The notion of cars that drive themselves is one that becomes more and more real with each passing day. Acquisitions seem to be happening left and right, and almost every major auto manufacturer is devoting resources to bring us a self driving car. Companies like Google, Uber, and Tesla are all devoting significant investments to the self driving car with the universal target date of "2020" for commercialization being forecasted by nearly all of these players. Mobileye, about the only pure-play self driving car stock out there, recently announced a partnership with Delphi and a target date of 2019. While all eyes remain fixed on the big names in this game, there are some new entrants to this space that you may never heard of but that are getting closer and closer to making the self driving car a reality.
A rather high profile area generating headlines this year has been connected vehicles. The technological challenges that must be addressed before autonomous cars can be unleashed onto the streets are quite significant. Vision is one critical factor; your car needs to be able to identify all road hazards as well as navigating from A to B. So, how can a car achieve that in an often over-crowded highway space?
Tech advancements have been making life easier for years now -- especially on the road. From apps that save driving time to smart streets that track available parking, computer programs are helping streamline transit like never before. And now, thanks to ongoing developments in machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking convenient travel one step further.
A new initiative from the city of Portland, Oregon hopes to attract the fast-growing self-driving car industry to the city's streets. According to Bloomberg, Mayor Ted Wheeler and the city's Bureau of Transportation are working to finalize a new set of rules governing autonomous vehicle pilot programs and hope to have driverless vehicles on the roads by the end of this year.
Chinese tech giant Baidu has announced a new autonomous vehicle platform that could help car manufacturers produce self-driving vehicles faster. Called Project Apollo, Baidu says the platform encompasses both hardware and software, providing partners with the tech and open-source code needed to help their own vehicles perceive obstacles, plan their routes, and otherwise move around our world.