which depend on software and hardware working together to give a vehicle the right reflexes in traffic. "Partnership is crucial to our self-driving strategy because Uber has no experience making cars,"Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick wrote in a blogpost.


Elon Musk's 'Master Plan' Envisions Automated Tesla Trucks, Buses And Sharable Cars

Huffington Post

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the second phase of the electric carmaker's "master plan" on Wednesday, outlining a future in which individuals use solar power to provide their own energy, automated vehicles replace heavy-duty trucks and buses, and self-driving technology that could be "10 times safer than the U.S. vehicle average" becomes pervasive. Musk's plan, drawing on projects he's backed for years, represents an ambitious, public mission statement for a man and company known to reach for the improbable. "The main reason was to explain how our actions fit into a larger picture, so that they would seem less random," Musk wrote on Tesla's blog, noting that the company's first "master plan," was posted 10 years ago. "The point of all this was, and remains, accelerating the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good," Musk wrote. It's not some silly, hippy thing? it matters for everyone."