Tag Archives: selfdriving

Volvo to unload 100 self-driving cars onto city streets

Volvo plans to bring 100 self-driving cars to Sweden's roads.

(Credit: Volvo Car Group)

While Google’s self-driving car has garnered most of the headlines, a handful of car companies are also working on their own renditions of autonomous vehicles. Volvo is one of the latest car manufacturers to join this list.

The Swedish-based company announced Monday that it has launched a pilot project dubbed “Drive Me — Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility,” which will bring 100 self-driving Volvo cars onto city streets. The project will take place on about 50 kilometers of busy roads in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

“Our aim is for the car to be able to handle all possible traffic scenarios by itself, including leaving the traffic flow and finding a safe ‘harbor’ if the driver for any reason is unable to regain control,” Volvo technical specialist Erik Coelingh said in a statement. “Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users.”

Volvo’s goal for “Drive Me” is to ta… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Tesla developing self-driving for Model S

The Model S will benefit from autonomous car technologies being developed by Tesla.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

When the Model S launched last year, it was missing one feature-set commonly found among its luxury competitors: driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, or lane departure warning. The company appears to be addressing that lack, according to a recent statement by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

As reported by Reuters, Musk says that Tesla is developing auto-pilot technology for the Model S, and it should be ready in three years.

The technology will allow the Model S to perform 90 percent of driving tasks. Fully autonomous driving will follow on at a future date. Tesla has a position open for an autonomous driving engineer, and Musk said the company would develop the technology in house, as opposed to working with Silicon Valley neighbor Google.

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Ford brainier concept a step toward self-driving cars

Ford CEO Alan Mulally next to an electronically augmented S-Max concept car at the IFA show in Berlin.

(Credit: Ford Motor)

Ford Motor, trying to show off its electronics credentials, unveiled a new concept vehicle with technologies that Chief Executive Alan Mulally said will eventually lead to self-driving cars.

The concept car, a modified version of the compact S-Max that Ford revealed at the IFA electronics show in Berlin, has a variety of digital-era advancements:

• Vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, a variation of Wi-Fi networking, that lets cars communicate directly to discover risks like a stopped vehicle around a blind curve.

• A system that uses radar and cameras to watch for pedestrians and apply the brakes if a collision is imminent.

• A parking assist technology that can park the car in either parallel or perpendicular parking spaces — and then unpark it afterward. The idea should be very popular in super-cramped European parking garages, Mulally said.

• A heart-rate monitor built into the seat that can record health information and, if authorized, share it with a doctor.

Such advancements are leading to the future of … [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Nissan pledges affordable self-driving car models by 2020

A self-driving Nissan Leaf prototype

(Credit: Nissan)

It seems 2020 is shaping up to be the magic year for self-driving cars.

Nissan announced Tuesday that it’ll have “multiple, commercially-viable Autonomous Drive vehicles by 2020,” a deadline that General Motors and automotive supplier Continental also have set. Google, however, has set more ambitious goals for its autonomous-vehicle program: Google co-founder Sergey Brin predicted the arrival of self-driving cars for the general public by 2017.

Nissan said its autonomous-vehicle technology will be available “at realistic prices for consumers,” and that its goal is to make the technology available “across the model range within two vehicle generations.”

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Google, supplier Continental near self-driving car deal: report

Continental CEO Elmar Degenhart and CFO Wolfgang Schäfer hold a red license plate that gives them permission to test autonomous vehicles in Nevada.

(Credit: Continental)

Continental, a German automotive supplier, is hammering out partnership agreements with Google and IBM for self-driving cars, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine on Thursday.

Google is a pioneer in autonomous vehicles, but Continental is headed the same direction, for example through a partnership announced earlier this year with BMW. Although consumers probably know the company best for making tires, it also is a major supplier that makes everything from disk brakes to lithium-ion batteries.

Acquisitions have broadened Continental’s business. In 2006, it acquired Motorola’s automotive electronics business, for example. In 2012, it reported net income of $ 2.5 billion on revenue of $ 43.7 billion.

Partnerships with Google and IBM could be announced at the Frankfurt auto show in September, the newspaper said. The partnerships would involve shared investments up front and then shared revenue from the business later.

Because Continental has existing relationships with automakers as well as … [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Bosch self-driving car spotted in California

This Bosch-owned BMW was seen driving near the company's Palo Alto research center.

(Credit: Declan McCullagh/CNET)

Google’s fleet of autonomous cars, based on the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX, have become almost a common site in the high-tech environs of the San Francisco Bay Area, but CNET reporter Declan McCullagh caught a new entrant on the scene, an apparently Bosch-owned autonomous research car driving the roads around Palo Alto.

The car was a BMW 325d, a European diesel model not currently available in the U.S. As Bosch supplies the diesel components for the 325d engine, it is not surprising the company would use this model.

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Perched on top of the car sat a rack holding a sensor array, similar to that found on Google’s autonomous cars. The component sitting highest is likely a LIDAR sensor, which uses lasers to paint a 3D picture of the … [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Google to profit from self-driving cars by decade’s end — analyst

One of Google's driverless cars.

(Credit: Google)

Google stands to rev up substantial revenue from self-driving cars.

The search giant is likely to gain whether it creates the hardware for self-driving cars or simply license the necessary software to automakers, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said in an investors note released Tuesday. Either way, revenue from this burgeoning sector should start to ramp up for Google before the decade is over.

“We believe the utility of reducing auto deaths and idle time in traffic add up to a $ 200+ billion opportunity in autonomous vehicle technology,” Munster said. And the analyst sees Google as the “best positioned Internet company over the next ten years” to profit from the technology.

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Is there a self-driving car in your future?

Lexus showed off its research vehicle, designed to test advanced safety systems, at CES 2013.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

LAS VEGAS–As hints leaked that both Lexus and Audi would be showing autonomous cars at CES 2013, no less a publication than the Wall Street Journal hyped the story. However, those expecting to see cars driving themselves around the Las Vegas Convention Center were disappointed. This trend had no gas.

Lexus burst the bubble with a surprisingly short press conference. The company brought two of its LS sedans on stage, one of them fitted with sensors and processors to research advanced safety features. Lexus vice president Mark Templin described the company’s research as focused on safety, which could be taken as a reaction to Toyota’s troubles from a few years ago over unintended acceleration issues.

Templin described the active safety features, which rely on radar, camera, and infrared sensors on the production LS, but could not go into detail as to what was built into the research vehicle, or even its capabilities. He said how Toyota was carrying out this active… [Read more]

Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Toyota, Audi to show off self-driving cars at CES

Toyota's prototype Lexus LS 600h.

(Credit: Screenshot by Steven Musil/CNET)

Get ready to see more cars on the road without a driver behind the wheel.

Toyota and Audi will demonstrate autonomous-driving features next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Japanese automaker posted a five-second preview video that shows one of its luxury brand Lexus vehicles loaded with various sensors and carrying the caption, “Lexus advanced active safety research vehicle is leading the industry into a new automated era.”

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An Audi representative also told the Journal that it would be demonstrating similar capabilities at CES 2013, including the ability to locate a par… [Read more]

Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET