Volvo is ready to line up real-world drivers to test its autonomous cars.Its UK-based “Drive Me London” program, set to begin in early 2017 with a limited number of semi-autonomous cars, will employ regular, everyday folks to operate the vehicles on public streets. In 2018, that will expand to include up to 100 fully autonomous driving cars.The company did not provide details about how drivers will be selected.Collected data will be used to develop new cars “that are suitable for real-world driving conditions, rather than the more unrealistic conditions found on test tracks,” Volvo said.”Autonomous driving represents a leap forward in car safety,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. “The sooner [autonomous driving] cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”//RELATED ARTICLESTech Firms to Feds: Let’s Get Cracking on Self-Driving Car RegulationsLondon may not be the only stop on Volvo’s road to self-driving vehicles. In February 2015, the car maker announced plans to provide autonomous cars to 100 customers in Gothenburg, Sweden, by 2017, for public road tests. The high-tech chariots will be equipped with a network of sensors, cloud-based positioning systems, and intelligent braking and steering technologies. Set it to Autopilot, and the car takes over, leaving you to apply makeup, read a book, respond to texts and emails, and eat breakfast on the morning commute.
To really test an autonomous car, new crash tests will need to be devised that place the cars in situations where the accident could be avoided altogether, or, if the accident is unavoidable, decisions are made so the outcome will provide the least amount of damage.And, because autonomous cars are really robots with the capacity to end a human life, this all now becomes a colossal can of very active and ethically ambiguous worms. If we expect NHTSA to come up with a standard set of crash avoidance and mitigation tests for autonomous cars – and we’d be crazy to think we shouldn’t – we need to realize that defining a set of tests also means that we need to define a set of ethical rules that we expect these cars to adhere to.
In the race to develop self-driving cars, the United States and Europe lead in technology, but China is coming up fast in the outside lane with a regulatory structure that could put it ahead in the popular adoption of autonomous cars on its highways and city streets.A draft roadmap for having highway-ready, self-driving cars within 3-5 years and autonomous vehicles for urban driving by 2025 could be unveiled as early as this year, said Li Keqiang, an automotive engineering professor at Tsinghua University who chairs the committee drafting the plan. The panel is backed by the powerful Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.The draft will set out technical standards, including a common language for cars to communicate with each other and infrastructure, and regulatory guidelines – a unified framework that contrasts with a patchwork of state laws and standards in the United States.
People have been worried if Faraday Future (FF) would ever build a car. Turns out, it’s been testing its first model for “almost a year,” according to a company press release.SEE ALSO: Daimler and BMW reportedly walk away from Apple Car development talksSo far, the test car has been subjected to some seriously rigorous extreme-weather testing. It’s been pushed to the max in temperatures from searing heat of summertime desert roads to severe cold-weather conditions well below zero on the Fahrenheit scale.Before you keep your eyes peeled for a camouflaged FFZERO1 rolling through your town, the car FF is testing is a mule. In the automotive industry, a mule is a car that has the technical components of a future model, like the powertrain, the suspension, the electrical architecture, the battery, the control system, but it doesn’t necessarily have the production exterior components.So even if Faraday were driving an FFZERO1 in your neighborhood, you might not recognize it or even give it a second glance
Volvo announced on Thursday morning that it has set the ambitious goal of selling 1 million electrified vehicles by 2025. “Electrified vehicles” is the industry umbrella term for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The company plans to achieve this objective by offering “at least two hybrid versions of every model in its range.” Moreover, it will be releasing its first all-electric car in 2019.“It is a deliberately ambitious target,” Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive, said in the release. “It is going to be a challenge, but Volvo wants to be at the forefront of this shift to electrification.” While the first Volvo EV will be significant, perhaps more striking is the two hybrid versions of every model the Swedish carmaker makes. Some automakers offer both a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of some of its models. However, none offers two hybridized versions of every model.
Chinese tech giant LeECO, which is a subsidiary of LeTV, the company funding Faraday Future, unveiled its first luxury EV sedan in Beijing, China Wednesday morning.It’s called the LeSEE, named for the SEE plan, which stands for “Super Electronic Ecosystem” Plan.On the outside, the car just looks like round-y futuristic sedan. On the inside, however, it’s a bit more interesting. Not only are the seats made from memory foam, the rear seats are ribbed. LeSEE’s interior features ribbed memory foam seats.IMAGE: LEECOBetween the two front passengers are two displays, one that comes off the dashboard and another that juts up from the center console, not too unlike the Volvo Concept 26 interior.In front of the driver is an oddly shaped steering wheel that folds away when the car is put into autonomous mode. IMAGE: LEECOThe car is still functional even when the driver is not in the cabin. That’s because the LeSEE can be operated with voice commands through a smartphone app that allows users to command the car to park itself, a function LeECO demonstrated, albeit slowly, on stage at the debut.
You can finally junk that Oldsmobile, Jethro; in Beverly Hills you will soon be able to dial up a self-driving car and call it public transit. Buses are so yesterday, and streetcars so last century. The future of transit is autonomous vehicle (AV). An old-fashioned subway is being built that will have two stops in Beverly Hills and a city would normally feed it with buses or other forms of transit, but not Beverly Hills, they want shiny. In a city press release the Mayor explains:“We can’t solve future or even today’s problems using technology of the past,” Mayor Mirisch said. “A.V.s will take private cars off the road, reduce demand for parking, increase safety and mobility for everyone, including the disabled, and solve the ‘first/last mile’ challenge for residents using the future Purple Line.”