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Waymo's set to test its self-driving taxis in San Francisco

Engadget

Alphabet's self-driving subsidiary Waymo is for the first time expanding its testing range beyond the boundaries of the Phoenix, Arizona area and heading to the City by the Bay, the company announced on Wednesday. The company's fleet of autonomous Chrysler Pacificas and Jaguar I-Pace electric SUVs have reportedly traversed 20 billion simulated street miles and some 20 million actual street miles in 25 cities since the program began. According to its most recent disengagement report from 2020, which is filed annually with the CA DMV, Waymo's vehicles reported just 21 disengagements -- wherein the human safety driver must intervene the vehicle's operation -- over the course of 629,000 miles of autonomous driving here in the state. To further improve that figure, Waymo set about last year on improving its Waymo Driver AI system and added dedicated cameras to better spot, identify and avoid jaywalkers (in an obvious and righteous dig at Uber). "We're beginning with a limited number of cars and riders and will scale over time. These rides are being offered with a single-vehicle operator," a Waymo spokesperson told VentureBeat.


Toyota halts self-driving program as Uber fatality ripples across autonomous car landscape

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Tempe, Arizona police released video of the Uber Self-Driving SUV crash that killed a woman on Sunday. It shows a woman push her bicycle on a dark road and the human back-up driver's reaction.This video includes images some may find disturbing. Toyota unveiled the latest generation of its Lexus self-driving car at CES earlier this year. SAN FRANCISCO -- The ripple effect of a deadly incident involving an Uber self-driving car in Arizona widened Thursday as Toyota disclosed that it was pausing its autonomous car testing program. "For us it's about the well being of our (safety) drivers, because an incident like this can be jarring and they're out there every single day," Rick Bourgoise, communications manager with Toyota Research Institute, told USA TODAY.


Your Future Uber Might Be A Self-Driving Mercedes

Forbes - Tech

Daimler, the maker of luxury Mercedes-Benz autos and commercial trucks, will supply self-driving vehicles for use on Uber's network as the ride-hailing company works to open its platform to automakers. The arrangement calls for vehicles equipped with autonomous drive technology developed in-house by Daimler to go into service for Uber "in the coming years," the company's said in a joint statement on Tuesday. Uber began testing self-driving cars last year in Pittsburgh, modified Ford Fusion sedans and Volvo XC90 SUVs, equipped with its own system. It briefly expanded the test service to San Francisco in December before a dispute with California's Department of Motor Vehicles led to it pull the plug and ship its test fleet to Arizona. "Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars--and in fact, making cars is really hard," Travis Kalanick, Uber's CEO said in a blog post.


Your Future Uber Might Be A Self-Driving Mercedes

Forbes - Tech

Daimler, the maker of luxury Mercedes-Benz autos and commercial trucks, will supply self-driving vehicles for use on Uber's network as the ride-hailing company works to open its platform to automakers. The arrangement calls for vehicles equipped with autonomous drive technology developed in-house by Daimler to go into service for Uber "in the coming years," the company's said in a joint statement on Tuesday. Uber began testing self-driving cars last year in Pittsburgh, modified Ford Fusion sedans and Volvo XC90 SUVs, equipped with its own system. It briefly expanded the test service to San Francisco before a dispute with California's Department of Transportation led to it pull the plug and ship its test fleet to Arizona. "Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars--and in fact, making cars is really hard," Travis Kalanick, Uber's CEO said in a blog post.


Uber opens its network to self-driving cars, starting with Daimler

Engadget

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has agreed to eventually roll out a fleet of self-driving vehicles on the Uber network, in the hope of making ridesharing safer and more environmentally friendly. To be clear, Daimler doesn't currently have any self-driving vehicles on the market, but it's working on a line due out "in the coming years," according to Uber. Uber has a similar partnership in place with Volvo. Uber's fleet of customized, self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs is currently rolling around Arizona, after the California DMV revoked the company's rights to operate in San Francisco back in December. However, Uber's partnership with Daimler differs from the Volvo deal in a key way: Daimler will own and operate its vehicles independently, and simply use Uber's technology and ridesharing network services, TechCrunch reports.