An Australian startup called Alauda has an ambition to fast-track that reality with its electric, low-altitude aircraft, the Airspeeder Mark I.
Alauda is founded by Matt Pearson, who also cofounded space startup Fleet. Over the past two years, Pearson has been working on the project as part of a team of five in a Sydney warehouse.
Unlike the DeLorean, Pearson’s Airspeeder Mark I is a quadcopter — essentially a bigger version of a drone, with a single seat for the pilot.
“About three years ago I started to look at hover technology, and magnetic hovering. The problem with that is you need to build a track as well as the vehicle. You can’t just build a magnetic hover car and fly it on any road, you need to build the road,” Pearson explained to Mashable.
Case in point: The City of Las Vegas and AAA’s self-driving shuttle, one of the most advanced public autonomous trials in the U.S., was hit by a semi-truck within hours of its maiden trip last month. The Navya Arma bus was stuck between a car behind it and the slowly advancing truck, which backed its way into the the shuttle.
It took several months, but Lyft and nuTonomy have made good on their promise to test autonomous ridesharing cars in Boston. The two have launched a pilot program that gives “select” Seaport-area passengers a ride in one of nuTonomy’s self-driving Renault cars. If you’re one of the few to hop in (the Lyft app will make it obvious), your feedback will help refine the system to make sure it’s both comfortable and safe.
This is as much a tech demo as it is a trial run. Lyft and nuTonomy aren’t shy about using the Boston experiment to help you “better understand the impact” of self-driving cars — that is, to sell you on the concept so that you’ll be a customer when driverless cars dominate.
Nissan Motor has revealed plans to introduce fully autonomous cars in 2022. According to a Bloomberg report, the Japanese car manufacturer is looking to position itself as a leader in driverless technologies.
As per the report, Yutaka Sanada, a Nissan senior vice president, said the firm is aiming to add autonomous-driving functions step-by-step, first allowing more cars to handle single-lane driving by themselves, and subsequently navigate urban roads, including intersections, by 2020.
Reducing accidents to zero. Cutting down emissions. Autonomous driving promises significant advantages for our society as a whole. But how will it change YOUR daily life?
In his opinion, at the very least, the motorsports run by car producers have a social responsibility: “We can’t just consume petrol and burn rubber, we also have to advance and test new technologies, and do something when it comes to their acceptance,” says the motorsports manager. “And this is where, after electric driving, automated driving is the next big topic.”
n what promises to be a big step forward in 3D vision systems for autonomous vehicles, Velodyne has announced a new 128-channel LiDAR sensor that boasts the longest range and highest-resolution on the market.