At this point, you can safely assume that self-driving cars are coming. Not only are tech companies like Google and Tesla hard at work developing autonomous technology, so are established automakers like GM and Ford. But when self-driving cars eventually do go on sale, it may be a long time before you can put one in your garage.Michelin® Tires – Official Michelin® Tires Sitewww.michelinman.comSelect Tires by Size, Name, Category & Vehicle Type.Speaking to Automotive News, Ola Kaellenius, Daimler’s head of Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, said he thinks self-driving taxis are the only way forward. Why? Because privately owned cars would be too expensive. At least in the beginning.“The number of sensors you have to put on the car, the computing power and so on adds tens of thousands of dollars once you get it into production,” said Kaellenius. “Where do you have a business case for something like that? You have it in a robot taxi scenario, where you can take a city or a part of the city and say, ‘OK, I’m going to put a hundred, 200, 300, a thousand … into this area.’”
The company calls the vehicle Cube, short for Continental Urban Mobility Experience, and describes it as a “robo-taxi”.This particular trial of the driverless minibus took place in Frankfurt, Germany. Dr Andree Hohm, head of the self-driving car project at Continental, says: “The trials will be used to identify all the essential technical requirements that enable safe, driverless passenger transport in urban areas.“This helps us to find answers to questions about our product strategy and to deliver leading technology for individual mobility in the future – including driverless systems.”
The crafts are fully electric, with 18 rotors and nine independent battery systems that can pick up the slack to keep the craft in the air if anything fails mid-flight. Volocopter claims the quick-charge battery can be fully juiced in as little as 40 minutes for a max flight time of about 30 minutes. That’s at the standard cruising speed of 50 km/h (around 30 mph) and a top speed of 100 km/h (about 62 mph).
Uber’s self-driving operations inside the US have had a checkered start, but that hasn’t stopped the company expanding its efforts beyond the border. It has today announced that it will set up a small research outpost in Toronto, Canada that will complement its ongoing work with autonomous vehicle technologies.The research center will be a new branch of Uber’s existing Advanced Technologies Group, which already has offices in San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Uber kicked off self-driving trials in both locations last year, though its momentum suffered a blow when the California DMV banned the trial in that state in December. It has since gotten the necessary permits, but suspended another trial in Arizona following a high-impact crash.
Spotting your Uber is about to become easier, with the ride-sharing firm set to roll-out its new Beacon feature. The Beacon is an LED light in the shape of the Uber logo that attaches to the inside of a windshield and glows in a color that the rider chooses.If the concept sounds familiar, it’s likely because Lyft announced a similar feature, called the Amp, last month. Whereas the Amp is being limited to only five or six colors as it is rolled out, though, Uber riders will be able to select from what the firm calls “an endless number of colors.”
DP World Group of Dubai has invested $50 million into Hyperloop One, a company that aims to build a theoretical rapid transit service capable of reaching speeds of 1,200km/h (800 mph).The investment brings Hyperloop One’s total funding to $160 million.
Uber, the world’s most valuable startup, with a $68 billion valuation, has rushed to be first-to-market with driverless technology. The company showed off its self-driving cars at a media event in Pittsburgh last month before putting four Ford Fusions into service for a small group of local riders. It plans to add 100 Volvo SUVs to the fleet by the end of this year. Uber is betting on truly autonomous vehicles to transform the economics of ride-hailing by eliminating its biggest cost—drivers. The company lost at least $1.2 billion in the first half of 2016, Bloomberg reported in August, with the majority of that spent on driver subsidies.