Silicon Valley has been hard at work on the vexing challenge of autonomous cars. Now veterans of SpaceX and Tesla Inc. are announcing what they've been up to: a new startup working on self-flying planes for cargo. Reliable Robotics isn't trying to invent a new kind of aircraft. The idea is to bring autonomous capability to existing planes, starting with smaller aircraft that ferry cargo. In June, with approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Reliable Robotics demonstrated a fully automated remote landing of a Cessna 208 Caravan turboprop owned by FedEx Corp. Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Robert Rose led flight software at Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp., then led the early Autopilot program at Tesla Inc. before joining Google.
Cars that drive themselves may one day improve road safety by reducing human error – and hopefully deaths by accidents too. One morning in March 2019, a brand new, cherry-red Tesla Model 3 sat in front of a Sheraton hotel in Vancouver, Canada. Once they were inside the car, Amat Cama and Richard Zhu, both tall and lean twentysomethings, needed only a few minutes. They exploited a weakness in the browser of the "infotainment" system to get inside one of the car's computers. Then they used the system to run a few lines of their own code, and soon their commands were appearing on the screen. Cama and Zhu got the car, but they weren't thieves.
San Francisco – Michigan announced an initiative to explore the development of a more than 40-mile (64-kilometer) stretch of road dedicated to connected and autonomous vehicles between the cities of Ann Arbor and Detroit. The project will be led by Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, and will be supported by an advisory committee that includes General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp., as well as autonomous driving startups Argo AI and Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo. "We are taking the initial steps to build the infrastructure to help us test and deploy the cars of the future," Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. Michigan said the dedicated autonomous vehicle (AV) corridor is the first of its kind and eventually will improve safety and transit access for communities along the road. The first two years of the project will focus on testing technology and exploring the viability of a highway dedicated to vehicles that drive themselves.
Amazon's recent offer to acquire Zoox places them squarely in the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) space, competing with the likes of Waymo, Tesla and others for movement automation of people and goods. As a reminder, Zoox is the San Francisco, California based company with a breathtakingly bold vision – to develop purpose-made autonomous electric vehicles for ride-hailing, and deliver services to consumers through this platform. Executing this vision means competing on multiple fronts with big players- automotive OEMs (designing and building cars), tech companies like Google (who has spent a decade and a fortune to develop the Autonomous Vehicle Driving System or AVS), and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft LYFT . To date, Zoox has raised $1B and hired close to 1000 people, but without any revenues, they probably need 10X the investment. A recent article covers the details of the Zoox acquisition, and posits that an important driver was Zoox's expertise in computer vision.
Amazon's recent offer to acquire Zoox places them squarely in the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) space, competing with the likes of Waymo, Tesla and others for movement automation of people and goods. As a reminder, Zoox is the San Francisco, California based company with a breathtakingly bold vision – to develop purpose-made autonomous electric vehicles for ride-hailing, and deliver services to consumers through this platform. Executing this vision means competing on multiple fronts with big players- automotive OEMs (designing and building cars), tech companies like Google (who has spent a decade and a fortune to develop the Autonomous Vehicle Driving System or AVS), and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft LYFT. To date, Zoox has raised $1B and hired close to 1000 people, but without any revenues, they probably need 10X the investment. A recent article covers the details of the Zoox acquisition, and posits that an important driver was Zoox's expertise in computer vision.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way businesses of almost all types operate virtually overnight, hurting most and redefining which ones are truly essential in what quickly became the new normal for billions of people around the world. And it brought with it an unexpected kind of acceleration of trends, forcing the closure of businesses that would have struggled on for a few more years, while bringing a global spotlight to technologies that would have remained relatively obscure or experimental for years to come. Market trends that otherwise would have taken years to evolve transformed in a matter of weeks, it seemed, retiring outdated concepts while stretching emerging tech to its limits. One segment suddenly in the spotlight--and that seemingly saw years of demand and market interest explode in a matter of days--is delivery robots, which until the month of March had seen moderate interest from Silicon Valley and some skepticism from the general public. Suddenly, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' comment in 2013 that the company was researching parcel delivery via flying drones went from a pie in the sky whimsy with seemingly few advantages to something that businesses large and small needed in 2020.
IN MARCH Starsky Robotics, a self-driving lorry firm based in San Francisco, closed down. Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, its founder, gave several reasons for its failure. Investors' interest was already cooling, owing to a run of poorly performing tech-sector IPOs and a recession in the trucking business. His firm's focus on safety, he wrote, did not go down well with impatient funders, who preferred to see a steady stream of whizzy new features. But the biggest problem was that the technology was simply not up to the job.
Amazon will pay more than $1.2 billion to acquire Zoox, the Foster City, Calif., self-driving technology company, the Financial Times (FT) reported. While the purchase could fuel Amazon's delivery fleet, a source familiar with the deal told the newspaper it could signal the eCommerce giant's entry into ride-hailing. The source said Amazon would collaborate with Zoox to create a ride-hailing fleet, taking on Waymo Co, the California-based self-driving industry leader backed by Alphabet, Google's parent company. Still, some analysts say the deal is more about Amazon's mission to fold autonomous technology into its delivery network. Last year, Amazon participated in a $530 million funding round for autonomous technology firm Aurora Innovation. Last month, PYMNTS reported Amazon was in talks to buy Zoox.
Amazon is reportedly on the verge of announcing a deal to acquire self-driving startup Zoox for over $1 billion. According to The Information, unnamed sources close to the matter say the deal could be announced as soon as Friday. If confirmed, the acquisition of the startup would give the e-commerce giant access to a pool of over 1,000 staff and additional talent in the self-driving space. California-based Zoox, which also has offices across the San Francisco Bay Area, was founded in 2014 by Tim Kentley-Klay and Dr. Jesse Levinson. The startup describes itself as a company focused on building "autonomous mobility from the ground up," which includes self-driving software for vehicles to safely navigate city streets. To date, the startup has raised $955 million over four funding rounds.
Tesla is developing its own electric van for zipping passengers through its underground'boring' tunnels. According to a report from The Mercury News, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority will work with Tesla - and its sister drilling company Boring Company - to develop a 12-seat electric van for transporting passengers through a nearly 3-mile tunnel. The vans will be used in a recently approved connector line between Rancho Cucamonga and the Ontario International Airport. Tesla may develop an electric van capable of caring passengers between a 3-mile underground tunnel connecting Rancho Cucamonga and the Ontario International Airport. in San Bernardino County. While plans originally called for specially designed cars, the $60 million project will use the vans instead to eventually carry 1,200 passengers per day or about 10 million per year according to The Mercury News.