Tag Archives: self-driving cars

GM to make an autonomous car without steering wheel or pedals by 2019

The Verge

Source: The Verge

“General Motors plans to mass-produce self-driving cars that lack traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals by 2019, the company announced today. Its a bold declaration for the future of driving from one of the country’s Big Three automakers, and one that is sure to shake things up for the industry as the annual Detroit Auto Show kicks off next week. The car will be the fourth generation of its driverless, all-electric Chevy Bolts, which are currently being tested on public roads in San Francisco and Phoenix. And when they roll off the assembly line of GM’s manufacturing plant in Orion, Michigan, they’ll be deployed as ride-hailing vehicles in a number of cities.” (01/12/18)


NV: Human at fault in accident with Las Vegas driverless shuttle

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Chalk up one for the machines. The driverless electric shuttle bus that made its debut downtown Wednesday was involved in a minor accident in its first few hours of service, but the human driver of the other vehicle was at fault, police said. … Police determined that the shuttle came to a stop when it sensed the truck was trying to back up. However, the truck continued to back up until its tires touched the front of the shuttle. The truck’s driver was cited for illegal backing.” (11/09/17)


Self-driving cars are cool, but they’re not for everyone

Source: Reason
by JD Tuccille

“Once upon a time, mass transit was the technocrat’s preferred method for prying people out of their wasteful, dangerous cars. If only we could subsidize the right combination of buses, trolleys, jitneys, light rail, monorail, and bullet trains — the thinking went — all our problems would be solved. To save the planet, ‘public transportation should be favored over private automobiles, and the cars heavily taxed,’ wrote Hugh McDonald of New York City College of Technology in a 2014 book on environmental philosophy. That view is shared by a number of other scholars and policy makers who hope to eliminate traffic deaths, largely by getting rid of cars. But now there’s a new kid on the block: self-driving cars. The trouble is that neither of these approaches takes into account the reality that almost 20 percent of the population of the United States live in the low-population rural areas that make up the majority of the country’s land mass, and they’re not about to trade in the F-150 for a newfangled robot chariot.” (for publication 10/17)


US House passes self-driving car bill

Source: TechCrunch

“The U.S. House approved a bill called the SELF-DRIVE act, which was put together by both Democrats and Republicans — a rarity in today’s congressional goings-on. If it becomes law (which still requires it to pass the Senate), then it would make it possible for companies working on self-driving to field a lot more vehicles per year — as many as 100,000 autonomous test cars annually, in fact. Basically, the proposed bill would make it possible for companies including Ford, Waymo, GM’s Cruise and others to bypass some safety standards that currently apply to human piloted cars, including requirements like that they have steering wheels and gas pedals on board. This legislation would also supersede state-by-state rules, making it possible for autonomous testing to proceed on a level playing field across the U.S.” (09/06/17)


Waymo drops most patent claims in Uber self-driving car lawsuit

Source: TechCrunch

“There were a few big breaks in the case between Waymo and Uber over self-driving car technology today. As a result, the scope of the case is starting to come into focus as both companies prepare for a trial set to begin in October. First of all, Waymo has narrowed its case, dropping three out of four patent claims it originally made against Uber. Meanwhile, Uber has been granted the ability to depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page about why his company decided against partnering with Uber as part of its autonomous vehicle program. Waymo, the self-driving technology arm of Google parent Alphabet, filed the lawsuit in February, alleging theft of trade secrets that Uber planned to use in its autonomous vehicles. The case centers around engineer Anthony Levandowski, who Waymo claims stole 14,000 documents before leaving the company and founding Otto, a self-driving trucking company which Uber later acquired.” (07/07/17)


Judge bars Uber’s former head of self-driving cars from lidar-related work

Source: Yahoo! News

“A federal judge has ordered Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer at the heart of a legal dispute with Uber, from working on any lidar-related work. Judge William Alsup’s order makes official a move that Uber had already made when it preemptively demoted Levandowski from leading its self-driving-car project and barred him from working on lidar. Waymo sued Uber earlier this year, accusing Uber of stealing trade secrets and intellectual property it had developed related to lidar, the radar-like sensors that self-driving cars use to navigate. Waymo says that Levandowski downloaded 14,000 files before he left Google’s self-driving car project, which later became Waymo, and took the files to Uber to jump-start its nascent self-driving car efforts.” (05/15/17)


Uber slams on the brakes, stops self-driving car tests

Source: ZDNet

“Uber has suspended autonomous car tests in the US following an incident in which one of its self-driving cars was involved in a collision in Tempe, Arizona. The ride-hailing service’s tests in both Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have been stopped following the high-impact crash, in which photos on Twitter reveal an Uber car on its side while another vehicle is behind, laden with dents, scratches, and smashed windows. As reported by Bloomberg, the vehicle involved in the collision is a self-driving SUV, one of a fleet being tested by Uber. An Uber spokesperson confirmed the crash, saying that tests have been paused while the ride-hailing service completes an investigation into the situation.” (03/27/17)


Uber takes self-driving cars to Arizona after California demands permit

Source: Reuters

“Uber Technologies Inc on Thursday removed its self-driving test cars from California and put them on trucks bound for Arizona, shuttering the autonomous vehicle project in its home state after a week-long battle with regulators. The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday revoked the registration of 16 cars in Uber’s self-driving fleet, which the regulator said lacked the proper permits. Arizona, however, does not require any special permits for self-driving cars, according to the state Department of Transportation. Autonomous vehicles have the same registration requirements as any other car.” (12/22/16)


CA: Uber caves to bureaucrats, pulls self-driving cars from roads

Source: Chicago Tribune

“Uber pulled its self-driving cars from California roads after state regulators moved to revoke their registrations, officials said. The move comes after a week of talks between the ride-hailing company and state regulators failed. Hours after Uber launched the service in its hometown of San Francisco last Wednesday, the Department of Motor Vehicles threatened legal action if the company did not stop. The cars need the same special permit as the 20 other companies testing self-driving technology in California, regulators argued.” [editor’s note: I wonder if Uber can program its cars to detect the ID cards of government employees and run them down? – TLK] (12/22/16)