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Archive for the ‘Autonomous Cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Uber’s Fatal Crash Caused Because Its Software Chose to Ignore the Cyclist in the Road

At this point, you already know about Uber’s fatal crash, and you know that neither the vehicle (artificial intelligence) or the person behind the wheel applied the brakes. Well, a report coming out of The Information cites sources close to the matter, saying that the software identified the cyclist but chose to ignore it. Let me repeat that. The car’s sensors realized there was a pedestrian in the road, but made a decision not to react right away.

This sounds like a clear-cut case AI taking the chance kill (let’s not forget about that robot that said it wanted to kill the human race) but the truth is that Uber’s software was “tuned” to ignore false positives. So, what is a false positive? Think about a plastic bag in the road or somebody’s old beer can rolling around in the street. It happens, and we all
ignore it too. Uber claims that it’s simply a case of tuning gone wrong, or in other words, Uber’s software was set to react less to certain objects in the road. So much for erring on the side of caution.

PostHeaderIcon Like Cell Phones and High-Resolution Cameras, the Government Will Get Self-Driving Cars First

Word has it that our streets will be significantly safer once the human element is taken out of driving. AI in self-driving cars will be able to reduce accidents to nil overnight when human drivers are a thing of the past. But, the government has another use for self-driving cars, and it’s about saving lives too. It’s about keeping soldiers out of danger by sending supply convoys out on their own. This will (probably) require AI that’s capable of detecting and dispatching threats automatically as well, but you get the point – no soldiers in route, no casualties are possible.

Deep down, we all knew this would happen, but we never really spoke about it. Now,
the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Michael Griffen, has told Bloomberg that the U.S. Military will have self-driving technology first. In fact, he was pretty certain of the notion and even said that simple algorithms would be all that is needed as most supply runs don’t have to worry about human pedestrians, street signs, or other obstacles. With Griffin admitting that 52-percent of casualties in combat zones can be traced back to supply runs and logistical activities, this could turn out to take a significant role in saving the lives of our men and women in uniform.

With that said, there’s no word as to what private companies the Pentagon could team up with, but when you consider the strides made recently, especially by brands like Tesla, it seems like the Government could have self-driving vehicles as soon as next year. Furthermore, the government could also use the technology for things tanks, bomb detection, bomb disarming, wounded soldier retrieval, explosive disposal, and reconnaissance, among other things.

PostHeaderIcon Study Shows That Autonomous Cars May Require Additional Licensing, Laws to Ban Drivers from ANY AND ALL Distractions While on the Road

In case you’re already dreaming of one day owning an electric car that will allow you to browse your social media accounts on your mobile phone or doze off as the car brings you to work, you might want to hold off on those dreams. A new study conducted by autonomous vehicle consortium Venturer suggested that laws should be put in place to ban drivers from doing those things when they’re inside a moving autonomous car.

PostHeaderIcon Study Shows That Autonomous Cars May Require Additional Licensing, Laws to Ban Drivers from ANY AND ALL Distractions While on the Road

In case you’re already dreaming of one day owning an electric car that will allow you to browse your social media accounts on your mobile phone or doze off as the car brings you to work, you might want to hold off on those dreams. A new study conducted by autonomous vehicle consortium Venturer suggested that laws should be put in place to ban drivers from doing those things when they’re inside a moving autonomous car.

PostHeaderIcon Waymo and Honda May Develop an Autonomous Delivery Vehicle After All

Honda and Waymo are on the verge of developing an autonomous delivery vehicle, a culmination of a partnership that first surfaced in late 2016. The plans for the vehicle involve the two companies designing and developing it from scratch as part of a future delivery service that will include vehicles Alphabet CEO John Krafcik described as being capable of carrying both people and goods, among other capabilities.

PostHeaderIcon Waymo and Honda May Develop an Autonomous Delivery Vehicle After All

Honda and Waymo are on the verge of developing an autonomous delivery vehicle, a culmination of a partnership that first surfaced in late 2016. The plans for the vehicle involve the two companies designing and developing it from scratch as part of a future delivery service that will include vehicles Alphabet CEO John Krafcik described as being capable of carrying both people and goods, among other capabilities.

PostHeaderIcon Arizona Cries Foul; Suspends Uber’s Authorization to Test Self-Driving Cars

Last week, we reported on an accident in Tempe, Arizona, wherein a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Volvo XC90 SUV conducting self-driving technology testing on behalf of the popular ride-hailing app Uber. In a recent development, Arizona officials have suspended all of Uber’s self-driving testing in the state.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Arizona Cries Foul; Suspends Uber’s Authorization to Test Self-Driving Cars

Last week, we reported on an accident in Tempe, Arizona, wherein a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Volvo XC90 SUV conducting self-driving technology testing on behalf of the popular ride-hailing app Uber. In a recent development, Arizona officials have suspended all of Uber’s self-driving testing in the state.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Onboard Video of Uber’s Fatal Crash Proves Humans, Nor Machines Can be Trusted

Before we get to a video that will probably give you chills and your kid’s nightmares, let me just point out that, while some outlets claim this is the first fatal accident involving a self-driving car in the States, it isn’t. Remember when the Tesla Model S didn’t recognize a semi truck in front of it and killed its driver? Yeah, that happened. Be that as it may, Tesla isn’t in the spotlight today; Uber is, and so is the entire human race. We have this technology that, when properly developed and tested, could be absolutely amazing and save lives. Yet, we’re putting it in the hands of the general public for testing and, if Tesla drivers haven’t proven they don’t have the discipline to test a potentially dangerous technology, this Uber driver definitely has.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The person is smart, but people are stupid, and this video proves exactly that. As the video starts, you see the human driver that is supposed to be paying attention looking downward twice in about 5 seconds (probably looking at their phone, no doubt) when suddenly they look shocked as the “self-driving” Volvo strikes a pedestrian. This is proof No. 1 that people can’t be trusted. This person had one job and failed at it miserably, costing someone their life. Proof No. 2 that people can’t be trusted comes from the person that was hit. Who, in their right mind, crosses a dark street with zero reflective gear and doesn’t notice headlights coming at you?


Onboard Video of Uber's Fatal Crash Proves Humans, Nor Machines Can be Trusted - image 774818

Next up to be nailed to the cross is Uber’s technology. Clearly, this technology has a serious fault in it. Sure, the cameras probably couldn’t see the pedestrian until the last minute, but what about the LIDAR and RADAR? Those should have picked up the person on the street long before we could even see them. And, this is proof that machines can’t be trusted either.

At the end of the day, this new (and promising) technology shouldn’t be in the hands of people who don’t have the discipline to do their damn job. That pedestrian couldn’t be seen until the last second, but there was still enough time, had the driver been paying attention and had the reflexes to react, to either stop or slow down and swerve, either avoiding the accident altogether or, at the very least, preventing the fatality.

In the end, this proves just any Joe Shmoe with an itch for a job shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a self-driving car. The testing phase can probably continue on public roads, but it needs to do so with people that have proven to have the discipline to pay attention and do their job. Until that can happen, and all of these sensors and cameras can be tweaked to work as they should, these disasters waiting to happen shouldn’t be on the road. Oh, and for that Uber driver, I don’t think they should be charged with murder, but involuntary manslaughter or, at the very least, reckless endangerment shouldn’t be out of the question. The ball was dropped, and a lesson needs to be learned by not only the driver, but other people tasked with the same job.

References


maker logos - image 746871

Read more Uber news.

PostHeaderIcon Another Self-Driving Car? Meet the Icona Nucleus

Italian Design House Icona, the maker of show cars like the Fuselage, Vulcano, Neo, and the one-off Icona Vulcano Titanium, will make their first Geneva appearance with the Icona Nucleus – another self-driving car without a steering wheel and the desire to make trips from A to B relaxing. Unlike some of the recent concepts we’ve seen, this thing has level 5 autonomy (yeah, right!) and features a first-class-like cabin. As futuristic as they get, it also doesn’t have side glass, but instead a semi-transparent body panel that will allow you to see outside the vehicle while maintaining complete privacy.

The interior is lush and comfortable and can accommodate six people. Icona says the seats can be moved on demand and can even become a large couch. There are also electrical connections and even a table that will allow passengers to work in route, should they not be able to get away from work for a few minutes.
There is no dash or steering wheel, which really isn’t that surprising.

All told, the only realistic thing about this concept is its overall size.
It measures 5.25 meters (17.22 feet) in length, 2.12 meters (6.95 feet) wide, and 1.75 meters (5.74 feet) high. Oddly, it rides on 26-inch wheels while the crazy windscreen, wheel arch blades and underbody diffuser contribute to a CoD of just 0.25. While some of this sounds great and all, this thing is about 20 years or so ahead of its time. We would, however, like to take a seat inside the cabin. It looks quite comfy don’t you think?

References


2016 Icona Vulcano Titanium - image 640583

Read our full review on the 2016 Icona Vulcano Titanium.


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.


CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan's Brain-to-Car Communication - image 755579

Read more autonomous cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Waymo Explains What its Self-Driving Car Sees in a 360-Degree Experience

Self-Driving cars…..They are coming sooner than later, so you might as well learn a little more about what they see and how they operate. It won’t be long, and you’ll have to trust one with your life.


References


Video of the Day: Ford GT Meets the Arctic Circle - image 755824

Read more car video news.


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.


CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan's Brain-to-Car Communication - image 755579

Read more autonomous cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Come April, Self-Driving Cars Will Take California Roadways Without a Driver in the Seat

Driverless cars can now operate in California beginning in April as part of new regulations passed by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The new regulations make it possible for automakers developing autonomous driving technology to test or operate self-driving cars in the state without the presence of a safety driver behind the wheel. But, that doesn’t mean a driver isn’t involved. Keep reading to find out how.


New Startup, Nuro, Debuts Fully Autonomous Delivery Vehicle
- image 764403
“The new rule imposed by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is a big and progressive step for automakers and tech companies to start commercializing the use of self-driving cars”

The new rule imposed by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is a big and progressive step for automakers and tech companies to start commercializing the use of self-driving cars. This is one of the end games that a lot of companies have identified as part of their plans in rolling out autonomous driving vehicles. Now that the state is allowing self-driving cars to take the road without a driver inside, it adds a very important task for companies that are developing the technology, specifically the tasks that involve someone remotely communicating with the vehicles, communicating with passengers, and taking control of the cars, if necessary.

Automakers who are now free to conduct testing with this kind of setup will still need to follow a few requirements, one of which is the need of a remote operator who can continuously supervise the car’s operation.

In the words of the DMV, a remote operator is a “natural person who: possesses the proper class of license for the type of test vehicle being operated; is not seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle; engages and monitors the autonomous vehicle; is able to communicate with occupants in the vehicle through a communication link. A remote operator may also have the ability to perform the dynamic driving task for the vehicle or cause the vehicle to achieve a minimal risk condition.”


Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo - image 764222
“A remote operator is essentially an overseer of self-driving cars. One of his main jobs is to monitor the self-driving car from an outside location, ready to take over as needed”

A remote operator is essentially an overseer of self-driving cars. One of his main jobs is to monitor the self-driving car from an outside location, ready to take over as needed. In addition, he or she must be able to communicate with passengers in the event of an accident, as well as law enforcement officials.

It’s an important function in the development of self-driving technology because companies can now roll out their test vehicles without any test drivers or engineers inside the cars. Once the technology is developed to the point that it can be deployed and commercialized, remote operators will be tasked to fulfill the functions dictated by the DMV’s rules.

The new rules come at a time when just about every major automaker — and a slew of high-profile tech companies — has made advancements in the development of the technology. Soon enough, we could very well see self-driving cars on the road that don’t have a driver in the front seat.

That “future” needs to start somewhere, though. In the case of California, the future has arrived.

References


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.


CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan's Brain-to-Car Communication - image 755579

Read more autonomous cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Someone Spotted Renault’s Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly!

Renault is set to debut a new shared mobility concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and the weird, out-of-place pod on wheels you see here is said to be it.


Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly! - image 770302

Renault, nor the alliance, has released any details pertaining to this new concept, but as you can see it’s certainly something that’s right out of the future. I’m not sure if it came from some alternate universe in Blade Runner or if it is a Terminator’s personal vehicle, but it looks to be more of a shell than a finished concept.


Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly! - image 770301

Closer inspection shows that the vehicle is unmanned in the traditional sense (controlled by a remote control) and it looks like it was designed to take a beating more than it was to offer up luxurious transportation. Of course, when you think about cheap, public transportation, this design really does fit. We’ve certainly never taken a 50-cent ride on a local public bus that was luxurious by any means.


Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly! - image 770303

The images we have hear were posted on the Cochespias web forum, and word has it that the concept is Renault’s “vision for shared, urban mobility.” Either way, it’s quite ugly and certainly takes a different approach from models like the Volkswagen Sedric, for instance.

The RNM Alliance is planning a $1.2 billion investment in EV, autonomous, and robo-vehicles, and if this will be the fruits of that investment, you can expect to see these things all over the place in the very near future – they certainly can’t cost too much to manufacture if this is the finish project, but what do you think?

References


maker logos - image 746858

Read more Renault news.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Watch the Airbus Vahana Take a Big Step Toward Air Bound Mobility

The Airbus Vahana project is one of the many projects that shed light on what the future of autonomous mobility could be like, and you can now watch it take a very quick flight – a feat that proves Airbus, at least, is on the right track to the flying-car future we’ve all fantasized about for so long. It’s nothing like science fiction promised, and for all intents and purposes, it’s basically a self-flying helicopter with a handful of small propellers. That doesn’t mean it isn’t one of, if not the most, feasible prototype operating today.

In the video below, you won’t get to see much. In fact, at this point, a “successful flight” results in a simple climb of 16 feet and a total flight time of around 53 seconds. Of course, that’s still closer to flying cars than we were a couple of years ago and this working prototype could lead to a commercialized version being on the market as early as 2020 should these successful flights continue with more longevity. That, seemingly inevitable, future is still a while away, so until then, check out the video below.


References


First Flight of Airbus Passenger Drone a Complete Success - image 765755

Read more about the Vahana’s first successful flight


Airbus Working on Development of Flying Taxi Drone - image 685744

Read up about the CityAirbuss Drone Project


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.

PostHeaderIcon First Flight of Airbus Passenger Drone a Complete Success

Just when you thought that there were limits to human vision and determination, Airbus comes out and proves you wrong. The aviation company announced in 2016 its plans to develop an autonomous flying taxi drone. Two years later, those plans have become reality. The unmanned aircraft, called Vahana, recently completed its first test flight, and it was a rip-roaring success. We may still be years away from seeing passenger drones take to the skies, but now we know that it’s possible. What a time to be alive, right?

“The flight only took 53 seconds, and at a height of 16 feet”

As unbelievable as some of this is, the world we live in now has progressed (technologically) to the point that the dreams we had when we were kids aren’t dreams anymore. Did you ever think you’d see a day when an unmanned passenger drone would take to the skies? I certainly didn’t. But the motivation of competition that breeds innovation and creativity is so juiced now that we’re seeing the fruits of that competition come to life before our eyes.

Vahana, which measures 20.3 feet wide by 18.7 feet long by 9.2 feet high and weighs 1,642 pounds, is a perfect example. Two years ago, Airbus announced the project without giving any assurances that it was possible. The company’s CEO, Tom Enders, even admitted that the project was in the “experimental phase,” which meant that they were no assurances that it would be successful. Two years of research and development later, Vahana took to the skies for its first test flight. Sure, the flight only took 53 seconds, and at a height of 16 feet, but that’s not the point. The point is that it happened. Heck, representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were even in attendance for Vahana’s inaugural test flight. They must’ve been impressed.


First Flight of Airbus Passenger Drone a Complete Success - image 685744
“The drone’s successful inaugural test flight is the first step in establishing a road that leads to a future where these vehicles could dominate our skies”

The drone’s successful inaugural test flight is the first step in establishing a road that leads to a future where these vehicles could dominate our skies. It’s still not certain that we’ll get to see that future, but it is gratifying and emboldening to know that the future we’re looking forward to is not impossible anymore. Project executive of the Vahana drone, Zach Lovering, even wrote in a Medium post that Airbus’ goal is to “democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision.”

Vahana’s successful test flight showed that these goals can be achieved. Now, we wait for what comes next from Airbus.

“Tomorrow we’ll start on the next steps of our journey,” Lovering said.

References


First Flight of Airbus Passenger Drone a Complete Success - image 702733

Airbus Has A Different Approach In Tackling The Issue Of Autonomous Mobility


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.

PostHeaderIcon Will Semi-Autonomous Features And Hybrid Power Ruin The Pleasure Of Driving A McLaren?

The supercar segment is doing quite well these days, with expanded offerings across the board, from hardcore track killers, to everyday sports cruisers. McLaren is staying active, with plans to hybridize its lineup and add new autonomous driving features. But is it the right move for the supercar maker?

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651826
“McLaren has plans to electrify the entirety of its core lineup, kicking off with a replacement for the 570S by 2019.”

The modern McLaren Cars company was founded in 2010, but the brand’s history stretches back further than that, with Ron Dennis founding the company in 1985 that would eventually lead up the the release of the epic McLaren F1 in the early ’90s. Now, the market is changing, and it’s changing rapidly. Increased competition, new technology demands, and heavy pressure for greater efficiency are forcing the Woking brand to change up the formula and add autonomous driving systems and hybrid powertrains, both of which will see extensive use in McLaren’s forthcoming line of supercars.

The fresh batch of vehicles is due out by 2019, kicking off with a replacement for the 570S, the mid-grade option in McLaren’s entry-level stable. After that will be a new 720S,which is expected to receive a replacement in 2022.

Indeed, McLaren has plans to electrify the entirety of its core lineup, including the upcoming BP23, which is expected to use a hybrid twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. And while V-8’s are McLaren’s specialty, hybrid and turbocharged V-6 engines will also join the lineup.


2019 McLaren BP23 - image 736315
“All told, the brand's next-gen architecture will be designed specifically for the inclusion of battery-assisted tech.”

All told, the brand’s next-gen architecture will be designed specifically for the inclusion of battery-assisted tech. “Hybrid design is part of the next platform – it is designed-in from day one rather than having to adapt an existing chassis,” said Mike Flewitt, CEO at McLaren Automotive, in an interview with Autocar. Luckily for those who loathe extra battery packs, McLaren might offer internal combustion-only special editions as well, such as in the top-rung Ultimate Series.

While the purists out there will undoubtedly deride McLaren’s decision to force hybrid tech onto its customers, it’s worth reminding those naysayers that the hugely popular P1 hypercar is proof positive that the tech can be used to maximize performance potential. While adding batteries certainly adds weight, anyone who’s actually driven the P1 will tell you – the packs don’t dull the experience one bit.

Regarding the inclusion of autonomous tech, Flewitt had this to say: “We will be selective. Autonomy in its own right isn’t that appealing to our customers, but we need to have capabilities designed in for safety, legislation and emissions.”


2014 McLaren P1 - image 502493
“Regarding the inclusion of autonomous tech, Flewitt had this to say: “We will be selective. Autonomy in its own right isn't that appealing to our customers, but we need to have capabilities designed in for safety, legislation and emissions.””

It’s a clear acknowledgment of the changing automotive landscape, something that affects even high-end supercar-makers like McLaren. To that end, we’d expect the inclusion of adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic braking, all of which would do well to up the daily driveability of the various models.

And that makes a lot of sense, and for a number of different reasons. For example, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) requires a model to include at least a few basic semi-autonomous systems before it will grant the vehicle in question with a top-shelf safety rating. Furthermore, these systems are pretty much standard equipment throughout a variety of segments, so why not supercars? Throw in the fact that McLaren is looking to branch out into the more relaxed sportscar segments (take the Super Series lineup, for example), and it kinda all falls into place.

Just offer the option to turn them off when attacking corners on the track, and what’s the problem?

Let us know your opinion in the comments below.

References


2014 McLaren P1 - image 525097

Read our full review on the 2014 McLaren P1.


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651280

Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570S.


2018 McLaren 720S - image 708566

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.


2019 McLaren BP23 - image 724836

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 McLaren BP23.

PostHeaderIcon Lord Help US – Ford Wants to Put Ticket-Serving Autonomous Police Cars on the Road

The race to develop autonomous driving technology is taking shape in a number of potential applications. For Ford, it’s not enough to have an autonomous car-sharing service or a self-driving car for the masses. The Blue Oval is thinking out of the box with a vision to put the technology into a police car. It may not be on the level of Skynet just yet, but Ford’s idea of a self-driving police car could be the future of law enforcement on the road.


Lord Help US - Ford Wants to Put Ticket-Serving Autonomous Police Cars on the Road - image 765045
“Before any of you start freaking out about seeing a self-driving Ford Mustang police cruiser in your rear-view mirrors, you must know that Ford’s idea is nowhere close to becoming a reality”

Before any of you start freaking out about seeing a self-driving Ford Mustang police cruiser in your rear-view mirrors, you must know that Ford’s idea is nowhere close to becoming a reality. The patent application, which was filed in July 2016, is a pen-on-paper idea about the possibility of having autonomous police cars. According to the patent, the autonomous police vehicle will be able to hide, detect violations, give chase, and issue warnings and fines, among its numerous functions and capabilities.

Let’s role-play for a second. Suppose you’re in your autonomous vehicle and the car is going above the speed limit, Ford’s APV will be able to detect the infraction and take a number of potential actions. It could ping speed cameras of other APVs to get verification of the violation, or it could tap into surveillance cameras and monitor your car from there. If there’s enough reason to give chase, the APV will spring into action and communicate with your car to find out who’s driving the car. In the event that it’s you, your car could send a copy of your driver’s license to the APV, which, in turn, will repay that kindness by issuing you a warning or a fine. Mind you, all of this is happening without your car having to pull over on the side of the road.


Lord Help US - Ford Wants to Put Ticket-Serving Autonomous Police Cars on the Road - image 765046
“Ford said that even if the patent is approved, it doesn’t mean that the company’s going to start working on it immediately”

It’s still a far-fetched idea given what we know about autonomous driving technology. But, it’s also not far-fetched in the sense that development of the tech has become one of the top priorities among many automakers today, Ford included. The automaker is arguing that even with the benefits of autonomous driving, traffic violations won’t become relics of the past. “While autonomous vehicles can and will be programmed to obey traffic laws, a human driver can override that programming to control and operate the vehicle at any time,” the company said in its patent application. “When a vehicle is under the control of a human driver there is a possibility of violation of traffic laws. Thus, there will still be a need to police traffic.”

Ford did point out that actual police officers wouldn’t be rendered obsolete because of this technology. According to the patent, “routine tasks,” including the issuing of tickets can be automated, but there are other tasks that are best left to actual officers, including the ability to take control of the police car in high-stress situations, including high-speed chases involving serious crimes.

If all of this sounds foreboding, don’t be scared. Ford said that even if the patent is approved, it doesn’t mean that the company’s going to start working on it immediately. “We submit patents on innovative ideas as a normal course of business,” the company said. “Patent applications are intended to protect new ideas but aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”

We can rest easy, at least for now. An army of Barricade Decepticons isn’t arriving to strike fear in our hearts anytime soon.

References


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.


CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan's Brain-to-Car Communication - image 755579

Read more autonomous cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo

Fiat Chrysler is supplying Google’s self-driving division, Waymo, with “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica minivans for testing on public roasts. Waymo already has a fleet of 600 FCA vehicles, which were supplied after the two companies formed a partnership in 2016. The fleet already includes vehicles capable of fully self-driving thanks to Waymo’s autonomous driving systems were installed.

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said, “With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development to operations and deployment. These additional vehicles will help us scale.”

Continue reading for more information.


“Testing on public roads without drivers is already taking place in 25 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Detroit, and Atlanta.”

Waymo’s plans of scaling up to a large-scale fleet of autonomous ride-hailing vehicles are seemingly getting closer thanks to FCA’s major contribution of Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Automotive News reports the vans are specifically designed to integrate with Waymo’s proprietary hardware and software.

This doesn’t appear to be a pipe dream, either. Back in November of 2017, Waymo stated it would begin removing safety driver from its small-scale ride-hailing fleet in Chandler, Arizona. That means a Pacifica can arrive at your location by request without a driver behind the wheel. Testing on public roads without drivers is already taking place in 25 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Detroit, and Atlanta.


Chrysler to Send Thousands of Pacifica Minivans to Waymo - image 764217

Many industry analysts predict ride-hailing services and shared vehicles will be the extremely prevalent in the future, with individual vehicle ownership decreasing dramatically. Autonomous vehicles are an integral part of that prediction and it seems the chips are falling into place.

References

Chrysler Pacifica


2017 Chrysler Pacifica - image 661184

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - Driven - image 756305

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

PostHeaderIcon AAA Study Finds that Driver’s Are Starting To Accept Driverless Cars and Autonomous Technology

The American Automobile Association (AAA) has been conducting an annual study to better understand the attitude consumers have towards autonomous driving technology. Now in its third year, the study has revealed some interesting information, including the shifting attitude towards the developing technology. According to the study, American drivers are now more accepting of driverless cars and self-driving technology. A majority of the respondents are still afraid of the tech, but the percentage of drivers who are now warm on the idea of riding in a self-driving car now sits at 28 percent, a sharp increase from where it was in year’s past. On the contrary, 63 percent of American drivers are still afraid to ride in a self-driving car while nine percent are unsure.


AAA Study Finds that Driver's Are Starting To Accept Driverless Cars and Autonomous Technology - image 763313
“According to the study, 49 percent of millennials are still queasy about the technology”

There are different ways to look at the AAA’s recent findings regarding driver perception towards autonomous driving technology. If you’re an optimist, you’re looking at the survey results with a smile on your face because there are now more drivers that are warm to the technology. If you’re a pessimist, you’re doing the same and saying that a majority of drivers are still afraid of the technology. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the race to develop autonomous driving technology is already happening.

It comes as no surprise too that millennials are less afraid of the technology than Generation Xers and baby boomers. According to the study, 49 percent of millennials are still queasy about the technology. While that’s still a high number, it’s far less than the results among Gen Xers (70 percent) and baby boomers (68 percent).

The study also revealed that 46 percent of U.S. drivers would feel less safe sharing the road with a fully self-driving car when they’re driving a regular. As far as having the technology in their next vehicle, only 27 percent said that they don’t want it, though 23 percent are still unsure about the prospects.

If there’s anything the AAA study revealed, it’s that autonomous driving technology still isn’t embraced by a majority of U.S. drivers. That’s a fair assessment because the tech itself still has a lot to prove before people become more accepting of it. It’s also possible that some people’s understanding of the tech is skewed by misguided perceptions.


AAA Study Finds that Driver's Are Starting To Accept Driverless Cars and Autonomous Technology - image 763311
“As far as having the technology in their next vehicle, only 27 percent said that they don’t want it, though 23 percent are still unsure about the prospects.”

In a conversation with Drive, Greg Brannon, AAA’s automotive engineering director, said that one way to get people to start accepting self-driving technology is to gradually introduce aspects of the technology through driver-assist systems like adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking. In addition to their clear-cut purposes, they also help drivers get used to the idea of giving up some control of their cars to computers.

“I think what people might want to consider is that (self-driving technology) will be an evolution rather than a revolution,” Brannon added.

Ultimately, automakers will bear the responsibility of alleviating whatever concerns drivers may have about autonomous driving technology. There are means and ways to do it that don’t involve shoving the tech down consumer’s throats in the hopes that they’ll accept it without knowing everything about it. Raising awareness of the tech’s safety benefits is tops on that list because the sooner drivers understand the safety benefits of autonomous driving technology, the sooner they’ll start to embrace it. “We do believe that it holds promise to save thousands of lives on the road every year,” Brannon said.

References


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.


CES 2018 Weirdness: Nissan's Brain-to-Car Communication - image 755579

Read more autonomous cars news.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility

In case it isn’t obvious by now, the Consumer Electronics Show attracted just about every automaker that has a vested interest in future mobility. Honda was in attendance at the event, where it announced plans through Honda Xcelerator to bring together a consortium of tech startups with the goal of developing new technologies that are geared towards future mobility. Included in this list of startups are BRAIQ, DeepMap, DynaOptics, EXO Technologies, Tactual Labs, and WayRay.


Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility
- image 756975
“Honda’s goal in partnering with BRAIQ is to one day personalise its own Adaptive Cruise Control system to improve trust in autonomous driving technology”

Each of the six startups brings something different to the table. BRAIQ, for example, is a company that focuses on developing technologies for the autonomous vehicle space, specifically through the collection of biometric information that it can analyze to add what it describes as a “layer of emotional intelligence on top of artificial intelligence.” Honda’s goal in partnering with BRAIQ is to one day personalise its own Adaptive Cruise Control system to improve trust in autonomous driving technology. For its part, DynaOptics’ service revolves around state-of-the-art optic lenses. The Singapore-based startup is known for its free-form optic lenses that work better than traditional lenses in certain specifications. Honda’s tapping into that ability to improve its own light-to-camera sensors.

Honda’s goal of improving its own GPS service is a big reason why it’s bringing startups DeepMaps and EXO Technologies into the fold. DeepMaps is based in
California, and it provides high-definition (HD) maps and real-time localization as a service to autonomous vehicles. As it is, the company is building a cloud-based, scalable platform that can create 3D HD maps for autonomous cars equipped with Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy. Meanwhile, Israel-based EXO Technologies provides its own brand of GPS solutions that focus on improving in-car navigation among autonomous vehicles. These two partnerships fall in line with Honda’s plan to take its GPS service to a level that can be used by autonomous vehicles.


Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility
- image 756979
“PRISMä technology is capable of wrapping a free-form object in accurate in-air, skeletal, and contact sensing and construct the human hand and body in 3D”

Another startup, Tactual Labs, has been brought into the fold by Honda because of the startup’s PRISMä technology. This tech feature is capable of wrapping a free-form object in accurate in-air, skeletal, and contact sensing and construct the human hand and body in 3D. Honda’s collaboration with the Toronto-based company is tied into its plan to create a new and smarter user interface that can provide drivers increased functionality while inside their cars or aboard their motorcycles.

Then there’s WayRay, a Swiss developer of a holographic augmented reality (AR) navigation system for cars, giving us an idea of Honda Xcelerator’s plans with this partnership. One of WayRay’s calling cards is its Holographic AR, a display device that can turn a car’s windshield into a window of information that’s capable of displaying multicolored virtual objects. The tech is compact in size, but it is capable of creating a fully-featured, non-wearable augmented reality infotainment system that can serve multiple functions, including detection of road obstacles and pedestrians, displaying points of interest, or alerting the driver to hazards. In other words, Honda wants to go Minority Report on all of us.

References


maker logos - image 742500

Read more Honda news.


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Read more CES news.


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