The British Government has just committed almost $30 million to develop various facets of autonomous car tech, a chunk of which Bosch and Jaguar Land Rover are getting to develop self-driving cars that actually “drive like humans, not robots.”
Google’s self-driving cars have racked up about 1.4 million self-driven miles on actual roads in the last six years, but as impressive as that sounds, it’s a pittance compared to what the simulators have been doing behind the scenes.
Self-driving cars spend a lot of time looking at their surroundings to know how they should respond to the road. But autonomous cars will likely spend some time looking at you to work out how they should behave, too.
Last week, President Obama announced plans to earmark a whopping $4 billion for autonomous vehicle research. These funds will be dispersed to pilot programs all over the country during the next decade—but where and how the money is spent will determine just how big a step forward Obama’s plan really is.
In his final State of the Union, President Obama hinted about building a “21st century transportation system.” Now we know he was actually sitting on a plan to dramatically change the way Americans get around.
The American government is officially putting a giant vote of confidence behind self-driving cars. And the cash to back it up.
As part of the regulations surrounding self-driving cars, anyone with a permit to test an autonomous vehicle in California has to report how often the human driver is forced to take control from the computer. The first round of filings is in, and it’s not all good for the machines.
You might think that the car with the longest cruising range on sale in the United States is something like a Toyota Prius or a Camry Hybrid. But you would be completely wrong. That’s because the car with the true longest range is an Autopilot-equipped Tesla Model S. And before you get out your pitchforks, allow me to…
In the same way that only a handful of American cities are seriously preparing for self-driving vehicles, it seems the federal government isn’t thinking ahead either. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx revealed yesterday that his department has no plans for national regulations around autonomous cars.
“It is entirely possible that robots will become for today’s Toyota what the car industry was when Toyota made looms,” said Dr. Gill Pratt, the company’s Executive Technical Advisor and CEO of Toyota Research Institute, at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.
Toyota says they expect to have autonomous cars ready to go by around 2020. That technology will revolve around an extremely detailed network of maps with data collected by anyone who might be driving one of their cars.
The idea of streets swarming with robot-piloted vehicles paints a scary picture for some urban-dwellers. But a new project called FutureNYC showcases how autonomy will benefit New Yorkers, by highlighting what residents will get back when our cars can drive themselves.
Kia and sister company Hyundai are dumping $2 billion into autonomous driving tech through the next three years. They plan to get this into cars as ‘driver-assists’ by 2020, have a completely self-driving car by 2030, and it all starts now with the company’s license to test it in Nevada.
A big infrastructure bill finally passed the House this week, pushing $305 billion over five years to transit and highway projects. In the same week, Uber raised another $2.1 billion, bringing its total valuation to $62.5 billion—roughly the same amount the new bill spends on infrastructure each year.
As usual, traffic was apocalyptic on the 10 Freeway. So I cued up the Master of None episode I didn’t finish the night before, pulled out the Greek yogurt I hadn’t had time to eat for breakfast, reclined my seat way back, and relaxed. I may have even dozed off as my vehicle steered its way towards Santa Monica.
In a way, the pace of the self-driving car revolution will really be determined by a single technology: How quickly 3D laser scanners will improve until they’re as good as the old-fashioned 3D scanners in our human eyes.
Even though at least seven autonomous car programs swear they’ll be street-ready by 2020, the truth is that US cities are woefully unprepared for this reality. Only six percent of the US’s largest cities include any language about self-driving vehicles in their long-range transportation plans.