The AImotive office is in a small converted house at the end of a quiet residential street in sunny Mountain View, spitting distance from Google’s headquarters. Outside is a branded Toyota Prius covered in cameras, one of three autonomous cars the Hungarian company is testing in the sleepy neighborhood. It’s a popular testing ground: one of Google’s driverless cars, now operating under spin-out company Waymo, zips past the office each lunchtime.
We live in an era where new technologies are appearing so fast that it is hard to follow all the new developments. But, personal transportation, the one most often associated with speeds and progress, so far remained largely untouched by the revolution in digital tech – when compared to what happened to communications in the last couple of decades, car remained pretty much the same. However, we already see the first portents of approaching changes – so let’s take a look at car tech that may become reality in not so distant future.
Self-driving cars manage to backfire on Los Angeles and cause even more traffic.
In the year 2030, Google has taken over Atlanta’s transportation system. Self-driving cars have failed to solve Los Angeles’s traffic problems. There’s a fleet of smart buses and on-demand “jitneys” in New Jersey And Boston is hyper-dense: People live in downtown micro-apartments and get around mostly by walking and cycling.
Electric vehicles will yield big environmental improvements in China.
China is supposedly about to invest a hundred billion yuan (equivalent to about 16.3 billion US dollars at today’s exchange rate) into electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them, like public charging stations, according to “two people familiar with the matter”, says Bloomberg.
For those planning to buy an expensive electric vehicle in the near future there is some good news: Electric car powerhouse Tesla Motors will be making plenty.
Baidu wants to keep the individual in control.
Would you prefer to ride in a completely autonomous self-driving car, like Google’s self-driving car, or one like Chinese search engine Baidu’s semi-autonomous car? Instead of cars that have no steering wheels, gas pedals, or brake pedals for drivers to control, Baidu is thinking about cars with intelligent assistants who help you drive.
We aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to providing a steady supply of clean energy for electric vehicles. So, designer Neville Mars has conceived of an incredible EV charging station that takes the form of an evergreen glade of solar trees. His photovoltaic grove serves a dual function, acting as a go-to source for clean renewable energy while providing a shady spot for cars to park as they charge.
How do you apportion blame between a human driver and a car’s automated systems?
Driverless car research is booming. Millions of dollars are being spent by Google, the major automakers, and government agencies both in the U.S. and abroad to support the development of vehicle-automation technology with the potential to make road travel far safer than it is today. But what will happen when automation is suspected of causing, as opposed to avoiding, an accident?
Actually, electric car sales are growing a little bit more than 100%.
Every year more and more electric car models are hitting the market. As more consumers begin to adopt the technology electric car sales continue to improve. EV sales are currently growing at a rate of more than 100 percent a year according to a recent report.
2004 DARPA Grand Challenge
Fifteen vehicles left a starting gate in the desert outside of Barstow, Calif., to make history in the DARPA Grand Challenge on March 13, 2004, a first-of-its-kind race to foster the development of self-driving ground vehicles. The goal of the race was to autonomously navigate a 142-mile course that ran across the desert to Primm, Nev. The longer-term goal was to accelerate development of the technological foundations for autonomous vehicles that could ultimately substitute for men and women in hazardous military operations, such as supply convoys.
FAA asked the AMA for help in coming up with guidelines for UAS (unmanned aircraft systems).
The world of model planes has come a long way from simple remote-controlled toys. In response to these changes in technology, the FAA has asked a group of model aircraft enthusiasts, The Academy for Model Aeronautics (AMA), to work with the organization in developing new guidelines for safely flying such vehicles.
A new wiper-free windshield is being developed by McLaren.
The annoying sound of windshield wipers may soon be a thing of the past. The car company, McLaren is designing a sports car that uses a system adapted from fighter jets to keep a driver’s vision clear in bad weather without the need for blades.