Just when you thought Apple's top secret car project was dead, the rumor mill has once again started back up. This time, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (aka the guy who's often eerily spot-on with his predictions about unreleased Apple products) believes Apple will release its "Apple Car" between 2023 and 2025. SEE ALSO: Apple's 2018 iPhones have a serious naming problem In his latest investor note (via MacRumors), Kuo says he believes the Apple Car will be the company's "next star project" and cites several reasons why producing its own car makes sense. The most obvious reason to release its own car is industry disruption, says Kuo. With new technologies such as augmented reality, autonomous-driving technology, and electrification already bringing about rapid change to cars, the automobile industry is ripe for transformation.
Your car could act a lot more like your iPhone in the future -- at least according to Apple patent filings for an augmented reality windshield. Patently Apple found a European patent application for a windshield display that presents map and road conditions in autonomous cars. Apple has been testing self-driving cars, but hasn't divulged much about the project. We reached out to Apple about the AR display, but haven't heard back. So yes, in the future might be able to sit back and relax in your self-driving car while information flashes on the heads-up display.
With so much info coming at you while you're on the road, another device seems like the last thing that would help. But San Diego-based startup Netradyne wants its Driveri camera to help you drive better by actually monitoring how you drive -- and giving you feedback. Using AI to teach its platform how to respond to situations on the road, the company works with fleets and commercial drivers. It tracks driving and behavior in real-time and gives in-the-moment advice for dangerous situations. SEE ALSO: Creepy AI scans a driver's face and voice to monitor mood and distraction level Netradyne recently partnered with a nationwide school bus fleet to help train and monitor drivers shuttling very precious cargo.
Uber's self-driving cars are back on the road in Pittsburgh, but with a lot of changes. In the four months since a self-driving Uber hit and killed a woman walking a bicycle on an Arizona road, the ride-hailing company has made some changes. The first and foremost is keeping the vehicles in manual mode. After 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was fatally hit in Tempe, Arizona, all of Uber's self-driving programs were shut down. In Arizona, those operations were shuttered permanently.
Amazon just received a patent for hijack-proof delivery drones. The company filed a patent titled "Hostile takeover avoidance of unmanned vehicles" two years ago, and it was finally approved last week. The patent is specifically designed for delivery vehicles, and its aimed at preventing "nefarious individuals" from taking over the company's drones. Although there's no guarantee that this patented technology will ever see the light of day, it's still considered a major development -- especially for an e-commerce giant like Amazon -- since it could revolutionize the company's delivery capabilities. Amazon discussed the possibility of having drones deliver people's goods within an hour, so this is one step closer to that goal.
When a major grocery store chain starts using driverless cars to deliver groceries, it's a good sign that autonomous tech has gone mainstream. Supermarket chain Kroger and autonomous robots startup Nuro announced Wednesday that the two were partnering to deliver groceries using a fleet of driverless delivery vehicles. The autonomous vehicles will start delivering milk, eggs, and bread through a pilot program this fall in an unspecified market. Eventually Kroger is hoping to use Nuro's vehicles at its 2,800 stores across America. But the partnership takes ClickList one step further -- instead of picking up your online order in your car, a self-driving vehicle will take your grocery list from the store to your front door.
Self-driving cars eventually won't need a human operator -- but what the vehicles will need is a network powerful enough to handle the massive amount of data generated by their autonomous tech. In order to ensure that network is as powerful as it needs to be, the Volkswagen Group of America -- joined by four autonomous tech suppliers -- formed the Networking for Autonomous Vehicles (NAV) Alliance on Tuesday. The newly formed group of autonomous tech industry leaders aims to develop products for self-driving cars that support multi-gig ethernet connectivity, allowing those vehicles to better handle the data overload from all the sensors, cameras, RADAR, LIDAR, ultrasound, and other equipment that allow them to operate on the road without human drivers. SEE ALSO: Inside the technology that helps self-driving cars "see" For a self-driving car, a faster network like the one proposed by the NAV Alliance can take in all the inputs from the road and make a faster, better decision if the vehicle should need to brake, switch lanes, or slow down. In a release about the new alliance, the NAV Alliance laid out its plans to develop this automotive network, set up testing procedures for network security, create standardization within the autonomous industry, and educate users and would-be buyers about autonomous vehicle networks.
The safety driver in a self-driving Uber was not being very safe -- aka, not paying attention -- when the vehicle in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman in an Arizona city earlier this year, police records show. Included in a massive Tempe Police Department report this week were details about the March 18 fatal crash. The 318-page report found that Rafaela Vasquez, the 44-year-old driver, was frequently looking down and even smiling and laughing at what appears to be a cellphone streaming an episode of the talent search show, The Voice. In the moments before the test vehicle hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona, road, the test driver, Vasquez, was apparently streaming the TV show through Hulu. A video of the moments before the crash shows Vasquez looking toward her right knee while occasionally looking up and around.
The next major development in aerospace design isn't focused on airplanes, but rather personal flying vehicles -- yes flying cars. These designs typically go far beyond usual sci-fi sketches and flesh out concepts that could one day be flying overhead. The Boeing-sponsored design competition GoFly recently selected 10 winners out of hundreds of submissions for the best designs to carry a person 20 miles without refueling or recharging and with a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability. That means the vehicles don't need a runway or a lot of space to get airborne. SEE ALSO: Uber teams up with U.S. Army, NASA to develop flying taxis The winners have been announced just one month after Uber laid out its plans for a flying taxi service with demos set for take-off in 2020 in Los Angeles.
Byton, the Chinese electric vehicle company, made a big splash with its Byton M-Byte SUV with four screens, facial recognition, and fitness tracker earlier this year. Now it has another concept vehicle to show off, but this time it's a luxury electric sedan with more autonomous driving capabilities. At CES Asia the electric car startup is introducing the K-Byte, built on the same technical platform as the SUV. That means it shares the same specs and features as the SUV, including the battery with a max range of 323 miles on a single charge. "It's easy to recognize," as a Byton vehicle, CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in a phone call ahead of the unveiling.