Driverless car Stories August 21, 2014

Google’s autonomous car without steering wheel or pedals to get steering wheel & pedals …

When Google showed off its built-from-scratch self-driving car with no steering-wheel or pedals, the world’s press weren’t the only people watching: California’s DMV also had its eye on the vehicle.

A new rule taking effect in California from 16th September says that self-driving cars are only legal on public roads if a driver is able to take “immediate physical control,” reports the WSJ. That means that Google is going to have to make a couple of small adjustments to the cars: fitting that missing steering-wheel and pedals.

[Google] said it plans to comply with the California rule by building a small, temporary steering wheel and pedal system that drivers can use during testing.

“With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features, while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary,” Google spokeswoman Courtney Hohne said.

The company will initially be testing the fleet of 100 prototype vehicles on private roads.

Google had also wanted to test other types of autonomous vehicles, including motorcycles, but the DMV refused permission. California DMV official Bernard Soriano did, however, state that they are drafting rules that allow members of the public to operate driverless cars within a couple of years – and by that time, no steering-wheel or pedals will be required.

Only a handful of US states allow driverless cars on the road at present, but others are likely to follow California’s lead, and other countries likewise.

Driverless car Stories July 30, 2014

Self-Driving-Prototype-Google-Car

If you’d like to know what makes Google’s self-driving car tick, the company is hosting an interactive Hangout as part of its Maker Camp field trip program. The festivities start on Friday, August 1st at 11AM PT/2PM ET, but you can start asking your questions right now. In addition to a Q&A session with participants, Google will be discussing how its driverless car operates, as well as the project’s latest developments.

expand full story

Driverless car Stories June 9, 2014

Self-Driving-Prototype-Google-Car

The US isn’t the only country making preparations for self-driving cars, the UK is in the process of revamping its laws to allow driverless vehicles to cruise its roads. Science minister David Willetts recently told Mail Online that he has started talking with the Department for Transport to help British companies develop their own self-driving cars, with efforts currently underway in Oxford.

expand full story

Driverless car Stories August 23, 2013

google-driverless-car

Google Ventures’ $250M investment in Uber makes a lot more sense with some news reported by Jessica Lessin this morning. The site is reporting that Google is making its own driverless cars to be “robo taxis”:

Google Inc., which has been working on software to help major automakers build self-driving cars, also is quietly going around them by designing and developing a full-fledged self-driving car, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the Prius has been Google’s main guinea pig of the self-driving car efforts, it looks like Google would like to control the entire manufacturing experience for these cars. In addition, the company’s focus is geared towards driver-free taxi services rather than selling the cars direct to consumers.  expand full story

Driverless car Stories January 4, 2013

Toyota, Lexus, and Audi to show off their own Google-like self-driving cars at CES

While Google often uses Toyota vehicles in its fleet of self-driving cars, Toyota is planning to show off its own autonomous car technology next week at CES. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, Toyota yesterday posted a short five-second clip of its advanced active safety research vehicle, a Lexus LS 600h, equipped with advanced cameras and sensors. Toyota confirmed to the WSJ that its system is being developed independently from Google. Audi is also said to have self-driving capabilities ready to demonstrate at CES in Las Vegas next week. We’ll be on hand with live coverage from Las Vegas, and we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for any vehicles driving around by themselves.

Toyota’s prototype vehicle is a Lexus LS 600h fitted with radar and camera equipment that can detect other vehicles, road lane lines and traffic signals, giving the vehicle the ability to navigate streets without a driver. It also includes what appears to be the same roof-mounted laser that Google Inc. has been using on its autonomous research cars. Google began testing self-driving cars in 2009.

An Audi official also said the luxury-car company will be demonstrating autonomous vehicle capabilities at the Las Vegas show, including a feature that allows a car to find a parking space and park itself without a driver behind the wheel.

Earlier this year, Cadillac also showed off its own “Super Cruise” self-driving car technology.

Driverless car Stories October 12, 2012

[protected-iframe id=”a7d9d4550bafce3b715a1528a299cfcd-22427743-2965723″ info=”http://live.wsj.com/public/page/embed-721B8DA9_40F6_48DC_8297_9F5E63DA15F6.html” width=”512″ height=”288″]

The Wall Street Journal just published a lengthy report detailing how Google convinced Nevada state assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, as well as other states’ transportation committees, to introduce legislation that would help legalize its driverless cars for streets.

“This will save taxpayers countless millions of dollars and revolutionize driving as we know it. No more being distracted, no more accidents, and not another DUI attorney again.”

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company persuaded lawmakers, according to The Wall Street Journal, with “demonstrations and rides in its exotic cars,” and it subsequently earned “legislative wins” in Nevada, California, and Florida. There are even bills pending before legislators in Hawaii, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and the District of Columbia:

In the process, the Mountain View, Calif., company is building its credentials as an astute political operator. Google has been “pretty savvy” at navigating state capitols, said Frank Douma, a transportation-policy author and associate director at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. With its self-driving cars, Google “knew what they were doing by moving forward in Nevada” before approaching bigger states, he said. “If you blow it in the first state, you’ve really got problems.”

Success at legalizing self-driving car technology has broader implications for Google. Skills learned from lobbying state lawmakers could aid other endeavors that will require local policy-making, including the potential expansion of its Google Fiber Internet and TV service into markets dominated by cable companies.

Google spent roughly $9 million during the first and second quarters of 2012 lobbying in Washington and coaxing lawmakers and U.S. Department of Transportation officials, but Google did not disclose how much went toward lobbying state officials.

expand full story

Driverless car Stories October 4, 2012

Uh-oh, Google better step on the pedal: Automaker Nissan recently unveiled a self-driving car at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies tradeshow in Tokyo.

The concept car, dubbed “NSC-2015, can park or drive up to a passenger when commanded by a smartphone. In the Nissan press video above, a demonstration at CEATEC 2012 shows the modified Nissan Leaf responding to an Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S III.

Nissan specifically said the car could search for an empty space and park itself after a driver has left the vehicle and then the driver could later summon the car with just a simple smartphone tap.

expand full story

Driverless car Stories September 25, 2012

Update: During a Q&A following the signing of Google’s autonomous car bill today, Sergey Brin was asked how long until the public would be using the vehicles. While noting he plans for a broader subset of employees to test the vehicles in the near future, Brin noted he expects the public to begin using the vehicles within 5 years. Sergey also noted the company has had conversations with many car manufacturers but Google doesn’t currently have plans to build cars itself.

“Self driving cars do not run red lights” -Sergey

In a tweet from the Google Public Policy Twitter account, Google noted today that California Gov. Jerry Brown will be signing its autonomous vehicle bill supporting Google’s effort to bring its self-driving cars to public roads. Google will be streaming the signing at 1pm PT on the Google YouTube Channel (embedded above).

[tweet https://twitter.com/googlepubpolicy/status/250636721073557504]

The Bay Citizen reports Google is now only awaiting approval from Gov. Jerry Brown as its driverless car bill passed 37-0 in the Senate and 74-2 in the Assembly. The bill, which was put together by legislative staffer Howard Posner and sponsored by state Sen. Alex Padilla, would allow Google and other companies to test their driverless cars on public roads and require new laws governing the operation of the vehicles in public:

Padilla’s bill, SB 1298, would allow companies to test self-driven cars on public roads and require the DMV to draft rules governing use of the vehicles by the public. The measure also would define a car’s “operator” as the person sitting in the driver’s seat, or if there’s no one in the driver’s seat, the person who “causes the autonomous technology to engage.”… In its final form, the bill would give the DMV authority to reject the use of driverless cars that did not meet its standards. The measure also would require that owners be notified about what data their car is collecting, but it did not resolve questions of liability.

Google provided a statement to The Bay Citizen in an email: expand full story

Driverless car Stories April 20, 2012

Cadillac shows off its own Google-like self-driving car tech

[vodpod id=Video.16400251&w=650&h=350&fv=videoId%3D1571349807001%26amp%3BplayerID%3D1055201185001%26amp%3BplayerKey%3DAQ%7E%7E%2CAAAA9K3O_eE%7E%2CBF-rjVZt6dxWMzhYS_d0aK6IljUB_vgT%26amp%3Bdomain%3Dembed%26amp%3BdynamicStreaming%3Dtrue]

Google has its self-driving car technology, but today Cadillac is showing off its own “Super Cruise” self-driving tech. Engadget has the full press release.

Driverless car Stories March 31, 2012

In case you were worried that 8-Bit Maps were the only new release today, fear not. Google is releasing the Google Racing Autonomous NASCAR racing team in a variety of flavors, including Android, YouTube, and Chrome. expand full story

Driverless car Stories August 5, 2011

.

You knew this was going to happen at some point.  A Google automated car with that spinny thing at the top was in what looks like a minor rear ending incident near Google HQ in Mountainview.  While it doesn’t appear that anyone was hurt (even the two Prii above), it isn’t exactly a vote of confidence for the fledgling product that Google hopes will materialize into a useful product within a decade.

Before we pass judgement based on a tipster’s photo – we’ll wait for Google’s post mortem.

Update: As we thought – human was at the wheel for this fender-bender.  Google sent over this statement:

“Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.”

Via Jalopnik

expand full story

Powered by WordPress VIP