Who is responsible for autonomous driving — the driver, the vehicle owner, or the manufacturer? Since robots cannot act like humans or be treated like them, we must clarify how to assign our criteria from criminal law, civil law and common morals to the new technologies,” said Prof. Dr. Julian Nida-Rümelin, Professor of Philosophy at LMU Munich.Nida-Rümelin, an expert in the field of technology ethics, is one of over 100 experts attempting to address these questions at a special symposium, “Autonomous Driving, Law and Ethics”, this week in Germany, organized by Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.RELATED STORIESToyota commits US$50M to automated driving researchReady for an Apple car? Report says company moving forward with projectGoogle names auto veteran to lead self-driving car development pushTheoretically, autonomous cars could cut road collision deaths, congestion, pollution and driver stress levels overnight while simultaneously boosting many people’s quality of life. Yet until there is a consensus regarding not just liability but, for instance, how a self driving car is programmed to act in an unexpected traffic situation or how it collects and potentially uses personal data, progress towards reality will be slow.”The safety of every road user is our top priority for automated driving as well. Just as important as technical developments is that our customers have legal certainty and security when it comes to ethical and data protection matters,” said Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Integrity and Legal Affairs.What isn’t open for discussion at the symposium, however, is the technological feasibility of self driving cars; everyone is in agreement that it is simply a question of when, rather than if. Dr Hohmann-Dennhardt is convinced that the advantages offered are so great that autonomous cars will become a fixture of future mobility, a sentiment shared by every major carmaker at this month’s Frankfurt motor show.
Elon Musk believes Tesla cars will be fully autonomous by 2018, and have an all-electric range of more than 1,000km, double what it is today. He also predicts that by 2035 all new cars will not require a driver.A renowned futurist and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Musk predicts that the range of the Model S can be increased by between 5% and 10% every year, as battery technology improves. He also claims the AutoPilot self-driving feature currently being beta tested by Tesla will be rolled-out to all compatible Model S vehicles by the end of October. AutoPilot provides automatic steering, accelerating and braking on motorways, but only in countries which have updated their road laws to allow it.In an interview on Dutch television, Musk said: “My guess is that we could probably break 1,000km within a year or two. I’d say 2017 for sure…in 2020 I guess we could probably make a car go 1,200km. I think maybe 5-10% a year [improvement], something like that.” A Model S was recently driven 452 miles (723km) on a single charge, but drove at an average speed of just 24mph. Musk says his predictions account for driving at a more realistic speed.We will have full autonomy in three years
The path to fully autonomous vehicles will be long and littered with iterations, so firstly we’ll see features trickling through for the most part, but there’s also some very exciting things happening.Self-park is already a feature on a lot of cars out there – it’s filtered down to the likes of a Ford Kuga for example – and this is indicative of how you’ll see things coming through the pipeline that will slowly get consumers used to the idea that their cars will do a lot more of the actual maneuvering in the years to come than they do now.You can get lane assist that will make a noise should you start to drift into another lane, road sign recognition, auto-braking if you get too close to another vehicle, and so on. All of these things are preparing us as consumers, and paving the way to the future.
Suppliers will need to develop new hardware and software capabilities if they want to participate in the emergent autonomous car market, according to a new report from just-auto set to be published next month.The report’s author Professor Peter Wells, Director at the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, argues that new entrants such as Google and Apple will pose a credible threat to established auto maker. He also expects that the key issue not be technology but rather how autonomous cars will be integrated into society.Speaking about the report, Autonomous Vehicles – Divergent Futures, just-auto editor Dave Leggett said:”These are exciting times in the automotive business. Over the next ten years vehicle manufacturers and suppliers alike will have to consider the changes that are coming and adapt.”Those companies who fail to adapt to the rapidly changing technological and business landscapes will eventually disappear,” Leggett added.Professor Wells outlines three potential visions for the future of the car in the report; cocoon car; commodity car; and eternal car, and he details the implications of each vision for OEMs and automotive suppliers.The report also covers the possible impact of urbanisation on autonomous vehicle takeup, and examples of collaboration between automotive and technology companies.
Who is responsible for autonomous driving – the driver, the vehicle owner, or the manufacturer? Since robots cannot act like humans or be treated like them, we must clarify how to assign our criteria from criminal law, civil law and common morals to the new technologies.” Julian Nida-Rümelin leads research projects in the field of technology ethics and is a member of the Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility at Daimler AG.Autonomous driving requires a legal and ethical frameworkAutomation not only makes driving cars more convenient, but also has the potential for lower emissions and greater safety. It reduces stress on drivers during monotonous trips in traffic jams or on the highway. At the same time, they would still be able to take the wheel for routes that are more fun to drive. The topics discussed at the symposium include liability, data protection and ethical questions related to unexpected traffic situations.
Once researchers fired up their drones and computers, the quadcopters went about their work on their own. The flight area is equipped with a motion capture system that constantly collects information about each drone’s position and attitude. That information is then fed into computers and algorithms parse the data to wirelessly send commands back to the drones. The drones weave in and out, up and down, and left to right in specific patterns to build braids and links in a rope bridge.When they finished, the end product was a rope bridge that spanned a 24-foot gap and could withstand a 5,200-pound load.
Autonomous features, such as active park assist, are rapidly being introduced into new vehicles, yet American drivers are hesitant to let go of the wheel,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “While the vast majority of Americans say they would not trust self-parking technology, AAA found these features performed well in tests and warrant consideration of new car buyers.”In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA tested self-parking features on five vehicles: a 2015 Lincoln MKC, a 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML400 4Matic, a 2015 Cadillac CTS-V Sport, a 2015 BMW i3 and a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Limited.Compared to drivers who manually parallel parked with the aid of a standard back-up camera, AAA found:Drivers using self-parking systems experienced 81 percent fewer curb strikesSelf-parking systems parallel parked the vehicle using 47 percent fewer maneuvers, with some systems completing the task in as little as one maneuverSelf-parking systems were able to park a vehicle 10 percent fasterSelf-parking systems were able to park 37 percent closer to the curb
The robot arrived to take the position of fourth-in-line at the flagship Apple Store on George Street at 5 a.m. Thursday, with Kelly communicating through it from 6 a.m. It is believed to be the first time a robot has lined up and purchased an iPhone.Kelly is meanwhile chilling in the warmth of her office, while her robot counterpart stands in the wind and rain. The company she works for, media agency Atomic 212, has sourced and built six of these robots to play with in their office — her boss even attended meetings in Sydney while he was in Bali using one of them.
Meet the cheery little WEpod: the first-ever driverless shuttle to travel on public roads.Made for transporting six passengers at a time, the shuttle—which has only been tested in private areas until now—will debut on a route between two towns in the Netherlands starting in November, The Telegraph reports. The project is the child of French vehicle manufacturer EasyMile and EU-funded transportation initiative Citymobil2, which has already helped transport 19,000 passengers in similar driverless shuttles in Finland.Though various forms of automated public transport already exist in cities around the world, the Netherlands’ WEpod will be the first to drive in normal human traffic. Passengers can use an app to book rides on the shuttle, which is expected to expand from its initial one-line route to serve various other Dutch regions by next summer.The vehicle will travel at a slow crawl of 25 kilometers (15 miles) per hour, and will not—at least for now—attempt to travel at night or in bad weather.
Autonomous driving has become the new and trendy subject in the auto industry of late. But according to the new report from Navigent, self-driving autos are not yet a realistic objective. According to the report fully automated vehicles “that operate themselves with no driver present” are still a decade away. The “incremental systems” necessary to allow such vehicles to exist are expected to make their way into production over the next five to ten years. The report notes that a desire to reduce injuries and deaths from traffic accidents is the driving factor in the push toward AVs. The other driver of this trend is the possibility of reducing overall energy use. If cars can be programmed to accelerate or brake at optimal rates and travel at optimal speeds the use of gasoline can be maximized in terms of efficiency. According to the Navigent analysts “reliability and security, as well as liability issues, pose major barriers to the adoption of autonomous driving.”
Apple’s electric driving car is moving full speed ahead.Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that Apple is aiming to start shipping its rumored electric car in 2019. The Cupertino tech giant is reportedly “accelerating” its electric car efforts after spending more than a year investigating whether it could actually make the project, known internally as Titan, a reality.Apple has given its project leaders the go-ahead to triple Cupertino’s 600-person electric vehicle team, the Journal’s sources said. That team includes self-driving car experts, but Apple doesn’t plan to make its first electric vehicle fully autonomous.”That capability is part of the product’s long-term plans,” the Journal reported.So does this mean we should expect to see Apple Cars on the roads before the end of the decade? Not necessarily. As the Journal pointed out, Apple has a long way to go before it can bring a car to market, and not everyone is convinced it will happen so soon.”Once Apple completes its designs and prototypes, a vehicle would still need to undergo a litany of tests before it could clear regulatory hurdles,” according to the report. “People familiar with the project said there is skepticism within the team that the 2019 target is achievable.”
It is worth the effort: in the U.S. alone, widespread adoption of AVs could eliminate more than 30,000 road fatalities annually, cut travel time by as much as 40 percent, recover up to 80 billion hours lost to commuting and congestion, and reduce fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent. Those societal benefits could be worth as much as $1.3 trillion in the U.S., according to various studies.
Hacker attacks or faulty software could shift the burden of legal and regulatory liability toward makers of self-driving cars and away from customers, experts say, forcing regulators and insurers to develop new models.Autonomous cars have the potential to reduce the rate of traffic accidents as sensors and software give a car faster and better reflexes to prevent a collision. However, a greater level of automation increases the need for cyber security and sophisticated software, experts said. TECHNOLOGYFirst licenced autonomous big rig drives on U.S. roads POLLReader survey: What should the speed limit be in a school zone? CESMercedes-Benz F 015: Is the future of cars a living room on wheels?“Although accident rates will theoretically fall, new risks will come with autonomous vehicles,” said Domenico Savarese, Group head of Proposition Development and Telematics at Zurich Insurance.
According to documents obtained by the Guardian, Mike Maletic, a senior legal counsel at Apple, had an hour-long meeting on 17 August with the department’s self-driving car experts Bernard Soriano, DMV deputy director, and Stephanie Dougherty, chief of strategic planning, who are co-sponsors of California’s autonomous vehicle regulation project, and Brian Soublet, the department’s deputy director and chief counsel.The discussions come as Google and Uber are both advancing their plans to develop self-driving cars. Google already has a fleet of robot cars on the streets of California and is planning to have several hundred built in the near future.Last month, the Guardian disclosed that Apple had looked into booking a secure car testing site in California to road-test its vehicle, codenamed Project Titan. Maletic wrote the mutual confidentiality agreement signed by GoMentum Station, a disused military base near San Francisco with miles of empty streets for driverless cars, when Apple inquired about testing there in May.
Motorcycle enthusiasts will have a chance to twist open the throttle on Harley-Davidson’s 2016 lineup next weekend, and can even get some seat time on the company’s electric bike prototype.Harley-Davidson’s annual open house will be Sept. 24 to 26 at the factory, 1425 Eden Road, Springettsbury Township, the company said in a press release, with events running from 9 a.m. 4 p.m. each day.The electric motorcycle, the “LiveWire,” will be attached to a simulator which allows riders to sit on the bike and manipulate the controls in a realistic manner to get a feel for the bike.Those with motorcycle licenses can also take a 2016 bike on a demo ride, and guests can get their photo taken on motorcycles that had been in the movies “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”The open house will also include a motorcycle stunt show, live music, food vendors and other events.