That was a pity, because the I.D. Buzz had some interesting ideas in it, like an augmented reality HUD, laser-guided self driving capability, video cameras instead of mirrors, and the ability to remove both the dash (as an infotainment tablet) and the car audio system (for outdoor tunes when you get to the beach). But it now seems the I.D. Buzz is headed for production, as Volkswagen announced over the weekend at Monterey Car Week that it’ll go on sale as a modified production version in 2022, targeted mainly at the US, Europe and China.
Ford is clearly thinking about these questions and coming up with answers. This is highlighted by a newly published patent the company filed describing a removable steering wheel and pedals meant for self-driving cars. The patent describes a system that allows both the steering wheel and the pedals to be attached or removed using a series of locking points.
One of the biggest alliances in the race to develop self-driving cars just got even stronger by adding another key member. The autonomous development group spearheaded by Intel, Mobileye and BMW Group announced today that it will add Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to its ranks. FCA is the parent company behind instantly recognizable auto brands like Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge. The group now has another ally in its efforts to produce self-driving tech that will bring semiautonomous and full-on driverless cars by 2021, which Intel believes might eventually usher in a brand new, $7 trillion “passenger economy.”
Carmakers are making incredible advances when it comes to autonomous technology, but the first fully autonomous vehicles to hit the roads may actually be trucks, with the transport behemoths proving naturally suited to self-driving technology.
More than half of the 1,000 new car buyers surveyed indicated that they expected to own an autonomous vehicle within the next 10 years. But at the same time, a majority of those surveyed were unaware of advanced driving assistance features available now, acceptance of which will be crucial to overcoming driver concerns on control and technology, and accelerate the path to fully automated driving.
Although self-driving vehicles are already on the streets of U.S. cities, the automakers and technology companies powering them still have a winding road to navigate before they reach full adoption. There have been many notable developments on autonomous vehicles over the last year, but public opinion about this emerging technology hasn’t changed significantly. Many Americans still prefer driving themselves, with more than seven in 10 saying they love being behind the wheel, according to a follow up survey about autonomous vehicles by ReportLinker.
Passenger cars aren’t the only mode of transportation to which Tesla wants to give autonomous driving capabilities. The company aims to start testing its electric truck prototypes with autonomous tech in Nevada, Reuters reports, citing discussions between Tesla and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. Tesla first announced plans for an electric truck in 2016, with company CEO Elon Musk indicating in April of this year that the truck will be unveiled in September 2017. As Reuters points out, Musk did not mention any plans for autonomous capabilities at the time, but Tesla had hinted at electric trucks when it announced its “Master Plan Part Deux.””In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport,” the company said in its Master Plan. “Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”