The first self-driving taxis are cruising around Singapore

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Uber announced that it will start self-driving trials in Pittsburgh later this month, but it was beat to the punch by a much less well-known company. Starting today, nuTonomy will offer rides to Singapore residents in specially equipped Mitsubishi i-MiEV or Renault Zoe electric vehicles. As with Uber, passengers won’t be alone with a robotic driver like Silicon Valley’s hapless Jared. A nuTonomy engineer will be along to monitor the vehicle, and a safety driver will “assume control if needed to ensure passenger comfort and safety,” the company wrote.

Source: The first self-driving taxis are cruising around Singapore

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Ford, Baidu Invest $150M in LiDAR for Autonomous Cars | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

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In an effort to accelerate autonomous vehicle adoption, Ford and Baidu have invested $150 million in Light, Detection, and Ranging (LiDAR) firm Velodyne.Typically used to make high-resolution maps, LiDAR is a surveying technology that measures distance by illuminating a target with a laser light. Data is then used to create high-resolution 3D digital images used for mapping, localization, object identification, and collision avoidance.”LiDAR continues to prove itself as the critical sensor for safe autonomous vehicle operation,” Velodyne CEO David Hall said in a statement.The investment will allow Velodyne to expand production of automotive LiDAR sensors, “making them widely accessible and enabling mass deployment of fully autonomous vehicles,” Hall added.Ford and Chinese search giant Baidu are no strangers to self-driving technology.In January 2014, Ford teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to work on automated car tech. Last summer, the company appointed Randy Visintainer director of autonomous vehicle development.

Source: Ford, Baidu Invest $150M in LiDAR for Autonomous Cars | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Audi eROT suspension harvests energy as it rides the bumps

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By electrically controlling the suspension Audi is able to separate the rebound and compression, meaning soft compression damping and taut rebound damping is possible without using vertical shock absorbers, which also frees up space in the boot.On top of the potential to improve in-cabin refinement, the eROT system is able to harvest the kinetic energy created when it passes over bumps. The lever arms on the suspension system absorb the movement of the wheel carrier, and then transmit it to an electric motor through a set of gears to create electricity.

Source: Audi eROT suspension harvests energy as it rides the bumps

Face It, You’re A Worse Driver Than An Autonomous Car

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Consumer use of vehicles with autonomous capabilities, however, is just beginning. Adoption will proceed gradually, through the steady implementation of increasingly intelligent safety and convenience features in otherwise ordinary cars. Some models, for example, already offer hands-off parallel parking, automatic lane-keeping, emergency braking or even semi-autonomous cruise control. Last October, Tesla Motors made available a software package that enables a limited form of self-driving operation for owners of its vehicles to download.This trend is likely to continue as such technology matures and as legal and regulatory barriers start to fall. A half-dozen states have already authorized autonomous road vehicles, and more have plansto do so. Discussions are well underway among auto insurers and legislators about how to apportion liability and costs when self-driving cars get into crashes, as they inevitably will — although it is widely expected that these cars will prove to be much safer, on average, than driver-operated cars are today.

Source: Face It, You’re A Worse Driver Than An Autonomous Car

GM begins autonomous car tests in Scottsdale, Arizona

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General Motors and its autonomous technology company Cruise Automation are testing self-driving cars on the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona.Testing of self-driving electric Chevrolet Bolts began in Arizona about two weeks ago. It’s the second city for GM’s real-world tests. Autonomous Bolts with Cruise Automation software have been driving around San Francisco since May 20.GM spokesman Kevin Kelly says the company is considering other cities for tests but wasn’t ready to announce locations.He would not say how many Bolts are being tested. Although the cars drive autonomously, Kelly says they all have human backup drivers.GM acquired San Francisco-based Cruise Automation in March for $581 million in cash and GM stock. Kelly says the company has opened an office in Scottsdale.

Source: GM begins autonomous car tests in Scottsdale, Arizona

Self-driving start-up Otto to test with truckers by year’s end

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CONCORD (Reuters) – Self-driving trucking start-up Otto is poised to put its software in the hands of long-haul truckers by the end of this year for testing, its co-founders said on Thursday.Otto, co-founded by Google car and map project veterans Anthony Levandowski and Lior Ron, will also begin testing five retrofitted Volvo trucks at Northern California’s autonomous vehicle testing grounds, GoMentum Station, in coming weeks.By the end of the year, small owner-operators and larger commercial partners will begin using Otto’s self-driving kit, Levandowski told Reuters at the facility in Concord, north of San Francisco, adding the company has a target of “thousands” of testers by 2017.

Source: Self-driving start-up Otto to test with truckers by year’s end

DW: Autonomous Sub Market to Grow by 50 Percent

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AUVs are self-driving submersibles, designed and tasked with conducting subsea missions without input from the surface. They differ from remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in that they run without a tether to a surface platform and without direct supervision, and they are generally smaller. While their human-controlled counterparts are a common component of commercial subsea oil and gas operations, where they perform manual tasks comparable to the work completed by divers at shallower depths, the majority of AUVs are deployed on military missions. They are an established component of many navies’ reconnaissance and mine countermeasures toolkits; as an example, mine countermeasures training during the multinational RIMPAC 2016 naval exercise included nearly 80 AUV evolutions.

Source: DW: Autonomous Sub Market to Grow by 50 Percent