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  #201  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2015, 5:56 AM
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If you haven't tried this game yet, you should. It's pretty good at illustrating just how much computer-driven cars will change the road environment.

My favorite part in this video is about 3:00 when he says 'the only way to win this game is to not play at all.' That sums it up nicely.
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  #202  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2015, 3:08 PM
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I'm late to the party (long weekend), but word came out that it's official: Apple is making an electric autonomous car called (for now) Project Titan:

Documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car

Quote:
Apple is building a self-driving car in Silicon Valley, and is scouting for secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area to test it, the Guardian has learned. Documents show the oft-rumoured Apple car project appears to be further along than many suspected.

In May, engineers from Apple’s secretive Special Project group met with officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that is being turned into a high-security testing ground for autonomous vehicles.

In correspondence obtained by the Guardian under a public records act request, Apple engineer Frank Fearon wrote: “We would ... like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it].”

Apple declined to comment.
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  #203  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2015, 8:33 PM
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One Step Closer To Autonomous Cars: 10 Automakers To Make Automatic Emergency Braking Standard

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10 automotive manufacturers announced today that they will make automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature across their vehicle lineup, expanding the use of this safety feature.

The 10 companies – Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo — were lauded by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx at the dedication of the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s (IIHS) newly expanded Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, VA where he made this announcement.

“We are entering a new era of vehicle safety, focused on preventing crashes from ever occurring, rather than just protecting occupants when crashes happen,” said Secretary Foxx in a news statement. “But if technologies such as automatic emergency braking are only available as options or on the most expensive models, too few Americans will see the benefits of this new era. These 10 companies are committing to making AEB available to all new-car buyers.”

AEB, also known as forward collision avoidance, uses a combination of radars, cameras, lasers, and sensors (depending on the manufacturer) to track the distance of a vehicle traveling ahead of it. If the system detects that the driver is not applying the brakes hard enough–or at all–to avoid an imminent crash, it will automatically engage the brakes to attempt to avoid a collision or mitigate its severity.

This technology has been shown to reduce insurance injury claims by as much as 35 percent, according to an IIHS study. The 10 manufacturers that committed to this change represented 57% of vehicle sales in 2014. Equipping a large majority of new vehicles with this standard feature, will create safer roads for everyone. It also raises the bar for other car makers to match this standard feature — all without government regulations — and helps prime the market for autonomous vehicles.
Finish reading HERE
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  #204  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 5:22 PM
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U.K. City Is Designing a Future of Fewer Cars — By Focusing on Its Roads

Read More: https://nextcity.org/features/view/d...-milton-keynes

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Driverless cars are the future of urban transport, not trams or monorails. That, at least, is the official view coming from the British city of Milton Keynes. A town of just over 250,000 residents founded in 1967, Milton Keynes is currently the host city for a set of driverless car trials funded indirectly by the U.K. government — the most ambitious testing yet staged in the world.

If all goes as planned, by 2018, Milton Keynes’ downtown will be served by an on-demand, publicly run system of 30 to 40 driverless two-seater pod cars, which will allow residents to travel between any two points in the city’s downtown without navigating or reacting to obstacles themselves. Beyond the city center, the trials will also test the viability of semi-autonomous connected cars for private use, a fast-developing technology that at present still requires a driver to be present in case of emergencies.

These trials, announced in early 2015, are striking in their own right but also came simultaneously with another significant announcement. In March, Milton Keynes Council rejected the idea of building a tram or monorail line, citing high costs, disruption and potential inefficiency. For now at least, Milton Keynes believes that when it comes to exploring the future of greener, safer transport, vehicles for individuals are a better bet than pumping money into mass transit.

North American cities would do well to watch these trials closely. England’s exurban Southeast might seem far from Middle America, but in layout and conception Milton Keynes is arguably the most American of Europe’s cities. Less than 50 years old, it’s a spread-out, strictly zoned, car-dominated settlement that has at times been (rather fancifully) damned as an “Anglo Saxon Los Angeles.” Made up mainly of single-family homes built across a loose grid system, connected by modest, tree-lined highways and centered upon a large shopping mall, Milton Keynes cleaves unusually closely for a British city to late-20th century North American suburban planning ideals.

.....



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  #205  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2015, 5:19 PM
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  #206  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2015, 5:39 PM
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I love that self-driving bus demo. I wish it were easier to get info on Chinese development of autonomous features.

In the news today, good news for Tesla owners worldwide:

Elon Musk: Tesla autopilot features coming Thursday in software upgrade

LINK

Quote:
The software’s autopilot features won’t turn the car into a completely driverless experience, but the update will include features that help steer the car on the highway and aid in parallel parking. Musk didn’t share details for all of the autopilot “upgrades” that would be offered with the software update.

[...]

Both the Model S and Model X have 12 sensors on the bottom of the vehicle, a front-facing camera next to the rear-view mirror, and a radar system under the nose. The sensors are key to the driverless experience. Some simply allow the vehicle to scan speed limit signs and notify the driver when the vehicle exceeds the speed limit. Others have a greater impact on the vehicle’s operation, such as automatically following lane lines and taking turns without the driver touching the wheel. Down the road, Tesla may debut features that are more self-driving than assisting, such as a “valet park mode” that can summon the car to arrive without a driver.
To clarify, the car's forward-facing camera can read the speed limit signs and change the car's speed automatically. The car keeps itself in the same lane unless you activate the turn signal - then the car switches lanes automatically. If you set your navigation correctly, it will be possible to go, as Mr. Musk said 'from on-ramp to off-ramp without touching the controls'.

The best thing about this is that it is already here. This isn't theoretical anymore. Beginning Thursday, any member of the public will be able to have a car that drives itself, though only in specific conditions. This is the very very fine tip of the iceberg; from here, I imagine, things will start to move quite quickly. After all, public perception is the biggest hurtle facing autonomous vehicles. Now that the cars are already being used, people will start getting used to the idea, and soon will start to demand it in more vehicles. This is very exciting news!

The video below is a past Tesla Software update (version 6.1 is shown, current is 6.2, and what is about to be released is 7.0). The version in the video does not steer at all, but does feature adaptive cruise control that is advanced enough to use at stoplights and on many slower roads (about 35 mph). Add self-steering to this, and you can get a good idea of how often the car will actually be able to drive itself with minimal input.
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  #207  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2015, 4:06 PM
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People often ask 'if an autonomous car gets into a crash, who's going to pay for it? The driver? The owner of the car? The software programmer?'

So far, three companies have volunteered to accept liability for their cars if things go wrong: Volvo, Mercedes, and Google. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is a really huge deal, as getting a company to accept liability costs for something potentially expensive and systematic is never an easy thing. It goes to show just how lucrative autonomous cars are believed to be in the eyes of these three companies - because they would never be willing to take on additional costs unless the benefits more than paid for them.

If all autonomous car makers accept the same terms, it will remove a major potential sticking point in the adoption of this technology. The technology will not need to wait for the legislators to sort out laws designating responsibilities, and lawsuits will not suspend testing (or commercial) programs while liability is sorted out. Instead the car maker will simply pay out, tweak their software so that the specific type of crash will not happen again, and then continue their program. It's the Silicon Valley way, and it is really good news for everyone.
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  #208  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2015, 3:31 PM
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A dude does a review of Tesla's Autopilot on streets around my town!
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  #209  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2015, 9:42 PM
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Robot Buses Are Coming To America, To Pave The Way For Driverless Cars

Read More: http://www.fastcoexist.com/3052100/r...riverless-cars

Quote:
Self-driving buses are coming to America. The Bishop Ranch business park in San Ramon, California will be the first place in the U.S. to use French robo-buses to ferry passengers around.

Perhaps the best place for autonomous vehicles to start out is in this kind of training ground, although given the safety record of Google’s self-driving cars, the training might be for us humans in getting used to them. It’s hard to argue that preset routes and low speeds aren’t ideal for an introduction to driverless vehicles, and that’s just what the Easymile company specializes in. --- The EZ10 is a driverless bus designed for short hops. It has been deployed in Europe—in Finland, France, and is just about to launch in Spain. The electric vehicles carry up to ten passengers, and have ramps for wheelchairs and strollers. The idea is that they carry you the "last mile" of your journey, and one of their main uses is in theme parks.

.....








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  #210  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2015, 5:20 PM
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Pulled from Elon Musk's Twitter page (Read this chronologically bottom to top).



Now I'm much more willing to believe that Tesla is working on an 'electric mobility service' in addition to its cars. It makes complete sense. If Tesla really is all about 'sustainable transportation,' they've surely seen that not owning a car (or at least as many cars) is the best way to do it. By far. No comparison. That and the fact that autonomous vehicles lend themselves to being completely electric, especially in an urban environment.
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  #211  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2015, 4:45 PM
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Formula E Announces Racing Series For Autonomous Cars

I wonder how many people this will appeal to. I've never been into car racing, but this will definitely be something I at least have a look at.
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  #212  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2016, 3:42 PM
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Happy New Year! And boy, is it going to be a good one for autonomous cars!
Latest news is that 'traditional' automakers are seeing the writing on the wall, and are teaming up with Silicon Valley companies to hedge themselves against the impending autonomous-taxi shared-mobility future:

Ford and Google Deal To Go Beyond Autonomous Vehicles

General Motors, Gazing at Future, Invests $500 Million in Lyft
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  #213  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2016, 7:58 PM
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A good summation of Autonomous Car potential:
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  #214  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2016, 4:16 PM
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This is old news by now. But if you haven't seen it in action, it's still a pretty sensational experience.
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  #215  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2016, 3:18 PM
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This is a big deal:

Government will consider Google computer to be car’s driver
LINK

Quote:
The federal government's highway safety agency agrees with Google: Computers that will control cars of the future can be considered their driver.

The redefinition of "driver" is an important break for Google, which is testing pod-like autonomous cars. But the company still has a long journey ahead before cars without a human behind the wheel go on the road in great numbers.

Google wants regulators to help it get to the public self-driving cars that don't have a steering wheel or pedals for a person to use.

[...]

"NHTSA will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS (self-driving system) and not to any of the vehicle occupants," Paul Hemmersbaugh, NHTSA's chief counsel, wrote in the letter.
This unexpected willingness by the government to consider an AI program as the legal driver of a vehicle will speed up the process of legalizing autonomous cars considerably. I had thought before such a legal distinction could be made only after a long studies and lawsuits and whatever else. Now it looks as though regulators will evaluate an AI program just like they would any human driver who is seeking a licence.

I am really excited by this!
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  #216  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2016, 12:46 AM
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Raleigh envisions self-driving pods, buses around NC State

Read More: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/loc...e60517396.html

Quote:
.....

Anyone who lives or works on Avent Ferry Road could ride driver-less buses that use dedicated lanes, bypassing other traffic along the corridor. And drivers on Western Boulevard could get up and down the street more quickly, thanks to traffic lights that change based on minute-by-minute traffic flow.

- Raleigh is applying for a $40-million “smart-city” grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which plans to grant the money to one forward-thinking city. Asked as part of the application how they would use the money to create a “smarter” transportation system, Raleigh leaders said they’d focus on launching an eco-friendly transportation network around the city’s largest university.

- Raleigh is one of 77 cities – including Charlotte – that applied for DOT’s “Smart City Challenge” grant, the first of its kind. The federal government is giving away the money as part of an effort to provide America with more efficient, sustainable transportation options. The average American is stuck in traffic for about 40 hours each year because of inefficiencies in their local transportation systems, according to DOT. The transportation sector is also responsible for emitting 28 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

- Raleigh’s boldest proposal is to launch the self-driving pods as part of an electric, rapid transit system known as EcoPRT, which N.C. State engineers have been planning for years. Raleigh wants to first install them around the oval at Centennial Campus, then expand the program to cross Western Boulevard to central campus. The electric pods, which are mostly conceptual at this point, can run at slow speeds along existing sidewalks or at high speeds on rails.

.....








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  #217  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2016, 3:10 PM
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More legislative victories for autonomous vehicles, as Florida will now allow the average consumer to buy and operate autonomous vehicles of their own:

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-bu...y-bill/2271864

Quote:
t also changes laws affecting autonomous, or "self-driving," vehicles and who can operate them.

For instance, according to a legislative analysis, the new law allows self-driving vehicles to operate on public roads "by any person holding a valid driver license, without the need to be designated by an autonomous vehicle manufacturer for testing purposes, and without any testing. The physical presence of an operator is no longer required."
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  #218  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2016, 10:39 PM
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These futuristic driverless pods will run on Singapore's roads by end of the year

Read More: http://mashable.com/2016/04/20/drive.../#fBXjBmCEJgqW

Quote:
.....

The pods run on electricity, and are able to travel autonomously on smaller roads, such as those within a gated community or school campus.

- 2getthere, the Dutch maker of the pods, and Singaporean transportation operator SMRT on Wednesday announced they will be building 24-passenger cars that are slated to run commercially by the end of the year. They've established a new joint venture called 2getthere Asia that will operate and maintain the vehicles in the city state. The cars are expected to be able to handle a load of up to 8,000 passengers per hour going in a single direction, 2getthere said.

.....



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  #219  
Old Posted May 9, 2016, 6:13 PM
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Major auto brands are closing in on their own autonomous car services:

Chevy Bolt Will Be Used As An Autonomous Taxi In Selected Cities

Chrysler, Google To Cooperate on Autonomous Minivans

Neither look quite as sleek as the mustached electric pod in Singapore, but as I argue HERE, looks will be very low down on the list of concerns when cars are autonomous.



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  #220  
Old Posted May 9, 2016, 7:12 PM
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I wish Tesla much success anyway, cause they've been avant-garde. It's still a tiny company. Some are still loling like it would be insignificant but I think they get more and more orders over here anyhow.
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