Midnight In The Desert — self driving cars

A self-driving Uber hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona

Posted by K R on

A self-driving Uber hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona

Last night, a self-driving cab from an Uber test fleet struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The victim survived the initial accident but later died at a nearby hospital from the resulting injuries. The exact circumstances of the crash are still unclear. Here’s what we know: According to the Tempe Police Department, the car was in self-driving mode around 10 p.m. Sunday night. There was a human safety driver in the car as a contingency, but it’s unclear at this point if they tried to intervene before the accident. It’s not a legal requirement for the car to...

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Self-Driving Semi Trucks Are About to Start Driving Around Atlanta

Posted by K R on

Self-Driving Semi Trucks Are About to Start Driving Around Atlanta

Waymo, the self-driving car company is expanding into trucks. In a Medium post, the company (a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc., itself an offshoot of Google) confirmed rumors that it has been working on self-driving truck technology for the past year and is moving its efforts onto public roads in Atlanta. "Trucking is a vital part of the American economy," Waymo says in the Medium post. "We believe self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and even stronger." Trucking, with its long hauls over largely straight highways, is widely considered to be one of the areas of driving...

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Ford disguised a man as a car seat to research self-driving

Posted by K R on

Ford disguised a man as a car seat to research self-driving

Yes, you read that correctly: Ford put a man in a car seat disguise so that a Ford Transit could masquerade as a true self-driving vehicle. Why? To evaluate how passers-by, other drivers on the road and cyclists reacted to sharing the road with an autonomous vehicle. The trial, conducted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, also made use of a light bar mounted on the top of the windshield to provide communication about what the car was doing, including yielding, driving autonomously or accelerating from a full stop. So why engage in such elaborate dress-up, especially when it’s not...

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Self-driving cars are coming – but are we ready?

Posted by K R on

Self-driving cars are coming – but are we ready?

It’s been 60 years since the cover of Popular Mechanics magazine gave us the promise of flying cars. But our personal mobility options remain, today and for the foreseeable future, earthbound. Will the promise of self-driving cars be as elusive? In short, no. The dream of taking a road trip in which we pay more attention to a new book or movie than we do to the driving task is well within reach. Sixty years ago, flying cars captured Americans’ imagination. Still, we’re not there yet. And people are just beginning to ask a very important question: How might our...

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Mercedes demonstrates a self-driving bus in Amsterdam

Posted by K R on

Mercedes demonstrates a self-driving bus in Amsterdam

CityPilot advances the technology used for Highway Pilot, which was shown on a Mercedes work truck two years ago. The city version is designed to navigate busy areas with lots of people, and it can recognize traffic lights – and communicate with them – and people, obstacles, and other potential things a bus would encounter during urban driving. The bus also can navigate tunnels, brake on its own, and can automatically open and close its doors. It has a top speed of 43.5 miles per hour. It apparently has a dozen cameras, four close range radar sensors covering 30 feet...

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