You could be forgiven for believing that we've already achieved the era of autonomous vehicles. Tesla, the electric car manufacturer run by Elon Musk, refers to a version of its Autopilot software as "Full Self Driving". The company released a (misleadingly edited) video of an autonomous vehicle navigating city streets, its drivers' hands on their lap – a style replicated by enthusiasts. Musk has repeatedly assured in speeches and interviews that autonomous vehicles were one to two years away – or, as he put it in 2015, a "solved problem" because "we know what to do and we'll be there in a few years." But the existing Autopilot technology has not yet realized those promises and, as a new New York Times documentary illustrates, the gap in expectation and reality has led to several deadly crashes.
The graph represents a network of 1,840 Twitter users whose tweets in the requested range contained "#selfdrivingcars", or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets. The network was obtained from the NodeXL Graph Server on Wednesday, 20 April 2022 at 12:47 UTC. The requested start date was Wednesday, 20 April 2022 at 00:01 UTC and the maximum number of tweets (going backward in time) was 7,500. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 25-day, 6-hour, 8-minute period from Friday, 25 March 2022 at 15:16 UTC to Tuesday, 19 April 2022 at 21:24 UTC. Additional tweets that were mentioned in this data set were also collected from prior time periods.
Car manufacturers are facing some of the biggest changes their sector has seen, with the shift to electric vehicles, the development of self-driving cars and a potential threat from electric air taxis that may one day replace some of today's car journeys across congested cities. Partnerships with startups are a good way for carmakers to make sure they can get expertise in these emerging areas, and Sifted was interested in looking at how the different car brands compare in their willingness to invest in startups in strategic areas. What emerges is a picture of European carmakers at the middle to bottom of the pack in terms of the number of startups they have invested in. The one exception is Mercedes-Benz, which has a portfolio of 42 startup investments, second only to Hyundai. Mercedez-Benz's investments are across the board, from a holding in delivery robot company Starship to flying taxi company Volocopter, which looks like it may be one of the first to get passenger services up and running, starting with demo flights at the Paris Olympics in 2024. One area where there is no notable startup investment from Daimler is hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.
The graph represents a network of 1,690 Twitter users whose tweets in the requested range contained "#selfdrivingcars", or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets. The network was obtained from the NodeXL Graph Server on Wednesday, 23 March 2022 at 12:47 UTC. The requested start date was Wednesday, 23 March 2022 at 00:01 UTC and the maximum number of tweets (going backward in time) was 7,500. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 18-day, 14-hour, 47-minute period from Friday, 04 March 2022 at 09:12 UTC to Wednesday, 23 March 2022 at 00:00 UTC. Additional tweets that were mentioned in this data set were also collected from prior time periods.
As early as October 2016, Musk bragged that his models were equipped for autonomous driving. To be chauffeured across the U.S. in a driverless car, he said, a Tesla owner doesn't even need to visit a garage. He or she, he claimed, just needs a few digital updates that Tesla can apply to its fleet "over-the-air," a process not so different from software updates for smartphones. The American company claims on its website to this day that standard Tesla models come equipped with hardware that makes "Full Self-Driving" possible and that the next technological level would require no more than a software update. That claim is central to Tesla's sales pitch, but the California company is seemingly no longer able to keep that promise, or at least part of it.
The graph represents a network of 1,623 Twitter users whose tweets in the requested range contained "#selfdrivingcars", or who were replied to or mentioned in those tweets. The network was obtained from the NodeXL Graph Server on Wednesday, 02 February 2022 at 13:49 UTC. The requested start date was Wednesday, 02 February 2022 at 01:01 UTC and the maximum number of tweets (going backward in time) was 7,500. The tweets in the network were tweeted over the 17-day, 22-hour, 51-minute period from Friday, 14 January 2022 at 22:39 UTC to Tuesday, 01 February 2022 at 21:31 UTC. Additional tweets that were mentioned in this data set were also collected from prior time periods.
Tesla stock (NASDAQ: TSLA) is up by almost 60% year-to-date, with its market cap crossing the rarefied $1 trillion mark recently. The run-up is partly due to Tesla's solid execution, with deliveries for this year poised to grow by almost 70% to about 850,000 vehicles, despite the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Tesla's sizable lead in the self-driving market has also traditionally been a very big driver of the company's valuation. So how far ahead is Tesla's self-driving system versus peers, and how does it stack up versus driver-driven vehicles. See our dashboard analysis on Just How Far Ahead Is Tesla In The Self-Driving Race? for more details.
German automaker Audi unveiled its sleek new concept car, Skysphere, which can shift size depending on the driving mode and has a retractable steering column. In a release, the Volkswagen-owned car manufacturer boasted Skysphere was'two vehicles in one': A 623-horsepower sports car that can go from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds and a'grand touring' (GT) auto that expands the cabin about 10 inches for a roomier ride. In GT mode, the Skysphere is designed to be a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, according to Audi, 'meaning in certain defined road and traffic situations, the driver can delegate complete responsibility to the car and no longer has to intervene.' The luxury auto's rear-mounted electric motor has a range of about 310 miles before it needs a charge. 'This is not rather a car, it's an experience device,' Audi CEO Henrik Wenders, said at the unveiling Tuesday at 2021 Monterey Car Week on Tuesday.
If you sent me a message on Twitter, email or pigeon post, please give me a few days to dig out of the pile that awaits me. You might recall that I mentioned I was off to do some backpacking and climbing in Grand Teton National Park and then eventually would make it to Yellowstone National Park. Yes, the crowds were real, especially for those who stuck to the traditional schedule of sightseeing between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. I took the early morning and late evening approach and never encountered the infamous parking lot traffic jams. It's that tactic that allowed me to take a ride in an empty T.E.D.D.Y., the autonomous vehicle that is being piloted in Yellowstone this summer.
Starting as a small local enterprise in 1927, Volvo has grown into a major player in the commercial transport and infrastructure solutions market. In May last year, Volvo announced choosing Luminar to supply lidar sensors for its next-generation XC90. The SUV will come with state-of-the-art sensors, including LiDAR technology and an autonomous driving computer powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip. The suite of advanced safety features will be a standard on the successor to Volvo Cars' XC90, unveiling in 2022. The next generation of pure electric Volvo Cars will have industry leading safety technology including LiDAR and an AI-driven super computers as standard to help save lives.