Articles about self-driving cars

For once, Uber takes it up the tailpipe: Robo-ride gets rear-ended

The Uber self-driving program has had its first accident in California since regaining permission to experiment on the roads – and for a change, it wasn't Uber's fault. According to an accident report [PDF] filed with the San Francisco Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Uber car – a Volvo XC90 – was waiting to turn right …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Aug 2017
Argos lorry, photo: Argos

'Driverless' lorry platoons will soon be on a motorway near you

The Transport Research Laboratory will be starting trials of semi-autonomous "platooning" technology, using lorries on UK roads. Live trials are expected to take place on Britain's "major roads" by the end of 2018, according to a government statement. These will make up the final stage of the project, with the first two being …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Aug 2017

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

Much of the hype surrounding self-driving cars arises from the fact that people are terrible drivers. Automated systems, we're told, can help save lives. Ignoring for a moment all the technical problems that still need to be solved before people can expect to be chauffeured by machine – dealing with adverse weather or …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Aug 2017
Screengrab from the Thick of IT - Brit govt satirical comedy show. Cast text furiously while in crisis mode.

Revealed: The secret CEO texts that tell the tale of Uber-Waymo's self-driving tech spat

Analysis Hundreds of unsealed text messages between former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and self-driving engineer Anthony Levandowski have revealed an intriguing insight into the relationship between the two – and raised more questions about whether they conspired against Levandowski's former employer. Released into the public domain as …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Aug 2017
Waymo self-driving minivan

Waymo fleshes out self-driving car tech with hardware that goes soft at first sign of trouble

Waymo has been granted a patent to deck out its self-driving cars in a material that becomes less rigid when its sensors detect a high chance of collision. Autonomous cars have unresolved safety issues. Although these machines might not suffer from the dangers of fatigue or road rage, they still aren’t completely safe. …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Aug 2017
An RDM Group-made driverless pod, outside the FISITA Plus conference at London County Hall

Britons ambivalent about driverless car tech, survey finds

A third of Brits would use a fully driverless car, a third would not, and the majority want to summon them via an Uber-style app, according to polling carried out for the UK Autodrive consortium. Conducted by researchers at Cambridge University's Engineering Department and the Department of Psychology, the survey consisted of …
Study Confirms High Effectiveness of Low Speed Autonomous Emergency Braking

UK publishes Laws of Robotics for self-driving cars

The United Kingdom has published a set of “Key principles of vehicle cyber security for connected and automated vehicles” outlining how auto-makers need to behave if they want computerised cars to hit Blighty's byways and highways. Penned by the UK's Department for Transport, with help from the Centre for the Protection of …
LiDAR viewer image by Oxbotica

Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Universities, carmakers, local authorities and tech and insurance firms are involved in an array of part-government-sponsored self-driving vehicle pilots across the UK. More than £20m is being funnelled into projects to build and refine autonomous technology, understand human-vehicle interaction, and assess risk. It’s an era …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Jul 2017
Audi TT

Sensor-rich traffic info shows how far Silly Valley has to drive

The German auto cartel has flexed its muscles as Silicon Valley tries to encroach on its turf. HERE – the map consortium owned by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – is adding live sensor data to its Real-Time Traffic service, a first. Sensor-data such as brake information is fed into the HERE service. Ralf Herrtwich, senior VP …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2017
An RDM Group-made driverless pod, outside the FISITA Plus conference at London County Hall

Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

FISITA Plus Connected vehicle folk ought to spend less time worrying about the trolley problem and more time concentrating on connected tech instead, Transport for London's Michael Hurwitz told the FISITA Plus mobility engineering conference this morning. "We spend a lot of time thinking whether the car should take out the child, or the …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Jul 2017
Ocado Oxbotica driving blurred 2 photo by Gavin Clarke

AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

Tech and automotive firms are pushing driverless car technology on society, rather than there being a big demand for it, in the opinion of the Transport Research Laboratory's boffins. In a whitepaper published today TRL's Fellows opined that not only is there a "strong technology push for autonomous vehicles" but also that " …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jul 2017
Waymo self-driving minivan

Waymo now way less: Robo-ride upstart drops patents in Uber battle

Waymo has dropped three of the patent claims it had been pursuing against Uber and will instead focus on nailing the taxi app maker for trade secret theft. The Alphabet-owned self-driving car upstart said in a filing [PDF] in California on Friday that it would drop allegations of patent infringement with prejudice. The now- …
Shaun Nichols, 7 Jul 2017
Tesla-Bosch driverless car level 3. Pic: Rebecca Hill

Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Pictures Autonomous cars, what's not to like? According to their proponents, they will herald an accident, traffic and generally hassle-free age of transportation. So much so, in fact, that Bosch – the world's largest supplier of automotive parts – has decided to "evolve into a provider of services for road users". The company used …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Jul 2017
Money cloud

Microsoft offers cloud to Baidu, gets autonomous car in return

Yesterday, China's search engine giant Baidu named Microsoft as a partner on its new open-source autonomous driving platform, Apollo. Technology analysts say the partnership is a smart call by Redmond. Baidu originally announced Apollo in April. It's got cloud services, software and reference hardware/vehicle platforms. It was …
Andrew Silver, 6 Jul 2017

China's Baidu, GPU monster Nvidia cuddle up at Beijing dev bash

China's top web portal Baidu kicked off its inaugural developer conference in Beijing today with a flurry of news bits and bytes. Just like most major technology companies, Baidu is flinging all its efforts into AI. The one-day event, Baidu Create, was crammed with announcements signaling the Chinese giant’s stronghold on AI …
Cars crash, man looks on - illustration.

New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

RoTM In a version of the infamous Trolley Problem, you're sitting in a runaway train on a fatal collision course with five people. You can flip a switch to change tracks, but on the other track you'd still kill one person. Now change the numbers, who the people are, pretend the trolley drives itself, and welcome to the crazy world …
Andrew Silver, 5 Jul 2017
Tesla model S

Robots will enable a sustainable grey economy

My uncle Amadeo turns 79 this week and bought himself a luxe Model S Tesla as a present. Amadeo is an eminent scientist and avid student of the future, so the Tesla was an obvious choice because I suspect he recognises that he won’t always feel comfortable behind the wheel. So he opted for a vehicle that can already do some …
Mark Pesce, 29 Jun 2017
Knight Rider

US trade watchdog boss goes all Kendrick Lamar on self-driving cars

The head of US trade watchdog the FTC has pushed for companies to loosen their ties over self-driving cars. Speaking at an event for the National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA), FTC boss Maureen Ohlhausen said legislators need to use "regulatory humility" when it comes to autopilots. Touting the self-driving …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2017

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