Earlier this month, we passed on the news that Michigan’s Senate approved a bill that would make autonomous cars virtually 100 percent legal on roads in the state. Recently, those bills took their next step toward becoming law.According to an Automotive News, Michigan’s House committee unanimously okayed these bills, which would allow a computer system to be the "driver" of a car at all times—not just when testing, as it was previously written.Additionally, the law will also extend liability protections to mechanics who work on these cars. Also cleared up was language potentially excluding firms that develop autonomous technology but not cars, such as Google. The revised bills also include protections for entities that have created autonomous vehicles that meet all federal safety standards, have 1 million miles of driver-supervised testing, and have a surety bond of at least $10 million.Also, the Senate judiciary committee sent a pair of bills to the Senate that would … [Read more...] about Autonomous Cars One Step Closer to Becoming Legal in Michigan
Autonomous cars news
We know how much German automakers love the word “dynamic,” and now, as part of a new research project led by Volkswagen, they’re using it to describe next-gen autonomous systems. So far, the few autonomous German cars we’ve seen have only required a human driver as an emergency backup. But Volkswagen, teaming up with BMW, Fiat, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Opel, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Renault, and Volvo, wants autonomous cars “in which the level of automation is dynamically adapted to the situation and driver status.” In other words, they’d like to give us some control behind the wheel. Crazy, right?Follow Car and Driver on FacebookThe European Union will fund the project, called AdaptIVe (Automated Driving Applications & Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles), over the next three-and-a-half years for a total of €25 million (roughly $33.8 million at today’s exchange rates). Several universities and suppliers like Bosch, … [Read more...] about European Manufacturers Leading R&D for Autonomous Cars We May Actually Want to Drive
Google’s adorable self-driving cars made news this week, and they apparently have one of the world’s largest automakers on guard.“Anybody can do anything with enough time and money,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors’ head of product development, as quoted by Bloomberg. “If they set their mind to it,” Reuss said, “I have no doubt” that Google could be “a very serious competitive threat.”It’s hard to imagine that the whimsical—and admittedly prototype—two-seat people pod with anime styling, no steering wheel, and a 25-mph top speed could pose a serious threat to major OEM, but Reuss predicted that the threat won’t happen quickly. “It’s going to be a creep, it’s not going to be a mind-bending thing,” Reuss said, according to AN article. “I don’t think you’re going to see an autonomous vehicle take over the city anytime soon.” At which point, such … [Read more...] about GM Watching Google’s Autonomous-Car Project with a Wary Eye
When our cars drive themselves, there will no longer be the need for bright, flashing, colored lights to which humans respond. What will smart, sensor-laden, autonomous cars do when they approach an intersection? That’s exactly what researchers from three countries are trying to work out.“Traffic lights are a 150-year-old technology originally conceived for horse carriages,” says the website for Light Traffic, part of MIT’s Sensable City Lab. “Will they survive the advent of autonomous vehicles?”The video above shows a glimpse of what could happen when when traffic signals become more like air-traffic controllers. Each car entering the intersection—automatically, of course—pings a central control system, which then assigns the car a time to pass through the intersection. According to researchers at MIT, the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETHZ), and the Italian National Research Council (CNR), the theory goes like this: By giving every car … [Read more...] about Will Autonomous Cars Mean No More Traffic Lights?
Well here it is, the moment the sheep have been waiting for: Google just announced the prototype of the first wholly Google-spec autonomous car. It has no steering wheel or pedals, instead packing GPS navigation and a stop-go button as its only means of control. According to Google, the self-driving prototype’s principle job will be to “shoulder the entire burden of driving,” pitching the whole concept as more of a taxi service than anything. “You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.”Google says the car has sensors that scan all around the vehicle, and that they can recognize objects up to 200 yards away. Initial top speeds are capped at 25 mph. Beyond the aforementioned button, the rest of the equipment list reads like so: two seats, two seatbelts, stowage for a small amount of cargo or … [Read more...] about Driving Not Optional: Google Shows Off Prototype Autonomous Car with No Steering Wheel or Pedals
Call me a Luddite or worse, but the Google Car, a prototype of which was just unveiled to great fanfare among those who hate to drive—who might even hate to live!—is a thing to be feared. How ironic that those too timid for the dust and heat of the open highway have finally created the perfect device with which to torment the self-determined. The autonomous automobile is here to steal our freedoms and turn us into soft-brained, incapacitated jelly people on the road to an Idiocracy event horizon. Here are five reasons why the Google Car will make slaves of us all:1. What are you going to do with all that extra downtime now that your car drives itself? Spend more time with the kids. Catch up on reading. Learn a foreign language. That’s an utter load of crap, and you know it. This car exists because Google thinks you can’t be trusted to drive while not texting. And you will confirm its prejudices by frittering away your travel time on work e-mail, … [Read more...] about 5 Reasons You Should Fear the Google Autonomous Car
Got a hot little self-driving number that you’re just dying to take to the track? Thunderhill Raceway is hosting the track day for you.Jonathan Gitlin over at Ars Technica brings us the news of the world’s first autonomous-car track day, which takes place at Thunderhill Raceway on May 28 and 29 in Willows, California. It’s being put on by Joshua Schachter, and so far, 16 teams have signed up. As Schachter told Ars Technica, this isn’t just a playground for big-money automakers to show off their self-driving car technology. “If you squint at it, and it’s automotive, come try it on the track,” he said.And people are taking him up on the offer. So far, attendees include a few fully autonomous cars (and a self-driving go-kart), companies researching sensor technology for self-driving cars, and connected-car startups. “The idea is to push the limits of engineering,” Schachter said. “Track days are the first step into racing, and I … [Read more...] about The World’s First Autonomous-Car Track Day Is Next Month
Yesterday news broke that Google and Ford will work together to build self-driving cars toward the purpose of creating a new ride-sharing business. Neither company has confirmed or denied the report, but a formal announcement outlining details of the collaboration is expected at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in early January. Until we find out more, here’s some analysis based on what we know so far. This shouldn’t be that surprising It’s certainly a massive development and could have huge implications, but Google has repeatedly said that it would rather partner with established manufacturers than build its own cars. Making cars is extremely complicated; working with a traditional carmaker, especially one based in the U.S. with facilities, supply chains, and partnerships already in place, will relieve Google of many potential headaches and … [Read more...] about Google Pairing Up with Ford on Its Autonomous-Car Project Makes Perfect Sense—Here’s Why
With the nonchalant candor usually reserved for vehicle-pricing announcements, Nissan execs announced yesterday that the company would be selling autonomous vehicles to the general public by 2020. And, by the way, the technology would spread throughout the lineup over the subsequent two product generations. This news is utterly, whatsnextingly boring. It’s also thoroughly shocking.To begin, the credibility of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is always debatable. He far overshot estimates of electric-vehicle sales, and oversold hopes for Renault’s recovery in Europe. In May, he said Nissan would double sales in the U.S. by 2017; that’d put it on par with Ford.Whether because of whimsical illustrations on the covers of pulp science magazines in the 1950s, utopian predictions brought on by the dystopia of the 1970s fuel crises, or the semiconductor revolution of the 1990s, autonomous cars have at least been in the public consciousness for eons. If not around the corner, they were … [Read more...] about Nissan Promises Autonomous Car by 2020—But Will Anyone Let It Happen?
You’ve no doubt heard about net neutrality over the last few years. But, in case you haven’t, net neutrality is the principle that forces Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet equally. It forbids them from discriminating on subject matter or charging different fees based upon the user, site content, website, platform, application, or method of delivery. Essentially, it makes the internet into a tap where you pay one flat fee for access to all content.That could soon change. On Tuesday, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to repeal the landmark neutrality order from 2015. FCC head Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump in January, said last year that he believed net neutrality’s “days were numbered.”Pai has been criticized for being overly supportive of telecom companies. But a few automakers support his cause, as some of the FCC’s regulations have been at odds with … [Read more...] about FCC Prepares Repeal On Net Neutrality: Autonomous Car Victory or Orwellian Nightmare?