There are many, many ideas and concepts and startup companies around right now that envision shared autonomous vehicles as a way to eliminate private car ownership. For many people, that’s great, but for people like us, filthy-fingernailed car lovers, there’s not all that much appeal to these ideas. But autonomy doesn’t just have to serve those who don’t care about cars—autonomous vehicles have the potential to make car ownership better, too, and I think I have an idea how. When we think of autonomous vehicles as robots and not just self-driving automobiles, the perspective changes. A robotic vehicle can be tasked with helping you with whatever you want, even if that whatever is working on your old human-driven car. With that in mind, imagine this: There’s a company that you can buy a membership into, a company designed to help make owning and maintaining and repairing classic cars easier. The company is, fundamentally, a co-op for wrenchers, with a … [Read more...] about Here’s One Way Autonomous Vehicles Could Make Owning Old Cars Better
In Arizona, the same state where one of Uber’s self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian, people have reportedly been vandalizing autonomous vehicles operated by Waymo, the Google spin-off owned by Alphabet. The New York Times reported Monday that more than 20 incidents of vandalism on the vehicles have occurred since 2017, when Waymo arrived in Chandler, Arizona. The attacks on Waymo vans, first reported on by the Arizona Republic last month, have involved everything from slashed tires to a pointed gun and reckless driving aimed at running the vans off the road. Citing police reports, the Times reported that some individuals have also thrown rocks at the vans. And it’s not just the cars that are facing violence, but also the riders inside of them. According to both the Arizona Republic and Times, backup drivers have reportedly been yelled at and faced threats to their safety on multiple occasions. In one particularly terrifying incident reported by the Times, a man … [Read more...] about Waymo’s Autonomous Vehicles Are Reportedly Facing Ongoing Attacks in Arizona
Kia's autonomous vehicles could be paired with a smartphone app that would allow you to boss the car around from your watch, say. Here it's working on its parking. Kia Media Every year, more automotive companies stake out space at CES in Las Vegas. They range from manufacturers of actual automobiles to companies that make the chips for ever more complicated nav systems and connected car apps. This year Kia is debuting Drive Wise at CES. It's a sub-brand that covers Kia's forays into partial and fully autonomous driving. In the near future, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), like adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alerts, will fall under the Drive Wise brand. By 2020, that will expand to include partially autonomous driving, which encompasses Highway Autonomous Driving and Traffic Jam Assist, both situations that are easy to navigate but deadly boring for humans to deal with. When using Highway Autonomous Driving, the vehicle will rely on cameras and radar to … [Read more...] about Kia Throws Its Hat Into the Autonomous Vehicle Ring at CES
Gunning it on an open road, regardless of the rules, offers a certain thrill. But will robots think so, too? Marin Tomas/Getty Images Imagine a future in which you climb into the back of your self-driving autonomous vehicle and instruct it to take you on a late-night fast-food run. Imagine also that you're particularly famished that night. Will you be able to tell the robot driver to exceed the posted speed limit to get you to the drive-through window a little more quickly? Or will the robot remind you in a polite but firm synthesized voice that you had to obey traffic laws? That's a hard question to answer, since level 5 autonomous vehicles — the most autonomous ones equipped to be able to drive in any sort of environment, with no human intervention — are still somewhere way off in the future. But it seems likely that when robotic cars hit the market, they'll be designed to stick to speed limits, except perhaps when safety requires speeding up. A few years back, when … [Read more...] about Will Autonomous Vehicles Be Able to Break the Speed Limit?
Whether fully autonomous or merely just technologically advanced, the trucks of the future will still require some human oversight, industry experts say. Education Images/UIG/Getty Images If you saw the recent X-Men movie "Logan," you probably remember one startling scene that showed driverless robotic trucks hurtling down the highway in the year 2029. That futuristic vision isn't here yet, and experts say there are significant technological and regulatory challenges that would have to be overcome before autonomous trucks dominate our highways. But already, truck manufacturers have been making significant strides toward automating much of the work human truck drivers currently perform — and those advances eventually may lead to future fleets of big rigs that transport their loads safely without a person behind the wheel. New Tech on the Road Vehicle manufacturer Daimler tested an experimental big rig in Nevada in 2015, but the company isn't going to put such autonomous … [Read more...] about The Trucking Industry Is Gradually Embracing Autonomous Vehicles