Investment in autonomous vehicle technology entered overdrive in 2016, and 2017 is gearing up for more of the same. In the last six months of 2016, the first public self-driving taxi service hit Singapore roads, courtesy of NuTonomy, while Uber followed suit a month later in Pittsburgh. The question of self-driving cars becoming a reality on roads around the world is no longer an “if,” it’s a big fat “when.”
Singapore’s shipping ports are already among the busiest and most efficient in the world. Now the city-state is exploring a new way to make them run even better: convoys of driverless trucks operating between terminals. The idea is that a lead truck will be driven by a human, with the follower vehicles being automated.
Half of today’s car owners will not want to own a vehicle and more and more will want self-driving and electric cars in future, a survey of car manufacturing bosses has found. As fewer people see the need to buy a car, a majority of automotive executives believe the industry will increasingly focus on making money from peripheral digital services to be used with their vehicles.
BMW unveiled a concept for the interior of driverless cars on Wednesday at a press conference in Las Vegas at CES. The concept, dubbed the BMWi Inside Future, showcases how BMW envisions its autonomous vehicles may look when they start to hit the market. The interior concept is centered on connectivity and includes a panoramic display that can be operated just like a touchscreen — except physical contact isn’t necessary.
For the last few months, Uber’s self-driving cars have been prowling the streets of San Francisco, forecasting the inevitable moment when the ride-hailing giant starts inviting passengers to take autonomous trips in the city where it first launched over seven years ago. That moment has finally arrived.
Dietmar Exler, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz USA, believes that driverless cars are likely to be ‘bullied’ by human drivers when the two are sharing road space.
In the early morning hours of October 20th, an 18-wheeler tractor trailer pulled into Colorado Springs, Colorado, bearing 50,000 frosty cans of Budweiser beer. Normally, this would not be a noteworthy occurrence, but this truck was driving itself, marking the first time that commercial cargo was shipped by a self-driving vehicle.
What will Iowa’s farms look like when the combines and tractors drive themselves?
How will Des Moines’ banking and insurance sectors fare when supercomputers run financial markets?
Where will Iowans live when a self-driving car can take them anywhere with the tap of a smartphone?
These are the kind of questions Thomas Frey ponders.
It goes without saying that preservation of life is the reason to invest in road and car safety technology, but the financial implications which fatal and non-fatal accidents have on the economy are another factor which cannot be ignored.
According to Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report 2014 the total cost of prevention of reported road accidents in 2014 was estimated to be £16.3 billion – this includes an estimate of the cost of damage only accidents but does not allow for unreported injury accidents.
Comma.ai, the self-driving car startup helmed by iPhone hacker George Hotz, has unveiled new details about its first commercial product, the newly named Comma One. According to a report from TechCrunch, the company claims this $999 after-market kit will allow buyers to give their cars semi-autonomous abilities on a par with Tesla’s Autopilot. The physical product will be shipping before the end of the year, says Comma.ai, and will require a $24 monthly subscription fee for access to Comma.ai’s software, as well as certain in-car features like electronic power steering. The aim, said Hotz when we spoke to him earlier this year, is to provide “ghost riding for the masses.”
The world’s first driverless bus service began carrying passengers in the French city of Lyon this weekend, attracting curious onlookers keen to photograph the vehicles.
Two electric minibuses with a capacity of 15 passengers each are now operating a 10-minute route with five stops in the city centre at an average speed of 6 miles (10km) per hour.