The company announced a partnership with Volvo where it would buy “tens of thousands” of self-driving vehicles from the Swedish automaker, deploying them from 2019-2020. The exact terms of the deal weren’t initially disclosed, but an Uber spokesperson confirmed to Mashable via email that the fleet size will be around 24,000 vehicles. The agreement is worth over $1 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“We’ve been thinking about that right from the start,” said Jim McBride, Ford’s technical leader for autonomous vehicles. “We had to prioritize which problems come first.”Ford tested self-driving Fusions in the snow last winter at Mcity, a 32-acre closed course in Ann Arbor. The automaker said then that the test vehicles’ 3-D maps helped the cars “see” when their suite of sensors, cameras, radar and lidar systems could not.Autonomous vehicles use a series of redundant systems to navigate roadways. Developers vary on which sensor, camera or mapping program is the dominant driver of the vehicle, but each of the systems supplement the others. In inclement weather, one of those systems could be negatively impacted — a camera could be caked in ice, for example.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) issues permits, known as Certificates of Entitlement, that give vehicle owners the right to have their vehicle for a period of ten years. The permits are auctioned off. The last auction ended with the highest bidder paying $41,617 (US $30,533.39) only for the privilege of being able to operate the vehicle.
If fully autonomous vehicles ever hit the world’s highways en masse, their developers have a lot of work to do to convince the humans inside the tech is trustworthy. Seventy-five percent of Americans say they would be afraid to travel in an autonomous vehicle, and initiatives are starting around the US to help self-driving cars earn the confidence of their would-be passengers. Taking our hands off the wheel won’t be easy.
GM’s Cruise Automation has increased the number of autonomous Bolts testing on California roads to 100 over the last three months. Prior to this ramp up, the company was only testing 30 to 40 self-driving units. Now that there are so many robo-Bolts on the road, there have been increased reports of minor crashes, all of which were caused by humans operating cars and bicycles. GM Cruise spokeswoman, Rebecca Mark, assured:Autonomous Chevy Bolt EV out testing in San Francisco (via Glenn L)“All our incidents this year were caused by the other vehicle.”Just over the course of September, the Bolts have been involved in six minor incidents, none of which they caused. The tests are taking place on the busy roads of San Fransico, in order to prepare the self-driving vehicles for real-world situations and urban stop-and-go traffic.The accident situation is something that we also saw early on when Google was testing prototypes. Just because these cars use artificial intelligence and are programmed not to “hit” people, cars, or bikes, among other things, this doesn’t mean that they are accident-free. In fact, since many humans don’t obey traffic laws, aren’t used to the robo-vehicles, and often make errors, accidents are likely. Though it seems that most are minor in nature, and no one has been hurt.
The battery materials are 100 percent inorganic, and possess no flammable or volatile components. Solid Power says its batteries provide two to three times higher energy than current Li-ion designs, and also offer the potential to eliminate costly safety features.Solid Power originated as a spin-out from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2012.
Nvidia just announced plans for “Pegasus,” its next-generation system for autonomous cars. Due out in the second half of next year, Pegasus is a license-plate sized computer that the chip giant says can process 320 trillion operations per second. That, Nvidia said, is the equivalent to a 100-server data center and — more importantly — enough to power a fully autonomous car.