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by   -   March 27, 2016

Nutonomy

An exciting “driverless race” is underway among tech giants the United States: In recent months, Google, Uber, and Tesla have made headlines for developing self-driving taxis for big cities.

Cheap robotaxi service under 50 cents/mile will make personal car transportation economically accessible. If the calculated cost drops to 30 cents/mile, or even 10 cents/mile in poorer economies, there’s potential for vast accessible to billions of new people. The market may already be saturated in the United States, which has vast car ownership, but the global average is about 15%. The car industry is facing a boom not a bust, from this technology.

by   -   February 9, 2016
Underpass in city. Photo credit: Brad Templeton
Underpass in city. Photo credit: Brad Templeton

I recently read a report of a plan for a new type of intersection being developed in Malaysia and I felt it had some interesting applications for robocars.

Every year cars get a little better, but we’re in for a period of about 5 years in electric cars where each year’s new model is a lot better, and that’s trouble for people trying to sell them. To top it off, in a few years robocar features will start getting more serious (starting with the first no-supervision traffic jam assist), and so other parts of the car will also be on the Moore’s Law curve. How might a taxi model for robocars mitigate this?

NHTSA, the federal car safety agency, has been talking about getting into the robocar game for a while, and now declares it wants more involvement.

While many people view technology or regulation as the biggest obstacles to robocar deployment, it could be that the bigger obstacle is that we have yet to determine what our safety goals are for autonomous cars, and also how to test these vehicles so that we can know when these goals have been met.

by   -   January 13, 2016

I’m back from CES 2016 with a raft of robocar news. Almost everybody in the robocar space had something to say — even if it was only to have something to say!

by   -   January 12, 2016

In the spirit of the New Year, and especially in the wake of California’s draft rules for the (theoretical) operation of automated motor vehicles, I offer two resolutions for any serious developer of an automated driving (or flying) system.

by   -   December 30, 2015

The-ethical-dilemma-of-self-driving-cars---Patrick-Lin---YouTube

Self-driving cars are already cruising the streets today. And while these cars will ultimately be safer and cleaner than their manual counterparts, they can’t completely avoid accidents altogether. How should the car be programmed if it encounters an unavoidable accident? Patrick Lin navigates the murky ethics of self-driving cars in this TED-Ed lecture.

Be careful what you wish for. Google had previously requested that state regulations on robocars be clarified, to help ensure that their driverless cars were legal. When California’s DMV finally released its proposed regulations yesterday, Google found them quite upsetting. The state’s draft operating rules effectively forbid Google’s current plan, making it illegal to operate a vehicle without a licensed and specially certified driver on board.

Google_Car_ticket_police_trafficAlmost every newspaper in the world reported the story of how a motorcycle cop pulled over one of Google’s 3rd generation test cars, the 2-seaters, and many incorrectly reported that the car was given a ticket for going too slow.

Google_Tesla_robocar_In the buzz over the Tesla autopilot update, a lot of commentary has appeared comparing this Autopilot with Google’s car effort and other efforts and what I would call a “real” robocar — one that can operate unmanned or with a passenger who is not paying attention to the road. We’ve seen claims that “Tesla has beaten Google to the punch,” but while the Tesla release is a worthwhile step forward, the two should not be confused as all that similar.

by   -   October 16, 2015

Though it’s been anticipated for a few months now, Tesla announced yesterday the release of their highway cruise update for Model S cars from the last year.

by   -   October 15, 2015

If you follow technology news — or even if you don’t — you have probably heard that numerous companies have been trying to develop driverless cars for a decade or more. These fully automated vehicles could potentially be safer than regular cars, and might add various efficiencies to our roads, like smoother-flowing traffic. Or so it is often claimed. But the promise of artificial intelligence, advanced sensors, and self-driving cars could be achieved without full autonomy, argue scholars with deep expertise in automation and technology — including David Mindell, an MIT professor and author of a new book on the subject.

Google restructured itself and put the car project in the new Alphabet Holding company, hiring car industry veteran John Krafcik to lead the project.

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